Auckland cinemas get smart new point of sale systems

Cinema goers craving Jaffas and popcorn can now buy their snack food and tickets at the same time thanks to a new point of sale system being rolled out through Village Force cinemas.

Cinema goers craving Jaffas and popcorn can now buy their snack food and tickets at the same time thanks to a new point of sale system being rolled out through Village Force cinemas.

The new touch-screen Vista Cinema System developed by Auckland-based Madison Systems means customers spend less time queuing.

The system runs on an IBM PC server and IBM Point of Sale 4695 touch terminals and has been developed with Microsoft tools to comply with Microsoft’s BackOffice. The terminals are connected to dedicated ticket printers, EFTPOS devices and scales where sweets are sold by weight. The Vista system also controls the LED signs displayed around the cinema.

Peter Garner, general manager of Village Force Cinemas, says the cinema industry places particular demands on systems. Staff who use them are often part-time and staff turnover is often high.

The system has been installed at Village Force’s new Highland Park cinema east Auckland.

Garner says: “The key for us has been customer acceptance. The customer now only queues for all their purchases and because the points of sale are mixed mode we can offer many more ticketing points. At our Highland Park complex there are 12 points where customers can buy a ticket. In a traditional configuration there are typically only two or three,” Garner says.

“At our quiet times we can run the cinema with fewer staff, as our operators can both sell tickets and serve confectionery from the same position.”

Murray Holdaway, chief executive of Madison, says: “Our developers worked with Village Force staff to come up with something really special. We had a very short time frame to turn this design into a working system, due to the fixed deadline of the first opening.”

He says IBM assisted in the development by providing beta software to test the application and hardware.

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