Sony to install digital projectors in all AMC theaters

posted by moviebuff82 on April 1, 2009 at 9:45 am

The digital cinema arm of Sony Corporation said last weekend that it will install all existing AMC theater locations with digital projectors starting in Q2 2009.

Sony says it has signed a $315 million deal to install its digital projectors in all AMC Entertainment theaters.

The contract will close the gap between Sony and Texas Instruments in the digital projector market. Texas Instruments has equipped 5,476 screens in North American theaters with its digital light processing projectors. The deal with AMC will increase Sony’s presence to about 5,000 screens.

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Comments (14)

Giles on April 1, 2009 at 12:10 pm

this sounds too good to be true… now let’s see what studios will actually distribute 4K based content/movies. So far only Sony and Warners Bros. have committed to release actual 4K harddrives of certain movies. Converting to “all digital” seems a bit premature, considering not all the studios are releasing everything digitally (i.e, the independent studios).

moviebuff82 on April 1, 2009 at 7:48 pm

Not only that, but the only thing that’s digital playing at my local AMC are the Met shows and NCM Fathom shows.

Giles on April 2, 2009 at 8:30 am

I actually loved the Sony Hot Ticket presentations: Cirque De Soleil and ‘Rent’ – will they be doing any thing in the near future??

I think the fact that Sony added their own 3D systems (as of last month)sealed the deal – REAL-D (3D) was 2k technology, Sony with 4k resolution and 3D was the obvious superior choice.

longislandmovies on April 5, 2009 at 11:49 am

love the 4k…………

Giles on April 16, 2009 at 9:30 pm

I think this article I found online suggests that Sony is asking studios to output/distribute 4K based product for their systems (according to Sony literature Warner Bros. is also included in the deal but not listed here):

Sony Electronics’ Digital Cinema Solutions and Services (DCSS) group has entered into a non-exclusive digital cinema deployment agreement with Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International. The companies will work together to provide operational and financial resources to exhibitors that encourage them to feature Sony’s 4K SXRD™ projection technology in both 2D and 3D digital cinema-enabled screens across North America and Europe.

Sony’s digital cinema group has now signed digital cinema deployment agreements with four major studios: Walt Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

“Disney continues to be very excited about the possibilities of digital cinema, and has long supported new technologies that give moviegoers the best possible theatrical experience, and provide a wide range of benefits to our partners in exhibition,” said Anthony Marcoly, president, sales and distribution, for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International. “We’re pleased to be working with Sony’s Digital Cinema Solutions and Services group in deploying this advanced technology and finding new ways to help theater owners upgrade their equipment economically and efficiently. Sony’s 4K projection system offers magnificent state-of-the-art technology, and gives theaters the flexibility for high-quality 2D playback as well as the increasingly important ability to display spectacular 3D productions.”

He added that, “With 17 3D feature films in the Disney pipeline, ranging from great animated fare to fantastic live-action epics, we believe that 3D exhibition and digital cinema are vitally important to the future of moviegoing."

The Sony DCSS group was formed to provide turn-key solutions for exhibitors, enabling them to efficiently convert their operations to digital technology. In addition to digital projection system deployment, the DCSS group will offer installation and maintenance services, customized solutions, delivery of alternative content programming, and high-level service support.

“Walt Disney Studios is known for its innovative and pioneering work throughout the history of cinema,” said Mike Fidler, senior vice president of Sony’s DCSS group. “It’s only natural that they are among the studios on the forefront of our industry’s move toward 4K digital technology, and we are truly excited to be working with them.”

Sony’s 4K SXRD projection technology will also support the deployment of alternative content â€" including gaming, sporting events and music concerts â€" in order to develop more revenue-generating opportunities for exhibitors. (LAS VEGAS (ShoWest)â€"Mar 31, 2009)

moviebuff82 on April 19, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Could someone post a schedule of which market gets it first? The rollout will be slow, but in three years all of AMC’s theaters will not show film anymore.

Giles on May 5, 2009 at 2:55 pm

what’s unfortunate about the conversion is that not all the studios, particularily the independents, have made a committment to releasing their film digitally – for example, AMC Shirlington just outside DC shows art films, not all those film and their respective studios release their films on harddrive form, it might be premature or even presumptuous thinking on AMC’s part that they’ll even have product (films) to present digitally.

Currently at Shirlington:
– American Violet
– Is Anybody There?
– Lymelife
– Sugar
– Sin Nombre
– Valentino: The Last Emperor
– Sunshine Cleaning

Sunshine Cleaning is the only film to be released both in 35mm and ‘digitally’.

I have yet to see to anything from even Sony Classics released digitally.

I see a big, very blatant problem here, that no one in the industry is addressing. What IS the price difference in terms of studios releasing films in 35mm versus harddrive form? Will this change if and when all the AMC theatres start the conversion and begin removing all their 35mm projectors? It would be counterintuitive for some theatres to even go all digial when not everything is released as such – the AFI Silver and I’m sure other theatres are smart in having multiple sources, in particular, the Silver theatre auditorium #1 is outfitted to playback video, 35mm, 70mm and (2k)DLP (ironically they can’t project polarized 3D films) – I think (and hope) they have their bases covered

Reading a magazine such as Box Office – one gets the sense that the industry believes digital is the way to go, it might be, but not everyone is on the same page or feasibly can or willing for that matter.

Giles on May 5, 2009 at 5:03 pm

on the plus side, according to the Spring issue of Sony 4K Digital Cinema press release the following films have and will be released in 4K:

  • The Soloist
  • Angels and Demons
  • 2012
  • The Green Hornet
  • Samsara (35mm, 2K DLP, 4K LCoS, and 70mm !!)
moviebuff82 on May 11, 2009 at 5:55 pm

Hopefully my local AMC shows that in 4k (Angels and Demons), as THe Soloist was only shown in 35mm.

MPol on May 16, 2009 at 8:35 am

What’s going to happen when ALL of the movie theatres here in the United States, including the few non-profit, independent theatres that’re left go digital? Will there be no more screenings of great, golden oldie-but-goody classic films at all? I certainly hope that doesn’t happen.

MovieTix86 on May 17, 2009 at 8:30 pm

This hasn’t been officially confirmed yet but apparently Regal has also signed a deal with Sony.
Source: View link

According to the Sony Digital Cinema site and Fandango, Regal Knoxville Center Stadium 10 currently has 4K in all auditoriums.

Giles on May 18, 2009 at 8:49 am

DLP “Digital Light Processing” is trademarked to Texas Instruments, Sony’s is LCoS “Liquid Crystals on Silcone”, wonder how Fandango will denote in the future to differentiate between the two.

MovieTix86 on May 18, 2009 at 10:02 am

It’s official: like AMC, Regal will convert all of its theaters to 4K in the next 3 to 5 years.

Source (Regal Press Release): View link

moviebuff82 on August 23, 2009 at 12:52 pm

the amc near where i live has 4k now, in one screen. They will show 3D as well as 2D films.

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