MBO Cinemas' long-term plans in the cinema industry
Writer: Ashraf Nasser
MBO Cinemas' Director of Operations, Mariam Yazmin, during the launch of their latest branch in Kuantan.
In recent years, local exhibitor MBO Cinemas has been pulling out all the stops in order to compete with other theatre chains in Malaysia.
To keep up and compete, the company has had various changes made, not only through its operations, but also by introducing the latest cinematic technology in maintaining the appeal of their branches.
Some of its initiatives, which have now become the new yardstick for the theatre industry, include the introduction of the MX4D technology – a motion chair which provides audiences a more in-depth cinematic experience while watching a movie (not only does the chair move, it can also produce smoke, water, thunder effects and many more).
Such technology marks the first in Malaysia, further providing a competitive edge to MBO Cinemas.
A new concept hall, MBO Kecil, is also introduced. It is a dedicated hall for parents to bring along their young children to the cinemas without fearing that the little ones will cause interruptions to other patrons.
In putting their customers' comfort as a priority, MBO Cinemas has also revamped their existing outlets by making it more differently-abled friendly and instilling their own signature café, Cafecito.
During the recent launch of their latest MBO Cinemas Kuantan City Mall in Kuantan, Pahang, Cinema Online had the opportunity to chat with MBO Cinemas' Director of Operations, Mariam Yazmin El Bacha, in learning about their newest branch and the company's long-term plans.
Those in Kuantan will definitely enjoy a brand new movie-watching experience with the Big Screen hall.
Cinema Online: Can you share with us about the latest MBO Cinemas Kuantan City Mall, and its speciality?
Mariam: For your information, this isn't the first time that MBO Cinemas has opened a branch in Kuantan. We had one in the past, but due to the lacklustre response, we have no choice but to close it. But now with the new location at Kuantan City Mall, we are proud to be here with our main objective of creating a cinema that is different than those around Kuantan.
With MBO Cinemas Kuantan City Mall, we are introducing three different concept halls, which are the Big Screen, Kecil and our most anticipated, MX4D. As you might have known, MBO is the first and currently the only cinema that offers the MX4D technology, which will provide a cinematic experience no one has had before.
The new MBO Cinemas outlet is fairly close with two other shopping malls which also have their own theatres. Are you not concerned about the competition with the distance between all three cinemas being less than 500 meters?
I would like to clarify that we are not looking to compete against other cinemas with our new branch. Instead, we would like to provide a brand new cinematic experience to the people residing in Kuantan by introducing these new technologies which were only enjoyed by those in the Klang Valley before.
I do not feel that our new branch will affect any companies, except giving patrons more choices with it offering three different concept halls, which is a first in the East Coast.
A mini playground in MBO Kecil hall.
Many are excited with MX4D hall which is the first of its kind in our country, but there are also two other concept halls, the Big Screen and Kecil.
Yes, you're right. The residents here are fortunate to have a dedicated hall purely for MX4D that can accommodate 84 patrons at once. It is also the first in Malaysia, as even the one in MBO Cinemas The Starling at Petaling Jaya only has 64 MX4D seats in addition to the other Premier seats in its hybrid hall.
The other concept hall, the Big Screen, features a large screen to satisfy audiences' senses, combined with our latest sound system, Dolby Atmos. While the Kecil hall is introduced as a means for parents with young children to enjoy watching movies in the cinemas.
Before this, many parents tend to avoid bringing their children to the cinemas in fear of interrupting other patrons. However, with Kecil, parents no longer have to fear as it is a dedicated hall for small children with a mini playground for them to freely run about and make noise.
There is also a spot for parents to park their baby stroller at the front of the Kecil hall's entrance.
What other interesting things are there here in MBO Cinemas Kuantan City Mall, besides its various concept halls?
Cinema Online, 17 October 2017
Some of the interesting things that we have here is the opening of our signature café, Cafecito. It is a café that sells various kinds of snack and milkshakes, similar to other cafes out there. So for those who arrive early to buy their tickets, or while waiting for their movies to start, they can then enjoy a little snack time before entering the halls.
We also have a snack counter, like other cinemas, which offers popcorn, drinks, and light snacks that you can bring along in the halls.
After Kuantan, are there any plans for other new outlets?
Yes. In the nearest time, around December, we are actually looking to launch MBO Cinemas Falim Ipoh, Perak. The new outlet will also have its own concept halls like MX4D, as a way to give those up north a chance to experience watching movies with these motion chairs.
That would be all for 2017, but in 2018, we are planning to open around four to five more branches; the locations will be announced soon.