Reading Cinemas increases user experience with an auto-scalable online ticketing system

Reading Cinemas is a theatre chain with about sixty cinemas across Australia, New Zealand and the United States. They reached out to PolarSeven to modernise their legacy applications and implement auto-scaling for their online ticketing system.


  • The previous system was not scalable and crashed when Reading Cinemas experienced major spikes (1500 users in 5 minutes) in traffic when blockbusters were released
  • The historic app environment was Amazon EC2- and RDS-based, with additional adjustments on top of that.
  • They needed an environment with fast auto-scaling to prepare for unexpected future demand.
  • Moving from an environment that required four to six clicks to make a purchase, and into one that only needs one or two clicks. 


  • Application modernisation – PolarSeven rebuilt and rearchitected Reading Cinemas’ legacy apps (PHP, MySQL, RDS, EC2’s)
  • App development and infrastructure teams united to create a scalable environment, leveraging a combination of AWS Lambda, Node.js and Amazon Aurora. 


  • Stability and business availability – the cinema industry is quite competitive, and the ticketing system cannot go down.
  • They now have scalable online infrastructure that can handle traffic jumping from 20 users to 4,000 users. 
  • Increased user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) – customers can purchase tickets in one to two clicks.
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