Competitor Analysis – Part 2

The Stella Theatre was chosen as it offers a VIP experience similar to Movies at Dundrum Mezz VIP option, in that it has a bar and food, limited seating and sells its self on exclusivity. Also, both are situated in residential areas and appear to have a certain level of customer loyalty. It does not have multiple screens but it was felt due to the simplicity of the website

it was worth looking at.

Stella Theatre

Fig 1: Stella Theatre homepage

The Stella theatre is a relatively new cinema. It was refurbished and opened in late 2017, and aims itself squarely at movie buffs, offering a luxury, high-end experience supplying both beverages and food. Part of that experience is the building itself which is featured on the home page and from which the website takes some of its design cues. The Stella theatre does not have a phone App.

Stella Theatre Website

The Stella Theatre website has a fixed maximum width and is responsive across various screen sizes making it usable on PCs, tablets, and phones. Advertising is nonexistent and the only call to action is that of a newsletter, creating a very clean website supported by generous but not excessive use of padding and guttering. The colour palette is kept relatively sparse with only 4 four colours being used including white. There is a simple repeating background pattern which adds a sense of period and style

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Fig 2: Stella Theatre layout

Navigation

There are two elements to the Navigation, the core navigation is set into the main header (fig 2) and contains only a root level. The second navigation persisted throughout the site is the booking option. This appears on online pages of the site (fig 3). Similar to VUE  when the user scrolls down the page the booking functionality appears fixed to the top of the screen  (fig 4), although there does appear to be some delay for this to take effect.

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Fig 2: Stella Theatre standard booking layout
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Fig 3: Stella Theatre fixed booking layout

Booking System

Stella Theatres booking system is relatively simple and easy to use. The book now functionality which is featured throughout the site, allows you select the three most critical options with ease by using a drop down menu system. There are three drop-downs, Movies, Date and Time, the Date and Time drop-downs being populated based on the previous selection. The fact that is is all done clearly in the one place aids in filtering the number of choices available.

The second stage in the booking process is the ticket selection (fig 4), again this is kept simple and extremely sparse. There is no synopsis of the movie and no trailer, personally, I like this, I never read the synopsis or view the trailer, I’m there to book tickets. Whether this sparseness is intentional or not is unclear but I personally feel it works well and reduces unnecessary clutter.

Fig 4: Stella Theatre ticket selection
Fig 4: Stella Theatre ticket selection

Ticket selection is via a drop down which reveals the various pricing types of tickets. There is a breadcrumb path on the top right which informs the user at what stage in the process they are at, although this could probably be more clearly labeled as to its function.

Seat Selection

Seat selection is relatively simple although the legend could be clearer and the use of text to explain what is there only adds to the cognitive load of the user (fig 5). This could be managed better by a simple visual for the legend. Also, the location of the screen is off the page as well as the button to move to the payment screen. Again this could have been managed better, assumptions could have been made on behalf of the user and when the seats were selected the process could have been moved forward to the payment screen, or at the very least the proceed button could have been clearer.

Fig 4: Stella Theatre seat selection
Fig 4: Stella Theatre seat selection

To Sum Up

Although the Stella Theatre is a smaller cinema and may not have been the best choice for a competitor analysis, there is still much to be learned from it. Its sparse approach to content and layout makes booking simple and easy, and the overall tone of the site projects a feel of exclusivity and not just a trip to a chain cinema. Overall it manages to convey the idea of going to movies as being a special experience and something worth paying a little extra for, rather than something just above that of 42 inch TV screen.

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