Vista, ScreenPlus Team on Software for Cinemas' Own Streaming Services

Regal Cinemas Generic - Getty - H 2019
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Many exhibitors, forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, have begun turning to digital options.

With the novel coronavirus pandemic having seen cinemas close around the world and distributors now scrapping the theatrical windows on a growing number of titles, many exhibitors have looked to digital options in order to keep their businesses flowing. 

With this in mind, a new partnership between ScreenPlus and Vista Group will enable exhibitors that haven't already done so to launch their own personalized VOD platforms and offer films directly to their customers for at-home streaming.

The partnership will launch ScreenPlus' VOD solution in every major territory, promoted by Vista Group, whose software and technology solutions currently service more than 50 percent of cinema chains worldwide, including Cineworld and Regal, Landmark, Odeon, Curzon and Vue. 

"The cinemas have lost out as a result of the current COVID-19 crisis, but this will potentially generate additional revenue and retain the relationships exhibitors have with their customers," said ScreenPlus director John Barnett.

“We have been working with [ScreenPlus developers and parent company] Shift72 to bring the ScreenPlus solution to our exhibition customers for some time," said Vista Group founder and chief product officer Murray Holdaway. "The outbreak of COVID-19 has seen us accelerate the release of the product to the exhibition market."

ScreenPlus has recently worked with SXSW, offering a secure platform for press and industry to view this year’s entries, as well as the CPH:DOX Festival, which went virtual last month using the ScreenPlus technology. Shift72 has also powered markets for several years, including Cannes' Marché du Film, SXSW Film Festival and the AFM.