January 27, 2009
NEW ORLEANS, LA — The owner of the Prytania Theater looks at the future of the industry as he converts to digital.
After a lifetime in and around movie theaters, second-generation theater man Rene Brunet has officially seen it all.
The 88-year-old operator of the Prytania Theatre — the last of what was once dozens of neighborhood movie houses dotting the city’s landscape — has seen the industry undergo a wealth of changes. Some stuck (sound, color); some didn’t (the first generation of 3-D, Fabio).
Read the full article in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
December 18, 2008
AMC Entertainment announced it has signed with IMAX to convert 100 screens in 33 markets to digital IMAX.
The idea is to compete with TV and DVDs by presenting an experience that cannot be replicated at home or with any other form of entertainment.
The digital IMAX screens will be 25% larger than average screens with laser-aligned sound systems.
December 17, 2008
Both Europe and Australia are opening their first digital IMAX theaters.
In the UK, Odeon shelled out £1.5 million to build auditoriums in Greenwich and Wimbledon. The Greenwich digital Imax will actually undercut the non-digital BFI Imax in Waterloo by charging £11.50 compared to £13.
The theaters opened this week with showings of “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.”
December 16, 2008
TOPEKA, KS — QuVIS, a pioneer in digital cinema, laid off 29 employees and closed its doors this week. The company is $40 million in debt and its president and founder is trying to find a way to reorganize.
Founded in 1994, QuVIS digitized several hit movies, such as “Toy Story II,” “Bounce,” “Shrek” and “The Perfect Storm,” in its proprietary QPE format.
However, when the Digital Cinema Group adopted the JPEG2000 format as its standard, QuVIS stayed with its proprietary, more expensive, systems, which greatly hurt the company.
Read more in the Topeka Capital-Journal.
December 5, 2008
HOLLYWOOD, A — Iosono, a spinoff of Germany’s Frauhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology, has installed its first “3-D sound” system in Mann’s Chinese 6’s digital theater.
The system uses 380 speakers set six inches apart around the walls of the auditorium. Iosono explained that it uses “wavefield synthesis” to envelop the audience with sound. It can play regular movie soundtracks as well as those specially mixed for the sustem.
The system is expected to cost about 30% more than a “good” 5.1 surround sound system as well as additional installation costs.
December 4, 2008
Sporting events in 3D could be the next big thing as a company called 3ality Digital is coordinating a test broadcast of the NFL’s Thursday Night Football game in 3-D on Dec. 4th.
The game will be beamed via satellite to the Mann Chinese 6 in Hollywood, and theaters in Boston and New York.
3ality was behind the recent U2 3D concert film. Technicolor Digital Cinema is providing the satellite transponder time and digital downlink services.
Read more in The Hollywood Reporter.
December 1, 2008
The public may think digital cinema is perfect but that’s not the case. Quite frequently things go wrong such as during an advance screening of the new Brad Pitt movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” when the picture was green and no amount of tweaking could change that. The screening was canceled.
Other recent snafus include a screening of Steven Soderbergh’s Spanish-language “Che” where it played without subtitles for 15 minutes before the showing was canceled. A few weeks later, subtitles from “Che” played during a screening of “Doubt.” In that case, the problem was quickly fixed.
However, digital projection did provide an advantage when a woman became ill during a screening of “Revolutionary Road.” After an ambulance took the woman away, the projectionist was able to rewind the film a few minutes to the audience could get the full impact of the film. If it was film, it would have had to be done in real time, delaying the picture even more.
Read more in Variety.
November 25, 2008
The Walt Disney Disney Co., which hasn’t released a theatrical film in IMAX for over five years, has signed a five-picture deal with the large format film company. IMAX will distribute the films starting in November 2009 with Robert Zemeckis' “A Christmas Carol” starring Jim Carrey. Zemeckis' two previous films, “The Polar Express” and “Beowulf,” were released in IMAX.
Disney says it had not given up on IMAX but that it was busy launching its own Disney Digital 3D, which is a rebranding of the Real 3D system.
With the world economic crisis slowing down the expansion of digital and 3D screens, teaming up with IMAX, which has its own digital and 3D systems, makes sense.
November 20, 2008
Disney Cruise Lines is preparing to upgrade their onboard theaters to digital 3D projection. It is kicking off the project with a screening of its animated movie “Bolt” Nov. 20 on the Disney Wonder out of Port Canaveral.
By early 2009, Disney also plans to supplement the 3D movies with theatrical effects such as lasers, fog, streamers and stage lighting.
November 7, 2008
Dickinson Theatres of Overland Park, KS recently inked a deal to begin transitioning all of it’s 40 locations to digital in near the future.
“AccessIT is excited and proud that Dickinson Theatres will be the first exhibitor partner in our Phase 2 Deployment Plan,” said Chuck Goldwater, President of AccessIT’s Media Services Group. “With more than 80 years of excellence in the exhibition business, Dickinson Theatres and John Hartley and his team have the experience, the vision and the passion to take full advantage of the benefits of digital technology as leaders in the industry."
Read more in Access IT
Dickinson Theatres, Inc. owns and operates 40 movie theatre locations in 11 states with 380 screens in Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. A privately owned organization, Dickinson Theatres, Inc. is headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas and employs over 1100 staff members including 24 full time corporate employees. For more information about Dickinson Theatres, Inc. visit www.dtmovies.com