London -- The rollout of digital cinema to exhibitors across Europe received a significant boost today with the announcement that Arts Alliance Media Ltd, Europe's leading digital cinema company, has reached an agreement to secure €50m in funding for its initiative.

Funds advised by Sankaty Advisors, LLC, the credit affiliate of Bain Capital LLC, have agreed to provide funding to support the rollout over the next two years, subject to final documentation. The deal is expected to close in 30 days.

Sankaty Advisors, which currently manages approximately $20 billion in committed capital, will provide a combination of senior and mezzanine debt for deployment of digital cinema equipment into cinemas across Europe.

There are currently about 4,500 digital cinema screens in Europe (approximately 75% of which are 3-D), and that figure is expected to rise rapidly to almost 13,000 by the end of 2012. Arts Alliance Media currently has digital cinema deals in place in seven territories within Europe, and commitments in place for over 1,500 screens which are currently in the process of being installed.

"The financial crisis of the past year slowed the process of digital cinema conversion, but the recent announcement by DCIP in the US, and now this announcement for Europe, illustrates that the rollout is now ready to move full speed ahead," said Howard Kiedaisch, Chief Executive Officer of Arts Alliance Media. "Sankaty Advisors are very forward thinking and have created an extremely flexible model that we are looking forward to offering to our exhibition partners. The many exhibitors we're already working with are delighted with the results digital brings - better presentations, 3-D and alternative content are great for audiences and cinemas alike."

"The announcement of this deal is a huge vote of confidence in Arts Alliance Media and the whole European digital cinema industry," stated Patrick Foley, CFO of Arts Alliance Media. "As part of this agreement, we will create a very solid but expandable financial structure that will allow us to significantly scale up our capital raise over time. We are confident this financing will allow us to continue leading the industry in Europe by adding more cinemas to our network."

Arts Alliance Media's goal is to build Europe's largest digital cinema network. All screens installed by Arts Alliance Media are DCI compliant, and the company's strategic partnership with Arqiva Satellite & Media allows exhibitors to benefit from satellite delivery of alternative content events and features, as well.

 

Read more

Las Vegas -- The increasing volume of quality 3D movies, record setting grosses, a compelling exhibitor business model, and an array of new viewing technologies, indicates that 3D cinema is now finally achieving worldwide success.

With the new emphasis on 3D, the necessity of large-scale digital audio is realized, and as the worldwide leader in cinema sound systems and an original pioneer of sound for motion pictures, JBL is continuing its tradition of innovation at ShoWest 2010 in Las Vegas, showcasing a comprehensive range of large format cinema sound systems to designed to enhance the 3D experience

According to Chuck Goodsell, JBL Director of Cinema, the company's R&D, product development and application engineering teams have worked closely with exhibitor clients across the globe to ensure that their JBL sound systems coupled with 3D display technologies would deliver the most immersive cinematic experience possible

"3D cinema demands the best digital sound systems," Goodsell said today. "At JBL, we've always built the best sounding, most reliable cinema sound systems, and we've also collaborated with our exhibition customers to help them stay ahead of the trends. This is why most of the world's flagship 3D theaters are JBL-equipped and why our cinema customers are among the best-prepared to capitalize on 3D."

Goodsell points to the range of new JBL ScreenArray 4-Way high power loudspeakers for large-format venues and its 4732 and 3732 ScreenArray loudspeakers that, coupled with the industry's most complete line of subwoofers and surround components, have become a standard in cinema today. No other manufacturer provides a wider, more cost-effective range of solutions to capitalize on the opportunity of 3D cinema than JBL: the company's systems are developed by a team of AMPAS Scientific & Technical Award-winning engineers and incorporate ground-breaking, patented innovations such as Differential Drive® woofers, neodymium, titanium diaphragm frequency compression drivers and high-frequency horn technology featuring Screen Spreading Compensation.

Among the world's most iconic, successful theaters with 3D display technology are Mann's Chinese Theater and the ArcLight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, both of which feature JBL ScreenArray sound systems. Also in the United States, Cinemark, Extreme Digital Cinema locations throughout the country and the Muvico, Thousand Oaks, California are all JBL large format installations and showcase 3D theaters. In London, The Odeon in Leicester Square and the neighboring Empire in Leicester Square are long-time JBL sound system venues and among the foremost 3D sites in the UK. Sofia, Bulgaria's Arena Cinema and the Major Cineplex World Plaza, Bangkok, Thailand are two more examples of industry-leading iconic theaters that have become 3D showcase venues and also boast ScreenArray sound systems from JBL.

3D digital technology is a new creative platform for filmmakers, that represents increased revenues for the exhibition community and brings new excitement to movie-goers," Goodsell continued. "At JBL we're very pleased to support the roll out of 3D and we're looking forward to working with our exhibition customers to provide new creative advancements in cinema sound!"

 

Read more

Las Vegas -- At ShoWest 2010, Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:DLB), announced it is working with Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios to deliver a new audio format, Dolby Surround 7.1. Disney and Pixar have stated that Dolby Surround 7.1 will be launched in select theatres with the release of Toy Story 3 in 3D this June.

"For 40 years Dolby has not only provided content creators with the tools to create a more realistic audio experience, but has also enabled the exhibitor to deliver audiences the ability to experience the content as the creator intended," said Page Haun, Senior Director, Marketing, Cinema Market Segment, Dolby Laboratories. "The release of Toy Story 3 in a discrete 7.1 mix will raise the bar for movie theatre owners and their patrons."

Dolby Surround 7.1 brings a more exciting sensory experience to audiences for 2D and gives content creators control over audio placement in a theatre when mixing 3D movies. The ability to compose audio with visual elements of 3D allows content creators to immerse the audience deeper into the movie with dramatic realism.

Dolby Surround 7.1 provides content creators four surround zones to better orchestrate audio channels in a movie theatre environment. The four surround zones incorporate the traditional Left Surround and Right Surround with new Back Surround Left and Back Surround Right zones. The addition of the two Back Surround zones enhances directionality in panning 360 degrees around the theatre.

Dolby Surround 7.1 format comprises 8 channels of audio and has the following channel layout: Left, Center, Right, Low-Frequency Effects (LFE), Left Surround, Right Surround, Back Surround Left (new), and Back Surround Right (new). In order for exhibitors to deliver the new format, Dolby will be providing Dolby Surround 7.1 playback capabilities in the Dolby CP650 and Dolby CP750 digital cinema audio processor lines.

At ShoWest, Dolby is demonstrating to exhibitors a discrete 7.1 mixed demo reel of past Pixar movies to showcase the advanced audio solution. After the show, exhibitors will be able to access the content to test and demonstrate in their theatres.

Exhibitors interested in learning more about Dolby Surround 7.1 should contact their nearest Dolby reseller or Dolby sales office.

 

Read more

Hot on the heels of two recent server deployment deals from the US, GDC Technology ("GDC") scores a hat trick today closing a new server deal with Cinemas Guzzo, a leading cinema chain operator in Canada. A total of 42 GDC digital cinema servers (27 new deployments and 4 replacements of existing servers) for 3D releases will be deployed in this project and rollout will commence in March 2010.

Before the end of 2010 Cinemas Guzzo expects to replace its remaining 11 non-GDC servers. The project is of special significance to Cinemas Guzzo in that all its servers for 3D movies and digital presentations in the next few months will be screened entirely on the GDC servers deployed in this project.

With a history dated back some four decades ago, Cinemas Guzzo was founded in Quebec by Angelo Guzzo, one of the pioneers of independent multi-screen movies in Canada. Through three generations of Guzzo in the business, Cinemas Guzzo has today grown to become the leading independent cinema chain in Quebec, boasting over 148 screens in 11 theatre complexes. Incidentally, Cinemas Guzzo's Mega-Plex Taschereau 18 in Greenfield Park and Mega-Plex Marche Central 18 in Montreal are currently amongst Canada's largest theatre/recreational complex, each with 4500 seats and covering respectively areas of over 120,000 square feet and 107,000 square feet.

"We take pride in providing moviegoers the best possible cinema experience. We were the first to bring Digital 3D to Montreal (Quebec) and we expect to be the first to be 100% digital very shortly with GDC!" said Vincenzo Guzzo, Executive Vice-president and Chief Operating Officer of Cinemas Guzzo. "After having tested three different type of servers, we have determined GDC is our choice for our digital cinema servers, because it offers possibly the best performance in the market, the most expandability and versatility. And given GDC's vast experience in digital rollout, we know we can and will always get the support we need in making a successful transition to 3D and digital cinema."

"We are delighted to get our first and the most meaningful partnership with exhibitor in Canada after closing this deal," said Dr. Man-Nang CHONG, founder and CEO of GDC Technology. "Cinemas Guzzo's decision to switch 100% to GDC servers is a real flattering compliment to us and we are honoured to have obtained such recognition from a leading Canadian exhibitor. GDC's quality products and in-depth industry know-how have been instrumental in the successful digital conversions of many of its customers worldwide; we believe there is much that GDC can offer to exhibitors in this country and we welcome any opportunity to explore further on this."

Read more

In a major introduction that extends the world's most advanced 3D technology to cinema environments of all sizes, XpanD is introducing the XpanD ONETM 3D solution at ShoWest 2010. Designed for theaters with a maximum capacity of 150 seats, the XpanD ONE system gives owners of intimate cinema exhibition spaces, and fully digitized multiplexes the opportunity to offer its customers the same groundbreaking 3D technology found in the world's largest and most popular multiplexes.

According to Maria Costeira, CEO of XpanD, the XpanD ONE system fulfills a specific need for smaller theaters. "We understand that more intimate cinema venues are investing in 3D," she says. "With an amazing lineup of 3D movies to be released in 2010, we also expect fully digitized multiplexes to increase their programming flexibility by adding a few small, 3D-ready theaters inside their multiplexes. The introduction of the XpanD ONE system now means that our revolutionary 3D technology is available to all exhibitors, regardless of theater size."

The XpanD ONE is a single cable, plug and play IR controller and 150 pairs.. The XpanD ONE can easily be moved from one theater to another in a fully digitized multiplex, turning all the secondary halls into 3D theaters as movie programming requires. Like standard XpanD systems, XpanD ONE does not require a silver screen, provides the brightest 3D images, works with all DLP Cinema projectors and is widely acknowledged as the best form of theatrical 3D presentation.

Since introducing the X101 active 3D glasses in early 2009, XpanD has sold more than 2 million pairs around the world to some of the world's most prestigious cinemas. The X101 Series glasses are based on XpanD's "pi-cell" technology, and feature , environmentally friendly repeat usage , a power-saving auto on/off mechanism sealed and solid construction for long-term, fully hygienic usage. With an extended product life of 5,000 shows per unit, XpanD provides exhibitors with the best return on investment with their 3D systems.

XpanD ONE is available for immediate sales.

Read more

Subscribe to Articles Feed