Christie Digital Christie Digital
Cinema 2 Min Read

Paws, claws, and action: The launch of a pet-friendly cinema

November 23, 2023

Thailand’s leading theatre chain unveiled its new cinema concept this summer: pet-friendly cinema

There are outdoor cinemas, drive-in cinemas, and even roof-top cinemas. But pet cinemas? Enter Major Cineplex Group, Thailand’s leading theatre chain, and longstanding Christie customer, with a first-of-its-kind initiative: an opportunity to bring your pet with you to the movies.

People settle into their seats in a movie theatre.

Guests settle into their seats in an i-Tail Pet Cinema, with their pets safely seated in carriers.

Called “i-Tail Pet Cinema”, guests can bring cats and dogs that weigh no more than 33 lbs. (15 kg) that are in carriers or bags, to the movies. And Major Cineplex Group expands the usual movie-going fare of popcorn and soda by also offering pet food and pet beverages, as well as vending machines that dispense pet accessories.

A woman takes a cell phone picture of her dog inside of the lobby of a movie theatre.

i-Tail Pet Cinemas are in three Major Cineplex Group locations, including Eastville Cineplex, Major Cinema Robinson lifestyle Ratchaphruek and Mega Cineplex.

The audience for this new initiative is robust. Pet Fair South-East Asia, the largest exhibition for pet supplies globally, reported that Thailand boasts the second-largest pet industry in Asia, trailing only behind China. The College of Management Mahidol University (CMMU) recently found that more than 49 percent of Thais surveyed prefer to adopt pets over having children. The value of the pet market is expected to grow 8.4% annually, compared to 7.5% globally, reaching 66.7 billion baht (Thailand’s official currency; roughly equivalent to USD$1.9B) in 2026.

Two women give the thumbs up sign while sitting in beige seats in a cinema with a cat inside a carrier between them.

Guests and their feline friend are ready to take in a film at an i-Tail Pet Cinema.

“Continuing the success of our Kids Cinema, which received very good feedback, we decided to create a movie theatre where audiences can watch movies with their pets so as to expand our customer base to target new groups,” says Narute Jiensnong, chief marketing officer, Major Cineplex Group.

A man and a woman stand with their black dog that is in a pink stroller outside of an i-Tail Pet Cinema.

i-Tail Pet Cinema guests pose in front of the theatre with a furry friend.

Elaborating on the objectives of this initiative, Narute said it’s not only about growing the cinema market but also about creating a community, a place where movie and pet enthusiasts can come together and connect. “Our pet cinema creates a space for the pet community. For pet lovers to meet each other,” adds Narute. And the community is growing: pet ownership increased from 34% to 37% per household in Thailand from 2019 to 2022.

A woman leans over her dog, which is sitting on a table and is wearing a bonnet and frilly skirt.

Thailand boasts the second-largest pet industry in Asia, trailing only behind China.

i-Tail Pet Cinemas are in three Major Cineplex Group locations, including Eastville Cineplex, Major Cinema Robinson Lifestyle Ratchaphruek and Mega Cineplex, which uses Christie projection, with plans to expand if demand is robust.

A small dog lies inside of a blue pet carrier.

Guests can bring cats and dogs that weigh no more than 33 lbs. (15 kg) that are in carriers or bags, to the movies.

“Our pet cinema has sparked a wave of enthusiasm among moviegoers and their furry companions, offering an exciting and therapeutic experience that simply cannot be rivaled by a night in front of the television,” says Narute. “We will continue to monitor the market response and eagerly anticipate the prospect of extending this unique concept to more cinemas both within and outside of Bangkok in the future.”