Ballantyne Sees Third Quarter Film-Based Revenue Decline Digital Revenue Increase

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

Ballantyne of Omaha has reported financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30th. Net third quarter revenues were $12.3 million a 2.4 percent decrease from net revenues of $12.6 million in Q3 2007 principally reflecting an expected decline in film-based products. This decline in sales was offset by digital cinema equipment sales which rose to $1.6 million in the period versus $1.1 million in Q3 2007 as well as the contribution from the Company's screen business Strong Screen Systems acquired in mid-October 2007 which contributed sales of $1.5 million in Q3 2008. Revenues from Strong Technical Services were consistent with 2007 levels at $0.8 million as the growth in digital cinema services which rose to $0.3 million from $0.1 million in Q3 2007 was offset by lower levels of service revenues related to traditional film projection systems. Specialty lighting sales rose to $1.2 million during Q3 2008 compared to $1.1 million in Q3 2007. The gross margin for the period increased to 17.4 percent versus Q3 2007 gross margin of 16.6 percent principally reflecting the margin contribution from Strong Screen Systems as that unit benefits from increased demand for its large format screens as well as specialty silver screens utilized in digital 3D cinema systems. John P. Wilmers president and CEO says The exhibition industry's transition to digital projection technology continued to impact our traditional cinema business as expected during Q3 and sales of digital projection equipment continued to expand. Though the rollout of digital cinema continues to progress at a modest pace as the industry awaits the formation of sufficient capital to fund large scale rollouts Ballantyne made progress during the quarter in our cinema screen business underscoring the strategic importance of the unit we acquired in October of last year.” In the first nine months of 2008 our Strong Screen Systems business has already eclipsed its full year 2007 sales a performance that demonstrates the industry-leading products and service they provide as well as the expanded distribution reach provided by Ballantyne.” Additionally we are engaged in productive dialogues with leading cinema industry customers regarding digital cinema service opportunities. Our 'agnostic' approach to services is enabling us to pursue service opportunities without regard to brand of projector being deployed. Of course these opportunities await larger scale funding prior to their commencement.” On the cost front we continue to evaluate strategies to streamline costs related to our legacy film products business and improve overall operating performance while still being able to provide our customers with superior service. Ballantyne of Omaha ,504
Premiere Cinemas Newest All-Digital Cinema has no Mezzanine,2008-11-08,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