New content, new experiences, new moviegoers! With operas, concerts, Formula 1 races and 3D movies, Finnkino's innovative content project have attracted new viewers to movie theatres.

In 2007, Finnkino adopted HD-ready digital presentation technology for movie screen advertising. The company soon realized, however, that this new technology could be used to enhance business in many other ways. The challenge was to identify these new opportunities.

"Through our network of international contacts, we learned about live transmissions of sports events and operas at movie theatres, and decided to look into these opportunities," says Reijo Jämes, Finnkino's Marketing Director.

Bringing Formula 1 races to movie screens sounded promising. Six races were transmitted live via satellite to eight of Finnkino's movie theatres in Finland during the 2008 season.

"We received excellent feedback, but the experiment proved too much of a challenge, because pay TV brings live Formula 1 broadcasts directly to homes. Nonetheless, Finnkino gained invaluable experience in satellite technology and live broadcasts at movie theatres," Jämes says.

Opera fills movie theatres

Next, Finnkino decided to contact the Metropolitan Opera in New York, for the Met had previous experience with live broadcasts to different parts of the world. Finnkino and the Met made an agreement on ten live opera broadcasts to movie theatres in Finland, Estonia and Latvia during the 2008–2009 season.

These opera broadcasts attracted a great deal of media attention, and with more than 3,000 tickets sold, the season opener, Salome, played to full theatres. Opera propelled Finnkino's new programme content to success.

The future is in 3D

Hollywood studios set precise requirements for the projectors movie theatres use to show digital movies. Finnkino first acquired a Hollywood-approved projector only for its flagship theatre, Tennispalatsi, in Helsinki. This summer, however, 3D movies are already being shown in thirteen Finnkino auditoriums at seven locations.

"Our programme will feature several new 3D movies during this and the following year, and we will show innovative content in edutainment as well, such as nature documentaries" Jämes says.

Success doesn't just happen

Finnkino's development work will continue, and moviegoers will eventually see innovative content of a totally new kind.

"Innovation is challenging, but it is absolutely necessary and always presents exciting opportunities. This summer, we have shown live theatre transmissions for the first time. Our co-operation with the London National Theatre will continue, and we will broadcast three more plays during the autumn and spring seasons," Jämes tells.

"We are also exploring the opportunity to transmit live concerts. Furthermore, we have made an agreement with the Metropolitan Opera for the next season. In addition to live broadcasts, this agreement covers Encore performances, shown on Tuesdays following the live broadcasts," Jämes continues.

Finnkino is part of Sanoma Trade, a division of the Sanoma Group.