Transform Moviegoing with Custom Cinema Apps

published on 08 October 2023


The cinema industry is facing declining ticket sales, reduced customer loyalty, and intense competition from streaming services. However, bespoke mobile apps provide an immense opportunity for theaters to reinvent the moviegoing experience and achieve key business goals. By offering personalized, seamless interactions across the customer journey, custom-built cinema apps from Filmgrail can drive revenue, build loyalty, enhance engagement, and gain valuable insights.

Key capabilities of robust cinema apps include:

  • 🎟️ Frictionless ticket purchasing and special offers
  • 🧑‍🤝‍🧑 Audience loyalty programs with tailored rewards
  • 🍿 Concession ordering and reminders
  • 💺 Interactive seat selection and maps
  • 🎥 Curated movie discovery and recommendations
  • 📊 Powerful analytics on customer behavior

In this rapidly evolving landscape, custom mobile apps are a must-have for cinemas looking to transform moviegoing and excel in today's digital world. Below we explore the transformative impact bespoke apps can have across key areas.

Drive Ticket Sales

Custom cinema apps allow theaters to make ticket purchasing seamless for moviegoers, driving increased sales through convenience and personalization.

Promotions and Special Offers

  • Spotlight time-limited discounts like 25% off Tuesday tickets or a bundled 4 tickets for the price of 3 deal. Incentivize purchases through limited-time bundled deal messaging.

  • Offer scratch cards that reveal prizes like free popcorn, two drinks for the price of one, or free ticket upgrades. The element of surprise entices buyers.

  • Give members early access to special screenings like advance showings or double features. VIP treatment makes loyal customers feel valued.

  • Cross-sell concessions within the app during the ticket buying flow with prompts for add-ons. This convenience boosts concession revenue.

  • Delight frequent buyers with unexpected perks like a free ticket upgrade to IMAX or Dolby Cinema. Small freebies build goodwill.

Frictionless Purchasing

  • Enable one-click ticket purchases with saved payment info. Reducing forms removes buying friction.

  • Allow print-at-home and mobile tickets to skip lines for quicker entry. Faster seating enhances experiences.

  • Make last-minute premium format upgrades easy right in the app. Keeping upgrades frictionless maximizes upsell potential.

  • Offer self-service kiosks and contactless concession ordering. These options accelerate service.

  • Store previous and reserved tickets in the app for simplified re-entry. Reducing steps delights users.


Bespoke cinema apps like Filmgrail's allow easy access to personalized promotions, early access perks, and frictionless checkout. Convenience features like stored payment and mobile tickets reduce resistance. Unexpected delights and gamification drive purchases. These capabilities help cinemas boost transaction volumes and revenue.

Build Audience Loyalty

Loyalty programs within custom apps boost retention and create brand advocates by rewarding moviegoers for their patronage.

Tailored Communication

  • Send movie reminder notifications and exclusive new trailer previews to make fans feel special.

  • Notify users of new releases starring their favorite actors, directors, or genres. Personalized alerts excite loyal fans.

  • Wish Platinum members a happy birthday or anniversary with a customized free reward. Thoughtful gestures build emotional connections.

  • Poll members for input on special events or screenings. Making them feel heard lifts sentiment.

  • Provide access to a VIP-only customer service line. Prioritized support conveys higher status.

Ongoing Rewards

  • Offer loyalty points for free popcorn upsizes or posters. Small, frequent rewards are high-value.

  • Give top-tier CinemaWorld Pass members bonus monthly perks like concession discounts or free movies. Consistency reinforces loyalty.

  • Surprise and delight with random free rewards like branded merchandise or concession coupons. Unexpected perks spark joy.

  • Unlock access to advance screenings and stars' Q&As for elite tiers. Exclusive experiences excite loyal fans.

  • Incentivize social sharing and reviews with points. Advocacy expands reach and awareness.


Loyalty programs in cinema apps like Filmgrail's enable personalized communication and rewards based on customer preferences and behaviors. From status-based perks to surprise rewards, cinemas can strengthen emotional connections to boost retention, satisfaction, referrals, and organic promotion.

Enhance the Moviegoing Experience

In addition to transactions, custom mobile apps make the entire customer journey smoother and more engaging.

Streamlined Navigation

  • An intuitive interface makes finding anything quick and painless for users.

  • Robust browse, search, and filter functions help customers easily find ideal showtimes. Favorites improve convenience.

  • Stored previous or reserved tickets reduce hassle re-entering theaters.

  • In-app directions, transportation, and parking links provide a stress-free commute.

Pre- and Post-Movie Features

  • Get reminders when your movie is about to start so you never miss the opening credits.

  • Pre-order concessions for rapid pickup when you arrive. Skip lines and go right to the counter.

  • Movie-themed games or content make waiting for trailers more engaging.

  • Write reviews or rate movies right after viewing while it's fresh. Sharing drives engagement.

  • Earn points for social sharing of theater experiences. User-generated content expands reach.


Well-designed cinema apps like Filmgrail's optimize experiences before, during, and after movies. Intuitive interfaces, integrated ticketing, and engaging features minimize friction and create smooth, enjoyable visits. Happier customers drive growth through loyalty and referrals.

Gain Customer Insights

Data generated within custom apps provides invaluable customer intelligence to guide business strategy.

Audience Segmentation

  • Group customers by location, gender, age range, visit frequency, genre preferences, and other attributes.

  • See favorite genres, actors, directors, and theater locations of app users.

  • Identify high-value customers based on visit frequency, retention, and spending.

  • Analyze habits of occasional vs. frequent moviegoers.

  • Compare general audience vs. loyalty member activity.

Sales and Activity Tracking

  • Monitor peak showtimes and theater locations. Optimize staffing and inventory.

  • Analyze concession purchase patterns. Adjust offerings and promotions based on trends.

  • Track referral sources and social sharing activity. Focus marketing to best channels.

  • Identify rising or declining metrics. Take corrective actions early.

  • Compare user behavior before and after launching the cinema app. Measure engagement lift.


Data and insights from cinema apps like Filmgrail's enable audience segmentation, operations optimization, personalization, performance measurement, and more. Having visibility into customer behaviors allows proactive, data-driven decision-making.


As shown, tailored cinema apps deliver transformative business impact - from driving sales to gaining insights. By providing personalized, seamless interactions across the journey, bespoke mobile apps help create standout moviegoing experiences that build loyalty and revenue. For cinemas looking to reinvent their business in the digital age, investing in custom mobile apps from Filmgrail is a strategic imperative. With expertise in building innovative cinema technology, Filmgrail is an ideal partner for bringing any vision to reality.

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