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Add Comment on December 28, 2009

If this were an actual emergency, we would instruct you to kiss your ass goodbye.

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CYPRESS, CA - Christie, the world's leader in digital cinema projection installations, was a "star attraction" at the recently inaugurated, all-digital Beacon Cinema complex located in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts. One of the most highly anticipated events in Pittsfield, the new $23 million complex, whose six screens are powered exclusively by Christie CP2000-ZX DLP Cinema projectors, is reviving the city's core. Built within a restored century-old historic building, The Beacon Cinema brought the excitement of the movies back to the downtown area after a 15-year absence.

"It took us several years to complete the project, including the planning, design, gutting and rehabilitation of the existing structure. Early on, I saw the direction in which cinema was moving, with studios releasing everything in digital and alternative content emerging. I decided to take the wider view, and go ‘all digital' with Christie DLP Cinema projection systems," said Richard Stanley, managing partner of The Beacon Cinema. "Along with sporting events, live concerts and special events, as well as corporate and business activities increasingly taking place in a theatre environment, I see myself not only in the cinema business but in the entertainment industry."

The mixed-use facility incorporates offices, retail space and the 850-seat Beacon Cinema, which resides over three floors, with auditoriums on the first and third floors and projection booths on the first and third floor mezzanines. It features all-stadium rocking seats, a state-of- the-art data network that includes security, phone, Internet, and digital cinema distribution from two data control rooms. There are two concession areas, which also serve wine and beer. They also boast all digital concession menu boards, digital poster cases and digital box office signage.

Stanley noted that Beacon's opening night was sold out, with the midnight showing of The Twilight Saga: New Moon on all six screens. Their opening celebrations with the 3D showing of A Christmas Carol also attracted full houses, even though the movie had premiered several weeks before at competitive theatres, which drew only a fraction of the audience when it was shown in 2D.

Integrity Entertainment Systems, LLC, an authorized digital cinema reseller for Christie, handled the sales and installations. Gary Engvold, president of Integrity Entertainment Systems, explained that his organization supplied all the components necessary for the complete installation. "We recommended Christie CP2000-ZX digital cinema projection systems for all six auditoriums. Two screens are equipped for 3D presentations and, since 3D is driving market momentum, there is an option for a third 3D projector," he said. "Christie's proven digital expertise, along with the brightest, highest performance projectors and the lowest cost of ownership, make it the projector of choice."

Pittsfield's Mayor James M. Ruberto participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony, which used 35mm film in place of ribbon to signify the theatre's "cutting of the cord" with old technology and embracing digital cinema. He remarked, "The Beacon Cinema complex will become the cultural hub and entertainment center of Berkshire County once again. Pittsfield's downtown is now open for fun, families, and tourists."

"Independent theatres serve an important niche in the cinema industry, since they cater to local audiences and provide a connection to their communities," observed Craig Sholder, vice-president, Entertainment Solutions, Christie. "By working closely with certified Christie dealers who sell, install and service the independent theatres, Christie can offer a broad range of support and the most advanced and cost-effective digital projection solutions available."

For video footage of the opening of the all-digital Beacon Cinema in Pittsfield, go here and here.

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MORRISTOWN, NJ -- Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. (NASDAQ: CIDM), the global leader in the digital cinema industry, today announced R/C Theatres, a Maryland-based cinema chain, has signed an agreement to participate in Cinedigm's Phase 2 digital cinema deployment program. R/C Theatres is the first of many National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) Cinema Buying Group (CBG) members expected to commit to this program. The CBG represents more than 600 members that collectively have over 6,000 screens. R/C selected Cinedigm's Exhibitor-Buyer financing plan, which means the exhibitor will purchase its own equipment and Cinedigm will administer the systems under its Virtual Print Fee agreements with all major studios for a ten-year term for 68 screens at 6 locations.

In Phase 2, Cinedigm has created an Exhibitor-Buyer financing option for exhibitors. When exhibitors participate, they select and purchase their own equipment and Cinedigm manages the reporting, billing and collection of VPFs from movie distributors, receiving a fee for doing so. R/C will install Cinedigm-certified fully-networked digital cinema systems. Cinedigm and the CBG also have system supply and service agreements with Barco and NEC.

John Fithian, President of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), commented, "Wayne Anderson, the former Managing Director of the CBG, and the CBG team who selected Cinedigm as its integrator had confidence in Cinedigm's technology, equipment vendor relationships and ability to bring appropriate financing options to the table. Wayne's tireless work with Cinedigm on behalf of all the CBG members makes it fitting that R/C Theatres is the first of many CBG members to move forward."

"The CBG was established to enable independent exhibitors across the U.S. and Canada to survive and thrive in the digital age," said J. Wayne Anderson, former Managing Director of the buying group. "R/C Theatres and the CBG, in partnership with Cinedigm, today begin an historic transition to provide high-quality digital cinema to the patrons of independent and small-town cinemas in North America."

Bill Campbell, current Managing Director of the CBG, said, "CBG, Cinedigm and our equipment partners have developed several options for our members, including exhibitor-financed, vendor-financed and integrator-financed programs. Beginning with Wayne's leadership and continuing today, the CBG and Cinedigm encourage all CBG members to be proactive in securing their place in the digital future of our industry."

David Phillips, COO-CFO of R/C Theatres, " We are excited to be the first circuit to sign up for the CBG Cinedigm Phase 2 digital cinema self-finance agreement. R/C has had the good fortune to be involved in so many aspects of the industry conversion due to the hard work, dedication and insight of its now retired Chairman and CEO, Wayne Anderson. To finally be at the end point of all that hard work is like coming to the end of filming and editing a movie. All the work has been done and now it's time to screen the final product - digitally of course!"

"Since the CBG selected us as the integrator partner for its members, the Cinedigm team has been working diligently to develop agreements that worked for all parties," said Bud Mayo, Chairman and CEO of Cinedigm. "This process for Exhibitor-Buyers was completed at the end of October and we're very excited that R/C Theatres will be the first to move forward in converting its theatres to digital cinema."

"R/C's decision to invest in digital cinema is a testament to their commitment of bringing the highest quality presentation and the diversity of alternative content programming to their audiences. Cinedigm is proud to be working with R/C to help them continue to fulfill that commitment," said Chuck Goldwater, President of Cinedigm's Media Services Group. "At the same time, we are at work with many more CBG members and look forward to adding them to our Phase 2 program as well."

Cinedigm's Digital Cinema division is the industry-leading deployment program for Digital Cinema that facilitates the funding, installation support and administration for the company's studio-supported Digital Cinema rollout plans. In April 2008, the CBG, a buying program of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) for small and independent theatre operators, announced the selection of Cinedigm as the digital cinema integrator of choice for the CBG's 600+ members in the United States and Canada.

To date, Cinedigm has contracted for and completed the rollout of nearly 4,000 systems in forty-one states with exhibitors including Atlas Theatres, Allen Theatres, Carmike Cinemas, Celebration! Cinema, Cinema West, Cinetopia, Dickinson Theatres, Emagine, Galaxy Cinema, Georgia Theatre Company, Great Escape Theatres, Marquee Cinemas, Krikorian Premiere Theatres, MJR Theatres, Neighborhood Cinema Group, Premiere Cinema Corp., Rave Motion Picture Theatres, Showplace Cinemas, UltraStar, and Cinedigm's own Pavilion Digital Showcase Theatre.

Its Phase 2 plan for up to an additional 10,000 screens will provide networked, turnkey Digital Cinema systems in conformance with DCI specifications.

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Dallas, TX - Rave Cinemas, LLC ("Rave"), a newly-formed company, announced that earlier this month it reached a definitive agreement with National Amusements, Inc. ("NAI") to purchase the business operations and selected real estate assets of up to 35 NAI theaters and that it closed on the acquisition of an initial group of 29 of those theaters. Concurrently, the company acquired the business operations of four theaters from Boston Ventures-owned Rave Reviews Cinemas, L.L.C. ("RRC"), together with RRC's corporate infrastructure and the Rave Motion Pictures brand. RRC will retain 21 of its existing theaters, which will be managed by Rave under a management services agreement. The day-to-day business and operations of Rave will be managed by RRC's former management team, which partnered with equity sponsor TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P. ("TowerBrook") and co-investors Lambert Media Group ("Lambert Media") and Charles B. Moss, Jr. to found Rave and pursue the NAI and RRC acquisitions.

Following the close of the acquisitions, Rave, which will operate under the Rave Motion Pictures brand name, anticipates it will own or manage 65 theaters and approximately 1,000 screens located in 20 states across the country and will have a presence in seven of the top ten Designated Market Areas (DMAs) in the country. Rave is expected to become the fifth largest domestic circuit by box office gross and number of screens.

Since its inception in 1999, Rave Motion Pictures has been dedicated to enriching the movie-going experience for audiences across the country. Rave Motion Pictures has set the industry standard for customer experience and comfort by featuring stadium seating, unobstructed viewing utilizing 18-inch risers, and a remarkable 48 inches between rows for maximum legroom and ease of motion. Rave Motion Pictures was also a pioneer in the adoption of current 3-D technology and is a leader in alternative content programming from live sports to concerts to opera.

The transaction is entirely equity-funded by an investment consortium led by TowerBrook. Co-investors include Lambert Media and Charles B. Moss, Jr. Michael Lambert, Founding Partner of Lambert Media, who has extensive experience in the entertainment industry, partnered with TowerBrook earlier this year to identify and pursue investment opportunities in the media and entertainment sectors. Lambert introduced TowerBrook to Thomas W. Stephenson, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of Rave, and he collaborated closely with TowerBrook on the execution of the joint NAI/RRC theater acquisitions. Mr. Moss, a seasoned investor and operator in the real estate and entertainment sectors, will serve as Chairman of Rave, and Mr. Lambert will serve as Vice Chairman. AGM Partners provided acquisition advice to the buyer group on the transaction.

Mr. Stephenson remarked, "It has been a great pleasure to work with our founding partner, Boston Ventures, to build the Rave Motion Pictures brand into what it is today. We look forward to starting the next chapter in our company's history with our new partners at TowerBrook along with Michael Lambert and Charley Moss, while continuing to manage the Boston Ventures-owned theaters on their behalf."

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Paris - Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) today announced the appointment of Ahmad Ouri as Chief Marketing Officer, reporting directly to Thomson CEO, Frederic Rose. In this new role, Ahmad will be responsible for overall marketing, communications and branding, based out of the Technicolor's new North American headquarters in Hollywood, California.

"After seven years of playing multiple roles within Thomson including overseeing strategy, technology and marketing across the board, Ahmad has played a key role in the company's leadership role as a state-of-the art company servicing content creators and as the industry has migrated to digital technology. As we move forward, his new role will be key in our expansion and with setting our marketing strategy", said Frederic Rose, CEO of Thomson.

Since joining Technicolor in 2002, Ahmad has held multiple senior roles including president of Technicolor Digital Cinema, Chief Technology Officer and president of the Technicolor Content Services business unit, overseeing worldwide post production operations. Most recently, Ahmad served as president of Technicolor's strategy, technology and marketing.

Ouri said, "I'm thrilled with the opportunity to combine all of my experience in various positions at Thomson into the important role of coordinating all of our marketing strategies under one umbrella".

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