October 24, 2008
BESSEMER, AL — Premiere Cinemas has announced the opening of the world’s first multiplex theater without a projector booth.
The Tannehill Premiere Cinema 14 features all digital projection using Barco projectors hung from the ceiling.
Each projector is mounted to a platform suspended about 10 feet above the floor at the top row of each stadium. The enclosure is insulated to prevent noise and vibration leaking through.
October 23, 2008
Almost half of Britain’s theaters may close down in the next five years because of the transition from film to digital projection, according to a Times Online article.
Only the big multiplexes and a few arthouses will be able to afford the Â£60,000 cost per screen with three-quarters of screens and 85% of box office being in the London area.
October 17, 2008
LOS ANGELES, CA — Sony is moving forward with its plan to aggressively sell and install its new 4K digital projectors in theaters by signing an agreement with Muvico Entertainment.
Muvico’s Rosemont, IL location was the first theater in the US to use Sony 4K digital projectors, and following its success there, the movie chain decided to sign an exclusive deal with Sony. Muvico will install Sony technology throughout its new Thousand Oaks, CA facility this winter.
The agreement promises to use Sony equipment throughout its cinemas, such as LCD displays in the lobby and concession areas, PlayStations in its video arcades, VAIO computers for business and accounting, Sony cameras for security, and more.
October 8, 2008
Following the agreement five movie studios signed with the three largest theater chains to pay virtual print fees to help defray the cost of buying digital cinema projectors, the National Association of Theater Owners called on the studios to sign a similar agreement with the hundreds of independent cinemas around the country.
The theater chains, AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark and Regal Entertainment Group negotiated the agreement with 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures and Walt Disney Studios.
The studios will pay a vitual print fee of $800 to $1,000 per film to help the chains convert to digital projection. The average film print costs the studios $1000-to-$1500 plus shipping while a digital print can be sent on a $200 to $300 hard drive which can be used again. Digital projectors cost $70,000-to-$100,000 twice as much as 35mm projectors. The studios are promising to refund the chains their savings over film prints for the next three-to-five years, or until the projectors are paid off.
Financing through JP Morgan and the Blackstone Group will allow the three chains to quickly convert up to 20,000 screens, or more than half the country’s 38,000 auditoriums.
October 3, 2008
According to a recent AP News article, five major Hollywood studios (Disney, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, LionsGate and Universal) are helping theaters with a $1Billion-plus rollout of converting many movie screens to show Digital 3D.
The article points out that the average cost of an install will be $70,000 and that they face financing obstacles in the fourth quarter, due to the now growing financing crisis that is hitting financial institutions.
Independent theaters are urging the group to not forget them and are requesting assistance with their screens.
The original article can be found by followingthis link.
July 22, 2008
TUKWILA, WA — The new AMC Westfield Southcenter not only provides Seattle-area moviegoers with luxurious accommodations but also the Northwest’s first all digital cinema.
It’s not being billed as such, but the opening Friday of AMC’s luxurious 16-screen multiplex at Westfield Southcenter in Tukwila is a milestone event in local movie history. It’s the first large-scale cinema in the Northwest in which every projector is digital.
The 2,900-seat complex is one of 10 nonfilm theaters AMC is introducing into the hard-pressed movie market this year, and the prototype for a movie-theater future that industry experts predict could be all-digital in less than a decade.
Will this transition affect the average moviegoer?
Read the full story in the Seattle PI.
June 25, 2008
With pressure to grow into more areas and still stay relevant, Imax is going digital.
The giant of the large-screen format is beginning one of the biggest initiatives in its 40-year history: switching from 70mm film to a digital system of projection.
Next month, the company will roll out the first three digital Imax installations with exhibitor AMC Entertainment — two in Washington and one in Baltimore. Three more will debut in August in Philadelphia. Imax expects to have digital systems deployed at 50 sites by year’s end, with the goal of converting its 296 owned or equipped theaters in 40 countries.
Imax believes that the digital offerings will prompt new installations and more studio films for release in Imax theaters.
Read more at Reuters.
June 2, 2008
According to Digital Cinema Buyers Guide, Barco is starting a formal training program at their California and EU facilities.
The press release says that the major topics covered during the course include:
Introduction to Digital Cinema
Specifying lamps, lenses, and projectors for the environment
Upgrades, troubleshooting, and maintenance
Seems like a good step forward in the evolution of this technology shift. There are many more potential points of failure than the projector, of course. But it is one of the more significant parts of the system. That, and the server, and the network itself, and the satellite download gear, and the encrypted key system.
I wonder if Cinemeccanica, a Barco sub-licensee of the TI technology will have this training. I would rather go to Milan.
May 19, 2008
Beaufort International Group Plc announced that it has acquired the business and assets of DTS Digital Cinema from DTS, Inc. for an undisclosed sum. Beaufort made the acquisition through its US subsidiary, Beaufort California, Inc.
Full story at: Digital Cinema Info.
May 7, 2008
IMAX has centralized a larger portion of its ownership with this new deal.
IMAX Corp. has announced that the Douglas family, its largest shareholder, is adding to its stake by buying 2.7 million shares for $18 million in a private placement. As a result of the move, the Douglas family now owns 19.9 percent of the company.
In addition, IMAX also said Wachovia Capital Finance Corp. has agreed to expand and ease the terms of its credit facility.
These transactions will help fund the roll-out of the IMAX digital projection system.
Full press release at: Digital Cinema Info