Marcus Theatres Upgrades with NEC Doremi and Cinedigm

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Tue, 08/30/2011 - 20:00 -- Nick Dager

Marcus Theatres has selected NEC projectors to make a full-scale conversion to digital cinema on almost 700 screens it owns or manages across the Midwest and East. Doremi Cinema servers are also being installed. The conversion is being made possible through a virtual print fee agreement with Cinedigm. The agreement also includes deployment of NEC large-screen displays for the theater chain's lobbies and concession areas to promote food beverage and other specials as well as adhere to new FDA calorie guidelines. We've enjoyed a long history with Marcus Theatres and are grateful for the opportunity to expand our relationship to help meet the demands of 3D movies as well as the overall migration to digital cinema says Pierre Richer president and COO of NEC Display Solutions.  Unlike its competitors NEC is able to offer a comprehensive solution for exhibitors from high-performing digital cinema projectors to powerful commercial-grade digital menu boards and our VUKUNET Digital Out of Home inventory management ad delivery billing and payment system - to generate new revenue streams as well as elevate the entire theater-going experience. Marcus Theatres ordered NEC's complete line of digital cinema projectors - the NC1200 NC2000 NC3200S and NC3240S models - for virtually all of its circuit in Wisconsin Illinois Iowa Minnesota Nebraska North Dakota and Ohio.  It also will deploy NEC's award-winning E V and P Series large-screen displays in other areas of the cinemas. NEC Display is renowned for offering quality digital cinema projectors but we're also looking forward to benefiting from a wider spectrum of products in our latest agreement says Bruce Olson president of Marcus Theatres.  The ability to change food and beverage items on the fly with dynamic digital menu boards and to easily run advertising will be true differentiators for us in the marketplace. Doremi Cinema will provide digital Integrated Media Block /ShowVault systems upgradable to 48 frames per second as well as 4K playback resolution.  Moreover state-of-the-art CaptiView personal captioning systems and innovative Fidelio wireless audio delivery systems for the hearing and visually impaired will be equipped throughout the screens. “We have assured that our guests can experience the pristine visual presentations digital cinema offers.  The advantages for our guests will be brighter and better focused images and a consistently clear and steady picture with truer more vibrant colors whether they see a motion picture on its first showing or in its last week of exhibition ” says Olson. “The installation of this new digital technology will give us the flexibility to schedule not just major Hollywood motion pictures but more 2D and 3D presentations of live and recorded non-film programming such as sporting events music Broadway plays and many more offerings in all of our markets.” Olson says the rollout of digital cinema will also provide Marcus Theatres with the opportunity to increase the number of 3D screens the company will offer its guests in the future.   “We are extremely pleased with Marcus Theatres’ decision to deploy Doremi’s Integrated Media Blocks) across their circuit ” says Michael Archer vice president of digital cinema Doremi Cinema.  “Not only are they deploying the industry’s only DCI Compliant IMB but Marcus Theatres will benefit from the advanced feature set including higher frame rates and alternative inputs with complete scaling.”   Cinedigm is responsible for structuring and implementing the underlying VPF (virtual print fee) agreement that enables the conversion to digital cinema as well as providing the entire administration responsibility of the VPF program. We're thrilled we were able to create a customized digital cinema solution for Marcus Theatres including an anchor position in our recently announced up to $130 million digital cinema funding facility says Chris McGurk chairman and CEO of Cinedigm. We look forward to supporting the Marcus rollout so their audiences can enjoy the benefits of digital cinema as soon as possible. Ballantyne Strong is the project's reseller and will provide installation and integration services warranty and first-level support monitoring the health of each projector in the system from its network operations center. Doremi will provide the digital servers with integrated media blocks. Ballantyne Strong is extremely proud to continue our 40-plus year partnership with Marcus Theatres on their conversion to digital projection technology.  Along with providing the first-rate equipment of our distribution partners NEC and Doremi Ballantyne will also be offering installation NOC and after-sale maintenance services for the entire Marcus Theatres circuit says president and CEO Gary L. Cavey of Ballantyne Strong. NEC digital cinema projectors are Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) compliant which allows exhibitors to capitalize on current and future growth opportunities and can be centrally managed freeing up on-site theater personnel for more strategic activities. The NEC deployment is scheduled to begin shortly to meet fall 3D blockbuster movies including Twixt Hugo and The Adventures of Tintin with all screens slated to go digital by the end of 2011. For more information on NEC's digital cinema projectors visit To learn more about financing options and current promotions please visit NEC's Cinema Advantage program offers Reward Points and exclusive promotions to small-to-medium-sized exhibitors. Visit to register.