SM Supermalls at the Forefront of Global Entertainment

(From L to R) EVT, Ltd. Managing Director and CEO Jane Hastings, SM Supermalls President Steven Tan, and P-THREE Co-Founder Thomas Rose discussed the role and future of cinemas in providing entertainment at the 11th Annual CEO Forum hosted by IMAX.

IMAX Corporation hosted the 11th Annual CEO Forum at the Ojai Valley Inn in California, USA from April 4 to 7, 2024. This IMAX conference welcomed global heads of the entertainment industry to discuss current trends in the industry and its future.

IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond provided welcoming remarks for the four-day conference, with guests including CEOs of AMC Theatres, Cineplex, and Tokyu Recreation amongst others.
Panel discussion topics ranged from the changing tastes of moviegoers, new sources of blockbuster entertainment, and the role of AI in cinema. Panelists for these included the CEO and Founder Illumination, Chris Meledandri, A24 co-founder David Fenkel, Legendary Entertainment CEO Josh Grode, and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. Providing Hollywood perspectives were Todd Phillips, the director of the upcoming Joker: Folie A Deux, and actor Glen Powell.


Todd Phillips (right), director of upcoming movie Joker: Folie A Deux, with SM Supermalls President Steven Tan

Actor Glen Powell (left) with SM Supermalls President Steven Tan

Representing the Philippines was SM Supermalls President Steven Tan, who was invited to participate in the forum titled, “Malls, Hotels and Experiences: Where Does the Cinema of the Future Fit?” Alongside him in the discussion were EVT, Ltd. Managing Director and CEO Jane Hastings and P-THREE Co-Founder Thomas Rose.

Mr. Tan shared the Philippine experience of SM Supermalls, providing a better understanding of entertainment in the ASEAN context. Mr. Tan noted that malls, experiences, and the cinema were still very interconnected in this area.

After COVID-19, Mr. Tan observed a strong desire in Filipinos to return to shared experiences, and it’s here where the malls and cinemas would play vital roles. Mr. Tan spoke of special concert films and advanced screenings as pillars for fan-based events that spurred feelings of belonging and camaraderie. These, in turn, generated organic online traction. Additionally, film festivals and exclusive film screenings allowed mall cinemas to gain significant media exposure.


The IMAX cinema at SM City Iloilo opened in 2023 with next-generation laser projection and multi-channel sound system that delivers lifelike images and precision audio for a movie-going experience unlike anything else.

SM cinemas also implemented contactless entry and self service kiosks, which are all in line with upgrading to new technology to enhance the cinema experience.

Additionally, in recognizing Filipino audiences’ penchant for snacking during screenings, Mr. Tan outlined plans that enhanced SnackTime refreshment stands, offering diverse and convenient options that ultimately boost the cinema experience.


Snack Time offers diverse and convenient food options for moviegoers in SM malls nationwide.

The inclusion of the Philippines in the discourse underscored its growing significance in the global entertainment landscape, affirming SM Supermalls’ goal in shaping the industry’s future.

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