resently, The Screening Room is best described as Kingston’s third choice incinemas, behind the Empire Theatre on Princess Street and the Cineplex Odeon onGardiners Road. Despite being the city’s best venue for international, independentand cult films, the Screening Room fails to be a true entertainment destination.
Terry Laffier has owned the Screening Room for 11 years. I met her before she openedon the afternoon of Thursday, March 27
. We had a long discussion about the business,and she informed me, among other things, that her biggest loss in attendance over thepast four years has been among students seeing late shows. Most of this loss, she feels,can be credited to students illegally viewing and downloading movies from onlinesources rather than seeing movies in theatres.Ironically, the Screening Room has a great package for Kingston’s young, academic,hipster crowd. It’s a small, downtown facility, and it offers fair admission prices, a snack bar and a timeworn, unpretentious theatre atmosphere.An examination of the current Screening Room business model revealed that although thebusiness is positioned well in a potentially lucrative market niche, the business isstruggling with brand awareness and lacks a frequent and resonant advertising message.Most notably, what the Screening Room lacks is a useful marketing solution through theinternet – a medium that carries significant weight among desired target markets.An informative and intuitive website will attract new customers to the cinema, and allowthe business to effectively compete with its larger competitors in the city. An up-to-dateweb solution will make the business more accessible to key target markets in Kingston,while reinforcing the Screening Room brand among these desired consumer segmentsand subsequently improving nightly attendance.
Specific objectives of a Screening Room website would include:
Providing show times, admission prices, currently running titles, as well as teaserinformation about films that are coming soon for a consumer segment whoincreasingly relies on the internet for all pre-purchase buying information
Developing and nurturing a Screening Room community by providing a forumand information hub for film enthusiasts in Kingston and surrounding area and auser rating and review system for current and upcoming films
Building on the Screening Room’s brand and reinforcing the business’s nichemarket2