Secret Weapon: Adam Cuthbert, Cineplex Entertainment
BROUGHT TO YOU BY D-BOX
In this sponsored column, we profile the different executives who play key roles in making the moviegoing experience so memorable. In this edition we speak to Adam Cuthbert, who oversees operations and the guest experience at Cineplex, Canada’s largest exhibitor.
What was your first job in exhibition?
I began my career with Cineplex at the age of 15. I started out working at the concession stand in a 3-plex cinema in Brampton, Ontario. It is no longer there but at the time was named Cineplex Odeon Centennial Cinemas.
What is an average day or week like for you?
I work in national operations so I have an opportunity to support many diverse initiatives in the organization. One of my current projects is leading the implementation of recliner seating. I also oversee both our guest experience and our projection and sound teams. Every day presents new and unique challenges and opportunities.
What are some of the lessons or values that influence the way you approach your job?
Working in national operations, we can have a large impact on the way our guests experience our theaters. Managing staffing levels, processes, procedures, and enhanced cinema experiences to name a few. The “value” I look to add every day is our operations mantra: “The Guest is Why.” This helps guide our decision making to ensure that we always consider the impact of our decisions on the guest and their experience, in everything we do.
What is your favorite part about your job?
The diversity. A lot goes into operating our theaters, and in one way or another, I have an opportunity to be involved in most exhibition-related initiatives in our organization.
What are some of the unique challenges of your role? Are there any special considerations that you need to factor in when mapping out a strategy?
Seeing the business through the eyes of our guests is important, but also our employees and our investors. It is a great compass to use when mapping out our strategies, but it can be a challenge in finding the balance between the three.
Do you have someone you consider a professional mentor?
Growing up in our theaters, I have met many amazing individuals that have helped shape me professionally. Since moving to Cineplex home office in 2007, I have had the good fortune of working directly for our senior vice president, operations, Paul Nonis. Paul has a broad role in our organization, leading exhibition, merchandising, and our amusement-gaming business, Player One Amusement Games. Paul has always encouraged his team to learn everything they can about our business; keep abreast of upcoming trends; and most importantly to influence people or situations where you can influence. I think these are great words to live by.
What are some of the innovations in moviegoing that have become popular at Cineplex locations?
When I think back to my start in the industry in 1990, the only difference between one cinema and another was the size of the auditorium and the screen. It was definitely a one-size-fits-all approach. What I love about Cineplex is that we’ve enhanced the moviegoing experience to give our guests much more choice. From an adult-only VIP Cinemas, PLF experiences such as our proprietary UltraAVX auditoriums and IMAX, to fully immersive environments like 3D, D-BOX, 4DX, and Barco Escape. Most recently, our recliner program began and has already been a huge success. By offering the audience a larger menu of experiences to choose from, it has really changed the moviegoing experience for our guests.
Cineplex has been a D-BOX partner circuit since 2010. Today, D-BOX’s immersive seating technology has a presence across 70 Cineplex auditoriums, around 40 percent of the overall circuit.