- SAMfélagið is a leading provider of entertainment material for the Icelandic market.
- The company is divided into two departments, SAMbíóin, which runs five cinemas and SAMfilm, which covers the distribution of entertainment material.
- SAMfélagið is the oldest entertainment company in Iceland.
SAMbíóin/SAMcinema first opened in Reykjavík in 1982, but the company’s history can be traced back to 1937 when a young entrepreneur, Eyjólfur Ásberg, started a cinema in Keflavík. SAMbíóin now run six cinemas in Iceland there of 3 in Reykjavík the capital city of Iceland. Other location are; Selfoss, Reykjanesbær and Akureyri often reffered to as the capital of the north. When the first SAMbíóin cinema was opened in Reykjavík, the Icelandic movie culture was brought to a higher level as the public finally had access to newer films and better quality. The current owners of SAMfélagið are Árni Samúelsson, Guðný Ásberg Björnsdóttir, Björn Árnason, Alfreð Ásberg Árnason and Elísabet Ásberg Árnadóttir.
Björn Árnason Elísabet Ásberg Árnadóttir. Alfreð Ásberg Árnason
Guðný Ásberg Björnsdóttir and Árni Samúelsson
A Leading Force in Cinema Culture
SAMbíóin has from the very start been a leading force of innovation in its field. The building of the movie theater in Álfabakki was considered groundbreaking and it has always been an important objective to provide the audience with the latest and best technology at each time by carefully studying the development of the cinematic experience. SAMbíóin were innovators in numerous fields which are now considered essential to the Icelandic cinemas, i.e. with the same release dates as the USA or UK for numerous films, allowing the audience to drink soda inside the theater, selling popcorn and showing the same film in more than one cinema complex at once.
SAMfélagið is on the cutting edge of digital technology and manages the digital work for Icelandic filmmakers as well as offering live presentations from the Metropolitan opera and The National Theatre in London in SAMcinema, Kringlan.
With the increasing emphasis on digital quality the film industry has embraced the 3D technology, where SAMcinema is of course in the forefront.
SAMbíóin/SAMcinema is a very powerful advertising medium which offers various types of commercials inside the theaters, even in the best possible HD quality.
State of the Art Cinemas
The SAMcinema company has nineteen auditoriums in six cinema complexes. The emphasis has always been on the best accommodations and comfort for the audience, thus enhancing the experience with the latest and best technology. SAMcinema was the first company in Scandinavia to install THX sound and the cinema in Kringlan (shopping center) was the first to provide Digital screenings and Real D 3D technology within Iceland. Samcinema, Egilshöll, which just opened in 2010 is a fully digitized cinema with one of the largest screens in Europe not to mention that every screen offers a Real D 3D technology as well as the state of the art sound system 7.1 Dolby Digital which no other cinema chain within Iceland can match at this moment.
The cinema in Álfabakki has an impressive VIP auditorium with leather luxury seating which decline/incline via electricity for maximum comfort.
The auditoriums come in different sizes and have often been rented for private screenings for larger groups, such as for birthday parties or staff screenings.
A Popular Homepage and the SAMclub
On the homepage sambioin.is the audience can find information about the films (now showing and coming soon), showtimes and even watch trailers and making-of documentaries for upcoming releases. It is also possible to sign up for the SAMclub which offers discounts, games and prevue screenings.
SAMfilm is a leading company in the field of distribution of entertainment material for cinemas, DVD, computer games and TV shows. SAMfilm distributes films from Warner Bros and Walt Disney and shares the distribution for Universal, Paramount, Dreamworks and various independent studios such as Summit Entertainment, MANDATE and many more. SAMcinema has also been vigilant for new opportunities which live presentations via satellite from the Metropolitan Opera and National Theatre in London as well as other live events prove.
SAMfilm and SAMcinema are also known to sponsor/produce local projects e.g. movies.
In the distribution of DVD and Blu-ray SAMfilm is in collaboration with some of the biggest producers in the world, such as Walt Disney, Warner Bros, Paramount and Dreamworks. In the video game distribution the biggest producers are Disney Interactive and Warner Interactive. SAMfilm’s marketing share for cinemas and DVD has been around 45-55 percent of the Icelandic market for years.