Special Applications

Movie Theater Marquees

Special Applications Guide

Movie Theaters

Many movie theaters are using Alpha and AlphaVision signs to display show times and to direct patrons to the appropriate movie hall. This case study describes how displaying up-to-the-minute show times and directional information on Alpha signs improves ticket and concession sales, reduces labor costs changing signs, reduces the need for ushers, improves employee morale, improves customer satisfaction, and gives a modern appearance to the theater.

Desert Star Cinema
Wisconsin Dells, WI
Case Study document, including hardware-software connection flowchart - (PDF 1.3 MB)

Customer Need:

The Desert Star Cinema is a 10-theater multiplex. Scott Sklenar, Operations Manager for Desert Star describes how Alpha LED signs have become essential to his business. Alpha LED signs are now “part of our way of doing business, to improve operations, and to be consistent with our image to the public of providing a modern system for their entertainment.”



Desert Star Cinema installed 14 Alpha™ LED signs and Simply Theatre Signs (STS) software that updates the information on the signs. The STS software is integrated with Desert Star’s Venue point of sale software. Signs and messages include:
  • Box Office Signs: Two AlphaVision signs list all movie titles, movie ratings, and show times.
  • Directional Signs: Two AlphaVision signs list movie titles and show times for movies down the hall.
  • House Signs: Ten one-line Alpha signs are mounted on the ceiling perpendicular to auditorium doors and display movie titles and show times for each auditorium. The signs can be viewed from some distance down the hallway, directing customers to the correct auditorium. Between movies, the House signs display concession advertising, “Closed for Cleaning” type messages, and other anouncements.



  1. Higher concession sales - The Alpha signs have increased concession time due to improved traffic speed. According to Scott Sklenar, “The signs keep the audience moving by providing the information our patrons need to get to the right auditorium in time. Typically, customers arrive 15 minutes prior to the show. There are only so many minutes we have to sell concessions to the customer. When customers have the movie information they need, they have more time to spend at concessions.”


  2. Reduced labor costs - "We don't have to update the signs, and we don't have to direct patrons to their seats." Alpha signs and automated sign software save time and labor by eliminating the need to change movie titles and show times on signs manually. The signs and software do our job for us automatically. According to Sklenar, “The software is extremely beneficial to our managers on Thursday nights - the night the movie titles change. All they have to do is turn it on... it’s all electronic. It’s just super.” In addition, the signs give the Desert Star “the ability to direct the audience to the right auditorium without ushers.”


  3. Simplifies purchase decision because of superior products - “After investigating other LED signs on the market... yours is a superior product... with the contemporary design and removable cubes. Your product fits right into our décor and stands out from the products we’ve been shown,” said Sklenar, who added, “This was the easiest software to use.”


  4. Raises comfort level because of excellent support - Sklenar added, “Now, long after the sale has been made, the service continues... You just don’t find employees that take such pride in their work every day. This made a lasting impression on me!”.