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Broadway even more unique than we thought

screenshot of film listings

screenshot of film listingsCreative Nottingham was invited to the launch event of Broadway Cinema’s IPhone App. This event, introduced by Chief Executive Steve Mapp, and which featured Andy Batson, the Audience Development Manager, and clever people from Cuttlefish and Victoria Creative, who between them are responsible for the website re-design, development and the App development.  And, thanks, Broadway for the nibbles and drinks! 

Of course, if you are not a communicant member of the Church of the Holy IPhone, or don’t worship at the nearby IPad Cathedral, you may want to skip to the next blog post.  But what was announced at Broadway on Thursday evening will, sometime next year, come to other smartphones and it is tied to Broadway’s website development, so maybe read on.

The screenshot here, taken from the ITunes page for the App, doesn’t convey the richness of the information available, nor how nice it is to use, compared to “ordinary” Apps for film times and locations.  Both the website and the App are connected to the back office, box office system at Broadway. Although this sounds like un-interesting techno-business-speak, it simplifies the whole process of listing films and selling tickets, and allows Broadway staff to focus on the content.  E-ticketing is promised for the future, both from the website and the App. 

The App is free to download and use.  Broadway believe it is the first App for an independent cinema, anywhere in Britain, and possibly anywhere in the world.  And if you are worried about the possibility that their iconic paper programme will disappear, Steve Mapp gave assurances that it would continue, for quite a while at least. And their website kindly has a digital version which you can page through!

When you look at their new website, there is much more in it than on the App, yet.  It is interesting that the first “special” function from the website to be on the App is Broadway’s attempt to build a community, Bsocial,   I hope Broadway will tell us all, next year, how this community is growing, until then, you could sign up and see for yourself. 

Exploring the website pays dividends.  They have built a structure which will support initiatives beyond the core business of showing films.  My current favourite is their Play section (not listed on the main menu, find it from the Digital Arts link). If you work in an office, start the Persistence of Sadness, by Rafaël Rozendaal, with the sound on, and amuse/annoy your fellow cubicle animals for as long as you can.

Broadway has a great history of encouraging new and innovative artists in cinema in the widest sense.  This weekend sees Broadway hosting the Bang! Short Film festival, to take just one example.  I hope that they will open up their website, and their App to artists, giving them a platform on the “extended” Broadway of our inter-connected devices.  The App currently shows trailers – and the difference between a trailer and a short film is not too much.  Perhaps some local artists should take courage from the title of Friday’s blog post, Viva la revolution, and rise up, demanding access to the App! [Or at least, pester Broadway management.]

It was great to see behind the scenes of this App on Thursday.  Broadway is not the only cultural icon in Nottingham launching an App this year, but that will have to be the subject of another post.