Premiere Cinemas Newest All-Digital Cinema has no Mezzanine

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Fri, 11/07/2008 - 19:00 -- Nick Dager

Texas-based Premiere Cinema recently bought a cinema structure that is thanks to digital technology the first cineplex without a mezzanine while four of the fourteen theatres are 3D capable. Premiere Cinema president and CEO Gary Moore says “As far as I know this is the first theatre that does not have a mezzanine and since we’re all digital and there’s not a film projector in sight we don’t need one.”  Premiere bought a cinema structure that was underway when another company backed out. The beginnings of a mezzanine were in place but they didn’t finish off the second story. Premiere analyzed what was needed to prevent noise and vibration in the auditoriums so they suspended a platform to hold each projector about ten feet above the floor at the top row of each stadium.  “We invested in a lot of cabling to hook up the power supplies to a central command center on the main floor ” says Moore. “We thought the public would like to see the inner workings of a digital complex so we illuminated the single room with black light and positioned windows so moviegoers could look in as they passed by. The technology itself has become quite a draw for customers.” Todd Hoddick vice president of digital cinema for visualization product maker Barco has been very close to Premiere’s full-scale deployment. “Premiere has had our digital projectors in one of their Florida theatres for more than a year and has become very interested in pushing the envelope to design cinemas that capitalize on the benefits of digital ” says Hoddick. “Their Tannehill multiplex is the first of many that Premiere plans to inaugurate with Barco and they promise that their Eastern Shore complex that opens next month will represent another more advanced digital prototype. We commend Gary Moore and his team for their innovations and are very enthusiastic to continue supporting them.” The all-new multiplex features several sizes of Barco projectors depending upon the dimensions of the screen in each auditorium. “We went into digital cinema last year with Barco in our Orlando location and have had nothing but happiness from our management staff and our operators. Premiere is heavy into marketing the new technology and the digital shift has been warmly embraced by our patrons ” says Moore. Premiere recently became the second theatre chain to participate in AccessIT's Phase 2 Digital Cinema Deployment Plan. Working with AccessIT and Barco Premiere's digital cinema deployment will initially comprise 171 of their screens in 13 locations across Texas Florida and Alabama. Conversions are anticipated to begin in December when Premiere plans to open another 14-plex in Alabama next month. It will be all digital all Barco and without a mezzanine as well. We have been very satisfied with the Barco products and service and intend to stay with Barco as we move forward digitizing our theatres ” says Moore. Barco Premiere Cinemas ,505
Share Your Sundance Stories to help Celebrate the 25th Anniversary ,2008-11-08,Support for independent storytelling has always been the driving force of Sundance Institute. This year the Institute is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Sundance Film Festival by collecting anecdotes and memories from the people who know the most about what the Festival means. Only those who have been to the Sundance Film Festival can truly convey the true spirit of Sundance which is why the Institute is asking those who have been there to share their Sundance stories. When Robert Redford founded Sundance Institute 28 years ago he could not have realized that it would have such a deep impact on so many independent filmmakers. When the Institute took over the Film Festival in 1985 no one could have imagined what a vital platform for independent storytelling it would become. Its programs have helped some of the world's most talented artists realize their visions and get their work out to a much wider audience than they might have reached otherwise. And being part of the action in Park City Utah has now been a formative experience for more than two generations of people who count themselves as creators and stewards of the best in independent cinema. Some examples of what participants are asked to write about include how it felt when introducing their first film to a theatre full of film lovers what the Sundance Film Festival meant to them over the past 25 years favorite Festival memory and what they think Sundance means for American film. Wading through the ten feet of snow that fell in '96 or joining the Hustle and Flow cast in singing Proud Mary after the film's premiere in 2007 are the types of memories expected to be shared. Sundance’s Web site will begin accepting stories in December. The collected stories anecdotes and memories about the Festival will be built into an interactive timepiece —an exploration of what the Sundance Film Festival has meant to people who love independent film. Some of the most interesting memories come from the filmmakers who have been encouraged to grow and develop in the unique creative environment that is Sundance. The Sundance Film Festival ,506
Fly Me to the Moon 3D a Hit for Xpand in Europe,2008-11-08, Xpand has reported that the animated 3D release Fly Me to the Moon from nWave Pictures has achieved unprecedented success on Xpand’s screens throughout Europe capturing an audience of approximately 73 000 during the film’s first five days of release.  Sustaining the largest international market share of 3D screens spanning three continents Xpand predicts these numbers will grow substantially with Fly Me to the Moon’s current rating as the fourth most successful 3D film in 2008 based on audience numbers per screen.  A delightful animated feature for the entire family the film embarks on the US space program and man’s first walk on the moon joined by Nat IQ and Scooter three adventurous flies who are the key characters of the film and narrated by esteemed Hollywood talent. Gaining momentum and popularity 3D experiences are rapidly become a mainstream theatre event which are dictating the demand for the production of more and more 3D films by some of the best filmmakers delivering this contemporary format.     “These numbers prove our strategic plan was on target in order to grow the international 3D marketplace when launching our active technology earlier this year ” says Maria Costeira Xpand’s CEO.  “Our goal was to have as many screens possible for the blockbuster releases to support the 3D movement while providing the best stereoscopic technology available to audiences worldwide.” Xpand has nearly 400 theatres globally and expects to have more than 500 screens by the end of the year. Xpand ,508
Q-tec Completes First Installation of RealD’s 3D System in Japan,2008-11-08,Q-tec Inc. one of Japan's leading video post-production service providers announced that it has completed the first domestic installation of 3D cinema system developed by digital 3D delivery company RealD. Q-tec plans to begin the full-scale operation this month. The number of digital 3D cinema screens in Japan was around 30 at the end of 2007 but there are currently more than 50 screens available as the United States film Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D was released in October. The number is projected to rise with the expectation of 3D films produced and released in Japan. Q-tec has assessed the needs of production facilities for 3D moviemaking and opened a 3D video-editing studio with RealD's 3D systems. New services such as 2D to 3D conversion and 3D-CG creation will also be offered at the studio. RealD ,509
Zacuto Announces Four New Camera Mounts,2008-11-08,Chicago-based production equipment maker Zacuto has announced four new mounts including the Zephyr Zacuto's 15mm lightweight support plate; the ZRed an EVF Red One Mount; the Zandy a19mm to 15mm rod mount; and the Zgrip Zandy an articulating handgrip. Zephyr Replacing the Sony and Panasonic ENG style cameras’ V-Wedge plate the Zephyr allows a quick-release from the tripod plate. The Zephyr’s lightweight long design and an opening in the bottom gives room for adjusting buttons in the lower front of the camera in addition to allowing the ability to adjust the 15mm rods up down left and right to align the matte box to the lens in addition to mounting a follow focus or lens support. ZRed Mount Kit The low-cost mount is adjustable will not loosen and slides onto the top 19mm or 15mm studio rod on the Red One camera. If sliding this mount onto a 15mm rod a Z-mount will be needed instead of a Zandy which is for 19mm rods. It has a rod end cap so the EVF won’t accidently slide off the rod. This mount has the ability to slide the EVF forward and backward as well as a complete 360-degree swivel for top or bottom or ENG use. Zandy This quick release mount is for mounting a monitor off of a 19mm rod by using a 15mm rod based arm such as a Zamerican Arm. Adding a Zacuto Zud will allow the mounting of a threaded articulating arm with the Zandy. The Zandy is also used in the ZRed to mount the Red One EVF on to a Red camera. This is a multipurpose mount for people who use 19mm rods. Zgrip Zandy The Zgrip Zandy is an articulating handgrip for a 19mm rod using the Zacuto quick-release system. The Zgrip Zandy comes with a Zgrip handle a 3.5-inch rod and a Zandy made for 19mm rod users that want a quick releasable handgrip. Zacuto ,510
Nearly 8 000 Attend 29th American Film Market,2008-11-20,Overall attendance for the 29th American Film Market was 7 903 announced Jonathan Wolf managing director of the AFM and executive vice president of the Independent Film & Television Alliance.
A total of 1 527 buyers representing 65 countries attended which was held last month in Santa Monica California. Buyers from the Middle East grew 25 percent from last year to 40 from 32. Notable year-to-year buyer attendance from other territories included Russia up 14 percent Germany up seven percent Hong Kong up 42 percent and Korea up 18 percent.   Exhibitor-affiliated participants including their executives producers talent and guests totaled 3 791 and industry attendees (non-buyers and sellers) were 1 745.  Guests of IFTA at this year’s market numbered 573 while 267 members of the global press corp. were registered.  A total of 409 companies from 36 countries exhibited which marks the fifth straight year the AFM has reached full capacity at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel and Le Merigot Beach Hotel.   Additionally 527 films in 35 languages were screened during AFM. AFM 2009 will be held next November 4-11.
AFM ,535
Optimo Rouge has Alternative Rentals Customers Seeing Red,2008-11-20,Alternative Rentals of Los Angeles California has added the new PL-mount Optimo DP Rouge lenses models DP 30-80 and the DP 16-42 from Thales Angenieux. “We are excited about adding the Optimo DP Rouge line to our current inventory of Angenieux Optimo and other zoom lenses ” says Cory Williams president and CEO of Alternative Rentals. “The Optimo DP Rouge lenses have been optimized for the new generation of large format digital cinematography cameras. We believe these lenses will become a staple for future PL mount digital cameras and we are pleased to be the first rental house in the industry to carry them.” Alternative Rentals is the largest all-digital camera house in West Los Angeles and caters to the feature film television and commercial industries by specializing in providing cine-style high definition cameras lenses and accessories. They offer 24-hour tech support with qualified rental agents and technicians as well as audio and post-production rentals and a 4K full-sized theatre where clients can view test footage or screen dailies. According to Williams digital cinema has always been the focus of Alternative Rentals and in the past year the company has made a major investment in Red One cameras. To complement these PL-mount cameras Mr. Williams noted that the Thales Angenieux lenses were chosen because of their great quality and high performance. He says “The Optimo DP Rouge lenses were selected for their versatility and high quality. They offer no ramping and no breathing along with lightweight and compact size. As we are a camera house that specializes in digital cinema the Optimo DP Rouge Lenses will become integral to our business of supplying cinematographers with superior optics.” Known for having the best zoom optics available Angenieux has engineered their new Optimo DP Series to offer superior functionality and ergonomics.  The Optimo DP 30-80 features a focal length of 30-80mm (2.7x zoom) a fast aperture of T:2.8 calibrated focus marks and no ramping or breathing. The PL-mount lens delivers the image coverage of full S35 (31.1mm diagonal) in a lightweight and compact design weighing only 4.2 pounds (1.9 kg). The Optimo DP 16-42 differs only in the focal length (16-42mm / 2.6x zoom) and both lenses feature Angenieux's unique mechanical design for precise zoom and focus. In addition to the known quality and performance of the Angenieux lenses Williams says that the attractive price of the Optimo DP lenses contributed in their favor. He also liked the fact that Angenieux has offered two different lenses in the series and says “While we expect the Optimo DP 30-80 to be the workhorse because it fits the most common usage requirements the DP 16-42 also fills a gap and provides the DP with an additional choice or avenue for creativity.” Alternative Rentals ,537
Carmike Cinemas Says Third-Quarter Per/Patron Revenue Up Overall Admissions Down,2008-11-20,"While the economic environment is very challenging Carmike made continued progress towards its operating strategies in the 2008 third quarter as reflected by increases in per patron revenue expense reductions lower interest expense a decline in bank debt and additional closures of under-performing theatres says Michael W. Patrick Carmike's chief executive officer. During the third quarter we again achieved an increase in average per patron revenue as both admission and concession/other sales per patron rose year-over-year based on price increases implemented earlier in 2008. However these improvements did not offset overall admission declines.” Patrick went on to say that “In the face of the current operating environment Carmike has taken timely steps to reduce expenses with third quarter general and administrative expenses cut by over 14 percent as we lowered salaries and wage expense incentive compensation and legal and professional fees during the period. In an effort to further reduce interest expense and de-leverage Carmike's balance sheet on September 30 we made a voluntary $10 million bank debt pre-payment. Due to recent economic and capital market uncertainties the board of directors also suspended the quarterly dividend in favor of directing surplus cash to debt repayments. Including the third quarter pre-payment Carmike has repaid an aggregate of $33 million of bank debt over the past twelve months. Our net interest expense declined 17 percent in the 2008 third quarter as a result of the combination of lower outstanding debt and reduced borrowing rates. Patrick says We expect a solid fourth quarter at the box office with bellwether family films such as Madagascar 2 Beverly Hills Chihuahua High School Musical 3: Senior Year and Bolt in 3D as well as the James Bond sequel Quantum of Solace and the vampire saga Twilight.” “Given our circuit's digital cinema and 3D cinema leadership we believe Carmike is well positioned for 2009 and beyond. Importantly 2009 has at least thirteen 3D features scheduled. We believe films being made in 3D are ideally suited to the tastes of consumers in our markets and we are optimistic about the potential benefit of 3D films to attendance and the company's overall revenue performance. Beyond 3D the flexibility of our digital circuit allows us to show a range of special events that are expected to help draw new customers to our theatres drive concession volume and provide further opportunities for premium pricing. ,539
Munich’s Constantin Film Installs Digital Cinema Projection,2008-11-20,German film producer and distributor Constantin Film has installed Kinoton a digital cinema system installed at their screening room in Munich.   The DCP 30 S digital cinema projector features an integrated Dolby 3D system that enables it to present stereoscopic pictures in full 2K-resolution. This installation corresponds with Constantin Film’s plans to produce the first German 3D animation movie. At the same time the new system complements the existing professional digital projection system which can reproduce various digital formats from different sources such as Digital Betacam or DVDs. Kinoton ,541
Dolby 3D Digital Cinema Licenses Doremi’s Digital Cinema Server ,2008-11-20,Doremi Cinema has announced that its DCP-2000 JPEG2000 Digital Cinema Server has been approved as a licensee of Dolby 3D Digital Cinema giving exhibitors even more options when screening 3D content. As an early pioneer in digital cinema Doremi has been very committed to developing flexible playback solutions for theatre owners says Michael Archer vice president of Doremi Digital Cinema. We are fortunate to partner with technology companies like Dolby whose 3D technology further propels the incredible popularity and growth of digital cinema. Doremi Cinema's DCP-2000 servers are installed in over 5500 screens to date worldwide and can support all the latest 3D technologies. We are very happy to have Doremi Cinema as a 3D licensee says Page Haun senior director of marketing Cinema Dolby Laboratories. As Doremi is one of the industry's leading server manufacturers we welcome the opportunity to bring the Dolby 3D solution to exhibitors who are looking to provide a premium 3D experience to movie-goers around the world using a Doremi server. Dolby 3D Digital Cinema Doremi ,544
JVC Sensio are Co-Developing 3D Technology for the Home,2008-11-20,JVC has announced an agreement with Sensio Technologies to join forces and offer what the manufacturers are calling “the very first high-end 3D solution available on the consumer market.” The entirely new product is designed to allow consumers to watch 3D at home by combining two of JVC's D-ILA projectors and a media server integrating the Sensio 3D decoding technology.   The new system will allow the viewing of full 1080p resolution 3D content with a native contrast ratio never before available in any 3D system.  JVC's D-ILA projectors widely used in commercial flight simulation systems offer the world's highest native contrast ratio without the use of an auto iris and are ideally suited for 3D imaging systems.  With JVC projectors and Sensio technology consumers will enjoy images with unmatched depth and realism. The product will be developed during 2009 and will be sold and marketed in the United States by JVC Professional Products Company.   Sensio is recognized as a pioneer in the 3D industry and JVC is the leading manufacturer in high end home cinema.  Combining our two technologies into a single simple system for the consumer will have broad impact in the marketplace already thirsty for 3D display says Lon Mass vice president of marketing for JVC.   We are honored to collaborate once again with our long-time partner JVC whom we have worked with on many occasions.  In addition this is another important step to take and we are invariably approaching our ultimate goal of becoming the de facto standard says Nicholas Routhier president and chief executive officer for Sensio. JVC ,547
LaserPacific Forms New Business Unit for Digital Mastering,2008-11-20,LaserPacific Media Corporation has announced the formation of a new team and business unit to focus on digital motion picture mastering and re-mastering. With this expanded capability LaserPacific CEO Brian Burr also announced the appointment of Ron Burdett as general manager of the mastering unit and Lou Levinson as the supervising colorist - mastering among others. Burr says the company has added some of the industry's most capable and accomplished operations and creative talent to its team. There is no doubt that Ron Burdett brings incredible perspective and experience to the task of creating motion picture masters with more than 25 years as a post production industry pioneer he says. Ron literally helped invent the mastering business. Having a world-class talent such as Lou Levinson lead our creative efforts allows us to keep the needs and viewpoint of the creative community firmly in our sights. While technology will be an important component of our service delivery and we certainly intend to bring our unique color management and innovation legacy to this space having an expert such as Lou guide our creative hand as we make technology decisions will truly put the focus on our customer's product. LaserPacific's entry to this business compliments its already fully-staffed and integrated digital intermediate home video delivery and motion picture trailer operations and anticipates the industry's current focus on re-mastering for Blu-ray and the creation of other high-quality digital masters. In explaining the strategy behind the expansion of LaserPacific's mastering capabilities President Leon Silverman says LaserPacific is fully engaged and ready to meet the coming challenge of helping to prepare motion picture libraries for the era of digital file-based deliveries and to create suitable masters for new digital distribution opportunities. To that end we have expanded our team to include some of the industry's most-seasoned and accomplished operations and creative talent as we continue to build out infrastructure and capability to meet the demand. Burdett who recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hollywood Post Alliance is known for the leadership roles he has played in post-production for more than 25 years. As founder and owner of Sunset Digital he helped to create the modern motion picture mastering and restoration industry infrastructure. He also led efforts to create digital authoring and encoding facilities for DVD and other new digital media as well as building one of the industry's first digital cinema mastering environments. To be part of LaserPacific with its history of technical excellence and innovation backed by Kodak which is so important to our industry is a great career highlight says Burdett. We are building a team with capabilities that are second to none and to have someone of the caliber and talent of Lou Levinson to lead our creative efforts is powerful. Levinson a world-famous colorist's colorist received an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. He has distinguished himself over his career as someone whose creative eye and point of view has helped to guide the likes of directors Steven Spielberg and Paul Thomas Anderson cinematographers Vittorio Storaro Janusz Kaminski Allen Daviau and many others as they created digital masters of their cinematic images. His considerable credits include digital masters for such important culturally iconic motion pictures as Apocalypse Now E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Saving Private Ryan Forrest Gump Schindler's List Jurassic Park Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and many others. Levinson has played a number of important leadership roles within the industry including helping to create the Standard Test Evaluation Materials (SteM) which served as the definitive reference for the evaluation of digital cinema systems and standards. In addition Levinson chairs the Digital Intermediate Sub-Committee of the American Society of Cinematographers Technology Committee where he plays a pivotal role. His contributions to what has become the de-facto industry color metadata system the ASC CDL (Color Decision List) are widely acknowledged. I am honored and excited to join LaserPacific and to help them create a team and a creative/technology point of view at this very important time in our industry Levinson says. The film-based images of our industry need to be prepared for new digital technologies and I am proud to help LaserPacific and Kodak ensure that those images are true to their creative intent and represented in the highest possible quality. Additionally LaserPacific has also brought on important members to this new unit including mastering colorist Tom Forletta who has 13 years of mastering experience specializing in both motion picture and television titles such as digital restoration on titles such as Remains of the Day Bugsy and the digital re-mastering of the original Star Trek television series adds another level of depth to this growing team. Forletta joins such seasoned colorists as LaserPacific's senior digital intermediate colorists Dave Cole and Mike Sowa who will participate in the mastering operations. Cole's credits include Lord of the Rings and King Kong; Sowa provided his mastering skills on Brokeback Mountain Pleasantville and the Austin Powers series. Sowa is a protégée of Levinson whom he worked alongside at the industry-pioneering High Definition Center at Universal Studios. Also joining the expanded new unit is veteran quality assurance specialist Fred Johannsen and David Houck who will head mastering client services. Johannsen comes to LaserPacific with significant experience in quality control and total quality management specifically geared to the QC of master and element deliveries for many post facilities over the past 10 years. Houck has 20 years of post-production experience and has looked after mastering clients and motion picture library servicing work for many of the major Hollywood studios. Burr who in addition to his role as CEO of the company also oversees company operations as the company's chief operation officer sums up LaserPacific's aggressive mastering moves when he says It should be apparent by the team we are building and the infrastructure we are creating that we intend to be a significant world-class player in the mastering and 're-mastering' business. As a Kodak company it is essential for us to play a leadership role in preserving our film heritage for the future.