The “Cineplex” concept was first introduced to the Thais in 1995 when Mr. Vicha Poolvaraluck, the founder of MAJOR, built the first-of-its-kind Standalone “Cineplex” in Pinklao area of Bangkok. The Standalone “Cineplex” concept combines customer experiences of Cinema & Entertainment complex under the same roof. That means, moviegoers are offered; not only a wide range of films selection in the multiplex cinema format, but also a vast variety of restaurants, gift shops, bookstores and many other lifestyle shops in one stop. Thus, the Major Pinklao Standalone Cineplex has quickly become a very popular destination of lifestyle entertainment alternatives for Bangkok dwellers ever since. In the subsequent 3 years, three more Standalone Cineplexes were added to the Cineplex network around Bangkok – Major Sukhumvit, Major Ratchayotin, & Major Rangsit and recently, Esplanade Ngamwongwan-Kaerai.
The Standalone Cineplex is typically built on a longterm leasehold land (20-30 year). A Standalone Cineplex is about 7-10 story building. The top floors feature between 8-16 screens of cinemas and 20- 38 lanes of bowling, while the bottom 2-3 floors are retails space for the lifestyle shops. With a strong “movie culture” which ensures continuous flow of moviegoers traffic every week, the retails space in the Standalone Cineplexes has been able to sustain a high occupancy rate in access of 90% and above at all time.
Besides the Standalone Cineplexes, MAJOR also deploys three other expansion models to populate Cineplexes around the country:
The shopping mall model was used more in the past when the shopping malls were sprouting up rapidly & practically everywhere. It was a handy growth vehicle as Cineplexes could ride on their historically high growth phase without too much capital outlay as for the Standalone Cineplex model. However, the rate of growth for shopping malls today has tapered down significantly. Nowadays, it takes 3-4 years f or a shopping mall to be developed.
As an alternative vehicle for growth, the lifestyle neighborhood mall model was created in 2004 when MAJOR took a stake in a lifestyle-neighbor-mall developer, Siam Future Development Plc. (Siam Future). A lifestyle neighborhood mall is typically built on a smaller plot of land (1-2 acres) next to the residential areas. Because of its compact size, it takes only 6-12 months for a lifestyle neighborhood mall construction to complete, thus serving as an excellent vehicle to populate Cineplexes in the metropolitan areas as well as mor e urbanized areas around the country.
With the strong movie culture and having Cineplexes as anchor tenant, Siam Future has grown exponentially with retails space increased by over 10 folds to over 229,600sqm. in the past 4 years. The synergy is extremely well pronounced. MAJOR could rapidly penetrate into the residential areas providing an enhanced convenience access to the moviegoers. Siam Future, on the other hand, could fill up its retail space easily having cinema & bowling anchoring in its lifestyle neighborhood malls.
The hypermarket model is used to populate the Cineplexes in the provincial areas. MAJOR builds cinemas & bowling in the hypermarket structures as an anchor tenant. For the provincial dwellers, hypermarket or discount store supercenter serves as a perfect destination, not only for shopping but also for family entertainment,
in a very similar fashion as shopping malls are to the urban people. MAJOR joins with two hypermarket operators, Tesco Lotus & Big-C.
Currently MAJOR commands nearly 80% market share of the Thai cinema industry’s admissions revenue, The sharp increase in market share in 2004 was due to the acquisition of EGV Entertainment Plc., 23% market share.
with a total of 56 branches, 413 screens and about 99,050 seats. MAJOR continues to add about 20-30 new screens a year as Thailand is still in the “underscreened” situation. MAJOR deploys the 4 expansion models discussed above as the growth vehicle depending upon the demography of each location.
MAJOR offers cinema services covering the full spectrum of the customer segments. The mass-segment cinema, “Major Cineplex” brand, is used for the geographical expansion & tapping the new markets. Various international designs are adopted for the customer experiences, unlike what the global cinema operators offer. For example, Las Vegas style interior design is adopted for the local mass-segment customers to experience.
On the high-end, plenty of service & product innovations are created and installed for the “Future of Entertainment Civilization” customer experiences in the “six-star” ambience at the “Paragon Cineplex.” For example, the “Nokia Ultra Screen 1” at the Paragon Cineplex is equipped with nothing but fullyreclined, genuine leather seats in cubicles along with pillows & blankets for the entire auditorium seatings.
Another product innovation at the Paragon Cineplex is the “ENIGMA: the Shadow Screen”, a luxurious movie club exclusively for members only. Thirty-four exclusive seats, resembling living room couches adjacent to an exclusive club equipped with full bar services, are perfect for private parties. The venue has become very popular, not only among the high net-worth individuals, but also the corporate customers who prefer using the ENIGMA for entertaining their VIP customers in an exclusive atmosphere. The state-of-the-art 4DX Theater is available only at Paragon Cineplex. With specially designed seats, 24 types of incredible effects and the 3D digital screening system, this celluloid innovation exposes movie-goers to all sensational experience of motion pictures, light, sound, tactility, and scents. All effects—3 degree-of-freedom movements, air blows, scents, vibration and leg tickler— will excite the audiences with new flavors of movie-watching. Via special 4D glasses, audiences will enjoy lively motion pictures shown on silver screen of Masterimage 3D system.