Elektriteater is the only arthouse cinema in Tartu. Their content focuses on Estonian (and, more broadly, European) feature films and documentaries. They opened in 2011 and are proud members of the Europa Cinemas Network. Elektiteater differs from other cinemas with their diverse movie programme that contains a large variety of film genres, including short films, animations, silent movie screenings with live music, etc. In addition, they also have frequent Q&A sessions with Estonian filmmakers. It is a cosy place where movies that would go unnoticed by mainstream cinemas can get their well-deserved screen time.
Our collaboration started with updating cinema’s website – it was outdated with a poorly optimized content management system. Read more about that project here .
During the web project, it soon became evident that the potential to minimize manual labour on the business side was huge. What made this particular project interesting was a request from our partner at Elektriteater: In addition to building a website, they also needed us to build a one-of-a-kind back-end system solution for the cinema that would automate a ton of paperwork for them and save thousands of hours every year in accounting and management tasks, which would otherwise have to be manually done by their employees.
We built them a true back-end beast system. The system contains all the information on the movies that are currently being screened in Elektriteater. It automatically refreshes the info if something were to change and advertises the movies to the viewers. It also takes care of sending automated reports to Europa Cinemas Network and Estonian Authors’ Society on the movies that are somehow connected to one or the other. The program allows the admin to make custom cinema hall seating plans and sell seat-based tickets accordingly. Up until this point, they had been selling seats based on “the early bird gets the best spot” kind of system.
Although Elektriteater is one of a kind, their business model is comparable to many other smaller cinemas and theaters. That’s why we see it as a great opportunity to offer the same back-end solution to other similar businesses. Our goal is to make it easier for theaters and cinemas to handle paperwork and sell tickets.
It was a huge acknowledgement that widely popular Estonian Black Nights Film Festival decided to sell their tickers through Elektriteater’s platform – as we heard, it was just so well done!