Cinema advertising delivers a targeted marketing opportunity in a unique environment with an attentive audience, with multiple consumer touchpoints, and the flexibility for entertaining pre-shows or lobby displays.

Primary Uses

The cinema audience is unique in that it is attentive, engaged, and comprised of young, affluent, and well educated consumers who aren’t distracted by telephones, remote-control devices, electronic media, or many other daily tasks. Cinema viewers are a captive audience.


Cinema is available in all markets. It is often purchased through a regional or national placement service.

Research/Market Information 

Sellers provide audience and marketing information.

Method of Purchase

Cinema is usually bought as a network of theaters for multiple weeks.


Many lobby display options are available. Cinema advertising content delivery systems, which determine how the ads are displayed on screen, continue to evolve. Theaters have any number of options available to them including: 35mm slides, film (rolling stock), Standard Digital, and High Definition (HD) Digital.


Lobby and other on-premise advertising varies from location. Discuss options with sellers. Some theaters offer pre-show advertising using standard 35mm slides or video.

Digital Delivery

The growth in cinema advertising is attributed in part to the introduction of digital platforms. The digital pre-show format uniquely enables cinema advertising providers to offer programs that seamlessly screen advertising and entertainment content. Digital content offers:

  • lower production and shipping fees
  • flexible flighting practices
  • a high-quality on-screen presentation
  • accurate delivery reporting

Available in most theaters with digital delivery, Standard Definition offers a pixel resolution that meets general standards and usually refers to an NTSC (or PAL) compatible video format consisting of 480 active lines of interlaced video (576 lines for PAL).

High Definition (HD) usually refers to a video format consisting of either 720 active lines of progressive video or 1080 active lines of either progressive or interlaced video, which results in a 30 to 50 percent increase in visual quality and 100 percent more detail than standard images. HD provides expanded capabilities to show live and long-form HD content including concerts, sports, and other entertainment events.