Wednesday, May 12, 2021

MediaMation’s esports joint venture with TCL Chinese Theatres plans expansion to San Diego

Theatre Box®, the new luxury cinema, dining and entertainment complex located at 701 Fifth Ave. in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, will welcome the addition of TCL Chinese Theatres’ esports venture, Hollywood Esports®, to its repertoire in September 2019.

Theatre Box will be the second location to feature the unique cinema design of Hollywood Esports, launched by TCL Chinese Theatres in partnership with MediaMation and Wilshire Consulting. The Hollywood Esports theatre will enable Theatre Box to convert an auditorium between “Cinema Mode” and “Esports Mode” in less than one hour, allowing for the showing of MX4D films and hosting of esports tournaments and events. At 73,000 square feet, Theatre Box houses eight luxury dine-in TCL Chinese Theatres, Sugar Factory American Brasserie restaurant, Sugar Factory café retail and gelato and Chocolate Lounge. Nick Cannon’s Wild ‘N Out Sports Bar and Pitbull’s iLov305 rooftop bar will open in the second phase of Theatre Box.

“TCL Chinese Theatres has been an innovator in the cinema industry for more than 92 years and continues to expand into esports and appeal to an audience of moviegoers and gamers,” said Robert K. Laity, CEO of Hollywood Esports. “We welcome the opportunity to expand with TCL Chinese Theatres into San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.”

The Hollywood Esports theatre launching at Theatre Box will incorporate MediaMation’s MX4D motion and special effects technologies, including an innovative package of patent-pending features and gaming hardware that are designed to enable esports and gaming events. As spectators and gamers watch a tournament, a “game jockey” will animate the entire auditorium and spectator seats with motion and special effects in response to the tournament action on the screen. Spectators will enjoy more than a dozen special effects that punctuate exciting moments during game play. A built-in broadcast studio will allow the venue to live-stream events on Twitch, YouTube Live and other streaming platforms to reach an extensive online audience.

“We are thrilled about the addition of a Hollywood Esports MX4D Theatre at Theatre Box,” said Charissa Davidovici, Theatre Box partner. “There are so many university students and military personnel in San Diego, making the city a natural fit for gamers. This is an exciting opportunity for gaming and tournaments. With TwitchCon returning to San Diego this fall and Comic-Con International’s commitment to the city, our new gaming theatre will be the perfect venue to host associated events.”

The first Hollywood Esports location opened at the iconic TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood in November 2017 with the launch of Wargaming’s “World of Tanks North American Championship esports event. Through Hollywood Esports, TCL Chinese Theatres has hosted a series of tournaments, events and viewing parties including the “Arena of Valor World Cup 2018,” “Paladins Hollywood Esports Open,” “Clash Royale” tournament series, “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” weekly fight night tournaments, combined Hollywood movie screening and esports tournaments in partnership with major Hollywood studios and most recently a college/high school “Fortnite” tournament with FaZe Clan and Club 42.

“Hollywood Esports has built a loyal following of fans, players and spectators who attend weekly events,” said Elie Samaha, Chairman of TCL Chinese Theatres. “We have seen our theatre attract a crowd of more than 100 gaming enthusiasts coming to participate in events on weekday nights. It’s nice to see so many avid fans attend our events to both spectate and play, many of whom are driving more than 30 miles to our theatre.”

“Hollywood Esports provides cinema operators a turn-key approach to building a gaming and esports fan base and ecosystem,” said Chris Seide, COO of Hollywood Esports.

“By developing and managing tournaments and events that are scalable across locations, we are creating a network of MX4D Esports Theatres to engage in city rivalries that appeal to the gaming community,” according to Laity. “The gaming and esports events are complementary to the MX4D motion and special effects film business as periods of lower demand for movies are perfect for hosting gaming and esports events to maximize attendance and revenue potential.”

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