Who is Jack Roe?
Jack Roe is not your average IT company. Jack Roe is a 4th Generation family business, older than most of the movie studios themselves.
John Roe (known as ‘Jack’) was a pioneering entrepreneur in the new and exciting movie industry in 1910. Fascinated by showmanship and technical achievement he combined two of his greatest passions as well as a reputation and legacy that is still growing over 75 years since his short but exciting life.
Jack was a fixer and his sharp and creative mind made him the first choice for London’s West End move studios for any technical questions or difficulties that they had. At the time these studios – Fox, Warner Brothers and Universal amongst them - were exciting young start-ups, the equivalent of today’s Silicon Valley unicorns.
The world felt like it had been borne anew in the 1920s, and Jack was helping to build it, still a decade before the ‘movies’ became the ‘talkies’. During the day they worked together on making, showing and supporting movies, and out of hours they relaxed, playing table tennis together and discussing the exciting new industry over drinks.
In the following decades Jack Roe manufactured, reconditioned and invented in all areas of cinema exhibition and the company became a staple component of the back bone of the cinema industry.
By the time of the industry’s conversion to digital projection Jack Roe was the largest manufacturer of cinema splicing tape in the world (the tiny pieces of tape that hold reels of film together), with supply chains from Kodak in Rochester, NY to Argentina, Australia and Iceland.
Invention and Innovation
One of the principles on which Jack founded the company was never to stop inventing, and so the company evolved through different eras of the 20th and then 21st Centuries into the 85 year old startup that it is today. Over 35 years ago, in 1982, the company launched into the exciting world of computer technology, seeing in it the same fresh adventure that Jack had seen in the cinema industry over 60 years earlier.
Since then the computer division has written software for garden nurseries, industrial supply companies, charities and even breweries.
But Hollywood, as well as experience, tells us that life can be richest when diversity combines, and so it is true also for this 4th Generation family business. In the 1990s Jack Roe started quietly producing computer systems for its cinema customers, and the request of a single independent cinema owner, from Belfast in Northern Ireland.
A call for help
25 years later independent cinemas found they needed a cloud-based system because their businesses operate well into the early hours of the morning and right through weekends. They didn’t have teams of people. They were their own night managers. But the cinema ticketing companies that dominated the ticketing industry did not offer the same features to the independent cinemas who competed alongside their larger clients.
The only cloud systems available were missing many of the features that were needed to compete with the larger cinema operators. The flexibility that independents needed was available only with restricted features, allowing for 2 distinct customers bases, those with all the features, and those without. For independent cinema owners this was a real problem.
So independent cinemas turned to Jack Roe for help, to join them - the cinemas would help to design what was needed, cinema and manufacturer working hand in hand. Would Jack Roe provide a new system specifically for them and with them? Something for the independents that truly met their needs? Would the company invest in protecting them and their businesses? A daunting challenge. It was risky, but it was exciting and it was right. And so Jack Roe followed its heart, driven by its industry love and sense of responsibility towards the independents and the industry that it had nurtured since its infancy in the earliest 20th Century.
For every problem, there is a solution.
Many options were discussed, with every kind, style and size of cinema: from single-screen historic cinemas to massive multiplexes from all over the world.
An idea formed. What if we could provide a cloud-based interface that accessed the feature-rich ticketing of a well-established cinema ticketing system? A way to have cloud access but without excluding customers from the features of a full ticketing system? Could the 2 concepts be combined?
And so internetticketing.com was born. After years of collaboration and preparation, and designed in close collaboration with the cinemas themselves, Jack Roe launched a cloud-based front end for the full cinema ticketing system, TaPoS.
At last independent cinema operators could choose both the power of a full cinema ticketing system and the flexibility of a cloud-based solution. They had the flexibility that independent operators needed without compromising on features.
End of Act 1.
And so began Act 2. Everyone at internetticketing.com invites you to join us and to join your fellow independent cinema operators - family-owned businesses working together. Continue to lead this industry together, as one, onto towards the lights, the camera and the action.