Europa Cinemas Zvolen
Namestie SNP 63,
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The modern twin-screen miniplex Europa Cinemas Zvolen opened on June 1st 2012 in the shopping mall Europa Shopping and Relax Center Zvolen. Its opening, just like to the opening of the entire shopping center, moved several times. The financial and economic crisis has temporarily suspended the construction until the builder ING Steel entered into the project as a co-investor.
The total investment into the first phase of the shopping center reached €27 (Euros) million, of which approximately €1.5 million went to the twin-screen cinema. Further €10 million should be invested into the second phase of the shopping center where besides stores, a fitness center will be located. The problem of the otherwise attractive shopping center is the absence of fashion anchor tenants, which prefer large regional shopping centers.
The theater, along with other entertainment attractions (casino and bowling), is located on the third floor of the shopping center. The total capacity of the twin-theater is 377 seating opportunities and in each auditorium two places for wheelchair users are reserved. The smaller screen – with only a 3D-system installed – has a capacity of 120 seats.
To have a competitive advantage over the CineMAX Banska Bystrica, a six screen miniplex only 12.5 miles away, the theater’s business model had to be optimized. The operator therefore came up with another attraction which also lures spectators from the near competitor. In the larger auditorium with a capacity of 257 seats, 15 seats have a motion technology (the so called D-Boxes), which makes Europa Cinemas Zvolen the first real 4D-cinema in Central Europe. Unlike 5D-theaters which screen only short films, D-Boxes are designed for Hollywood blockbusters. Another small competitive advantage are love-seats.
The first movie screened in the theater in the 4D technology was “Marvel’s The Avengers”, later “Snow White and the Huntsman” followed. Currently in the new technology “Paranormal Activity 4” is screened.
Ticket prices are slightly lower than in the competitive movie theater in Banska Bystrica. While in CineMAX Banska Bystrica the 2D-adult-ticket costs € 5.30, in Europa Cinemas Zvolen the spectator pays €5. 4D-tickets are of course more expensive. In combination with a 2D film the fourth dimension costs €9.90 and with a 3D-movie €12.90.
The exclusivity of a 4D-cinema in Slovakia should be lost very soon. Cinema City International, a company which operates all multiplexes in the capital city Bratislava (AuPark, Eurovea and Polus City Center) signed a long-term contract with the South Korean company CJ 4DPLEX. This contractor should install 4D-seats in Cinema City auditoriums across Central Europe and Israel in the next years. It can be predicted that the first one 4D-cinema in Bratislava will be installed in Cinema City AuPark, because of its high profitability. Later the Eurovea project should follow.
Europa Cinemas Zvolen uses for 3D-projections the Dolby 3D system with passive glasses. The interesting fact is that thanks to the choice of the 3D-system the next operator of the cinema can be predicted. Europa Cinemas is only a temporary brand used by the developer VAV Invest to launch theaters in its own shopping center projects. This was also the case of the CineMAX Banska Bystrica, which was sold to Slovakia’s largest cinema operator in 2011. There the Expand 3D-system was installed. The Dolby-3D system is used by another operator Ster Century Cinemas, with theaters in Kosice, Zilina, Prievidza and Spisska Nova Ves. After a short period this company will probably buy Europa Cinemas Zvolen and rebrand it to Ster Century Zvolen. Another Europa Cinemas project should be realized in the town Levice in southern Slovakia.
Only some weeks later after the opening of Europa Cinemas Zvolen it was announced that it will get a competitor in the small town (approximately 45,000 inhabitants). An old nursery building in the process of reconstruction has to be altered into a shopping center with an integrated health center. On the first floor of the shopping center a miniplex with three screens and a total capacity of 405 seats is planned. The theater has already a contract operator (CineMAX). The construction of the mall should begin in May 2013 and available for customers it should be in December 2013. The total investment will reach €7 million.
With the gradual, albeit slow growth in purchasing power, two cinemas in Zvolen should not have problems to survive.
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