5 min read

Theater Digital Signage: the Guide

Written by
Pavlo Fedykovych
Published on
August 12, 2022
May 29, 2024

Are you looking into installing a theater digital signage? You’re in the right place. This article is about the basics of getting this technology right and making the most of it. The displays can make your theater a more welcoming and amusing place, boost sales, and improve engagement with visitors.

What is theater digital signage?

Before going any further we should answer the main question. What in the world is the theater digital signage? 

We get it, this technology is rarely talked about with a focus on cultural institutions. People are used to digital signage at shopping malls, busy squares, inside airports, and in big retailers. But as it is a very versatile technology, it can be applied in a variety of places. And it rocks. Theaters are not an exception. 

So, when we talk about digital signage at theaters it is always about the displays that are showing some kind of content. This is the very essence of this solution. Your theater would install the screens and would use them to engage with the visitors.

The content theaters run is definitely different from the one used in commercial venues like shopping malls, for instance. But at the end of the day, it all goes down to the same approach. Everything you’re showing should: 

  • Be of the highest quality 
  • Be relevant to your audience
  • Utilize the space effectively
  • Be engaging

How to start properly

In this article, we’re focusing on theaters, we will publish a separate guide for movie theater digital signage soon. Still, the main principles won’t be very different so you can also use this guide for reference. 

When employing digital signage for your theater for the first time, you should think about the size of the network and the locations where the screens will be placed. These two questions are extremely important to start on the right foot and avoid problems in the future.

Of course, as with any marketing solution, signage technology is adaptable and takes time and experimentation to master. Still, it pays off to commence with the homework done. 

The size of the network

Theaters differ, the visitors differ, and the selling strategies differ too. The art of a great digital signage network deployment at a theater is to clearly understand what you need in terms of the scale and what will work best in your particular case. 

As you can put a screen in virtually every area of your venue, it is also good to think about the content you’re planning to display. 

For example, if you have displays in the lobby and in the corridors and you don’t have a clear idea of what content to show, maybe it would be a good idea to drop the ones in the corridor and save money. But if you have a content plan for every single display, and know clearly what you need and what you achieve, then the network will work as it should. 

Where to put displays in a theater

The answer to this question won’t be the same in each case. In short, it all depends on the venue and how it interacts with the audience. But here we’d like to give you an idea where you can deploy screens rather than should deploy them. 

So, the locations may be: 

  • at the entrance, outdoors 
  • in the box office
  • in the lobby 
  • in the corridors
  • in the cafeteria/restaurant
  • on stage
  • in the auditorium 
  • backstage
  • In the administrative parts of the venue

As you can see, you’ve got quite a choice of locations to deploy screens and the scale of your network depends on the marketing goals you have and the content choices you’re making. 

How theater digital signage works

Instead of giving you lists of the possible content to show, let’s make it more practical. Let’s do a start-to-finish walkthrough of the possible theater digital signage ecosystem to see what the audience is going to see if you have screens in place. 

It all starts with the outdoors. When you have displays at the entrance you’re working with the potential visitors, you’re inviting them to buy tickets to the performance. You can run promotional videos here, show photos from the stage, promote your social media, and ask for feedback. 

Many theaters have separate areas for box offices. The screen there can enhance the selling power and promote the events in a bright and visually appealing way. Instead of boring static posters, you’re giving potential visitors high-quality videos and fascinating content. 

It’s the evening and people came to see the performance. In the lobby, they are greeted with screens that are creating the right mood for the night. It can be scenes from the theatre life, backstage footage, actor interviews, or simply pleasant visual bits to achieve the right ambiance. The corridor screen may continue this trend. It is important not to overdo your delivery and make it as much non-intrusive as possible. 

Screens on the stage are a matter of preference. Some use them, some don’t. It depends on how you run things. But displays are indispensable when it comes to translation (for example, during opera performances). 

There’s a break and the people are lazily heading to the cafeteria. Upgrade the whole experience by deploying digital menu boards highlighting special propositions and revamping the ordering. Avoid queues and make this part of the evening more pleasant for your guests. 

Finally, your performance deserves some praise and motivation. You can change the backstage by installing screens showing curated content and making work more effective.

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