Carolina Cinemas Begins Conversion with Cinedigm

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Mon, 04/30/2012 - 20:00 -- Nick Dager

Cinedigm Digital Cinema has announced a long-term virtual print fee deployment agreement with Carolina Cinemas.  The agreement will enable the conversion of certain Carolina Cinemas theatres to digital cinema under the terms of Cinedigm’s long-term agreements with all the major studios as well as ongoing interim agreements with over a hundred independent distributors.  This Cinedigm-financed conversion will deploy 26 Cinedigm-Certified screens across two sites in North Carolina: The Carolina Asheville in Asheville and the Crownpoint Stadium 12 in Charlotte. Installation is expected to be complete by Memorial Day.  The theatres have chosen to utilize NEC Display digital cinema projectors and GDC servers. Carolina Cinemas is a member of the Cinema Buying Group a buying program formed by the independent theatre operators of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) to find cost-effective solutions for converting theatres from film to digital projection.  Cinedigm is the digital cinema integrator partner for the CBG. “Converting to digital has been the most challenging issue the exhibition industry has faced in decades ” said Bill Banowsky owner of Carolina Cinemas.  “It’s an enormously expensive undertaking to throw away perfectly good 35mm projectors and replace them with new digital projectors and servers.  But that’s where we are.  It’s either become digital now or be out of the cinema business in less than two years.  The VPF revenue model was the important first step towards solving the problem.  The second step was developing a financing program that worked for the independent exhibitor. Cinedigm NEC GDC and Strong/Ballantyne have done that.  They came together and created a program for Carolina Cinemas that allowed us to convert to digital in a remarkably cost-effective way.” “We are exceedingly proud to be working with one of the leading independent exhibitors in the country ” says Gary Loffredo Cinedigm’s president of digital cinema services.  ”We look forward to a long partnership with Bill and his Carolina Cinemas team both on digital cinema and exploring new and creative content programming opportunities together.” “Carolina Cinemas is taking a huge leap with its conversion to digital cinema and we’re grateful to be part of the initiative ” says Jim Reisteter general manager of digital cinema at NEC Display Solutions.  “The digital conversion wouldn’t be possible without our strong partnership with Cinedigm which has borne much fruit.”