Spotlight On Sarawak’s Silver Screen Player
by Jonathan Wong, email@example.com. Posted on July 22, 2012, Sunday
GSC: Various plans for growth in Sarawak
Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd (GSC) commenced its expansion plans earlier this year by planning to open eight more cinemas with a total investment of more than RM84 million.
Founded in 1998 as a merger of Golden Communications (GC) Circuit and Cathay Cinemas, the cinema operator was targeting to open an outlet at GSC City- ONE Mall Kuching by the fourth quarter this year as well as GSC Lite Bintang Megamall in Miri with eight screens, highlighted its manager Irving Chee.
Chee further added that seeing the boom in the economy, GSC would not just sit by as the boom took place and that the company had plans in store in terms of its aggressive expansion throughout Malaysia.
The erection of the Miri branch would be the second largest GSC Lite to date in Malaysia.
Chee explained GSC currently had presence in West Malaysia and two outlets in Kota Kinabalu, but none in Sarawak – hence the logical progression to expand into the state.
“As the leading cinema operator in the country, we would like to bring the ‘entertainment magic’ to Malaysians nationwide and we will achieve this when we set foot in Kuching this year end with GSC at CityOne Mall,” he added.
“Kuching is the largest and most populous city in the state of Sarawak. It has an immediate population of 681,901 and followed by Miri with a population of 358,020, and with the ever growing Sarawak economy with projects such as the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) in place, new developments presented the opportunity for us to fi nally venture into the Sarawak market.”
Chee explained that GSC anticipated fierce competition in Sarawak but admitted that he was rather confident in the company’s ability to compete in the market.
“Competition is an integral part of life.
It drives us to work harder and push further to serve customers better in order to drive the traffic to GSC chain,” he believed.
“GSC plans to capitalise on its unique selling proposition to attract people to our chain – by providing ready luxurious theatre style seating and large scale screens to hold corporate events such as corporate screenings, press conferences, presentations, product launches or family day events.”
Additionally, Chee said the company had innovated a few strategies to anchor itself as one of the more convenient and accessible cinemas around.
“For example, GSC has a customised co-branded credit card which offers priority ticketing lane, discounted ticket pricing (for adult tickets), concessions and food and beverage in-dining for movie fans,” he revealed.
“We are also the fi rst in the industry to introduce online ticket purchase via GSC E-Payment ticketing and the fi rst cinema operator in Malaysia to launch a mobile application – GSC Mobile App (iPhone and Android) which enables movie-goers to purchase their tickets on their smartphones,” he enthused.
The manager added that with the current competition in Kuching, the company planned to make its presence known with its 10-screen GSC CityONE Mall cinema targeted to open before year end.
It aimed to elevate the cinemagoing experience with GSC’s brand of cinemas and push the movie industry to the next level with the company’s innovations and facilities.
“We have and will continue to co-exist with other cinema operators to attract more people to watch movies on the big screens and channel them to GSC cinemas with our comfortable ambience, seats, promotions, offers and competitive pricing,” said Chee.
“Our key competition is more from piracy or downloads rather than other cinema chains as there is still room for more cinemas in my opinion.
In our business, we are all friendly competitors as the cinema chains need to work with each other to increase the overall market.
“Cinema operators co-exist to offer clean family entertainment to serve different segment of moviegoers, screening the right movie in the right location for the right target audience,” he explained.
Chee said in a nutshell, the company invested RM1.5 million per hall and RM2 million per digital hall due to the higher costs of digital projectors.
At this juncture, the company was looking at an estimated investment of RM29 million to date for the 10-screen GSC cinema in CityONE Mall and the eight screen GSC Lite in Bintang Megamall, Miri.
With the company expecting the industry to heat up, Chee believed that going forward, cinema players were here to stay.
“We believe digital 3D/2D movies are here to stay with the likes of Hollywood producing more movies in this format.
But being among the top innovators we’re also thinking of new ideas such as ‘live’ or delayed concerts, sporting events, musicals, etc that can be screened on the cinema screens, besides just movies,” he noted.
“With Sarawak’s economy growing as it is, the entertainment industry would no doubt grow in tandem with the amount of investment and the population. And being Malaysia’s biggest cinema chain, we plan to be a part of that growth.”