Archive for October, 2010

My Trip to ShowEast

October 22, 2010 3 comments

By Jeremy Bronson
E-Marketing Coordinator

Last week, I was able to attend ShowEast, the annual motion picture trade show and convention in Orlando. Since my job deals largely with online marketing and website work, it was great to see what goes into all the other aspects of theatre programming, exhibition technology, and our relationships with the movie studios.

Getting Around
The ballrooms and lobby areas of the Orlando World Center Marriott were converted to host several hundred attendees hungry for new movies. Posters for upcoming pictures lined the hallways and a trade show floor was full of new offerings. Everything from 4k digital projection systems to theatre seats to concession technology was on hand. In fact, we even saw the company that provides our online ticketing software there and we were able to troubleshoot a website issue live from the trade show floor.

We had several meetings with representatives from studios (Sony, Paramount, Fox, etc.) We catch up on what movies they have coming out soon and talk about how we’d like to promote them. For example: Can we get large stands for this movie? Should we bring in a local classic car company to help promote that one? Will we be able to give away a merchandise packs for this one? (Etc.) These were scheduled with just a few people and occasionally involved tasty offerings or dinner meetings.

The convention draws people from all aspects of the movie business, and companies of all sizes. For example, one night we had dinner with a couple who runs a one-screen movie theatre in Canada. Their showtimes never change, so they distribute their upcoming titles on a flyer that local businesses post in the window!Morning Glory

Throughout the day we attended different presentations and panel discussions. The keynote address the first day was about movie piracy.  We learned about how it happens, and new technology that’s being introduced to combat it – like infrared cameras that detect other cameras, take photos of the operator, and automatically send them to the police. The frequency of piracy is always shocking to me, since nothing compares to the immersive experience of seeing a new movie in a full house on the big screen. There was also a panel discussion about independent movie releases.

What would an event like this be without getting to watch some upcoming movies? We saw 9 movies during the week. Each one was introduced by someone from the studio that’s distributing it. They spoke about the release schedule for the movie, as well as the other movies they’re distributing this year that they’re looking forward to. They asked us not to blog, tweet, or post online about any of them, so I won’t say what we saw… however, I can say there are still many great movies coming out this year!

Several of the nights included recognition of valuable members of the movie industry, and featured recognition into the “ShowEast Hall of Fame” for those with particularly valuable contrbutions.

Although my co-workers and I were traveling on business, it didn’t stop Flick from visiting Downtown Disney and getting his picture taken with several Disney characters.

The New!

October 8, 2010 1 comment

By Jeremy Bronson
E-Marketing Coordinator

If you haven’t noticed yet, we just launched our new website this week. You can check it out at! So what went into the design and development of this big project for us?


An early draft of the new home page.


Goals and the Process
Why do people visit our site? What are they looking for when they visit? How can we improve that experience? These were the questions we asked when determining the look, layout, and functionality of a new site. We wanted to provide easier and more prominent access to current features, as well as quicker load times to allow better navigation between pages, titles, and days.

The design process began earlier this year with some sketches of layouts, discussion with managers over functionality needed, and consultation with others on the Marketing team to figure out how this site could reflect our current branding. I mocked up all the designs in Photoshop, created the front-end code and basic jQuery functions, and handed it off to our web developers at Springthrough. After a few weeks of adding content and testing, it was ready for release this week!


Mockup of the menu.


The “Now Playing” dropdown featres the 12 most recent releases. The “locations” menu offers links to all the theatres. Both of these menus are accessible from any page on the site. The home page has a large call-to-action for finding showtimes. Want to see what’s coming soon? We display 4 weeks’ worth of upcoming releases right on the home page.

The artwork gets more focus, too. Larger images are used for movie posters as well as around to let the artwork stand out. Let those multi-million-dollar ad campaigns shine!

Behind the Scenes


Golden Ratio overlays on the home page


Without getting too technical, the technology that runs the site makes it way easier for us at Celebration! too! This means our movie and event information will be more accurate and up to date than ever before. Now, some technical notes from the design & development side:

  • CSS3 techniques were used for drop-shadows, text-shadows, and rounded corners.
  • Sprites were used for the buttons on which roundedness and shading could not be sacrificed.
  • The home page featured image is sized to the golden ratio, as is its relative size to the body copy.
  • Museo is implemented via @font-face in the menu and headers.
  • The jQuery carousel on the home page is powered by the Nivo Slider.
  • The contact forms are powered by Wufoo.
  • The site is powered by Springthrough’s proprietary .NET CMS.

    My handy image creation guide


    And we’re not done yet
    We consider this new site a big step, not a destination. The new website will serve as a platform on which we hope to introduce new and improved functionality. How about Big Screen Movie Club member profiles where you can see all your points and the movies you’ve watched? That’s coming soon! How about a monthly concession coupon – and maybe the ability to purchase concessions online? We’re looking into that too. Same with integrating this blog into the site so it’s not externally hosted. And, an improved social experience with better Facebook integration is in the works as well, so you can easily share and talk about the events we offer.

    See below for some images from the website design process… and stay tuned for more great things at!

    Big Screen Events and Special Movie Series at Celebration! Cinema

    Jeannie DeibisBy Jeannie Deibis
    Celebration! Cinema Programming Coordinator

    I Love That MovieRemember being a teenager and heading to your favorite movie theatre to see the next big movie with your friends and family?  80’s movies bring back those movies to some of us!

    From some of the most innovative, imaginative directors and some of our favorite actors, many movies through the years hold those memories for us, and now Celebration! Cinema has been reliving those days on the big screen with “Celebrating The Classics”, “I Love That Movie”, “Late Night Cult Favorites” and “Trilogy” movies.

    Our “Celebrating! The Classics” series plays at Celebration! Cinema North/Grand Rapids and is hosted by Movie Critic John Douglas; Celebration! Cinema Lansing, hosted by Film Historian/MSU Professor, Dr. Michael V. Doyle; Celebration! Cinema Mt. Pleasant; Celebration! Cinema Benton Harbor and we just expanded to offer classics at our Celebration! Cinema Crossroads in Kalamazoo/Portage!   We have so many great classics to offer our guests, please visit our Celebrating the Classics page.

    For the ultimate in favorite movies, try “I Love That Movie” at our Celebration! Cinema Woodland location, in Grand Rapids and also hosted by Movie Critic John Douglas! Please visit our I Love That Movie film series page!

    Our “Late Night Cult Favorites” brought Fight Club, The Goonies, Labyrinth and The Big Lebowski back for late showtimes, and we hope to continue to bring more movies soon. If you have any movies you’d like to see play in the Late Night Cult Favorites series, leave a comment on this blog with your ideas!

    Each movie we ‘bring back’ to the big screen must be licensed from its film company, which carries a significant fee, so we must be selective and measure attendance.  We do our best to keep our box office pricing low, just $3.00 each.  We hope you were able to experience one or more of these great movies like The Big Lebowski and/or Singin’ In The Rain at Celebration! Cinema, creating new memories with family and friends.  Please visit us soon for more “Celebrating! The Classics” and “I Love That Movie!”

    We will continue to evaluate our programming and bring more to our favorite guests at Celebration! Cinema!  Please feel free to email me directly with your movie requests at .  Just a note:  some film company’s movies are not available for licensing.

    We look forward to celebrating your next visit at Celebration! Cinema!