At a glance

Showtime Pictures is the leading concession photographer for attractions and theme parks. Since 1991, the company has worked in over 250 locations worldwide, taken over 100 million images, and serviced over 200 million happy customers.

Showtime Pictures was the first to introduce green screen technology for visitors. contacted Showtime Pictures to discuss about its background-removal technology. CEO Kemal Arin jumped at the chance and immediately installed the technology on an aquarium site. The firm combined background removal with 30-foot LED screens to heighten the experience.

After tailoring the technology, achieved 96% accuracy. Customers are delighted with the choice of backgrounds they get at the point of sale.

Sales have increased 20% since and Showtime partnered. The companies are now working together on a video offering for Space Center Houston.

"Showtime Pictures was the first to use green screen technology, which was the first major change in the industry since we went from film to digital. After that, no one made any breakthroughs – until"

Kemal Arin

Kemal Arin

Founder, CEO, and President

Since 1991, Showtime Pictures has been the major player when it comes to taking and selling photos of customers for some of the US’s biggest attractions, including the Empire State Building, Graceland, and Space Center Houston.

Founder, CEO, and President Kemal Arin started the company after taking photos on cruise ships. His first initiative was to offer his services to a small sightseeing boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, called the Jungle Queen.

During the ensuing 30 years, the company has always been powered by extreme creativity and courage to try new concepts. This has translated into the success of operations in over 250 locations worldwide, took 100 million-plus images, and serviced over 200 million happy customers.

The Challenge

Showtime Pictures had always used technology to stay ahead. It was the first attraction photographer to use green screen technology when it came in around 25 years ago, giving customers at amusement parks and other attractions the chance to be featured in front of the very features they’ve come to see.

However, the company needed to find something special to maintain sales.

"Taking traditional photos in attractions is dying art," says Kemal Arin, CEO & President at Showtime Pictures. "People mostly just use their phones. We needed a way to take advantage of the next revolution in the industry."

For example, in operating the concession with the Circle Line, a boat trip around Manhattan Island, the options were limited: just one photo with a life ring and the vessel added later as a background.

The Work

Showtime Pictures is always searching for new technology to improve its customer offering.
However, it was as a result of a phone call from Kaleido’s Customer Success Manager, Michal Džujka, that Arin was encouraged to give a look. Showtime Pictures loved the background removal technology and entered into a trial in June 2020.

"It was a brilliant idea," said Arin. "The truth about the green screen is that it’s ugly and bulky. People know exactly what is going on because they are educated, and that takes something from it. The process is slow, and we had bottlenecks." gave the photo company a chance to rip up the rule book.

So, for example, Circle Line guests can now have their photos taken anywhere on the ship, not just in front of a green screen. After that, any New York City background can then be added, not just the boat – it can be the Statue of Liberty or the Southern tip of the Island – and their memento is genuinely memorable.

"It really changes the conversation," says Arin.

But Showtime Pictures didn’t just want to create great take-home images of customers’ trips: they also wanted to create a memorable, immersive experience.

To make photo opps really special, they invested in 30ft-high LED walls playing the attraction behind the customer as photos are snapped.

This background doesn’t end up in the final image but will help customers feel they are part of things and help get them into the spirit.

"It’s an incredible new product because they can be in it," says Arin.

Following this augmented reality experience, guests are treated to more technological magic: showing them in front of a variety of different backdrops.

Within three seconds, they see themselves in front of ten different backgrounds. In other words, the sales process becomes a part of the spectacle. Who could resist?

But despite Showtime’s vision and Kaleido’s willingness, the rollout wasn’t as smooth as the team had hoped.

"We started working with on day one," says Arin. "Only the trials went a bit south," added Arin.

"We couldn’t understand what was going wrong. We had a 30-35% recall of images. We had to teach the machine which was the background and which was people."

Eventually, they understood that the LED wall behaved differently from the green screen technology and’s AI was confused.

The problem was easily solved by putting a mark on the floor two feet (60cm) away from the screen and adjusting the lighting to spotlight the photo subjects.

Following the adjustment, manual retouching on the photos fell to just 6% – with mostly minor issues needing solving.

The Result

Showtime Pictures' trust in paid off handsomely.

Far more than just cutting costs, the new integrated kiosks added 20% to the company’s sales.

The increased choice of backgrounds makes even point-of-sale an exciting experience.

"It wasn’t so much what it saved for us, but how much it made for us," says Arin. "It expanded our bottom line."

Indeed, the success of the static images was so overwhelming that Showtime Pictures decided to employ Unscreen, Kaleido’s video offering.

It is working with Space Center Houston to allow customers to interact with surrounding LED screens and will enable them to feel like they are traveling into the galaxy.

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Alex Lupascu

Alex Lupascu

Account Executive

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