April 18, 2020

Cinematic Experience

David Hilman, COO of Agung Sedayu Retail Indonesia, shares his approach in running and developing the company’s in-house cinema

“Everyone likes movies,” David Hilman said as he opened his conversation with Indonesia Tatler during an interview at Flix Cinema at Pantai Indah Kapuk Avenue. Better known as PIK Avenue, this is one of the “spaces”—a term David uses instead of “malls”—that was developed by Agung Sedayu Retail Indonesia (ASRI). As the COO of ASRI, David Hilman definitely had a lot to say about the new cinema that is currently under rapid development by ASRI.

He explained to us that in the mall business, there are at least three main anchor tenants: cinemas, supermarkets, and gyms. “There are several components that need to be under our control, and we used to run Blitz Megaplex, so we already have the in-house knowledge on how to run a cinema,” David said. “Those two reasons are mainly why we decided to have our own cinema in our malls instead of just inviting an already existing cinema as a tenant.”

In developing and running its malls, ASRI has one main approach: today, malls are not merely about shopping, but about a holistic experience. “Stores are not the only thing that is relevant anymore, because people go to malls to interact and to socialise with each other. When they do, they go to eat, they go to see a film, or they go shop,” he further explained. Moreover, all the tenants in ASRI’s malls are specifically curated to create the perfect experience and provide the best service.

For instance, in PIK Avenue, there is UNIQLO, which sells affordable, good-quality, and up-to-date daily wear. The F&B tenants are also carefully picked to make sure that customers only get the best food and beverages in the mall. “We have two of the best Chinese restaurants there are: May Star and PUTIEN; for Thai food, we have NAM. We also have AWKitchen,” David said. “These are examples of the tenants that we have here, and we invited all of them because we think they meet our standards.”

Other than carefully selected tenants, there is also an all-about-Japan food court: an original concept developed by ASRI. “It’s a risky move, but that’s what we do. We make trends,” David said. All that plus Flix Cinema, as the in-house cinema, creates the integrated experience that ASRI expects. “For now, we are focusing on having Flix Cinema in our own malls. Besides this one we have here in PIK Avenue, there’s also another one in Grand Galaxy Bekasi. Next, we are planning to have a Flix Cinema in Mall of Indonesia and District 8,” he added.

Among many things, the cinema is definitely one of the main reasons that draw people into any malls. However, being part of an integrated experience of the whole mall—or space—Flix Cinema stands out from other cinemas in Indonesia. “We don’t compromise in providing the best service for the customers. We might compromise in other areas, we’re running a business after all, but we never compromise in giving guests the best sound, the best picture, and the best overall experience when you come and sit down in our cinema,” David said.

With a stylish and contemporary design, FLIX Cinema aims to be the lifestyle cinema for today’s movie-aficionados. The studios at Flix Cinema are divided into three classes: Silver, Gold, and Platinum and equipped with high-quality Laser Projector and immersive sound system. Food and beverages are also an important component in providing the ultimate cinema experience and, as part of the integrated experience with the whole mall, customers get to order food from the mall’s tenant restaurants.

Besides its whole integrated experience, another point that makes ASRI’s Flix Cinema different from other cinemas is its mission to run an environmentally friendly business operation and engagement with communities. “There are some obstacles of course,” he told us. “Running an environmentally friendly operation is costly, and it takes time.”

Slowly but surely, Flix Cinema has been educating its customers to be more environment-and health-conscious. For starters, they encourage their customers not to use straws and also bring their own food and drink containers.  Also, they provide healthier organic food options, such as chips, granola, and dried fruits besides the usual unhealthy movie bites. Moreover, they encourage customers to purchase their tickets online via website or FLIX app to reduce the use of paper.

FLIX Cinema puts a heavy emphasis on being community-centric; collaborating with various communities and organizations. For instance, as part of their community-engagement mission, Flix work together with organisations like Rethink Plastic, an NGO that addresses the issue of plastic pollution. They also send their plastic waste to the Tzu Chi Foundation, which has  an initiative to recycle plastic waste into handicrafts. In David’s own words, Flix Cinema is all about customer experience, so, the next time you go to a Flix Cinema, you know you can expect the very best.

To know more about FLIX Cinema, their movie schedules, promotions, and other information, visit www.flixcinema.com or follow their Instagram account @flixcinemaid.

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