Trends: Paperless Movie Tickets


sampleqrcode

Have QR codes replaced paper tickets at your neighbourhood cinema yet? They’re starting to gain traction here in Hong Kong. I tried it out last week when I went online to order movie tickets. The ticket buying procedure is the same as it always has been except at the end I was asked if I would like to have a QR code sent to my mobile device instead of swiping my credit card at the cinema and receiving traditional paper tickets on the spot. I bit and moments later an email arrived with a QR code attached. I saved the code to my phone.

When I arrived at the cinema a few days later, I went straight to the ticket collector. I showed him my code, which he quickly scanned. “House 3, seat J6”, he read out and I went inside. Now Hong Kong’s cinemas are, for the most part, multiplexes, and once I got to the concession stand I forgot where I was supposed to sit. I figured the cinema would have another scanner nearby for people like me but no such luck, so I went up to one of the ushers, showed him my code, and asked him how I could find out where my seat was. He quickly called down to the ticket collector who remembered that the foreigner was assigned to seat J6. Great, I thought, but what happens if many people download the QR code?

I think paperless tickets are a great idea but it needs a bit of tweaking if it’s going to work here. Two solutions are possible: (1) Cinema operators need to install QR code readers at the entrances to their screening rooms and/or provide their staff with handheld readers, or (2) They need to include seating (as well as film and room) information along with the QR code. The second solution is obviously much cheaper to implement than the first.

Let’s see how long it takes for them to figure this out.

Do you like what you’re reading? Here are some suggestions:

    Sign up to receive my movie reviews in your inbox automatically
    Share this review on your Facebook page
    Leave me a message telling me what you thought of my review or the film
    Bookmark the site and visit often
    Like my Howard For Film Facebook page
    Check out my Howard For Film magazine on Flipboard
    Tell your friends about the site

4 thoughts on “Trends: Paperless Movie Tickets

      1. 2 exceptions, the HK film archive and the HK art center cinemas. A norm can be changedm though (and this one should be)

      2. You obviously live in HK… or you know it very well! 🙂 The difference with your exceptions is that neither of these venues is a commercial venue so they can get away with offering free seating. I don’t know that the public would want to go back to free seating at the commercial cinemas. I’m curious, though, why do you think free seating is better?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s