A Modern App Experience for A Historic Movie Palace

A Modern App Experience for A Historic Movie Palace

The Alameda Theatre is a historic Art Deco movie palace built in the 1930s. Now, it has expanded to become the Alameda Theatre & Cineplex, catering to the small town's passionate moviegoers.

As a frequent patron myself, I set out to study the moviegoer's ticket buying experience. I reimagined their website as a straightforward and simple app that highlights their shows and their unique in-theatre dining experience.

The Alameda Theatre

User Experience
Mobile App Design

12-week freelance project

See the full case study →

cover

The goal of the app is to to simplify the movie selection and ticket purchasing flow and to encourage moviegoers to avail of in-theatre dining. Users found that the two separate websites for theatre and dining were difficult to navigate and that the in-theatre dining flow was confusing, although a well-loved offering.

I looked at how big cinema companies designed their apps, comparing the scope of their features to see if any were applicable to the Alameda Theatre's user flows.

The goal of the app is to to simplify the movie selection and ticket purchasing flow and to encourage moviegoers to avail of in-theatre dining. Users found that the two separate websites for theatre and dining were difficult to navigate and that the in-theatre dining flow was confusing, although a well-loved offering.

I looked at how big cinema companies designed their apps, comparing the scope of their features to see if any were applicable to the Alameda Theatre's user flows.

1-browsing-ff

Movies at the forefront

On the home screen, users immediately see the theatre's current screenings, and have the option to scroll horizontally for future shows for quick discovery. Crucial elements like times and dates are centered and thumb reachable.

Large movie posters and the dark background are the theme—as if one were walking in a movie theatre hallway with lit-up posters.

Ticket selection & reservation

Users were frustrated with multiple dropdowns and non mobile-friendly ticket selection. With research on existing cinema apps, this design was familiar to users and easily navigable.

2-selection2
3-dining-nobg

One-transaction movies and dining

I initially designed the movie and dining flows siloed from each other, but with testing, users still felt that the two actions were unrelated and was no different from their current solution. Going through the flows again, I reimagined the journey from the users perspective walking to the movies, buying a ticket and grabbing a bite right after.

It showed that the most efficient flow was for the user to go through ticket purchasing and food selection under one transaction, even encouraging the user to avail of in-theatre dining more as it is offered while they are purchasing tickets.

4-tickets-nobg

Easy ticket access

With the old website, users received an email confirmation which they can show to the box office to claim their tickets. I built the Tickets section as a ticket wallet so users can easily access their purchased tickets without having to dig into emails and browser tabs. A QR code is large and centered for quick scanning.

Learnings and outcomes

I limited the scope of this study to the movie showing and in-theatre dining services of the theatre. Beyond that, the Alameda Theatre caters to different kinds of shows and events for the local community which are showcased on their current website as well. I would like to explore adding more formats of shows, while still keeping the main business of the theatre prioritized on the app.

Additionally, the theatre offers in-theatre dining for moviegoers without reserved seating as well. I started exploring an order pick-up flow during my iterations, but reserved it for a future study as this is a less known offering.

See the full case study →

Interact with the prototype →