This leading Cinema Group operates the largest and most geographically dispersed theatre circuit in the United States, consisting of 6,388 screens in 527 theatres in 39 states and the District of Columbia. They have an average of 12 screens per location, far exceeding the industry average of 6.5 screens per location.
Shortly before a blockbuster movie release, this Cinema Group acquired 28 theatres that were spread out among 6 different states on the east coast, and ranged in size from 1-3 box office terminals with 3 concession stations up to 10-12 box office terminals with 20 concessions stations. Facing a tight deadline, this Cinema Group needed a partner to assist with the rapid theatre conversion.
It called upon Comm-Works, its proven partner for voice and data infrastructure services.
Due to a rapid acquisition approval, the theatre consolidation was pushed forward much faster than the Cinema Group had originally anticipated. With a blockbuster movie release scheduled in less than two weeks, the Cinema Group wanted to complete the theatre consolidation in time to capture the added revenue expected from this movie release.
“Our original timeline to complete the project was 45-60 days. We were asked to complete the project in just 10 days, with final cutover for all 28 theaters occurring simultaneously over one night.” the Project Manager for Comm-Works explained, “We also worked with this customer when business requirements mandated an alteration of the cutover date twice during this 10-day timeframe.”
SCOPE OF WORK
This extremely short timeframe meant that the execution had to be flawless; any mistake would result in a missed deadline and a large revenue loss for the Cinema Group.
Prior to determining the final cutover date, Comm-Works’ project management team and the Cinema Groups’ IT team had already completed cursory pre-work for such a project, including site surveys necessary to put together detailed installation manuals for each of the theater environments.
After the pre-work was complete, the remaining scope of the project included the removal of the existing network equipment and POS hardware and the installation of the new network equipment and POS hardware at each of the 28 sites.
Utilizing its Service Partner network of qualified technicians, Comm-Works managed three unique site visits for each of the 28 theaters. The first group of site visits involved the extension of the demark at each of the new locations. This occurred 1-3 days prior to the cutover. The second and third round of site visits occurred on the day of the cutover. These visits included retrieving previously drop-shipped equipment, earmarked for the 28 converted theaters, from 20 existing theater locations owned by the Cinema Group. The new site locations were somewhat close in proximity, ranging in distance from 5 miles to 120 miles away. It was critical that business was not interrupted, so Comm-Works had to coordinate the equipment pick-up during off-peak theater hours between 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm.
In order to meet the cut-over timeline set to begin at 8 pm, the equipment had to be delivered to the new site by 6:00 pm. Once the equipment was onsite, the lead technician began to install the router, switch, box office and concession POS terminals, back-office PCs and the timeclock. Comm-Works also completed testing of all equipment with the Cinema Group. To ensure a smooth cutover, Comm-Works set-up a centralized communication post where it worked remotely with each onsite technician to bring the T1 lines online. By midnight all 28 T1’s were online and Comm-Works had successfully converted each of the 28 theaters.
RESULTS AND VALUE
The seamless collaboration between Comm-Works, its Service Partner network, and the Cinema Group led to a successful completion of the project and the Cinema Group was able to benefit from its share of the $100.8 million box office sales from opening weekend that the blockbuster movie yielded just days after the conversion.