Ahh, the movies! While people seem to be going to them less, they are still an experience like no other. But theaters are hurting and need your patronage. One way to get you into the theaters are the previews for movies that look so good you have to see them in the theater. Like most of us, I am not a fan of movie previews though. Even good ones are a part of a huge set that are so lengthy you tend to forget what movie you came to see. TimePlay is one theater chain’s way of getting you to be there for those previews by using fun to get you there early.
TimePlay is an interactive experience that lets you play trivia and other games on the big screen at participating theaters. Through an app for your iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, or a phone number you can dial you can use your phone as a controller to play.
How Does It Work?
First you have to download the app that corresponds to your device. There was talk of offering other controllers at the theaters, but so far I haven’t seen them. You can call a number and use a conventional cell phone as a controller with a provided number. Once in a TimePlay location, simply join the TimePlay Wi-Fi network at the theater, open the app, and you’re ready to go.
You can register to get free offers, and you can even use these offers right from the phone. You have a MYSTUFF section that keeps track of your points, what you have won, and a list of locations where the app works. Once you hit connect you use your touch screen to interact with what shows up on the big screen, from hitting the answers in trivia to manipulating objects on screen (like throwing virtual fruit as seen above).
Overall it was okay. I answered a few questions and played some silly games. Before I knew it the trivia and fun were over, and I got a free popcorn all while waiting for the movie previews. It reminded of me of the old trivia questions they use to put up before movies, but you just kind of played on your own. With TimePlay everyone in the theater plays and displays their scores on the big screen. The guy in the control booth above does have some control over the games and can change the game types. It was also pretty responsive – the WiFi didn’t lag at all! Not bad for a movie theater hotspot. From what I overheard from other movie goers later, each individual theater room has its own TimePlay experience.
As it stands now, it’s only offered in Toronto, Canada. While the company is its own entertainment company and not part Cineplex Odeon, I haven’t heard what their future plans are even though they have offices in London and Los Angeles. You can check out the TimePlay website to see a nice video of the whole experience.
What are your thoughts on TimePlay? It’s not in the U.S. yet, but would you welcome it? Let us know in the comments below.
iTunes Link: TimePlay