By Focus Staff

The new app Atom Tickets recently launched in partnership with Knoxville Regal Cinemas and should help locals save time in the busy holiday season when taking a break from the hubbub and going to the movies.

Atom Tickets is a “social, mobile, ticketing experience” that allows users to easily discover new movies, browse trailers, read Rotten Tomatoes reviews, invite friends and plan their next night out at the movies, all from within the free app. Customers simply use their phone to purchase tickets and concessions and, upon arriving at the theater, skip the line at the box office and walk directly to the ticket attendant or concession counter, where they scan the QR code on their phone.

Co-founders Matthew Bakal and Ameesh Paleja spoke to The Focus outside the Downtown Regal Riviera last Friday. Both have spent several months out of the past 18 months in Knoxville working with Regal.

“Regal’s been a tremendous partner to us,” said co-founder Paleja. “They’re very gracious and helped us integrate with their platform. The theaters here in Knoxville have been amazing — they have beautiful facilities. It’s been a great town and a test place for our business.”

Bakal described the app’s inception to The Focus: “In the US and Canada every year there are over 5 billion unsold seats in the theatrical market.

“Monday and Tuesday are hard to sell and on weekends, Friday through Sunday, there are over 2 billion unsold seats. The idea is that a lot of this inventory that is expiring – there are a lot of other businesses that have done a great job in moving expiring inventory, hotels, airlines, restaurants, with online platforms. Could we do something with an app and encourage young people to come back to the movies?”

The app is available in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.  As an added incentive, Atom Tickets is offering every customer’s first ticket to any available movie for $5.

Paleja said, “We are also partnering with various Knoxville businesses in an effort to get the word out and do some fundraising at the same time.”

Customers can use the code ETCH10 at check-out and 10% of the cost of the total ticket purchased will go to the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Atom also plans to work with UT in various semester case studies and in fundraising with students for Habitat for Humanity.

Knoxville is the technology company’s first launch market. Atom started in a small room in the Lionsgate office building in Santa Monica, California on July 4, 2014. For more information, visit