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Large movie theaters rely on ticket machines and self-checkout for popcorn

Large movie theaters rely on ticket machines and self-checkout for popcorn

The ticket is available at the machine and you pay for the popcorn at the self-checkout counters. Large cinemas increasingly rely on automation. As for the kids, they don't want that.

Movie guests purchase popcorn at the self-checkout at Pathé Westside. -Zfg

The basics in a nutshell

  • Large cinemas are relying more and more on automation.
  • For example, you can buy popcorn at self-checkout.
  • This is out of the question for small cinemas, as “personal contact” is so important.

“I felt like I was in a Coop store…” reader, Marco F*, was amazed when he wanted to see the movie “Wonka” at the “Pathé Westside” in Bern last week.

The cash register that was located at the entrance has been replaced with machines. Your movie ticket is now available to print yourself.

“It's practical because you don't have to wait in line for a long time. But I always enjoyed it when I was hesitant. And I was able to get important advice from the cinema expert when I went out…” says Marco.

But it's not just cash registers that have changed. The staff also disappeared when it came to popcorn. “Whether it is large, medium or small – popcorn is now being purchased through self-checkout points.”

Big movie theaters swear by self-checkout: Customers 'get snacks and tickets more quickly'

Pathé has only been using the new ticket machines for a few weeks. It is said that self-checkouts have been around for a long time, on demand. “They're there to make going to the movies easier. They help you get tickets and snacks more quickly,” she says when asked.

In addition, there is a cash register at the old ticket booth and later at the checkpoint. “Our staff are here to assist customers with any inconveniences or questions and support them with booking and purchasing.”

Large movie theaters have recently begun using supermarket-like concepts when selling popcorn. -Keystone

Pathé is not just relying on the automation process, it is clear that large cinemas are moving in this direction. “Blue” cinemas introduced the new ticketing system a year and a half ago. Self-checkouts are also part of everyday life.

They are satisfied with the system – “the cooperative concept”, as reader Marko calls it. “The response has been consistently positive.” In addition, machines and self-checkouts will ease the burden on employees, confirms Olivia Wylie.

“Queenie” cinema relies on “personal contact” and “fresh popcorn”

Small cinemas continue to rely on employees. An attempt was made using ticket machines. But it quickly stopped again, says Leila Butor from the management of the “Queenie” cinema in Bern.

“Right now, our concern is that we may not have the same business practices or customer relationships as Pathé. “For us, personal contact is still important.”

Opinion poll

Self-propelled cash registers in the cinema: what do you think?

Great, you don't have to wait in line as much.


This is too much for me, I prefer personal contact…


It's similar to what reader Marco wanted with “Quinnie”: “Many customers really appreciate it when they have a short chat about a movie with our cinema staff. Or you can also give feedback afterwards. We have many regular customers who like to talk to others.” On films as cultural assets.

Just like you would with a painting in a museum.

Small cinemas stick to the “original idea”.

Butor adds that in many places today people can be replaced by machines.

“The question here is whether you really want it. We also still produce fresh popcorn and rely on the smell of popcorn in the lobby. We adhere to certain traditions and, to some extent, the original idea of ​​cinema.” But we are always open to new products, such as precision projectors. 4K.

Employees are not selected based on their resume, but on the basis of passion and loyalty. “We do not advertise in newspapers or on the Internet, but only on our screens, halls, and social media platforms. With us you go from being a customer to becoming a member of the team, so to speak.

The rural-urban divide in cinemas

“Neither self-checkouts nor ticket vending machines are planned in our cinemas,” explains Rhys Kessler, Managing Director of Neojaskino (Riffraff, Bourbaki, Houdini) in Zurich. “We are convinced that personal on-site service is desired and appreciated by our customers.

The Swiss Film Association sums up: “The country's cinemas will likely see personal contact with customers as important. A multiplex like Pathé Westside may prefer to focus on other strengths that are important to different customers,” says Cédric Burcard.