When CGV Cinemas opens in the fourth quarter of this year, moviegoers in the Klang Valley will be spoiled for a new kind of cinema-going experience.
A joint venture between Mammoth Empire Holding in Malaysia and CJ CGV in South Korea, CGV Cinemas is going to be a seven-level entertainment zone. Housed at Empire City, Damansara Perdana, Kuala Lumpur, it will feature 20 cinema halls, F&B area (which sells gourmet popcorn), fine dining area (a steakhouse), cafe (Tous Les Jours and Dessert Café Twosome Plus) and a cine-shop that sells movie merchandises. There will also be space for exhibition and lounge area.
“We have carefully planned everything, working closely with Empire City and addressing various issues like parking with convenience,” said Varghese Mathews chief executive officer of CGV Cinemas. “I placed myself as a customer … I try to get somewhere, there is a traffic jam, and by the time I get to the cinema I am frayed. By the time you watch a movie, you are unable to enjoy it and relax. We don’t want that.”
Of course with specialised cinema halls, the tickets will be priced higher. According to Mathews, CGV’s aim is to give its customers value for money. “The tickets will be marginally higher, but it will be variable because we are packaging the tickets with other components to make it attractive, like F&B, cine-retail and promotions. We try to make it least impactful to our customers.
“We want to give our audience the experience they would truly appreciate. That is most important to us. It’s not about financial returns but letting the market grow.”
Here are the three different cinema halls that CGV Cinemas has planned.
Having made its premiere in Busan in 2013, this type of cinema halls have “become a darling with advertisers” said Mathews. ScreenX uses the walls on the side and the ceiling to add on visuals, giving an audience a 270° view.
Mathews explained: “When I see a screen straight on, I can still see something at the sides. From where you are seated, when someone runs across, what you get is the feeling that someone is running past your eye, and not just in front. If the scene is in a car, the ceiling in the cinema becomes the sunroof. If there are clouds moving, there will be clouds moving on the ceiling and by the sides of the hall. It brings to life the whole cinema.”
There will be two ScreenX halls, with a total of 462 seats. At the time of the interview, Mathews said that Screenx tickets will be priced below RM40.
This hall is a 216-seater that has motion seats. “The X is the extra that you get, the sight, sound and smell,” said Mathews. If it’s raining on screen, there will be a spray of water. If the characters in the film are in the middle of a fog, there will be a fog in the hall too. If a character experiences turbulence on a plane, the cinema seat moves as well. “A film goes through a software programming done in a lab in Los Angeles, which is meant to match what is happening on the screen.”
Mathews said 4DX will be priced below RM50.
This is a large-screen cinema, but the capacity of the hall is kept to a moderate number of 336 seats. “Why we are doing this is because our focus has always been the 3S, seats, screens and sounds. And with this number of seats, we get the best angle of viewing. It’s in a V configuration, so you get the best viewing angle whereever you sit. We compromised on the capacity to give the best services for the audience.”
Within the Starium too, there will be a Skybox – which is see-through box attached to the wall at the back of the theatre. This box can house a small group of people. “So if you come with a family with noisy kids, by all means make all the noise you want because this is a private box,” said Mathews.
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