What We Do Header
What We Do Header

Our services

It's not just about film.

Whatever your needs, The Big Picture has the experience to help you reach your aim. We know the value of cinema – from market valuation to its positive role in placemaking and the regeneration of a town or city.

Market appraisal

Whether planning to build, improve or buy a cinema, we arm you with key information to make the right decision. We don’t stop there, advising on associated leisure to help you create a destination for people to enjoy.

Design & layout

We will work with you to get the cinema your scheme and community needs. From initial schematics to build, we maximise the efficiency and revenue opportunities to “global best practise”.

Operations

Today’s customers are looking for memorable experiences. Because we also operate cinemas, we know what’s needed to deliver that. We help select, train and develop customer facing teams for successful cinemas.

Commercial

How do you stand out in the market, serve your local community and compete with other leisure offers? We create clear commercial strategies, from brand positioning to promotional calendars to maximise your cinema.

Market appraisal

Whether considering building a single cinema or acquisition of a cinema circuit, our market expertise ensures you have the relevant information to make the right decision.

We have a vast amount of cinema data and market knowledge across the territories we have worked in and our contact network ensures we can quickly gather information on new ones.

If you an operator, property developer or local authority looking to build a new cinema in your market or add to your portfolio, we can advise on all aspects. We know cinema can play a key role in revitalising or as part of the regeneration of a scheme or town centre. Because we recognise the need for strategic placemaking we look at the bigger picture and how cinema integrates into a scheme or can work with the adjacent offers. We also advise on the type of adjacent offers that work best with cinema. For cinema or cinema chain acquisition we can appraise both the markets and the operator performance. Focussing on key indicators, we can benchmark against other territories or cinemas. We analyse the data and advise on what is really behind the numbers, past present and future. We are current with market trends and know the value of cinema in different markets and the multiples they attract. We can work with you on due diligence.

When carrying out feasibility we never assume that any two markets are the same, though we do draw on previous experience and global best practise. We create business plans for a site or sites by understanding the market potential and using our industry benchmarks, updated to take into account local wages, taxes and any other issue particular to the project.

When looking at a cinema or potential we have a proven methodology to analyse the market. We can provide drivetime analysis tailored to the location, taking into account natural barriers and competition, to get the true local population. This also provides a clear view of the local demographic and informs the ability to spend. From this we can assess the size of the admission’s potential and begin to create the business plan. We cross reference all our admission potential with other calculation methods to ensure it is robust. Our market appraisal reports include industry information, so you have a rounded view of what is happening now and what is coming in the future. We also provide case studies for you to see where a similar scheme or cinema has worked.

Finally, we will also advise on what size and type of cinema would work best in each location and who the potential operators could be. this is essential so that you get the right cinema and operator that will work best for your development.

For developers and local authorities, our market appraisals arm you with the information you need BEFORE you go to market. it means you know what you need and what will work, before speaking to operators. It also ensures you have knowledge of what is important to them.

Design & layout

Whether you are a local authority, developer, asset manager or operator the design and layout of your cinema is key to its success. We take a collaborative approach to working with the overall architect to ensure the right design and layout is achieved. We always recommend that a cinema architect employed to work up plans, even if a master architect is used. There are specific requirements for a cinema that an experienced architect will know from sight lines to fire regulations.

With the advent of digital projection, cinemas are much more efficient whether a new build or a refurbishment of an existing cinema or revitalising an existing building. New cinemas are now able to be created in smaller spaces. The move to smaller, more efficient cinemas has led to some incredible re-thinking of space use and enabled redundant, often iconic buildings in towns and cities to be regenerated.


Layout

As cinema experts we understand the dynamics involved. We ensure that each cinema is efficient is space use but also takes into account how people will use the building. This isn’t just about customer flow. More and more todays customers are using cinemas for both social spaces to meet and for local businesses and communities to use for meetings and events. Add in the change, through digital, of on screen content, meaning as well as film, theatre, opera and more is now shown, this in turn leads to the need for both auditorium and other spaces to be flexible for events.

We understand the differing options and trends in F&B. from cafés or bars to traditional concession stands or a mix of all, we know what is required to maximise the sales opportunity whilst making it a place for customers to want to visit and dwell – whether watching a film or not! We ensure that space is ergonomic and easy for staff

to use and serve customers and that all the relevant equipment will fit and be supplied. We know how to use under croft space for sales, multi-function rooms or break out space depending what is required. We ensure that all latest legal requirements such as wheel chair access or toilets are met, relevant to each countries legislation or global best practise.

We have experience in how to maximise auditorium space, whilst ensuring the best customer experience. From sightlines to seating types, steppings, lighting and sound. Todays auditorium are often multi-functional, and we can advise on the best options from lighting, AV, to retractable seating, whatever the needs.


Design

Unlike major chains who cookie cut their design, we excel at working up individual designs ensuring they meet the brand and the surrounding environment. We work with a number of designers and recommend the one we think best fits the vision. The design will be developed to suit the target market form the work we do on market appraisals.

Again, we have no fixed design for foyers or auditorium but will ensure that the design fits the brief, whilst being both functional and sustainable. We have close relations with all the major equipment and experience suppliers and ensure that their brand requirements are met and work with what the overall design, such as IMAX, D-box, Barco etc. We have an extensive range of suppliers we have worked with and recommend the rights ones for each cinema. Whatever your design and layout need’s we can enhance and optimise them.

Operations

We know how cinemas work because we manage them on behalf of our clients. We are more than just cinema consultants as its not just theory, we know how to make things work. As well as gaining experience of best practise form other territories or cinemas, we see frost hand what the issues are. We stay up to date with the latest trends and technology.

This means not only can we support operators, or developers (wo are looking to run their own cinemas (as is ever increasingly so) but also, we can analyse the operation of a cinema through how it feels to be a customer. From opening hours to programming, service to digital exchange we can see if a cinema is efficient. We analyse the P&L’s or KPI’s to see if a cinema is operating how it should be.

This is critical to understand if a cinema or a chain is performing how it should be. The team is one of the biggest operating expenses from a pure financial point of view but is also the biggest investment.

When analysing performance we investigate in depth the key areas to see if the cinema team understands its local market and its customers and whether it is maximising all sales opportunities and delivering a great customer experience. We focus on the customer journey. What is it really like to be a customer accessing a cinema for the first time. We take nothing for granted and get to know what the local market and customs are before looking at the operation. What may be an issue in one market is irrelevant in another.

We assess what customer service is offered and how to improve. We believe in hire the smile. We have the knowledge to support. What is needed are the people who want to interact with people, not focus on the tasks. Cinemas are places for experiences not people processing.

If a new cinema we can advise and support on all aspects of recruitment, training and development of teams. Our work doesn’t end when the cinema opens but continues post opening to ensure that the cinema is an ongoing success.

But operations are not just about the team. We understand best practice to ensure that the bottom line is not only protected but grows. Are staff being trained in the right areas? How good are rotas? Are films being scheduled at the right times to minimise over-crowding and meet peak trading needs. Lazy scheduling can cost thousands per week. Is the right level of specialist knowledge recruited for?

Suppliers are key and working with them to maximise sales and minimise stock loss or wastage is critical. Managing stock and listening to what customers are asking for are essential.

The advent of digital has made cinema more automated. This enables cinema to be more efficient but should be at the expense of customer service. Our aim is to work with teams to make sure that the focus on superb delivery is met time and time again.

Commercial

Our expertise helps you develop the offer, from concept to operation maximising all commercial opportunities along the way.

We are not just talking sales here. Our team can advise on all commercial aspects frombrand development, customer journey to marketing campaigns.

As well as advising operators our knowledge enables us to assess a cinema or cinema chains commercial ability, identify weakness’s and opportunities. This forms part of our overall assessment for investors.

Unlike retail cinema brands are not well recognised across a territory. Cinemas are very local. You build your brand by what you deliver by site. However, there can be brand building within the industry itself and to a degree with the media, which we have experience of how to best develop.

We advise clients on how to position themselves in a market and then create a brand. That will ensure everyone know what the brand stands for, its values and objectives and who its target customers are for. Everything from then on in should reflect those values and objectives. This informs the design and layout, the offers the cinema has and how it interacts with its customer.

Key to all this is to look at each cinema as a customer. As part of any brand strategy we segment and identify who your customers are.

Our journey starts through the web site or app. We have experience in building these and what customers want and how to drive traffic. We advise on pricing architecture, loyalty and membership schemes and how to create a customer facing digital strategy to deliver.

On arrival how easy is it to find the cinema. An often-neglected area is way finding, too frequently seen as simply a cinema cost by mall owners. We believe on a collaborative approach. Cinemas are footfall drivers and often anchor tenants and it’s in everyone’s interest to make it easy to access. We work with you to get the best out of mall signage and information. In fact, mall integration is key to both party’s success. We believe that the mall succeeds when you bring film out of the cinema into the mall and vice versa. We have had great success in creating integrated mall and cinema strategies to maximise events and experiences for both.

On site we advise on all commercial areas from F&B selection, ticketing systems, cinema and on- screen advertising, 3rd party deals, supplier contracts and more. Film and onscreen content is key. Film hire is the biggest operating costs. We have distribution contacts throughout the industry form local to Hollywood studios. This enables us to assist local teams and draw on our contacts to solve bigger issues. We have expertise in how to select the right range of films and on-screen product for your market and how to schedule these to maximise revenues. For investors our knowledge here of these two areas is key part of our detailed analysis.

The customer journey work continues through design and layout stage. Alongside this we develop complete marketing plans through the development phase, mainly PR and media, through opening (all media, digital, PR, event marketing) to post opening where we will work with both the cinemas team and mall, where relevant, to create a full years marketing plan.

We have clients who we have worked with from conception to operation, and continue to support today many years after, with our expert advice. Your success is our success.

Need expert advice?Please get in touch:+44 (0) 7708 499 129 | kath.knight@the-bigpicture.com