Today we’d like to introduce you to Julie Bravo.
Julie , can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
UltraStar Cinemas is a locally owned & operated company that was founded in 1999.
I’ve always had a passion for the movie industry, and after graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from UCSB in 1996 and spending a few years in retail I joined the UltraStar family in June 2001. I’ve grown with the company over the past 16 years and am currently the Vice President of Theatrical Marketing.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The movie industry most definitely has its highs and lows. We are completely product driven. When the movies are good then guests flock to the theater; however, when the movies are bad then guests stay away. This September was a record breaking month, fueled by the blockbuster release of “It.” And then, immediately following, we had the worst October in over a decade after many studio releases underperformed.
We also need to constantly come up with new promotions and incentives to remain competitive with other local theaters. Our product is not unique to us, so a guest can choose to watch their film at our location or at a number of other theaters all within simple driving distance showing the same film. Competitive prices, upgraded seats, specialty concession items and outstanding customer service are some of the ways that we stand out from our competitors.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about UltraStar Mission Valley Cinema – what should we know?
UltraStar has always been on the cutting edge of technology. We are recognized in the Exhibition Industry as a leader in Digital Cinema. After many early years of experimenting we partnered with AccessIT to become the first theater chain in the nation to roll out a large scale deployment of Digital Cinema on all of our screens. This roll out dove tailed perfectly into our company philosophy by using cutting edge technology to stay competitive with much larger circuits and to bring our guests the best possible movie going experience available.
In 2009, we were also one of only two theater chains in North America to premiere DBOX technology in its theaters. DBOX is an exciting motion chair technology that allows the guest to live the action of the movie they are watching on screen.
As Vice President of Theatrical Marketing, I am the direct liaison with our studio partners in Hollywood. I communicate with each studio on a weekly basis to ensure that our theater is up-to-date with all of the latest marketing materials and that I am able to excite our guests with what will be coming soon.
While many of our local competitors show movies, we aim to entertain our guests. We want the entire theatrical experience to be a positive one. From the moment our guests enter our building they are greeted with a warm welcome and are treated like one of our family. We offer not only popcorn and nachos, but also made-to-order paninis, salads and flatbread and local craft beers and wine to enhance the movie experience.
One of the programs I am most proud of starting is our baby friendly showings, which have been a part of our regular programming for over 14 years. “Parent Movie Morning” and “Baby’s Night Out” are weekly opportunities for new moms and dads to bring their babies to the movie with them. Many new parents are not able to attend newly released Hollywood films because they either don’t want to leave their newborn at home with a sitter or they don’t want to bring their baby to a regular show in fear of the newborn disrupting other guests. Our baby friendly shows (one at 10:00 am and one at 7:00 pm every Wednesday) cater to new moms and dads. Volume is lowered, lights are dimmed and changing facilities are set up in the auditorium so that parents don’t have to miss the film to change a diaper! Stroller parking is also set up for convenience. We select the newest and most popular films to show for this program and we only charge $7 per ticket.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Open communication is most definitely the key to my success. Constant, consistent & clear communication between my studio representatives in Los Angeles, between myself and my theater management team & cast members, and between myself and our guests.
- Pricing Made Simple! $7 first showtime of the day, $9 all shows up to & including 4PM, $11 all shows after 4PM
- Discount Tuesday: All movies discounted to $9 all day Tuesday
- Student Saver Sunday & Military Appreciation Monday: $15 for a movie ticket and unlimited popcorn & soda with valid ID
- Address: 7510 Hazard Center Drive
- Website: www.UltraStarMovies.com
- Phone: 619-574-8684
- Email: GuestCom@UltraStarMovies.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ultrastarsd/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UltraStarMV7/@UltraStarCinemas
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/ultrastar-mission-valley-at-hazard-center-san-diego