You are sitting in a theatre with popcorn in hand, eager for the movie to begin, and the lights dim over a cinema that’s only sparsely dotted with movie-goers: it’s an image most of us can relate to.

With this multitude of vacant theatre seats in mind, a Melbourne couple have paired with Cinema Roma to offer both audiences and cinemas a way to harness unsold tickets. The local cinema is the first in the state to implement Choovie, an app that fills empty seats by offering audiences cheaper ticket prices and giving cinemas the chance to maximise profit.

Choovie co-founders Sonya Stephen and Shane Thatcher said given the fantastic pricing offered by Cinema Roma, they were thrilled to bring it on as their first Queensland cinema partner.

“Tickets at Cinema Roma start at the great price of $6.25, providing greater access for

Queenslanders to the big screen,” said Sonya.

“Because Choovie is an independent platform, it means there is price transparency and a simple, one-stop-shop for movie lovers. With more than 80 per cent of cinema seats going unfilled, we see Choovie as a genuine win-win. Movie fans get to see more movies, more often, and cinemas see more bums on seats and more money in the till.”

Shane, Choovie CEO and an economist by training, believes this new ticketing technology will boost cinema revenue, ultimately providing funds to an industry that is struggling to compete against online streaming sites.

“Our model allows cinemas to drive up attendance and revenue by offering tickets at reduced prices that otherwise would go unsold.

For every one per cent increase in utilised cinema capacity, more than $50m flows into the industry, and this is even before candy sales,” said Shane.

Cinema Roma owner Sarah Dawes said the company was delighted to implement the ticketing remodels within their cinema.

“We saw Choovie as a fantastic way to get more bums on seats,” said Sarah.

“What a great opportunity to encourage more people to visit the cinema more often.”

Choovie is already available in selected cinemas in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, with a plan to roll out across all of Queensland later this year.

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