ShowEast: Money Talks

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Thu, 11/12/2009 - 19:00 -- Nick Dager

There were three main topics of conversation at ShowEast 2009 which was held last month in Orlando Florida: the first two were 2K versus 4K technology and money both how to raise it and how to make it. As in recent exhibition shows the money talks centered on financial business models and new ideas in alternative content. But in truth most everything really focused on the third topic – 3D – that of course encompasses the other two topics as well. And looming over all of this was the widely anticipated impending release of Twentieth Century Fox’s Avatar from director James Cameron. Despite the fact that the turnout for the show was noticeably down – as low as forty to fifty percent by some estimates – there were quite a few business deals announced. And as usual there was a lot of new technology on display. Texas Instruments DLP Cinema announced that it has reached the milestone of more than 14 000 global theatre installations with more than half powered by DLP Cinema 3D projection technology. The growing availability of digital 3D movies continues to serve as a catalyst for the adoption of digital cinema installations. With multiple 3D releases coming to theatres at the same time demand among exhibitors for 3D installations will likely continue to increase hailing 3D as one of the most important technical innovations since the advent of color. According to the company DLP Cinema projection technology is installed on every continent except Antarctica. Today there are more than 7 000 worldwide screens that offer digital 3D with the use of every pixel array in the frame for the brightest picture unlike other technologies. Since last year’s introduction Imax digital projection systems powered by DLP Cinema projectors have reached a total of 88 locations worldwide.   At ShowEast executives from DLP Cinema were celebrating the role their technology played in the making of Avatar as well as its presentation in theatres. During the filming of Avatar DLP projectors were used for real time viewing of the footage being shot. Additionally Cameron and his production company Lightstorm Entertainment used DLP Cinema projectors during the post-production to provide superior contrast ratios color calibration and sharp 3D imagery. DLP technology will be counted on again when Avatar the movie premieres next month; it will be shown on DLP Cinema projectors in movie theaters worldwide. “Eight years ago Lightstorm and DLP Cinema started working together to bring 3D imagery to life ” says Geoffrey Burdick vice president for production service and technology for Lightstorm Entertainment. “Thanks to this collaboration audiences can now experience in the theaters 3D like they never have before.” “DLP’s cutting edge technology will play an important role in bringing Avatar to life for moviegoers around the world ” says Bruce Snyder Fox’s president of domestic distribution.  “The much-anticipated release of Avatar will continue to bring attention to the contributions DLP Cinema has provided to the industry.”   According to DLP Cinema projectors from its three OEM licensees – Barco Christie Digital and NEC – provide the capability to light up theatre screens as big as 100 feet and 3D screens as big as 75 feet which has typically been a challenge for competing technologies. DLP Cinema recently announced plans to incorporate enhanced 4K technology as an extension of the next generation electronics platform for DLP Cinema projectors which integrates multiple 3D platforms for live 3D broadcasting.   “This year DLP Cinema celebrated its fifth anniversary of enabling 3D through the use of the DLP Chip ” says Nancy Fares business manager for DLP Cinema Texas Instruments. “DLP Cinema continues to be the industry standard for digital image quality and we remain committed to supporting the motion picture industry to bring onscreen stories to life through immersive experiences.” Christie debuted its new Solaria series with the launch of the Christie CP2220 digital cinema projector. The projector features Texas Instruments’ DLP Cinema technology and an optional integrated 2K/4K media block. Christie’s 4K digital cinema projectors will display 4096 x 2160 pixels of resolution. While maintaining support for 2K external servers these new models allow exhibitors to easily project 2K or 4K content giving them the widest choice in digital cinema options. The projector uses Doremi’s integrated media block. “Christie is committed to supporting its customers today and in the future. That’s the primary driver behind our 2K and 4K-ready solutions ” says Craig Sholder vice president entertainment solutions at Christie. “We’ve expanded our line-up of industry-preferred digital cinema solutions to provide the most flexibility for exhibitors – offering them the ultimate freedom to choose from the widest range of 2K or 4K resolution projectors as well as providing them with the choice of either an external or integrated media block. Unlike other proprietary solutions Christie technology is designed to work with all external cinema servers and will continue to work with companies that offer integrated media blocks. We understand how important it is for exhibitors to safeguard their long-term technology investment. With Christie exhibitors are assured they have a future-proof solution that can meet their needs both today and tomorrow. “Christie’s experience with the 1.2-inch DLP Cinema chip on our current mid and high power products has given us an advantage over the competition on developing next generation 2K and 4K technology. In fact the 4K DLP Cinema chip is very similar to the current 1.2-inch products and not available in the smaller chip format used by other manufacturers in their mid power projectors ” says Brian Claypool senior product manger entertainment solutions for Christie. Sony unveiled a new 4K digital cinema projection system that builds on its proven technology in use by exhibitors today while offering new enhancements in performance and functionality. Sony’s newest system features the SRX-R320 4K SXRD projector and LMT-300 Media Block. It incorporates similar features and design elements of its predecessor – the widely implemented SRX-R220 system. However the new system measures approximately half the size and weight to give exhibitors more installation options.      “Since we introduced our first 4K projection system five years ago Sony has advanced the technology to meet the continually evolving requirements for digital exhibition ” says Gary Johns vice president of Sony Electronics’ Digital Cinema Systems Division. “This newest version continues that tradition and illustrates why exhibitors of all sizes are making Sony 4K technology their projection choice. With extremely high resolution outstanding security and operational versatility this new system is ideal for creating an immersive digital cinema experience – in 2D or 3D – on any screen.” The new system incorporates the ultra-high 4096 x 2160 resolution of its successful SXRD counterparts and delivers a high contrast ratio of more than 2000:1 ideal for applications in which dynamic range is essential. It is designed to be compatible with the same lamps and lenses designed for the R220 model. The system is FIPS 140-2 Level 3 compliant and its secure enclosure design allows the LMT-300 server to be seamlessly integrated into the projector’s chassis providing a high level of security that meets the SPB-2 anti-tamper regulations stipulated by the Digital Cinema Initiatives LLC (DCI). The projector also produces superb images that are compliant to DCI requirement for image parameters such as color fidelity white point and contrast. A choice of six optional automated zoom/focus lenses and selectable 4.2 kW 3.0 kW and 2.0 kW Xenon projector lamps allows for screen coverage of up to 20 meters (65 feet) – providing a SMPTE-standard brightness level of 14 foot-L on a wide screen. Using an optional anamorphic lens (LKRL-A001) screen coverage can be extended up to 21.4 meters (70 feet).     Using Sony’s 3D dual lens adaptor the SXR-R320 projector can deliver crisp 3D images on screens up to 15 meters (50 feet side-masked) in width with a brightness level of 4.5 foot-L. The lenses of the SRX-R320 have the capacity to reproduce resolutions higher than 4K which is necessary to project 4K content exactly at 4K resolution. In addition these lenses are designed to minimize chromatic aberrations. The new system offers the optional STM-100 Theater Management System software suite that allows theater staff to efficiently manage multiple auditoriums from a central PC connected to a theater’s LAN. The TMS technology can provide efficient centralized management for cinema complexes. The SRX-R320 4K projector LMT-300 Media Block Projector and lens have a street price of $85 000 are planned to be available in November. Frank Theatres is converting its operations to Sony’s 4K digital cinema projection technology. The exhibitor will begin its rollout this month and continue through the end of 2009 covering a total of 231 screens.
 We're always open to exploring new technology that can enhance our customers' experience while they are in our theatres ” says Bruce Frank president and CEO of Frank Theatres. “The Sony 4K projectors are a perfect match for where we want to take the future direction of our circuit delivering the highest levels of resolution image quality and flexibility for displaying motion pictures or alternative content in 2D or 3D.”
 Frank Theatres operates 18 locations across New Jersey Pennsylvania Florida South Carolina North Carolina and West Virginia. Sony’s Digital Cinema Solutions and Services Group will work with Frank Theatres to provide installation and complete integration services. The circuit’s adoption of Sony’s 4K projection systems is part of its ongoing evaluation of state-of-the-art technology throughout all its theaters from the auditoriums to lobbies to concession stands.
             In addition 50 of the 231 screens will be outfitted for 3D using a combination of Sony’s 3D dual lens adaptor with RealD’s 3D technology.
             “Frank Theatres is a perfect example of a modern exhibitor taking the right steps to equip its operations for the future ” says Mike Fidler senior vice president of Sony’s Digital Cinema Solutions and Services Group. “We’re excited to be working with them as they begin their 4K digital conversion.” NEC Display Solutions announced three new digital cinema projectors providing three brightness level options to match screen sizes up to 105 feet wide. The new optional NEC internal MediaBlock and discreet NEC Local Storage Server provide a complete and compelling industry solution for showing digital movies and deliver many benefits. For example the MediaBlock can be built into the projector as another integrated option available to exhibitors. NEC simplifies the connection and delivers control of the MediaBlock from the projector. A cinema ad can be directly integrated into the NEC MediaBlock/Server solution. In addition NEC offers easy maintenance to minimize downtime through a single maintenance window for both projectors and the MediaBlock/Local Storage Server. The system is able to self-diagnose which can simplify trouble-shooting. NEC also has created higher strict security and eliminated any potential trouble caused by the interface between the projector and existing screen server (sub-titles/communication problem). Alternatively the Digital Cinema Projector Series works with existing cinema servers via a legacy board. As exhibitors upgrade to digital cinema they demand high brightness and great customer care. With NEC’s 24/7/365 support these models really meet their needs says Jim Reisteter general manager digital cinema division NEC Display Solutions. NEC gives theater owners everything they require to complete their digital cinema installations – from financing to model variety. These new NEC projectors stand apart from their competitors for their reliability elegance and ease-of-use and together offer the flexibility needed to suit all screen sizes. The new projectors include the NC1200C at 9 000 lumens of brightness for screen sizes of up to 46 feet wide the NC2000C at 17 000 lumens for screens up to 65 feet wide and the ultra-bright NC3200S at 31 000 lumens for screens up to 105 feet wide. The advanced DLP Cinema light engine provides contrast ratios up to 2200:1 which enable better reproduction of detail in dark scenes. A dual-airflow design minimizes dust and segregates the bulb from other internal components for better long-term serviceability and reliability. NEC is the only projector manufacturer to provide this dual-airflow design for protection from dust and oil contaminants. The lamp-cooling airflow is separated from the chassis-cooling airflow which prevents drawing in dust and oil from enclosure panel gaps. In addition all three models are engineered for long-term use with simplified lamp and parts replacement. These NEC projectors include new Texas Instruments Series 2 electronics and are designed for easy maintenance to minimize downtime including quicker replacement of parts experiencing trouble and easy timely trouble-shooting by self-diagnosis. The projectors are highly reliable performing admirably in harsh operating environments found in projector booths/rooms/theaters. “These new digital cinema projectors are part of a complete family of offerings addressing every need that will include 4K technology in the future ” Reisteter says. The NC1200C NC2000C and NC3200S will be available in early 2010. intoPix announced  that NEC Display Solutions has integrated intoPix JPEG 2000 technology into their DLP Cinema projector. “We have selected intoPix because of their know-how in the JPEG 2000 compression technology field their smart single chip FPGA implementation and their integration support ” says Atsushi Kuroda general manager of NEC Display Solutions projector development division. “This gives us the opportunity to provide a fully integrated cinema projection solution and therefore brings us a competitive advantage in the digital cinema deployment.” “I’m delighted to announce the selection of intoPix solutions by NEC Display Solutions ” says Jean Francois Nivart CEO of intoPix. “Our ability to provide NEC Display Solutions with a strong and complete solution was a key success factor for this collaboration. Through a seamless collaboration between the technical teams of both companies we managed to incorporate the advanced specifications of the NEC projectors product line in the customized solution. We are happy to contribute to the excellence of NEC Display Solutions Cinema product line.” Datasat Digital Entertainment announced that it has sold the DC20 digital cinema server featuring Qube Cinema's software in six countries including the United States Canada Mexico South Africa Honduras and Spain. We have found the DC20 to be a quality choice in servers - offering the most options and user friendly interface in the industry Vince Bulter of Claco Equipment and Service says. In addition Datasat continues to offer the same fantastic customer service and reliability that DTS was famous for. The DC20 Digital Cinema Server supports multiple playback formats offers both digital and analog audio outputs and features a FIPS certified media block. The server's user-friendly interface enables easy control content management and tight automation integration.  The DC20 can be used as a standalone digital cinema player system for a single screen or as a network player system in a multiplex configuration. The new DC20 Server is the server to install into 3D cinemas. The features on the DC20 make the uploading of content so much easier and faster says Johan Van Staden technical manager of Sterkinekor Theatres in South Africa. The connections and installations go very fast and the software is very user friendly and easy to understand and use. In one of the most interesting concepts for alternative content that I’ve seen to date Screenvision announced that it has teamed up with retailer Daffy’s for an exclusive interactive live in-theatre advertising campaign. The live Fitting Dance commercial featured dancing models and debuted last month at New York’s Ziegfeld Theatre. The campaign also includes a taping of the one of the live ads that will be used for an exclusive in-cinema 30-second spot also entitled Fitting Dance which is set to hit theatres throughout the Screenvision network timed to Thanksgiving 2009. The live spots featured many original elements which began with audiences were treated to a pre-recorded spot featuring models in a Daffy’s fitting room filled with Daffy’s holiday merchandise. The performance fused on-screen and front-of-screen performances where dancers in the spot danced out of the screen’s frame and onto the stage live in the theatre. The dancers perform to an original song called Fitting Dance below the screen and eventually exit the theatre with the action in the video continuing to rotate in new models who continue to appear live in the theatre. At the end of each of the performances the dancers come together in front of the screen to perform one synchronized choreographed dance routine for the moviegoers. Audience members also receive a coupon to Daffy’s upon exiting the movie.  “With the Daffy’s campaign Screenvision continues to provide compelling in-cinema advertising opportunities that allow advertisers to target specific audiences through unique interactive capabilities ” says Michael Chico executive vice president sales and marketing Screenvision. “As we continue to cultivate our cutting-edge network and create more interactive ventures advertisers can look to Screenvision for further opportunities to captivate moviegoers and complement their campaign across key demographics.” Will Bracker director of marketing at Daffy’s says “Working within Screenvision’s preshow allowed us to reach our consumers in a truly ground-breaking fashion that actively connected with them beyond the screen. By watching the advertising come to life before their eyes moviegoers are able to relate to the thrill of shopping at Daffy’s in an entertaining way that will stay with them even after they leave the theatre.” Screenvision also announced that its live feed technology would be in 300 movie theatres across the country by the end of 2010.  This technology will allow Screenvision to expand its live event programs and even exhibit live events that are exclusive to cinema. In addition to viewing sports concerts arts and news events the technology also has a corporate application for live business. Screenvision is committed to using its digital national network to deliver top quality entertainment to movie theatres across the U.S.  From documentaries concerts live sports comedy we are creating a full spectrum of alternatives to compliment the biggest draw of all the feature-length movie ” says Darryl Schaffer executive vice president exhibitor relations for Screenvision.  “Corporations can also take advantage of this innovative technology by hosting live meetings and events at Screenvision theatres.” Screenvision Programming Services was launched in 2007 to enable exhibitors to attract additional audiences during off-peak movie timeframes. Screenvision has already offered such presentation as the La Scala opera series UltraMarathon Man: 50 Marathons • 50 States • 50 Days Ballet Shoes its partnership with the New York Mets for Mets at the Movies the Phillies’ World Series film with Major League Baseball the Boston Celtics championship season documentary Return to the Rafters MSNBC’s coverage of President Obama’s Inauguration Stevie Wonder’s “Live at Last” Stand-Up 360 comedy show the independent film Unbeatable Harold the Philadelphia Phillies for Phillies on the Big Screen and the most recent HIT Entertainment children’s programming series. Barco announced Deliver Digital a new program geared towards regional theatre circuits looking to convert to digital. The Deliver Digital program allows independent chains to compete with national circuits with access to the same benefits such as preferred financing terms VPFs and the highest quality images in the industry. “Barco already delivers the industry's best technology and now we've created the fastest and simplest means for our exhibition partners to convert to digital ” says Todd Hoddick vice president of digital cinema for Barco NA. “With this remarkable program we're delivering on a commitment to provide our customers the solutions they need — technology financing and services. This in turn enables them to focus on providing their audiences with great viewing experiences.” 

Under the Deliver Digital program Barco expedites a 21-day turnaround for qualifications enabling prospective exhibitors to know rapidly if they qualify for funding and VPFs. To optimize a customer’s conversion experience Barco's program provides what it calls quick strike financing a full digital cinema platform and both installation and warranty services. To facilitate VPFs that will contribute towards the cost of digital systems Barco has partnered with Cinedigm Digital Cinema. Cinedigm Digital Cinema announced that it has received commitment letters from GE Capital’s Media Communications & Entertainment business and Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking for senior credit facilities totaling up to $100 million. Once closed these facilities will support the deployment of up to 2 133 digital systems in 2010 as contemplated under Cinedigm’s ongoing 10 000-screen digital cinema rollout. Cinedigm says it anticipates closing the loan by the end of the year. ”We are excited to announce two significant financing commitments to support the transition of the exhibition industry to digital cinema ” says Adam M. Mizel CFO and chief strategy officer of Cinedigm. “We look forward to continuing the partnership we began with GE Capital and Christie in our Phase 1 deployments and welcome the opportunity to work more closely with Barco as well. We believe GE Capital’s and Société Générale’s commitments are a milestone and will enable exhibitors to take advantage of the significant benefits of digital cinema.” Bud Mayo chairman and CEO of Cinedigm says “Cinedigm has and will continue to be a key partner to exhibitors movie studios vendors and lenders in the digital conversion process. We look forward to the opportunity to work with exhibitors to deploy up to 2 133 screens with this financing in 2010. Given the pipeline of 3D movie releases and alternative content there has never been a better time to capitalize on the opportunities of digital cinema.” Michael Rhea vice president GE Capital Media communications and entertainment says “GE Capital is a long term supporter of the exhibition industry and of Cinedigm.  We look forward to our future success together.” Richard Knowlton managing director leveraged finance and media says “Société Générale is very pleased to play a key role in the continued deployment of digital cinema. Our partnership with Cinedigm reflects our long term belief in the merits of digital cinema and support of the innovative financial structure pioneered by the movie studios and Cinedigm.” Cinedigm also announced that it has reached an agreement with Warner Bros. to supply movies in DCI-compliant digital form to Cinedigm-installed theatres in the United States and Canada. Warner Bros. will also pay Virtual Print Fees to promote conversion to DCI-compliant digital cinema technology. “Cinedigm’s success with its Phase One wide-scale deployment is unparalleled. Warner Bros. is proud to be Cinedigm’s partner in their Phase Two program bringing more high quality digital movies to theatres and their patrons across the U.S. and Canada ” says Dan Fellman president of domestic distribution Warner Bros. Pictures. “Warner Bros. has been from the start a strong proponent of the transition to digital cinema ” says Mayo. “We are proud to announce their support of Cinedigm’s Phase Two Deployment Plan. The momentum for this deployment is clearly building on both the distribution side and the exhibition side and we are delighted to be leading the way.” Chuck Goldwater president of Cinedigm’s Media Services Group says “Throughout the years Warner Bros. has been leading the industry in both quantity and quality of movies at the boxoffice. We are thrilled to have their continued commitment for our digital cinema deployment program. Their valued partnership is a keystone to helping us move ahead toward our goal of another ten thousand digital screens in Phase Two.” Finally Cinedigm announced that Overture would support Cinedigm’s Phase Two Digital Cinema Deployment Plan. The ten-year agreement commits Overture to release its feature movies in digital cinema format and to pay virtual print fees to Cinedigm when those features run on Cinedigm exhibitor partners’ digital screens. “Cinedigm continues to be a great partner for Overture Films in our effort to take advantage of the growing demand for digital features ” says Kyle Davies executive vice-president theatrical distribution at Overture. “Digital cinema represents the industry’s future. Overture is proud to work closely with Cinedigm to help make that future a reality.” “This agreement reinforces Overture’s commitment to digital cinema ” says Chuck Goldwater president of Cinedigm’s Media Services Group. “Overture has become a major player in the industry highlighted by movies from ambitious creative moviemakers. It naturally follows that the Overture would continue to play a leadership role in the digital era.” Overture made other news with the announcement that it has also finalized a virtual print fee agreement with Sony Electronics’ Digital Cinema Solutions and Services Group. Under this non-exclusive arrangement Overture will release its titles in digital format for playback in U.S. theaters equipped with Sony 4K projection systems. The agreement marks the latest alliance for the Sony DCSS group with a motion picture distributor following recent announcements with Walt Disney Studios Twentieth Century Fox Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

 “The Sony digital cinema team has the right resources in place to give exhibitors the strongest foundation for digital cinema ” says Kyle Davies executive vice president theatrical distribution at Overture Films. 

 The Sony DCSS group was formed to provide turnkey solutions for exhibitors enabling them to efficiently convert their operations to digital technology. In addition to digital projection system deployment the DCSS group will offer installation and maintenance services customized solutions delivery of alternative content programming and high-level service and support.

 “Our agreement with Overture expands our efforts to give exhibitors the ability to provide their patrons with the highest-quality experience in theaters ” says Mike Fidler senior vice president of Sony’s Digital Cinema Solutions and Services Group. “We will continue to forge and strengthen relationships with studios in order to increase the pipeline of digital and ultimately 4K content for theatrical presentations.” Overture’s first film under this new agreement is the box-office hit Law Abiding Citizen about a brilliant sociopath seeking revenge for his wife and daughter’s murder.  Released nationwide last month the movie stars Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler.  That was followed by The Men Who Stare at Goats which was released earlier this month. The quirky dark comedy follows the U.S. Military’s attempts to harness paranormal abilities to combat its enemies and stars an ensemble cast that includes George Clooney Ewan McGregor Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges. D-Box Technologies reached an agreement with Sony Pictures Releasing to feature D-Box’s motion technology in Sony Picture’s new action film 2012 which released in selected theatres this month. Audience members viewing 2012 in theaters equipped with the motion technology will not only see the movie but will experience it in a unique way as their surroundings respond and react to the events on screen.  
  “We are anticipating great results at theatres equipped with D-Box’s motion systems with the release of 2012 ” says president and CEO Claude Mc Master. “This latest agreement with Sony Pictures serves as yet another testimony to the success of D-Box’s innovative advances in motion technology.  We’re looking forward to future content and plan to announce new theatres soon as part of our rollout plan.” 
  Each D-Box MFX seat comes equipped with individual intensity settings that can be adjusted to heighten or decrease the motion experience. While moviegoers feel motion effects during many of the action sequences the seats will remain still during the more dialogue-driven scenes. 2012 is an epic adventure about a global cataclysm that brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors.  The film is directed by Roland Emmerich and written by Roland Emmerich & Harald Kloser. Producers are Harald Kloser Mark Gordon and Larry Franco.
  D-Box motion systems are presently available at seven theatres throughout the U.S. and Canada including Cineplex Odeon Queensway Theatre in Etobicoke Ontario; Mann Chinese 6 Theatre in Los Angeles California; Theatres at Mall of America in Bloomington Minnesota.; Galaxy at the Cannery in Las Vegas Nevada.; Galaxy Highland Theatre in Austin Texas.; UltraStar Cinemas in Surprise Arizona.; and UltraStar Apple Valley in San Bernardino California. In addition a new location Cinéma Beloeil in Beloeil Québec will shortly be equipping a theatre. Digital Finance Ltd of Tipperary Ireland announced the signing of its digital cinema deployment agreements with four major Hollywood Studios: Disney Paramount Universal and Twentieth Century Fox. These agreements will enable DFL to facilitate the conversion of cinemas from film to digital projection throughout the Republic of Ireland Northern Ireland and the UK. Jason Brenek senior vice president worldwide digital cinema and cinema programming Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures says “We are thrilled to be working with Kevin Cummins and his colleagues at Digital Finance Ltd to enable state-of-the-art digital projection in the Republic of Ireland Northern Ireland and the UK.  Disney is fully committed to digital cinema and digital 3D and the highest standards of quality these technologies bring to the consumer. We continue to work closely with exhibitors and leading manufacturers to make the transition as smooth and cost effective as possible.” Roger Pollock Paramount Pictures’ executive vice president international distribution and operations says: “Digital cinema is the future of our industry and we’re delighted to be working with Digital Finance Ltd. to place Ireland at the forefront of this technology. This is an important step to accelerate the digital conversion and the 3D footprint in the region. We look forward to supplying our movies to this new digital platform and giving moviegoers the highest quality cinema experience available.” Julian Levin executive vice president for digital exhibition at Twentieth Century Fox says “We are delighted to have closed this deal with DFL. The conversion to a digital projection platform from conventional 35mm film will offer moviegoers an enhanced viewing experience in 2D and 3D. We look forward to working with Kevin and everyone at DFL in bringing the conversion to fruition.” Duncan Clark executive vice president of distribution for Universal Pictures International says “We’re pleased to be working with Digital Finance Ltd. in converting cinemas to digital projection. Digital cinema is the future of our business so it’s important we supply our movies to this new digital platform and enhance the movie experience by giving audiences the highest picture and sound quality possible.” DFL is underway with the installation of digital projection equipment in both Ireland and the UK with 65 screens already deployed. With the commitment of Hollywood studios to support this rollout exhibitors throughout these territories have a unique opportunity to transition to digital cinema. Kevin Cummins CEO for Digital Finance Ltd says “We did our homework and analyzed this area thoroughly. DFL presented a unique model to the studios and our low overhead allows us to offer the best financing package possible to the exhibitor. The ability to rollout to the entire region of Ireland brings an economy of scale not otherwise possible.  We’re very grateful for the support received from our friends at the major Hollywood Studios and the feedback from our exhibition partners has been tremendous. We also extend our thanks to MKPE Consulting LLC for its help in securing these four agreements. Exhibitors are offered full site 3D capable projection systems which include a projector SMS and TMS. 4K projection systems will be offered when available. According to Cummins “We carefully chose our technology for its quality maturity stability and proven robustness. Our exhibitors demand a high up-time and fast maintenance as well as flexibility in 3D add-on technologies and we feel we’ve made the best possible choices.” DFL will contract with Digital Cinema Ltd in Ireland for its installation and maintenance work. National CineMedia announced that it has entered into network affiliate advertising agreements with Cobb Theatres Galaxy Theatres and Storyteller Theatres Corporation for the presentation of pre-show advertising.  Under the terms of the exclusive multi-year agreements select Cobb Galaxy and Storyteller movie theatres in eight states including Alabama Arizona Colorado Florida Nevada New Mexico Texas and Wyoming will exclusively present NCM’s pre-feature cinema advertising program. “The additions of these theatre circuits furthers our strategic goal of building a national digital theatre network that can compete more effectively with existing national media networks ” says Kurt Hall NCM’s president and chief executive officer.  “In particular Cobb Galaxy and Storyteller have improved our coverage in key markets allowing us to better compete for the advertising budgets of clients who require more ubiquitous reach.” XpanD announced that it has entered into a non-exclusive agreement with Scrabble Entertainment India’s leading company in digital conversion as the 3D provider targeting a rollout of 100 screens.  Phase one of the effort is underway. Ranjit Thakur CEO Scrabble Entertainment says “The XpanD system provides complete flexibility for the exhibitors.  It’s the best value for money system out there considering that the exhibitors can maximize their revenue potential every time.  We are proud to partner with a company like XpanD.” “This by far has been one of our most exciting announcements as the first 3D company to penetrate India’s digital marketplace with such an esteemed and well-recognized group as Scrabble Entertainment” says Maria Costeira XpanD’s CEO.  “We intend to demonstrate and maximize the XpanD 3D brand by introducing India to our advanced cutting-edge active technologies while providing an entirely new concept and for many movie patrons delivering the 3D experience for the very first time.” Mohammad Ahmadi XpanD’s president of technology and operations for Asia says “Our goal of partnering with a very capable prominent and aggressive regional deployment entity was met when XpanD and Scrabble Entertainment entered into this partnership.  I am very pleased to add Scrabble Entertainment to a list of great partners we have on this continent.”