Inside Move: Pacific hooking up tix kiosk

Circuit plans to have auds serve themselves

Pacific Theaters takes a unique approach to ticketing with its latest L.A.-area cinema — there’s no box office.

The circuit’s new 12-screener in Culver City completely eliminates human ticket sellers. Instead, tix are dispensed via high-tech kiosks that accept cash, even crumpled bills.

A “greeter” was on hand over the venue’s first weekend to help anyone unable or unwilling to work the machines.

“Our surveys show people’s first interaction with an employee seems to be the most memorable,” Pacific’s Nora Dashwood observes. “Usually, that’s with people behind plate glass using a microphone. It’s more like a toll booth experience than anything else. We’d rather they meet our greeter standing out front.”

Dashwood acknowledges more resistance to the set-up from older patrons but believes all will eventually accept the kiosks. Greeters will always be on hand during peak traffic, she says, though the kiosks’ vendor claims such personnel can be eliminated after a few months.

Pacific uses similar kiosks at its Hollywood and Chatsworth theaters to supplement traditional ticket booths. Execs are mulling whether to convert one or more additional sites to all-kiosk ticketing.

Bill Toro, prexy of Miami, Fla.-based vendor Boink Systems, says other purchasers of its technology include National Amusement, which plans to supplement conventional ticketing at The Bridge in southwest L.A.

Toro predicts exhibition will continue to move toward all-automated ticketing, which cuts labor costs and offers promo opportunities via kiosk video screens.

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