Digital cinema company Arts Alliance Media (AAM) has announced a deal with leading Middle Eastern cinema chain VOX Cinemas, to supply VOX’s sites with a full suite of digital cinema software. The deal covers AAM’s Screenwriter Plus (Theatre Management System), Producer (Enterprise Circuit Management System) and Locksmith (Enterprise KDM Management) products to provide a complete end-to-end solution for monitoring and managing the entire circuit.
A second phase rollout later in the year will see AAM’s Lifeguard (NOC Tools) software also being deployed to add in monitoring for all equipment across the circuit, alongside a custom-designed trouble ticketing system for support.
VOX Cinemas, which has 92 screens across 9 complexes in Lebanon and the UAE and soon to open new sites in Oman, will use AAM’s Producer to make running the whole chain from one central point simple and intuitive. As well as monitoring all sites in the circuit from one central place, with alerts for any issues that threaten shows, Producer’s powerful advertising and trailer management function means pre-show can be built at head office, automatically sent to sites and slotted into the correct position in the playlists. VOX Cinemas joins a roster of customers around the world already using AAM’s Producer software, including Cinépolis, Cinemex and Australia’s Hoyts.
Each individual VOX Cinemas site will be installed with AAM’s Screenwriter Plus Theatre Management System (TMS) which will manage content and playlists on all screens. Screenwriter Plus provides advanced TMS modules to make screen management even more efficient and powerful. These modules include intelligent CPL selection, which automatically plays the correct version of a film according to the screen’s capabilities (i.e. 2D/3D, HFR, aspect ratio etc.), and enhanced advertising functionality. This advertising functionality allows sites to build playlist templates using placeholders, into which pre-built advertising packs are automatically inserted, to minimise the time consuming and error-prone process of manual playlist building. Screenwriter Plus also incorporates new functionality including validated log collection – a way of cross checking the SMPTE logs from the server with the live playback log collected from the TMS, meaning records of what has played are more accurate and complete, even if the server stops collecting logs or other issues interrupt log collection.
Also included in the deal are AAM’s Locksmith and Lifeguard products. Locksmith makes the process of KDM management seamless by automatically examining each KDM, calculating which screen it relates to and delivering and ingesting it directly to the right screen server, ready for use. VOX Cinema users in head office are able to upload KDMs directly to Locksmith and deliver them, through Producer, directly to whichever site they are destined for – all of which is designed to minimise the risk of losing shows due to missing KDMs.
Lifeguard, AAM’s recently launched NOC (Network Operations Centre) Tools software, enables exhibitors to operate their own NOC and monitor equipment across all sites. Users can view equipment at each site from a central head office location, monitoring key data such as equipment temperature, lamp hours or disk errors, and receiving proactive alerts to faults. Lifeguard also integrates a trouble ticketing system designed especially for digital cinema, so all support actions can be tracked and reported and trends of problems over time can be recorded in order to efficiently focus resources.
Eric Stevens, Commercial Director of Arts Alliance Media, said “We’re delighted to be working with VOX Cinemas in the Middle East and we’re excited to bring them the benefits of our whole end-to-end solution. They will see the power digital gives them to keep an eye on everything going on at sites across multiple countries. Our software takes complicated and time-consuming processes and automates them, so freeing up crucial time so staff can focus on being on the floor with customers.”
Mark Smith, Technical Manager of Majid Al Futtaim’s VOX Cinemas added “We’re looking forward to implementing the benefits from AAM’s software suite. VOX Cinemas’ key aim is to give a truly customer-focused cinema experience, with an emphasis on providing world class presentation standards in all of our screens. AAM’s software is going to allow our cinema staff to spend more time with monitoring details of the complete operation, while having the confidence that all of our sessions will be assembled and scheduled with 100% reliability across the VOX Cinemas’ estate.
Being able to manage and distribute our pre-show content from head office, and to have a bird’s eye view of all our sites and make sure everything is running smoothly, means we can ensure we are giving our customers the best experience.”
Arts Alliance Media will be demonstrating their digital cinema software suite at CinemaCon, Booth 2809A, from March 24th – 27th.
About VOX Cinemas
VOX Cinemas is the Middle East’s most innovative and customer-focused cinema experience featuring high-resolution digital projection systems, immersive digital 3D content, expansive VOX MAX screens, as well as premium VIP, VOX GOLD, VOX 4DX and value-oriented seating alternatives. Private cinema screenings are also available with myVOX located at Deira & Beirut City Centre. With 77 screens currently across eight locations in the UAE, and 15 screens in Beirut, the VOX Cinemas experience includes extensive dining choices from VOX Cafes as well as traditional candybar offers, and an extensive menu attached to their VOX GOLD ultimate cinema experience. VOX Cinemas is owned and operated by Majid Al Futtaim - Cinemas, which is the cinema arm of the wider Majid Al Futtaim.
About Majid Al Futtaim
Founded in 1992, Majid Al Futtaim is the leading shopping mall, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
A remarkable business success story, Majid Al Futtaim started from one man’s vision to transform the face of shopping, entertainment and leisure, and to create great moments for everyone, every day. It has since grown into one of the United Arab Emirates’ most respected and successful businesses spanning 12 international markets, employing over 26,000 people, and achieving the highest credit rating (BBB) among privately-held corporates in the Middle East.
Majid Al Futtaim owns and operates 17 shopping malls, 11 hotels and three mixed-use communities in MENA, with further developments underway in the region. This includes Mall of the Emirates, City Centre malls, and also 4 community malls which are in joint venture with the Government of Sharjah. It holds exclusive rights to the Carrefour franchise in 19 markets across MENA and Central Asia, operating a portfolio of over 50 hypermarkets and over 50 supermarkets in 12 countries.
Majid Al Futtaim operates 92 VOX Cinemas screens and 17 Magic Planets across the region in addition to iconic leisure and entertainment facilities such as Ski Dubai and iFly Dubai among others. Majid Al Futtaim is parent to the consumer finance company issuing 'Najm' credit cards, a fashion retail business representing international brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Juicy Couture and Halston Heritage and a healthcare business. In addition, it also has a joint venture operation with Dalkia and has recently expanded into food & beverage in partnership with Gourmet Gulf.