CineAsia Macau - December 2008
anuary 1999 – at the turn of the millennium, as the world waited for the dawn of a ‘new world’ order – there was born a new gleam, focusing the world as a ‘theatre!’
Humble, though it was, the gleam quickly became a glitter that began to dazzle on the World Theatre, cinematically. Turned around, this became the beacon light of world cinema – Theatre World. An explicit synonym for the global cinema exhibition industry with all its brilliance and dynamism for nine enduring years, Theatre World – a brand that abridged its name to a more catchy TW recently – and the India section, Theatre Magic, now called TM - is rearing to celebrate its tenth year of perseverance - with all the passion that characterised its mission towards being a knowledge centre of excellence. TW invites all its well-wishers - advertisers, readers, contributors to join the celebration for the Bumper 10th Anniversary Special Edition- December 2008 - coinciding with CineAsia Macau, the platform of Asian cinema genius ... exactly what TW is all about! Come, join, celebrate!
TW TM TheatreWorld
TW TheatreWorld SPECIAL FEATURE
This issue of TW has two sets of page numbers - International pages TW-1 to TW-56 for TW, and India pages TM-1 to TM-32 for TM. TM is inserted between pages TW-42 and TW-43 of TW.
It's Entertainment @3DX.Sg â€“ Bhavanashi Ramakrishna
Open-Air Backyard Theatre
24 26 34
Technology Taking Giant Projection SPECIAL FEATURE
Thinking For The Box (Office)!
Preview - ShowEast Review - Cinema Expo
CINEMA SYSTEMS TW-
Projection Series â€“ XXII
Change Over to 70mm
Changing the Picture Profile
entertainworld F U T U R E R E L E A S E S
e Mindshare MMindshar TW EDITORIAL
PERFORMANCE VENUES Multiplexes are all about cinema and corn soda. With recent interest in digital 3d it is still about the movies! There are some speciality venues brave enough to experiment with alternate programming but these are few and far between. When digital cinema first came in there was a lot of interest in alternate content but this has now petered out and the world community is back to 2k vs 4k vs 3d ... coming soon 8k! It is time for serious thought on multiplexes evolving into THE performance venue. This means people must think only of 3 spaces - home to live, office to work and multiplexes to entertain. There will always be destination sports that will compete with this concept but more of this later. Multiplexes must include all kinds of performance venues corporate presentations, telepresence conferencing, cultural shows that include drama, dance, concert, music, awards night etc. There are multimillion dollar standalone performance venues constructed or planned that are brilliant in their aesthetics, technologies and audience satisfaction but are used only a few times a year. TW-4
There will always be a market for cinema and there will always be a market for speciality performance venues. If the two can be integrated it will lead to a better branding of the multiplex industry (dismissed at times as just crass entertainment like junk food), alternate revenue streams for owner/operator, optimal utilisation of spaces and better harnessing of technologies. While there is no substitute to destination sports however multiplex as a speciality performance venue can screen sports spectacles and even host games like squash (aka Boston symphony hall), table tennis, chess etc. Time to think and evolve the multiplex to the next level.
Sandeep Mittal Editor / Publisher
Value - IRS 150 (US$ 15)
Issue # 39 / September 2008
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
CONTACT DETAILS POSTAL ADDRESS ‘Sai Darshan’, 231, 7th Cross, Indiranagar 1st Stage, Bengaluru 560 038, India COMMUNICATIONS Phone +9180 2521 5107 / 2527 2812 Fax +9180 2520 5094 EDITORIAL Bhavanashi Ramakrishna (Ram) email@example.com Mobile +9198 4587 2794 ADVERTISING Bobby Chetia firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile +9198 9250 4871 CIRCULATION Yashodhara S email@example.com
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Bhavanashi Ramakrishna Bobby Chetia Divya Rajgarhia Mohanraj V Raghavendra T Yashodhara S Positives & Print Ramya Reprographic, Bengaluru Published by Sandeep Mittal on behalf of Sandy Media ‘Sai Darshan’, 231, 7th Cross, Indiranagar 1st Stage, Bengaluru 560 038, India Phone +9180 2527 2812 Fax +9180 2521 5094 firstname.lastname@example.org www.sandy.in Regional Offices ‘Sai Prasad’, 51 Regency Chambers, National Library Road, Bandra (W), Mumbai 400 050 Phone +9122 2643 9732 Telefax +9122 2640 5023 ‘Sai Krupa’, 67 Masjid Rd, Jungpura Bhogal, New Delhi 110 014. Phone +9111 2437 8061 Telefax +9111 2437 4848 ‘Sai Leela’, 71, F024 Stonedge Tower, 1st Floor, 1st Avenue, Ashok Nagar, Chennai 600 083. Phone +9144 2474 0907 Telefax +9144 2474 0908 RNI # KARENG02795/10/1/2002-TC Layout & Graphic Design Raghavendra T
CINEMASCOPE It’s been ten years now since TW (TheatreWorld), began showcasing the Show Business in its own inimitable style. Evidently, it’s been a kaleidoscope of the global motion picture exhibition industry, as well as an effective interactive platform between the industry and the wide spectrum of professionals associated with it: architects, acousticians, interior designers, technocrats of sound and projection, ticketing, concessions consultants, and, of course, the cinema builders! Due to the kind of content it has been churning out issue after issue, there had been a persistent demand from discerning readers that the magazine should have a letters column through which they could express their views and share information. Admittedly, we did not realise that our effort would be valued so high, which was why we did not contemplate having a letters column so far. It’s been a fulfilling factor too for us. On completion of a decade of striving existence, we are pleased to commence a Cinemascope column under which our discerning readers can share their views. We invite all our readers to send their opinions as well as suggestions relating to the industry and our effort in making it better. It may kindly be noted that for convenience of lucidity, the letters may be edited suitably, and Cinemascope retains the right to accept or reject any letter depending on the merit of the subject discussed. So, please do send in your views to Cinemascope. Mail your feedback to email@example.com
Theatre World is a quarterly publication, on the motion picture exhibition industry, for private circulation. It reaches out to subscribers, mainly theatre owners and trade professionals in India, also subscribers in select Asian cities. Additional copies are being promoted at major international industry events. Theatre World seeks the healthy promotion of the theatre industry through dissemination of useful information. Some of the information is compiled from industry sources, trade journals, company brochures for the benefit of readers, especially, theatre owners. Theatre World acknowledges with thanks the authors and publishers of these printed materials. Views expressed in the articles are those of the authors and not necessarily of Theatre World. Theatre World is a trademark under registration. The contents of Theatre World are under copyright registration. All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Unsolicited printed material is welcome but no responsibility is undertaken for the same and will not be returned. Theatre World does not take responsibility for the absolute accuracy of information published.
Movie Watching: More Than Meets the Eye Movie watching is not just fun, it is often honourable and comes with a sense of competitive spirit and achievement. More so for those netizens who prowl the web for movie entertainment! Those who do not believe in this modern, new-age entertainment tenet, should take time to 'watch' the Netflix Movie Watching World Championship. The competition might well be over by the time this publication reaches you, however, enthusiasts can plan for participating in the next edition of the championship. For, there's certainly more to it than meets the eye! Though a 'virtual' threat to cinemas, it can well be a booster too, since movies on the Net can enthuse moviebuffs to enjoy the same on the big screen. Movie watching is not just about spending money, it is sometimes earning too, both in cash and credibility. The New York Times Square is all set to witness the unique movie watching world championship from October 2 through to 7.
Sharma, the current Guinness World Record holder said, “I am the one who is going to win and India will retain this world record I will put the fire in the heart of my competitors.”
This year, eight competitors will participate in the Netflix Movie Watching World Championship: The Quest for the Popcorn Bowl. Hosted by Netflix, the online movie rental service, the gruelling movie watching marathon will begin on 2 October in New York’s Times Square and is expected to last until a new Guinness World Record, for most consecutive hours spent watching movies, is set five days later on 7 October.
The competitors include: •
Sharma, who watched movies for 120 hours and 23 minutes in June in Mathura, India, and is travelling to New York for the event
Former three-time movie marathon record holder Claudia Wavra of Germany, who will attempt to reclaim the title she lost to Sharma in June
Suresh Joachim, a Canadian of Sri Lankan descent, who holds 32 Guinness World Records. Joachim is an endurance champion whose records include television viewing (69 hours, 48 minutes), dancing (100 hours), radio dj-ing (120 hours), and ironing (55 hours, 5 minutes), among other disciplines
Cheryl Jones of Portland, Oregon, who was a part of the team of Netflix members that broke the Guinness World Record for continuous movie watching in 2003
Dallas movie buff Jeff Jones who won $250,000 on the movie edition of the popular game show series Who Wants To Be A Millionaire in 2007
At stake is the undeniable notoriety associated with holding the title of world champion, a $10,000 cash prize, a lifetime subscription to Netflix and the first-ever Popcorn Bowl trophy. Featuring some of the world’s most accomplished endurance enthusiasts, the Netflix Movie Watching World Championship challenges contestants to watch a continuous run of movies in an effort to eclipse the existing world record of 120 hours and 23 minutes held by Ashish Sharma of Mathura, India. Sharma will be on hand to defend his title. Netflix will also give everyday people a chance to participate by inviting the submission of video auditions at www.facebook.com (keyword search: Netflix Movie Watching World Championship). Additional information, including contest rules and other mesmerising tidbits, can also be found there. The event will begin at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time with competitors assuming their positions in the Netflix Movie Watching Arena, a plexi-glass living room in the centre of New York’s Times Square. Gawkers and passersby will have ample opportunity to cheer on or watch as each competitor desperately attempts to stave off sleep. “The Netflix Movie Watching World Championship is a showcase for die-hard movie buffs who possess incredible focus and discipline,” said Netflix chief marketing officer Leslie Kilgore. “It combines the love of movies with the thrill of competition at the crossroads of the world.” TW-8
New York-based competitive eating champion, Crazy Legs Conti, who also happens to be a cinephile with a penchant for ’80s films, will join the ranks of endurance enthusiasts for a shot at the title. Guinness World Records rules require the contestants to watch films non-stop without averting their eyes from the screen. Competitors will be given 10 minutes break between each movie, or approximately every two hours, to refresh themselves. Eating, drinking, standing and stretching are allowed as long as eyes are on the screen. Gourmet, chef crafted popcorn will be provided by Dale and Thomas Popcorn throughout the event. Medical professionals will monitor the contestants’ conditions throughout the event and assess if contestants are truly watching or are simply staring blankly at the screen.
Fraunhofer's 'Cinema of the Future' Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen, Germany, one of the most reputed research and development bodies in the world focused on microelectronic systems, credited with many a technology laurel, recently made yet another big stride towards furthering its mission of contributing to the cause of technology R & D. With its latest, digitally-equipped facility for cinematic research and development, the institute is offering a unique 'Cinema of the Future.' Playing a digitally decisive role in the exploit is Kinoton- the German projection major. The Fraunhofer IIS in Erlangen, Southern Germany, is one of the world's most reputed research facilities for cigital cinema development. Recently, the institute opened a new chapter in its cherished existence by inaugurating a new extension building that offers ideal premises for developing, testing and building up the complete digital workflow, from shooting to distribution to moviehouses. One of the highlights of the new Fraunhofer IIS building, along with camera studios and modern post production laboratories, is the digital Cinema of the Future with 70 seats. The technical equipment of this theatre does not only offer first-rate picture and sound quality, but maximum versatility and an opportunity for fast backfitting. For example, the auditorium as well as the projection room provide multi-play connections and flexible component switching. The stage system, the sound technology including the miking, the 2K digital cinema projectors and the patch panels for the whole wiring have been supplied and installed by Kinoton. The German specialist for cinema technology supported the demanding project right from conception, to implementation planning, to the finishing of installation. The highly complex stage construction has been specially designed by Kinoton to meet the exceptional requirements of the Fraunhofer IIS. Via an automated masking system the screen can be easily masked horizontally and vertically to conform to any picture format. Another screen holding device was installed in front of the screen, so alternate screens featuring different reflection characteristics can be mounted for testing purposes. If additional stage area is needed, the complete screen frame system, including screen and speakers, can be moved into the back area by a heavy-duty rail system. The projection room was stocked with a DCP 30 digital cinema projector. A second DCP 30 has also been delivered for the newly furnished post production studio. Both the DCinema projectors are equipped with a Dolby 3D system
already. Due to the special technical design of the DCP projector range, the 3D colour filter wheel can be entirely integrated into the projector where it is safely protected against soiling or misalignment. The sound technology at the Cinema of the Future is extremely versatile as well. For cinema sound, Kinoton installed a first-rate Dolby 5.1 surround system for optimum sound quality. Another sound system especially designed for voice reproduction guarantees good hearing at any place in the auditorium. Additionally, the three-dimensional IOSONO sound system developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology was integrated into the new digital sound system installed by Kinoton. Together, they simulate various real sound sources by means of many small speakers. With this premium and adaptable technical equipment, the cinema at the Fraunhofer IIS is perfectly suited for presenting D-Cinema technologies and systems to expert visitors from research and economy, and as an environment for testing and objective evaluation of different D-Cinema technologies and scenarios. When necessary, the auditorium will be also used for presentations or lectures.
Founded in 1985, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS ranks first among the 56 Fraunhofer Institutes concerning headcount and revenues. It develops microelectronic systems and devices along with the required integrated circuits and software. MP3 – the most popular audio coding format today worldwide – was developed by Fraunhofer IIS. A member of the DCI, as also the German Federal Filmboard (FFA), and FKTG, the Fraunhofer IIS has been at the forefront of R & D for new technologies, particularly in the domain of cinematic entertainment. The ‘Future of Cinema’ is its latest stride.
Concerts on Cineplex Big Screens in HD With a view making cinemas more vibrant, Cineplex Entertainment, the largest cinema operator in Canada, is apparently leveraging the digital cinema technology to the best of its application. The Toronto-based circuit has decided to present popular concerts on its big screen venues in HD and digital surround sound format. Beginning October 1 to November 19 patrons can enjoy five fantastic and unique concerts featuring many of the hottest bands and artistes in music industry today. "We are excited to present our first-ever Fall Concert Series exclusively to our guests across the country," said Cineplex Entertainment vice-president, communications and investor relations Pat Marshall. "Watching the great line-up of bands and artists perform on the big screen in HD and digital surround sound will be an experience like no other. We are also offering our guests the opportunity to purchase individual tickets or in packages and either choice can be purchased in advance ensuring guests get the concerts they want." From the Basement, the first three concerts in the series, features 17 different bands shot without an audience in a private setting to capture them at their most relaxed
and engaged performances, including Radiohead, The White Stripes and Beck. It's as if one is attending a private recording session. inDef Sessions, the remaining two concerts in the five concert series is the first-ever Canadian Independent Concert Series produced in HD and features two one hour concerts from two different artistes and bands. Tickets have been made available online at www.cineplex.com as well as at participating theatre box offices.
Tech Focus at SMPTE 2008 Conference New and emerging entertainment technologies of practical use to content creation, management, distribution, and display professionals will be the focus of SMPTE 2008: Annual Tech Conference & Expo (http:// smpte2008.org). Early bird registration is now open for the international event. The three-day conference and tradeshow of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), the leading technical society for the motion imaging industry and producers will be held from October 28 - 30, at the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood. SMPTE 2008 will feature keynotes, white papers, case studies and tutorials from thought-leaders worldwide who will detail their findings and experience on a broad range of topics, from stereoscopic 3-D theatrical and home entertainment, to asset management via metadata, to IPTV. "We designed the SMPTE 2008 Tech Conference and Expo to be a â€˜nuts-and-boltsâ€™ resource for our members, as well as a service to the greater professional entertainment technology community," said Kimberly Maki, executive director of the organization and the show. "It is a nonproprietary event where the industry can learn about the latest media-related technologies and how they will be employed, and about the innovations likely to be put into place in the next five years." SMPTE 2008 will offer more educational sessions than previous annual shows, brought about by a record number of white paper submissions. Over 55 per cent
of the tendered research came from experts outside the United States. Final presenters were selected by the SMPTE 2008 Program Committee, which is chaired by Tom Scott, vice-president, technology, OnStream Media. This year's conference will be complemented by an expanded trade show floor, with high-tech, handson displays from companies in the entertainment hardware, software, tools and technologies marketplace. Peter LudĂŠ, senior vice-president of engineering, Broadcast and Business Solutions, Sony Electronics is SMPTE editorial vice-president; John Luff, television technology consultant with HD Consulting, is conference vicepresident, and Patricia Keighley, vice-president/general manager of David Keighley Productions 70MM, Inc., is chair of the Local Arrangements Committee.
IMAX, Hoyts Cinemas Sign Up for Four Theatres "Entering into a partnership with one of the largest exhibitors in Australia is a fantastic way to initiate our international JV business, and it adds to the momentum of our overall digital growth strategy," said IMAX's CoChairmen and Co-CEOs, Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. "Hoyts is a top-notch exhibitor with a commitment to innovation and expansion, and we believe this partnership will strengthen our presence in the region." The highly anticipated IMAX Digital projection system further enhances The IMAX Experience(R) and helps drive profitability for studios, exhibitors and IMAX theatres by eliminating the need for film prints, increasing program flexibility and ultimately increasing the number of movies shown on IMAX screens.
JV with Tokyu Recreation in Japan
IMAX Corporation, and Hoyts Cinemas Ltd., one of the largest exhibitors in Australia, announced a joint venture agreement to install four IMAX(R) theatres in the cities of Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. The deal marks the company's first international joint venture deal featuring the company's new IMAX(R) digital theatre system and doubles IMAX's footprint in Australia. To date, IMAX has signed contracts for more than 180 IMAX(R) Digital theatre systems, with approximately 50 scheduled to be installed by the end of 2008. Under the terms of the joint venture agreement, IMAX and Hoyts Cinemas will share in the cost and profitability of the new theatres. The first three theatres will be installed at the Entertainment Quarter 12 in Sydney, the Highpoint 17 in Melbourne and the Carousel 16 in Perth. These openings are scheduled to coincide with the Australian launch of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince in December of this year. The fourth theatre will be installed in Melbourne in 2009. "IMAX is a widely recognized and very successful brand in Australia, and we are excited to open these locations in partnership with IMAX to offer our customers the world's most immersive cinema experience," said Delfin Fernandez, CEO of Hoyts Cinemas. "IMAX theatres offer a cinematic experience that people can't get at home or in a conventional theatre, and this unique offering has proven to drive incremental attendance at the multiplex. Additionally, the IMAX Digital projection system eliminates the need for film prints, which significantly lowers operating costs and enables us to offer our customers a wider range of IMAX content."
IMAX also entered into another joint venture with Tokyu Recreation, promoter of 109 Cinemas (10 is "To" and 9 is "kyu"), one of Japan's largest exhibition chains, to install up to four IMAX(R) theatres in Japan. The agreement marks IMAX's second international joint venture deal, as the company aligns itself with top exhibitors worldwide with its new IMAX(R) digital theatre system. To date, IMAX has signed contracts for over 180 IMAX Digital theatre systems, with approximately 50 expected to be installed by the end of 2008. The announcement follows a record-setting movie event in Japan, where 25,000 people, the largest IMAX audience ever for a single screening, enjoyed the Japanese premiere of Speed Racer: The IMAX Experience on June 29 at the Tokyo Dome. The Tokyo Dome, which is a traditional venue for concerts and sporting events, was converted into a huge IMAX theatre for the event. Under the terms of the joint venture agreement, IMAX and Tokyu Recreation will shar e the cost and profitability of the new theatres. The first theatre is scheduled to be installed at the 109 Cinemas Kawasaki in the city of Kawasaki in November of this year,
followed by another in early 2009 at the 109 Cinemas Shobu in the city of Shobu. Each theatre will be equipped with IMAX's new digital projection system. The third and fourth systems are subject to mutual agreement on sites, projected rates of return and certain other factors. "IMAX's new digital theatre system offers us the best of both worlds - we can deliver an immersive cinematic experience that cannot be replicated at home or in a conventional theatre, and we can enjoy the economical and logistical benefits of a digital theatre system," said Hitoshi Sato, President of Tokyu Recreation. "Over the past four decades, people in Japan have recognised the IMAX brand as being synonymous with the world's most immersive cinematic experience,” he said, adding,”we are excited to become a part of that prestigious recognition, as our locations transform into destinations for consumers who want to see Hollywood's biggest movies in the most powerful format." "Exhibitor response to our IMAX digital system has been extremely positive in North America and now we're starting to see increasing enthusiasm internationally," said IMAX's Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs. "Japan is an important market for IMAX, and we believe this partnership, combined with our new digital theatre system, will serve as a catalyst for further expansion into additional international commercial markets." IMAX's film slate for the remainder of 2008, 2009 and 2010 includes: •
Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa - DreamWorks Animation - November 7, 2008
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - Warner Bros. Pictures - November 21, 2008
Under the Sea 3D - Warner Bros. Pictures - February, 2009
Monsters vs. Aliens 3D - DreamWorks Animation March, 2009
Hubble 3D (working title) - Warner Bros. Pictures February, 2010
How to Train Your Dragon 3D - DreamWorks Animation - March, 2010
Shrek Goes Fourth 3D - DreamWorks Animation - May, 2010
IMAX top executives commented, "we are very pleased with the significant strategic progress made thus far in 2008, despite the fact that, our financial results do not yet reflect the pieces being put in place that should return IMAX to profitability." According to them, the execution of digital rollout on time, strong future film slate, robust new businesses, largest systems backlog reflecting the company's joint revenue sharing strategy, are the strong positive factors for the company to move ahead. "We believe we have the necessary financing in place to fund our joint venture initiative," they said, adding, "looking ahead, we believe the combination of having approximately 50 digital systems in operation by yearend and the strength of our second-half film slate should drive improved second half financial performance. We continue to expect profitability in 2009." The company signed agreements for six IMAX theatre systems in the second quarter of fiscal 2008 compared to agreements for six IMAX theater systems in the second quarter of 2007. At the end of the second quarter, the company's backlog consisted of a record 246 theatre systems compared to 79 last year. Included in the 2008 and 2007 system backlog totals were 139 and three joint-revenue sharing arrangements, respectively, for which there is no assigned backlog value. To date, the company has signed contracts for 189 IMAX digital theatre systems. In late July, the company delivered its second set of digital systems to three AMC theatres in the Philadelphia market and expects the systems to be operational soon. For the three months ended June 30, 2008, total revenues were $21.2 million, as compared to $27.1 million reported for the prior year period. Systems revenue was $10.6 million versus $14.0 million in the prior year period. The company installed four theatre systems in the second quarter, same as last year; however, revenue recognition was deferred on two of those systems due to contractual rights for digital upgrades.
Imax Improves on Q2 Results IMAX Corporation reported that it recorded a net loss per diluted share of $0.29 for the second quarter of fiscal 2008, compared to a net loss of $0.11 per diluted share for the second quarter of fiscal 2007. At the same time, the company announced that the rollout of its IMAX digital system technology launched as scheduled, with the successful delivery and installation of its first three digital projection systems at three AMC Entertainment, Inc. theatres located in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area, during the second quarter.
PSTL Launches its First Cineplex in China Pyramid and Longzhe Culture and Theatre Limited, China (PLCTL) the newly formed joint venture between India's Pyramid Saimira Theatre Limited (PSTL) and Longzhe Group, supported by The China Society of Music Research Board (CSMRB), has launched its first ever theatre in Huainan, China.
Theatre Entertainment Tower is just a sign of emergence of growth in formal entertainment sector in China. Our main aim is to provide the people of China with international standards of entertainment and hospitality and our theatres/ music/ films/ other cultural events/ training setup in film and drama would be a symbol of that."
Huainan Pyramid Longzhe Theatre Entertainment Tower as the cineplex is called - is a two-screen cineplex with a total seating capacity of 290 seats. Equipped with the latest digital projectors, the theatre is also home to a world class gaming zone and a food court with variety of cuisines. The theatre also consists of a bunch of private rooms for music and entertainment called KTV. The theatre was inaugurated by Uma Saminathan, Director - PLCTL with Huainan city mayor Sun Quan Yu, CPC secretary He Xiao Xiang.
Venkat, COO of Pyramid Saimira's Chinese joint venture added, "we always knew that China was a huge potential market to tap, and after signing the historic deal with CSMRB, we initiated work at a very brisk pace. Huainan Pyramid Longzhe Theatre Entertainment Tower is one in a series of seven entertainment towers which would be launched by PLCTL by December 08."
Speaking on the occasion, Uma Saminathan said, "this is a very prestigious moment for us. Hunainan Pyramid Longzhe
The joint venture would invest $30 million over the next six months in China for an approximate screen count of 25. Pyramid Saimira and CSMRB, had signed a cultural cooperation agreement, which paved the way for this business launch, in March 2008. Next in line for the JV is Liyang Pyramid Longzhe Theatre Entertainment Tower in Liyang, scheduled to launch in November. Spread over 3500 square feet, this cineplex would have four screens.
Pyramid's First Cineplex in Malaysia Pyramid Saimira Group recently launched its first cineplex in Malaysia. The Pyramid Saimira Summit Cineplex in Bukit Merthajam is a three-screen cineplex equipped with state-of-theart infrastructure and a seating capacity of 703 seats. "We forayed into Malaysia a little over a year ago with the objective of creating a vertically integrated theatre chain in Malaysia," Pyramid Group chairman and managing director PS Saminathan said on the occasion. "We are very happy that Malaysia has evolved into a huge market for the entertainment industry," he said and added, "through our screens in Malaysia, we hope to re-define the entertainment options that are available for the people here. Our screens will offer English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil content for the viewing masses here." With this launch, the group's screen count will total to 13, with an aggregate seating capacity of 4215 seats across its locations in Kuala Lampur, Butterworth, Bukit Merthajam, Melaka, Kluang, Johor Bahru and Seremban.
The PLCTL Executive at the launching programme
The Group set up the Pyramid Saimira Theatre Chain Sdn. Bhd, as a joint venture between Pyramid Saimira Theatre and Asian Integrated Industries, Malaysia, in April 2007. The entity was formed to digitise screens across Malaysia, and to encourage local film production in Malay, Chinese, and Tamil languages, apart from distribution of Indian and English films.
US Consortium for Global Digital Framework An international and cross-industry group of over 20 companies in the US have formed a consortium called Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) that aims at defining and building a new digital media framework using industry standards, and thereby enabling consumers to acquire and play content across a wide range of services and devices. The consortium comprises Alcatel-Lucent, Best Buy, Cisco, Comcast, Fox Entertainment Group, HP, Intel, Lionsgate, Microsoft, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Philips, Sony, Toshiba, VeriSign and Warner Bros. Entertainment. DECE LLC - as the new entity is titled - will mainly focus on addressing growing consumer confusion around buying, downloading and playing digital content offered by multiple services- by working towards a simple, uniform digital media experience. ''This is great news for consumers hungry for access to a wider array of digital content they can enjoy on any device they own. We formed this consortium to give consumers that kind of power and choice," said DECE LLC president Mitch Singer. "To open up the market for digital distribution, we are developing a specification that connects a wide variety of services and devices. DECE LLC is taking the lessons learned from the
successful 'buy once, play anywhere' experience that we enjoy with CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray today, and using a similar approach in developing the next generation digital media experience." Over time, DECE LLC will issue a licensable specification, along with a recognizable brand and logo for compliant products and services that will assure consumers that content they download will play on their devices. The specification, based on industry standards, will outline the hardware and software requirements for companies to follow as they define new consumer experiences. The specification will also define how consumers can enjoy their purchased content on an assortment of devices, or even remotely, thereby creating the convenience of a virtual library, accessible in the home or on the road. By offering consumers the same level of confidence and comfort with digital content that they feel today with physical media, DECE LLC believes it can bring real value to digital content. As DECE LLC moves ahead, it will continue to seek broader industry support across the content, software, hardware, retailer and service provider sectors, and will issue more information around its development and release plans.
DTS Launches New Suite of Products DTS Digital Cinema announced the introduction of a new suite of products at Cinema Expo International 2008. The ScreenStore Media Player, Theatre Management System (TMS), and Screen Management System (SMS) have all been launched at the industry showcase demonstrating DTS Digital Cinema’s commitment to providing solutions for the digital cinema network. Drawing upon DTS Digital Cinema’s extensive experience in the cinema market, the ScreenStore comes equipped with built-in networking and pre-show programming capability and provides highly flexible networking and configuration capabilities, along with the solid, reliable performance that DTS Digital Cinema has been famous for delivering to ‘the big screen’ for over 14 years. The ScreenStore delivers eight independent audio channels supporting high quality digital surround sound, plus enhanced video up to 1920 x 1080p for pre-show or alternative content. The unit contains an internal hard drive that can store over 500 hours of multichannel film soundtracks, up to 88 hours of pre-show video and stills, up to 17 hours of high definition alternative content, up to 44 hours of standard definition alternative content or a combination of each. In order to meet customer needs, analogue and digital audio outputs are both standard features and optional features include DTS Digital Cinema Access technology for subtitling, captioning, and audio description as well as high definition video playback. The TMS has been developed to be deployed as the central control system for the theatre and is designed specifically for exhibitors. The software is intuitive and easy to use enabling exhibitors to focus on managing their content rather than managing a computer system. It provides direct control of the Library Server and Screen
Server and, due to its web-based architecture, can independently view or manage any player or projector in the cinema complex, from any networked location in or outside the complex. With DTS Digital Cinema’s TMS functionality, managers can easily create new shows, schedule and supervise receipt of content and keys, provide reports and manage and monitor system health and security. This product has been designed to interface with any screen server unit quickly and efficiently enabling it to work with any existing compatible equipment a customer has installed. The SMS comes equipped with industry-standard image, sound and security features and offers a flexible, user-friendly GUI that enables easy scheduling and management of content, a simple control interface and tight integration with DTS Digital Cinema’s proprietary Theatre Management System. The SMS can be used as a standalone digital cinema player for a single screen, or as a network player in a multiplex configuration when used with the DTS Digital Cinema Library Server. It fully supports the DCI specification for 2K resolution JPEG2000 content and also supports HD-MPEG2 files. “We are delighted to be able to show our new suite of products to the industry at Cinema Expo International 2008,” Tony Nowak, managing director of DTS Europe Ltd. commented. “We believe it is essential to continue our commitment to providing the best possible technology for our customers through the continuous development of our products and these solutions are a perfect example of this.” The first installations of the TMS and SMS will take place in Q3 and the ScreenStore will be available for delivery in Q4 2008.
New 3D Projectors from InFocus, LightspeedD LightspeeD Design and InFocus introduced a pair of new integrated 3D projectors under the DepthQ label. These XGA and WXGA projectors – with 1024 x 768 and 1280 x 720 resolutions respectively – appear identical except for their resolution. The previous DepthQ projector, introduced some three years ago, had SVGA resolution. All
the three feature a single DLP chip and operate at 120Hz stereo, and are claimed to be among the cheapest 3D projectors available today. The new units each have 2000 lumens, 2000:1 contrast, DLP microdisplays with BrilliantColor technology and 5 segment colour wheels.
New HD Projector from SIM2 Italian digital projector manufacturer SIM2 has brought to market its latest HD video projector. According to the company, its latest offering, the Grand Cinema HT30000 HOST combines the flexibility of modular design with the video performance of the most recent DLP 1080p chipset within a compact cabinet, and an outboard video input processor that connects via SIM2’s three-line optical-digital High-Definition Optical Signal Transfer (HOST) system. “Our dealers asked for an elegant two-piece design,” said SIM2 USA vice-president Charlie Boornazian. “The HOST’S 10-bit video processor will feature six HDMI 1.3 inputs along with numerous component, composite, RGB, and SVideo inputs. All of these sources may now be more conveniently located in a rack or even out of sight if desired.” Boornazian said the HT3000 HOST delivers a high level of installation flexibility. A small diameter of fiber-optic cable provides a loss-less connection from the HOST to the projector, according to the company. The two-piece system includes a 17-inch-square projector that weights about 24 pounds. Within a modern exterior by designer Giorgio Revoldini, the projector uses the latestgeneration, 0.95-inch DLP DMD chip to deliver 1080p imaging. The SIM2 AlphaPath light engine’s all-glass optics help ensure image accuracy. Integrated lens shift and digital keystone adjustment, wide-ranging picture-size possibilities (50 to 300 inches), and a choice of lenses for a broad throw range contribute to the HT3000’s installationfriendly design. The system’s HOST processor is a separate component that’s about 14 x 4 x 12 inches. Designed for flexible
placement, a three-line digital fiber-optical connection allows installers to position it up to 750 feet from the projector. The processor/switcher’s full-depth 10-bit video processing performs high-accuracy scaling up to 1080p and de-interlacing of SD signals, so all incoming video can exploit to the fullest possible extent of the HT3000 HOST’s capabilities. Now shipping, the HT3000 HOST comes with the SIM2 Gunmetal finish and a suggested retail price of $21,595 with the T1 lens and $22,595 with the T2 lens.
Sony Demos CineAlta 4K SXRD Projector Sony presented at the Cinema Expo 2008 how its market leading CineAlta 4K digital cinema projector systems, Ziris digital signage solution, HD standard LCD panels and plasma screens are transforming the cinema experience for audiences across Europe. At a time when home entertainment solutions, such as HDTV and Blu-Ray are giving consumers stunning image quality from the comfort of their drawing rooms, Sony sought to present how the CineAlta 4K digital cinema technologies provide venues with next-generation projection systems that meet the DCI’s forward looking 4K image standard and deliver an unrivalled viewing experience.
Sony also showcased integrated AV/IT solutions for ticketing and concession areas can positively impact a cinema’s business and financial performance. ”With decades of experience in digital entertainment, we are passionate about designing innovative solutions that truly engage the cinema-going public and succeed in differentiating cinemas from the ever increasing dynamic of home entertainment,” explained Eric Siereveld, Director, Sony Professional Solutions Europe. “Sony understands that any visit to a cinema must be an experience from the minute the consumer enters the foyer and it must inspire them to come back time and again.
New Momentum to the 3D Journey In what appears to be an industry-drifting case of alignment, three equipment manufacturing majors have come together to take the cinema theatrical industry into the three-dimensional movie entertainment domain. NEC Corporation of America, RealD 3D, and Ballantyne of Omaha's Strong Digital Systems and Strong Technical Services units have recently teamed to provide the latest in digital 3D projection capability to multiple cinema locations across the Americas. This latest wave of upgrades to RealD digital 3D was driven by theatre owners wanting to capitalise on the introduction of Journey to the Center of the Earth from Warner Bros. Pictures/New Line Cinema and Walden Media. The movie was the first live-action narrative 3D movie and the widest RealD digital 3D movie released till date. While the movie had also been screened in 2D cinemas, exhibitors were mainly driven by the hype about the increased attendance and revenue delivered by RealD 3D-equipped screens. "Ballantyne of Omaha /Strong Cinema Products is an industry leader in projection systems and trusted partner of Great Escape Theatres," said Chance Ragains, chief operating officer, Great Escape Theatres who opted for Strong's digital cinema services from NEC. "They have partnered with NEC to provide top-quality, NEC STARUS digital projectors and with RealD 3D to provide state-ofthe-art digital 3D cinema," said Ragians, "as we started the transition to digital projection with 3D capability, it only made sense to go with a company with a history of delivering a first-class product with the service, support and technology partners to back it up." NEC and RealD 3D contributed to the cinema experience at the premiere of Journey to the Center of the Earth. Held at the Mann Village in Los Angeles on June 29, the premiere was shown using an NEC STARUS NC1600C digital cinema projector and the RealD cinema system with RealD XL technology. The NEC STARUS digital projectors are claimed to deliver superior quality with precise 2K resolution and high contrast images while RealD XL is claimed to be the only digital 3D technology in the market today which can reach screens as large as 60 feet with a single projector. "RealD is a global leader in 3D cinema and NEC has a legacy of creating world-class, award-winning digital display, projector and server technologies," said John Wilmers, president and CEO, Ballantyne of Omaha, Inc. "Partnering with RealD and NEC allows us to deliver a turnkey, state-of-the-art digital cinema and 3D solution within very stringent timelines to meet our customers' exhibition needs."
According to industry sources, the current format of digital 3D, created by RealD 3D, is a next-generation technology and one of the most important innovations in cinema since the advent of sound and colour. Endorsement by leading filmmakers, including Robert Zemeckis, Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, and George Lucasmaking 3D as an integral part of moviemaking has catapulted the format to the most fancied technology for movie making as well as watching. In March this year, DreamWorks Animation SKG announced that its entire future movie slate would be made and released in 3D, beginning with the March '09 release of Monsters vs. Aliens. Disney/Pixar announced the following month that all future animated films from the studio would be 3D as well. NEC's STARUS product line is based on advanced DLP Cinema technology to enable theatres to deliver stunning digital images, regardless of screen size, while simplifying theatre management and reducing costs. All NEC's digital cinema projectors meet Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) specifications for performance and reliability, meeting the requirements of the cinema industry today. "RealD's role as a 3D innovator maps directly to NEC's overall heritage and commitment to innovation, particularly in the digital cinema market," says Jim Reisteter, general manager of Digital Cinema Division, NEC Corporation of America. "And, Strong's dedication to this market as well as technical knowledge make them a critical partner to NEC's continued growth in the North American digital cinema market." According to Joe Peixoto, president, Worldwide Cinema, RealD, NEC's ability to provide a comprehensive suite of high quality, innovative solutions to the theatre industry and Strong's consulting and installation expertise are key components of the RealD 3D platform. The Digital Cinema Division of NEC Corporation of America leverages NEC's world-class expertise in visual display products, IT infrastructure and integration services to develop specialized solutions for the delivery and management of digital content. By combining the expertise of movie-making professionals with the technological innovation of NEC, the Digital Cinema Division delivers all-encompassing digital cinema and intheatre advertising solutions that meet the requirements of the entertainment industry.
RealD Exploding in 3D Range RealD 3D, global leader in 3D digital movie entertainment solutions, is on an unprecedented roll. If the current projections and deals signed turn into reality, the American entertainment major would have its technology visible in 3D in major cinema markets across the world. In the recent weeks, it signed two major deals to spread in two different continental geographies: one- into South American cinema markets, and two- into Canadian movie market. Cinepolis to Power 500 Cinemas with RealD: Morelia and Santa Fe, Mexico-based Cinepolis, Inc., the world's fifth largest cinema exhibitor, and RealD 3D announced coming together to create as many as 500 RealD 3D screens in the next few years. The rollout of these 500 RealD 3D screens has begun with six new screens installed for the release of Journey to the Center of the Earth, and is being continued, to be completed by 2010. The partnership makes RealD the exclusive choice of Cinepolis for digital 3D and creates a strong platform in the market for the upcoming slate of over thirty major studio 3D releases in 2009 and 2010. "Cinepolis confirms its commitment to innovation and client service by placing its confidence on 3D technology," said Miguel Mier, COO of Cinepolis, announcing their decision on going massive 3D digital expansion. "As a company that has always been at the forefront in market innovation and new products and services, Cinepolis is proud to join forces with RealD. We believe this cutting-edge technology represents the future of the exhibition business," he said, adding, "with this deal, Cinepolis moves ahead in the very competitive Latin American market." RealD's next-generation 3D experience has garnered over 90 per cent of the global market for 3D cinema, with RealD 3D theaters in 25 countries with over 70 exhibition partners. Cinepolis, with theatres in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, and Colombia, attracted 91 million moviegoers through the doors of its theatres in 2007. The partnership is obviously a big stride for RealD since it marks the expansion of the format and business through some of the world's most potential cinema markets. "We are in the midst of a defining moment in movie going history," said Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation. "This massive expansion of screens into the critical markets of Central and South America is a giant leap forward for Cinepolis, RealD and all content creators who are committed to the worldwide deployment of digital 3D." "We are thrilled with the support and commitment Cinepolis has made towards 3D entertainment and
RealD," said Anthony Marcoly, President, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International. "We look forward to bringing our next Disney Digital 3D animated release, BOLT, to their cinemas this Christmas season as well as many others during the coming years." Cineplex to Equip 175 Screens with RealD: Cineplex Entertainment and RealD have signed a long-term agreement to install a minimum of 175 3D systems into Cineplex Entertainment theatres across the country by December 2009. This, when completed, would bring RealD's committed screen count to well over 5,500. The commencement of the RealD rollout is dependent upon Cineplex Entertainment entering into a digital deployment agreement to begin the conversion to digital projection. "We are pleased to partner with RealD," said Ellis Jacob, President and CEO, Cineplex Entertainment. There is an exciting slate of 3D movies scheduled for release during the next 18 months that includes Jeffrey Katzenberg's Monsters vs. Aliens in addition to about a dozen other 3D films and this agreement allows us to provide even more guests across the country with the most advanced digital 3D movie-going experience possible." "We are thrilled to be the 3D provider of choice for Cineplex Entertainment," said Michael Lewis, Chairman and CEO, RealD. "The partnership brings next-generation 3D to even more cinemagoers across Canada." According to Hollywood pundits, year 2009 is shaping up to be the year of 3D. Exhibitors and movie making studios alike are joining together to provide moviegoers with a bigger and better experience at the theatre than ever before. "By this time next year, we will be closer than ever to seeing digital 3D become a mainstream reality in theatres across North America," feels Katzenberg.. With Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and James
Cameron's Avatar, both scheduled to be released in 3D next year, the industry appears committed, stronger than ever, to the 3D format, says Bruce Snyder, President, 20th Century Fox Domestic Distribution. "We couldn't be more excited about RealD's continued expansion of its 3D technology and digitalization of theatres globally."
Cineplex Entertainment currently has 41 RealD 3D systems installed and will begin the rollout of the remaining systems into its theatres later this year to bring the total to 175. The majority of installations are expected to be completed in time for the slate of 3D films being released in 2009.
Dolby 3D's Worldwide Expansion Dolby Digital Cinema announced that its 3D digital systems have crossed 500 installs in 24 countries since its market debut less than a year ago in October 2007. "Dolby 3D has been recognized as the premium 3D digital cinema image presentation by the moviemaking industry- exhibitors and patrons alike. Theatres around the world are selecting the system to present the optimal viewing experience for digital 3D movies," said Dolby Laboratories' vice-president-worldwide sales, products, and services John Carey. "We are delighted with the success of Dolby 3D in regions such as China, Japan, and South America, as well as Eastern Europe. Our numbers continue to grow steadily in North America and we welcome the many new exhibitors around the world to the Dolby 3D family." Dolby has increased the total number of its 3D system shipments in Europe to 280 in countries such as Germany, Italy, Poland, and Russia. Similarly, in Asia, the company shipped approximately 100 Dolby 3D systems, leveraging its network and distribution outlets in the Far East. The anticipation of 3D movies to be released in Asia led to a number of deals, including TJoy of Japan and Gateway Cineplex in the Philippines, among others. "Gateway Cineplex is pleased to announce that Gateway Cineplex 10 is the first cinema in the Philippines to showcase both the Dolby Digital Cinema and Dolby 3D system," said Uniprom Inc. chief operating officer Manuel M. Atacador "Plus, with all 10 theatres equipped with the vaunted Dolby sound, Gateway Cineplex 10 promises to
deliver only the premium cinema entertainment experience to moviegoers." The number of Dolby 3D system installations in North America now totals around 150. Theatre circuits that have adopted Dolby 3D systems include ArcLight Cinemas, Hollywood Theatres, Malco Theatres, Marcus Theatres, and Warren Theatres.
Dolby Downs 3D Glassesâ€™ Price Dolby announced that it has reduced the price of its reusable 3D glasses. Dolby exhibitors can now purchase new 3D glasses at a list price of US $27.50, reduced from US $39.00, making them even more cost-effective. "The success of Dolby 3D around the world has enabled us to realize significant economies of scale. We are pleased to announce that our green, reusable 3D glasses are now offered at a significantly reduced price," said John Carey, vice-president of Worldwide Sales, Products, and Services at Dolby. "We highly value our exhibitor relationships worldwide and with this announcement, we demonstrate our continued effort to improve the value of owning and operating a Dolby 3D Digital Cinema theatre." Dolby's 3D glasses are high-performance, environmentally friendly passive glasses that require no batteries or charging. Because they are reusable, the per-ticket cost of Dolby 3D glasses is expected to be well below the cost of disposable 3D glasses. In addition, exhibitors aren't required to constantly track and order additional disposable 3D glasses.
AccessIT, Overture in 10-year Digital Pact AccessIT announced signing a 10-year agreement with Overture Films, wherein the latter will provide all their movies to digital cinema equipped theatres under AccessIT's Phase one digital cinema plan and will pay virtual print fees (VPFs).
all they have to offer and we look forward to an expanded relationship as our studio continues to grow bringing digital features to theatres nationwide." said Overture executive vice-president theatrical distribution Kyle Davies.
This agreement expands upon the strong relationship the companies have built since Overture's inception last year, as the company is already a customer of both AccessIT's distribution software and satellite delivery services.
"The signing of this agreement is a significant commitment by Overture to support the future of digital cinema," said AccessIT president media service division Chuck Goldwater. "We are looking forward to the line-up of movies they will be releasing in digital format, as it will support our exhibitor partners' digital cinema installations and the industry demand for more digital screens."
Since January, Overture has provided digital versions of their movies including Mad Money, Henry Poole Is Here, and Traitor to AccessIT's Phase one network of exhibitors. This agreement serves to formalize the studio's commitment to supply digital versions of their movies in the future, and to pay VPFs according to a set schedule. "AccessIT has been a great partner for Overture Films in our inaugural year in the marketplace. From customer support to delivery services, we have been impressed with
AccessIT's Digital Cinema division is the industry-leading deployment programme for digital cinema that provides funding, installation support and administration for the company's studio-supported digital cinema rollout plans. Its Phase-two plan for up to an additional 10,000 screens will provide networked, turnkey, digital cinema systems in conformance with DCI specifications.
Kinoton to Power Cinema City's Digital Initiative Cinema City International, largest cinema chain operator in Eastern and Central Europe, is equipping its theatres with D-Cinema technology suitable for 3D projection. The multiplex major has ordered 50 Kinoton DCP 30 digital cinema projectors with integrated Dolby 3D system. The initial chunk of 15 installs has already been made in Israel, Poland and Hungary. Further installations are scheduled for the Cinema City multiplexes in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Romania, besides Israel. The group operates 62 multiplexes with 563 screens and 113, 000 seats. The first digital installs in 2D and 3D are running at multiplexes in Israel and Hungary, and the audience is thrilled by the brilliant pictures and the novel 3D experience in DCinema. At the Yes Planet theatre in Ramat-Gan in Israel, three of the 15 auditoriums have been equipped with digital projection, and stereoscopic sound system. The Yes Planet in Haifa, the biggest multiplex in Israel with 23 screens, was equipped with four D-Cinema projectors. Both multiplexes have screened the digital version of the Disney/Pixar production Wall-E already, and successfully started 3D projection with Journey to the Center of the Earth in 3D. The Cinema City Arena megaplex in Budapest - the largest megaplex in Central Europe with 23 screens and 3,800 seats - now offers four digital screens. Three of the 15-screen megaplex Cinema City Arkadia in Warsaw have also recently been installed with 3D digital cinema systems. They have joined the latest band of digital screen community in Central Europe. For Moshe "Mooky" Greidinger, CEO of Cinema City International, the decision on the supplier of the D-Cinema technology was an easy one: "we have been working with Kinoton for many years already and together, we have reached
over 500 screens in six territories. Our experience all these years showed us that first, we can be sure that when buying "a Kinoton," we get a product that we can trust and use for many years, and second that behind the products there is a professional team that will always be there if we need them." According to the Cinema City CEO, for operating this amount of screens, it was very important for them to have trusted equipment supplier who could also be relied upon for efficient services. "Kinoton has been a leading company in the cinema market for many years," he says, adding, "going digital is a long process, and we wanted to do that with the team that we know and trust." Kinoton is obviously delighted about this sign of confidence. "We feel honored that Cinema City International, one of our most important long-term customers, has not only decided in favor of our D-Cinema projectors, but also relies on our expertise in digital technology and projection," says Christoph Dobler, managing director of Kinoton GmbH. "This is the proof that we have successfully expanded our competence in cinema technology to the digital sector without making any compromises regarding our high quality standards." September 2008
Ballantyne Lowers Global Digital Outlook Ballantyne of Omaha Inc., NEC's partner for digital cinema business, projects that its market share for digital cinema equipment sales to Digital Cinema Implementation Partners (DCIP)' members will likely be below the company's original expectations. The company's assessment of its market share within DCIP members is based on information gleaned from planning dialogues with the member organizations, and not based on executed purchase orders. As a result, the actual order activity could differ from current expectations. According to the company, one of the three major DCIP members currently indicates that Ballantyne's share of their digital cinema projector purchases could approximate 15 per cent to 20 per cent of their total planned purchases. While the second DCIP member indicated that they intend to purchase nearly 100 per cent of their digital projectors from a Ballantyne/NEC competitor, the third DCIP member not yet made its equipment procurement intentions known. Ballantyne is working to improve its market share with the members of DCIP, and it continues to market its products to the remaining exhibitors in North America, which represent approximately 22,000 screens. Ballantyne also expects digital projector sales in Central and South America regions where it serves as NEC's master reseller and accounts for approximately 3,500 screens. "While it is premature to make definitive statements on ultimate market share allocations for digital cinema equipment and services, Ballantyne's Board and management felt an obligation to inform our investors of the procurement trends we are currently witnessing from certain exhibitors within DCIP," noted Ballantyne president and chief executive officer John P Wilmers. "We are
disappointed by the market share anticipated from DCIP at this stage in their planning process and are working with our partner, NEC, to determine ways to improve our sales to DCIP," he said, adding "at this time, we are pleased with the demand we are seeing for our digital cinema integration and installation services, and our cinema screen business.
Integration and Installation Expectations On the other hand, Ballantyne's Technical Services (STS) subsidiary are reportedly generating high demand for its agnostic service offerings. While contracts have not been executed, ongoing customer conversations suggest that STS is currently slated to receive a majority of the digital cinema installation and integration business pertaining to one DCIP member and is in dialogue with a second DCIP. The company's cinema screen business, Strong Screen Systems (SSS), has seen significant demand for specialty screens for 3-D cinema as well as certain large format uses. Internationally, Asia represents an attractive growth opportunity as SSS has not previously been able to access this substantial market. Ballantyne plans to leverage its cinema screen presence in Asia through its long-standing Hong Kong and recently established Beijing sales offices. Ballantyne recently executed an agreement with NEC Viewtechnology Trading (Shenzehen), Ltd., granting Ballantyne's Strong Westrex (Beijing) Trading Co. Ltd. subsidiary distribution rights to NEC's Starus line of digital cinema projectors for the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). In conjunction with the PRC distribution agreement, Ballantyne recently opened its sales and service office in Beijing. Strong Westrex, which has a 40+ year reputation in the Asian cinema market, will initiate a proactive sales and promotion campaign to highlight Ballantyne's digital cinema projector and screen offerings.
Warren Theatres Chooses Christie Warren Theatres chose Christie as the exclusive digital projectin solutions provider for its new, spectacular 14screen multiplex in Moore, Oklahoma. The Moore Warren Theatre, the most expensive in the history of the state, is also one of the largest, with luxury accommodations and screens up to 80 feet wide and four stories tall. The company's first all digital multiplex, the Moore Warren features Christie's acclaimed CP2000 series projectors, chosen by over 80 per cent of global installations; a sophisticated sound system
that meets the highest standards in film audio; and the latest in 3D cinema technology. A special VIP section offers extra wide seats, and food service. The dĂŠcor reflects the ultimate in elegance, with terrazzo flooring, marble counter tops, and waterfall curtains. "We built our reputation on providing the highest quality and consistently best service in the industry. The citizens of Oklahoma City and Moore expect nothing less from us," said Bill Menke, the corporate vice-president of Construction, Development and Technology for Warren Theatres. "We selected
Christie DLP Cinema projectors because they produce the most brilliant picture on the screen, greatly enhancing the movie viewing experience. Christie projectors also allow us to show concerts, corporate and sporting events - even host massive X-Box competitions on the big screen." Warren Theatres, known for taking its cues from the past while looking into the future, installed eight Christie CP2000-ZX and six Christie CP2000-SB projectors to deliver stunning, razor-sharp images on the screens in the Moore Warren Theatre. "With its all-digital screens, Moore Warren represents the future of cinema entertainment," observed Craig Sholder, vice-president of Entertainment Solutions,
Christie. "Warren Theatres' decision to go with Christie DLP Cinema projectors exclusively reflects the enormous confidence they have in Christie products to meet the high standards they have set. We look forward to working with Warren to bring the excitement of the Digital Cinema revolution to moviegoers everywhere." Warren Theatres currently operates 77 screens at seven locations in Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Four locations are operated under the Warren Theatres name. Warren Theatres operates several Palace Theatres, and the Movie Machine located in Wichita's Towne West Mall. Warren Theatres also operates the restaurants at these facilities, namely the Hollywood Canteen, the Warren Diner, and Oscar's Sports Bar.
Australia's Sun Theatre Chooses Qube Cinema Qube Cinema, the digital cinema concern of Chennai, India-based Real Image Media Technologies, announced its partnership with the Digital Cinema Network (DCN) in Australia to convert the six-screen boutique Sun Theatre Yarraville in Melbourne's Inner West to a fully networked and automated DCIcompliant 2K digital projection system. This showcase site marks the start of DCN's larger plan to rollout DCIcompliant digital cinemas across Australia. Qube Cinema's Qube XP Digital Cinema Servers are installed at over 750 locations in 15 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia and the DCN rollout marks the company's entry into one more key market for digital cinema. The DCN solution combines Qube Cinema's Qube XP-D digital cinema servers, Christie 2K digital projectors and the DCN Theatre Management System with integration to their venue ticketing system. Installation began during August and the system will be commissioned very soon. The Sun Theatre currently utilizes five E-Cinema systems from DigitAll, across the six screens, combined with 35mm film projection to suit the mix of mainstream, art, limited and alternate product shown at this location. The flexibility of using their E-Cinema system led the cinema operator to explore the possibility of converting to a completely digital, DCI compliant system. Originally opened in 1938, the Sun Theatre was a single screen for many decades with 1050 seats. Riding on the multiplex revolution worldwide, it got converted into multi-screen format. Today, it seats only 660 over six boutique cinemas, all detailed in the art deco style, many with original details. The Sun Theatre is now open to the public and screening the latest films.
"Programming a six-plex with such a wide variety of films - often over 15 titles at a time - is a tough balancing act. However, once we started using an E-Cinema digital system, we discovered so many operational advantages that we wanted a 100 per cent digital location," said Michael Smith of Sun Theatre. "While the picture quality was sufficiently good with E-Cinema, we knew it needed to go to 2K to bring a premium experience and to access films from all distributors." "We've been supplying E-Cinema systems as DigitAll for a decade now and like others, we have been keeping our eye on DCI activity," said Martin Gardiner, General Manager of DCN. "With over 4000 screens installed in the US, it finally seemed like we were getting closer to complete digital conversions in Australia too," he said, adding, "we often had clients asking about progress with DCI, but it was Sun Theatres that were really keen and we decided together in late 2007 to find a way to make it happen," "It is a pleasure to be working with The Sun Theatre and we are proud to have been selected by DCN for the first large scale DCI rollout plan in this part of the world," said Raja Enok, Chief Marketing Officer of Qube Cinema. "We will be deploying some of our unique digital cinema solutions like QubePlex at this showcase site and are aiming for the highest level of automation possible." Qube Cinema draws on decades of domain expertise in the media and entertainment space as well as long-standing relationships with key technology leaders. Real Image, a pioneer in media technology, has proven expertise in managing complex technology transformations.
â€˘ TECHNOLOGY â€˘
Open-Air Backyard Theatre Enjoying movie watching in a drive-in theatre may be a fond memory of a bygone era. However, the mystique of outdoor movies is still alive and well taken in most movie-going communities. Bringing this fascination in a whole new way - into one's own backyard - for enjoying the thrills and fun of movies under the stars is CineBox Home & Trade Backyard Theatre! Though still in formative stage, the format appears to have the potential to be an alternative for any drive-in or outdoor / open-air theatre. For those who find their 'home theatre' ambience inadequate for cinematic experience, and for those who do not have the privilege of going to a drive-in, as and when they wanted, here is one that provides an exciting alternative. Utah, USA-based CineBox - provider of cinematic solutions for non-theatrical environments - has devised cinema setup packages for home, professional and giant outdoor cinema spaces. The home cinema solution - called CineBox Home comes equipped with everything needed for a backyard movie night, including a new patent-pending nine-feet inflatable movie screen, projector, powerful outdoor speakers, audio mixer, cables, and more. The product is claimed to be perfect for "staycations" where families stay close to home and spend time together rather than suffering from high travel-related expenses. CineBox Home rips the roof off the home theatre and takes it outside. The inflatable screen is easier to set up than a pup tent and when deflated, the 123-inch diagonal TW-24
movie screen weighs about eight pounds and fits inside a duffle bag, which one can take anywhere. Virtually, any venue can become a theatre. Everyone can enjoy their favourite movie by the poolside, in one's own backyard, or at a BBQ on the beach. The screen inflates in 30 seconds and the rest of the set-up is a snap. One has to simply use the near-silent blower (this includes patent pending air muffler) to inflate the screen, plug in the CineBox, pop in a movie. And, it is set for big-screen, backyard movie-under-the-stars action! The screen can be illuminated from either the front or the rear. The 9 feet x 5 feet CineBox Home backyard theatre kit
• TECHNOLOGY • Two higher versions of the set-up are also available, with 12 feet x 7 feet screen and 16 feet x 9 feet screen. These two set-ups come with equipment of higher specs, particularly the screen, the diagonal projections surface, and the projector. While a diagonal projection surface measuring 220 inches and a Sanyo projector of 3000 lumens are packaged for a 16 feet x 9 feet cinema setup, a combination of 166-inch diagonal projection surface and 2500 lumen Sanyo projector is packaged for 12 feet x 7 feet screen set-up.
includes: • Light weight, yet durable nine feet x 5 feet inflatable movie screen- widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio. • 123-inch diagonal projection surface- matt white, wrinkle resistant, smooth rip-stop nylon • Black-backed projection surface- blocks lights from behind, improves contrast ratio • Air Blower • CineBox Muffler for air blower • Twist in yard stakes, clip-on easy-cinch straps to secure inflatable screen • Sanyo 2300 Lumen DLP projector • Two 8-inch powerful outdoor speakers • DVD player • User-friendly audio mixer- includes DVD, MP3, microphone compatibility • Complete set of audio/visual cables and adapters • Light- for easy operation in the dark) • Heavy-duty carrying cases
Other equipment remains the same for all the packages since they are only complementary to the main concept. The most interesting aspect of the CineBox package is the patent-pending inflatable movie screen which comes not only with a blower to keep it inflated, but also a customised muffler to keep the sound level from distracting the audio. Since the ambience is open, without any surrounding reflecting surfaces, the sound system anyway takes lot of audible power, it needs controllers so that it doesn't go to a point of disturbing neighbours. The characteristic inflatable screen material is sourced from multiple manufacturers. Open Air Cinema, the developers of CineBox solutions, are said to be scouting the globe for a suitable combination formula. Besides the home-sized screens, Open Air Cinema also makes much larger inflatable screens in different size up to 40 feet wide, which one can rent or buy. These Elite Series screens are designed for outdoor film festivals and public screenings. However, for public viewing the user needs a license from the moviemakers, mostly the studio which made the movie.
â€˘ TECHNOLOGY â€˘
Giant Projection Technology, once explored, can take quick turns and twists, and unveil a 'picture' many times to that of the exploration. Since the digital exploration began in the entertainment domain, it's been just the case, opening into new, big entertainment formats. The recent technology exploit, while it is playing back audio and video for the world's first ever giant screen digital cinema, with built-in theatre automation, is also projecting in 8K resolution, the brightest picture ever. TW, this time, brings you an account of these two dynamics that appear to have wide ramifications on the industry movement.
Giant Cinema, In-Built Technology Delegates at the 2008 Giant Screen Cinema Association International Conference, held recently at the Liberty Science Centre in New Jersey, were treated to a new technology experience: A multi-channel, audio-video device equipped with wireless touch screen-controlled comprehensive theatre automation system that can power projecting images onto giant cinema screens. The tradeshow associated with the event demonstrated, among others, the MediaMerge ShowSource 3D- a turn-key media server targeted squarely at the giant-screen cinema market. The unit serves as a multi-channel digital sound source, offers high-definition 3D video playback and boasts a built-in, comprehensive theatre automation system controlled via a wireless touch-screen interface. It is claimed to be the first system of its kind to offer this range of features in a single package. Dedicated to providing transformative experiences that connect schools and society with science and technology, Liberty Science Center is New Jersey-New York City TW-26
region's largest seat of educational resource. Motivated by an innovative philosophy and enabled by a massive $109 million expansion and renewal plan, the Center is bringing to life the excitement of science for students, teachers, families and adults by engaging itself in new ways of scientific interpretations, and establishing a progressive benchmark for learning sciece.
• TECHNOLOGY • of creating a product like this centres around a software platform that utilizes high-quality codecs and an open-ended architecture to provide a solution that is of immediate benefit, and will also usher the theatre into the emerging world of digital cinema," notes Ogletree. "The ShowSource 3D includes capabilities for networked show control, 3D, 4k digital cinema playback, and a content security and licensing solution," he says. "Couple that technology with an interface designed to make everyday use a snap, and the value of this approach is clearly evident."
Chicago Museum Of Science
"When theatres began approaching us about developing new products for the giant screen industry, we realized there was a real need for the type of creativity and experience we could bring to the table," stated MediaMerge president, Ken McKibben, briefing the industry at the conference. "We've had a lot of success providing systems integration services in other markets for almost a decade," he said adding, "as the world's largest third-party SPP service provider for IMAX Theaters, we've got a really unique perspective on how to solve their problems." At the heart of the system is a high-powered media server utilizing off-the-shelf components. PCI cards provide the necessary ins and outs for functions such as video output, multi-channel audio, SMPTE time code, and tach-to-SMPTE conversion. Audio is delivered to an external DSP (digital signal processor) over a digital network using standard CobraNet technology. System automation and show control are handled by MediaMerge's proprietary software. With the sole aim of readying the ShowSource 3D for the GSCA 2008 Conference, MediaMerge began developing the product in the earlier part of the year itself. MediaMerge system designer, Tim Ogletree, was entrusted with the task of designing a system that would meet a wide range of needs that are specific to giant screen presentation using non-proprietary hardware as a cost-saving measure. "With modern day, off-the-shelf hardware, the focus
According to McKibben, the industry never really bought into the idea that the use of proprietary hardware, in and of itself, adds any value to the equation. "There are tons of manufacturers out there spending millions of dollars on R&D who are completely focused on a very narrow range of functionality," he says, adding, "it's not necessary for us to re-invent the wheel. Our focus is on how we can take those products, with good design and some custom programming, and deliver a truly exceptional experience." Technology does allow for devising a better product at lesser costs, opines the MediaMerge chief, it needs to be leveraged with proper exploration. In June this year, MediaMerge replaced the sound system in the Omnimax Theatre at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry as the first phase of a large-scale renovation. The system included six discrete speaker channels, each boasting eleven loudspeaker drivers feeding into a co-entrant horn. The subwoofer system included four high-output low-frequency enclosures that deliver smooth response well below 20Hz. With a total of over 70 loudspeaker drivers, the system delivers unprecedented power and precision. The second phase of the renovation is slated to begin soon and will include LED cove lighting, digital projection and the first roll-out of the ShowSource 3D. "This is one of the most exciting things to happen to the Omnimax Theatre in 22 years," states Kathryn Chapman, the museum's Manager of Guest Operations. "We are thrilled to be the first IMAX theatre to feature this new technology, and can't wait to share it with our
The Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) is the professional development network to promote the business of producing and presenting giant screen cinematic experiences. Came into being in January 2006 – with the unification of the Giant Screen Theater Association, and Large Format Cinema Association – the GSCA has emerged to be a strong body of over 300 member organizations that include giant screen filmmakers, distributors, exhibitors, suppliers, and students from around the world.
â€˘ TECHNOLOGY â€˘ audiences. We were initially interested in the product because of its range of flexibility, but our expectations were completely surpassed when we saw the interface," he said. "Not only will the ShowSource 3D be able to seamlessly handle inputs from a variety of media, but building and executing first-class theatre experiences will be easy and fun for the first time in our theatre's history." Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry, one of the oldest
as well as largest science museums in the world, is home to over 35,000 artefacts, and around 14 acres of hands-on exhibits designed to spark scientific inquiry and creativity. The museum - whose mission has been to inspire the inventive genius in people with world-class, permanent exhibits - has attracted over 175 million guests in its 75 years of existence till now. Some of its world-famous, fascinating exhibits include U-505 Submarine, the only German U-boat in the United States, and world-premiere temporary exhibits such as 2008's Smart Home: Green + Wired.
'Definite'ly, 8K Has Arrived! Even as the digital cinema industry continues to go gaga about the global proliferation of DCI-compliant 2K, if not 4K digital cinema, experimentalists have already gone quadrupling the digital cinematic impact, or more so. Sky-Skan Inc., a Nashua, New Hampshire-based special effects projector manufacturer, recently broke new ground with a brightness of 8K resolution. Coinciding with, and complementinig China's recent Olympic glory that also highlighted the country's technological prowess, Sky-Skan debuted what is claimed to be the world's highest resolution digital dome theatre: the Beijing Planetarium. The company declared its new 8K projection system boastfully named Definiti - throwing as much light as 35 million unique pixels onto the screen. It has been installed in the Beijing Planetarium. The 51-year-old planetarium, characterised by a 70-feet-wide, 600-seat dome theatre, had been refurbished under an ambitious eight million dollar renovation plan as to present itself as a 'starry' attraction during the Olympic festivity. The upgraded Beijing Planetarium now features a Definiti 8K system that projects quadruple the detail of Definiti 4K, allowing for a super-sharp star field exceeding even large-format film resolution. "We are proud to have Sky-Skan's Definiti 8K video system installed at the Beijing Planetarium. It is the highest resolution planetarium in the world," the buoyant director of the Beijing Planetarium Dr. Jin Zhu was quoted as saying during the launch. It may be interesting to note that though the cinema exhibition industry had caught up with the debate over theatrical projection benchmark of 4K only towards the end of 2006, the nontheatrical segment, particularly that of the planetariums, much earlier, began broaching on doubling up 4K capability to enhance the experience of their visitors. Keeping in sync with the
trend, Sky-Skan installed its (world's ?) first 4k install with Definiti projection system at the Buhl Digital Dome in Pittsburgh. That system comprised a new lens from Definiti HD and two Sony SXRD 4K projectors that were configured for over 10 million pixels. Eight HD streams fed the system from Definiti hardware and software. Furthering the impact from 4k is the Definiti 8K that achieves even higher resolution using Definiti HD lenses and six Sony SXRD 4K projectors. The system handles an astounding 24 HD stream, seamlessly stitching 53 million pixels into one continuous ultra-high resolution image on the dome screen that is 24 times larger than that of a high definition television. After accounting for blending and masking, final image resolution is 35 million unique pixels (35 megapixels). The prestigious Beijing Planetarium is now, boastfully, the world's best place to enjoy the marvels of the universe using the highest-resolution display technology. The dome screen is 23 meters (75 feet) in diameter, and seats 600 people in a concentric arrangement. According to Sky-skan, the Definiti 8K, has redefined the upper limits of digital projection for the full-dome digital planetarium market. Definiti 8K achieves more unique pixels on the dome than any other digital planetarium projection system.
• SPECIAL FEATURE •
It's a case of small thinking big, again; stretching out to a 'three-dimensional' vision of the 'home' territory as well as the global technology scape. Come November - as the advocates of the new, qualified vision in Singapore's entertainment industry say - the tiny Asian city-state would unveil what most countries, aggressive in the business, couldn't ideate. A 3D media hub for the globe! TW's special feature this time presents a perspective. A little over four years ago, Theatre World brought out a cover feature titled Singapore's Digiport- that spoke about the country's ambitious vision to set up what it called the 'digital exchange.' Conceptualised to play a virtual exchange - on the lines of a typical stock exchange - where media content creators, and distributors from across the globe converge and trade, the digital entity aimed at networking the entire entertainment world even as it helps its domestic industry take its share. (Read Theatre World - June 2004)
Now, that the world of entertainment entered yet another revolutionary cycle, taking the three-dimensional hype - call it 3D digital - the tiny Asian city-State has unveiled yet another grand vision that aims at creating still bigger, 'world's first' national 3D cinema structure. Look at this: •
Come November - from 19-23 November - Media Development Authority (MDA), and Information Development Authority (IDA), together will organise the world's first 3D movie festival
The initiative was part of a broad, multi-tasked 'Connected Singapore' programme - as it was then called - was apparently THE 3DX(PLOSION) launched riding high on the • Worlds’ first 3D movie Festival wave of digital entertainment that was beginning to change • A ten-year-long annual fete the contours of global cinema • All the cinemas to be 3D digital entertainment domain. Taking • Government grant for Upgrade the hype from the West into its stride, the country also became • Take-off to the 3D space by November home to the world's first full 2K multiplex (chain).
• All the cinemas, if not the all the screens in the country, to be 3D digitally equipped before date so as to play host to the four-day international festival What's more, the two Singapore government concerns would organise the annual festival for a period of 10 years consecutively. Further, they will fund the 3D digitisation exercise for all the September 2008
• SPECIAL FEATURE •
Cathay Cinemas: Among the first in Singapore to go 2K digital
cinema(screen)s in the country. And the finance would be a grant, not a loan! This, simply makes up the grand vision of an ambitious plan, no? "We have identified 3D as something that Singapore can do and own. We can become the first territory, and the first country in the world, to be nationally deployed," says Kenneth Tan, chief operating officer at the Media Development Authority. "We are small enough to do that," he says adding, "as a country, in general, we are sufficiently technologically inclined and equipped to do that." According to him, the potential applications of 3D digital technology are not just in movies and cinema theatres. It is also for television domain. Singapore government
is looking at applying this technology for television- that the latest 3D technology in the digital realm allows for watching the 3D image without even wearing the goggles, it is probable to apply the same for small screen too. Now the probability of watching even a 2D image - without having to wear goggles - on the television itself is a big excitement. That's a good reason for the exhibitors to get excited about doing a 3D digital on a movie screen- for the sheer variety of possibilities at the theatrical end, and business opportunities for the industry. "Singapore is a microcosm," says Tan, who, interestingly, moved to the MDA top echelon from the top, Hot Seat of GV that had all the way defied all digital thoughts. "It is a market in which and for which things can be deployed nationally and quickly." (Read First Person)
Three-D Entertainment Summit Even as the Singapore Government agencies IDA and MDA are rearing to create a 10-year platform for annual 3D digital festival, the excitement about the format reached such highs that the industry is about to witness what is being dubbed as first ever 3D Entertainment Summit.
filmmakers are able to create using these new state of the art digital tools is absolutely amazing, says Katzenberg. “To date, there have been two great revolutions in movies, from silent film to talkies and from black and white to colour. The next revolution arrives in 2009 when movies go from 2D to 3D.”
Bob Dowling, former Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of the Hollywood Reporter and President of the Los Angelesbased Bob Dowling Group, and Unicomm, LLC a Connecticut-based event management company have come together to create what is claimed as the industry’s first, full-fledged forum exclusively designed to address both the long and short term business strategies affecting emerging marketplace. The event is scheduled for December 1-2, 2008 at the Century Plaza in Los Angeles, California.
The 3-D Entertainment Summit is said to be a place where individuals and organizations will find out who stands to gain or lose from the success of the 3D entertainment revolution. The purpose of the Summit is said to be two-fold. First attendees from all facets of the industry will come to gain insight, education and a vision of how things will evolve, what strategies they can implore to leverage this opportunity, and how the creation, marketing and distribution supply chain will coalesce to feed 3D demand.
Jeffery Katzenberg, Chief Executive Officer and President of Dreamworks Animation Inc. will be introducing the event and providing opening comments to event attendees.
Of equal importance, is a highly successful Sponsorship programme so that pioneering companies in the forefront of this technology can continue to gain market awareness, and most importantly educate the relevant stakeholders in the entertainment and motion picture exhibition industry about their products.
“The next generation of 3D represents a dazzling new innovation in filmmaking and film going. What our TW-30
• SPECIAL FEATURE •
EngWah Cinemas at the Suntec City: Unleashed digital colours across the circuit’s spread; (Right) A full view of the all 2K digital projectio booth, world’s first
The Event The festival, to be held from 19-23 November this year, will be organised for ten years consecutively. The organisers are trying to involve all those concerned with the 3D digital content in one way or the other. For example, studios like DreamWorks and filmmakers who are shooting movies in digital, and technology firms like Technicolour, Kodak, Barco, Christie etc. In addition, they are also targeting people who are in business but not necessarily directly involved with cinema. For instance sports, music and gaming. The event comprises, besides deliberations and technical sessions on the applicability of 3D digital technology to various domains, screening of 3D digital movies, and non-
“3D entertainment continues to make a fundamental impact in the entertainment industry, from conception to production, from directing to distribution,” added John Golicz, CEO of Unicomm, LLC a leading event management and production organization. “More than any other technology, 3D is about to change everything.” The Summit expects to bring together prominent moviemakers, studio executives, media, financial analysts, associations and industry stakeholders- all focused and ready to learn how this technology needs to be part of their long-term business plans. Highlighting the event will be a sophisticated threetrack conference program featuring over 20 sessions and over 50 speakers all exclusively focused on 3D and geared to deliver leading insights, market direction and business strategies. The event’s unique format will include breakout forums covering strategic business issues in technology, content production / postproduction and playback and distribution. The technical sessions are expected to broach a wide range of subjects that include:
movie content shot in 3D, in the participating cinema circuits' movie halls. According to MDA sources, one of the screenings chosen for the event is the 3D version of the U2 concert where it was shot in 3D. It will also screen an animation movie 'Fly Me to the Moon' which is about three flies that got trapped inside the astronauts' helmets during the Apollo moon mission, and the whole mission seen from the flies' eye view. The movie is claimed to be one of the best to bet on the 3D digital format. The organisers are trying to get Jeffrey Katzenberg CEO of DreamWorks Animation - and noted Hollywood
Production hurdles: what does the moviemakers need to buy and how much one can spend
Winning in the theatre: how and what technology will the theatre operator adopt
Is 3D a FAD or is it here to stay
Technology- where does one bet and how does one expect to win
Will the Hollywood majors lead the pack
Blue Ray On Demand- when will 3D hit the home?
Animation and 3D: Where is the future going and who is leading the pack
Will 3D win over Wall Street: Where is the 3D market, and just how big is it
3D and Gaming: how professional cinema influences the gaming industry
3D filming-art or technology
To enhance the industry interaction, the event’s organizers have developed a unique showcase area of the event to allow technology and service vendors to meet with industry stakeholders to discuss business issues, demonstrate products and build partnerships. Key sponsors will highlight 3D technology providing brief viewing shorts prior to general sessions.
Consumer demand how much they are willing to pay
For more information, www.3d-Summit.com September 2008
â€˘ SPECIAL FEATURE â€˘ filmmaker James Cameron to demonstrate the case of the cause. All this will, however, be laced with consumer screenings as well.
The Change Dynamic It may be a little intriguing to know, if not note, though some exhibitors have considerably been very enthusiastic about the very concept of going digital - when the concept had actually arrived - the Singapore cinema industry, generically, tended to be 'wait-and-see.' EngWah Cinemas took the honours of becoming the world's first fully digital cinema chain - 20, out of its then 29 screens have been digitised with DCI-compliant 2K systems in one shot. Cathay equipped two each screens at the Cathay Building, and Cathay Cine Leisure with 2K systems - Cathay Building was, infact, recently refurbished into an all-4K digital multiplex - while Shah Cinemas has done it in two screens. However, Golden Village, the country's largest cinema chain with as many as 73 screens from nine locations, has been the biggest, and most vehement defiant- basing its defence on the sheer investment vis-Ă -vis box office guarantee. "Going digital just for the heck of being branded digital is meaningless," says David Glass, managing director of Golden Village Cinemas (GV). "It doesn't bring any demonstrable difference in the consumer experience (as had been the case of digital sound), and thus no extra box office revenues," he says adding "we are in the business of selling movie tickets, and any idea that doesn't promise to sell more tickets and get more revenues, is difficult to buy." That's been their consistent stand till date. However, the
GV chief agrees that there is a demonstrable difference with 3D digital. "3D is a different discussion," he says, "there is a demonstrable difference and people might even pay a premium to have that experience." That the GV head says - though cautiously - they are "pretty much looking at it," indicates a big change in the offing. For an industry that is apparently dominated by one company - GV accounts for as much as 60-70 per cent market - its admission of demonstrable difference does demonstrate a change dynamic which is what appears to be happening in Singapore now. (Read separate story: Thinking for the Box (Office) ) In fact, on July 15 this year, GV hosted at the GV VivoCity, its largest multiplex, a one-day programme that was aimed at "demonstrating the impact of 3D digital," and its benefits. Technicolour has provided the system hardware for the event. It has reportedly generated adequate enthusiasm. Technicolour is also expected to be in the running to provide systems for the November event. However, GV's 'in-principle' willingness to embrace 3D digital did not guarantee to take the IDA-MDA strategy to fruition- which was why the government agency combine had come forward to fund the cinemas' upgrade to 3D digital. Through these two agencies, the Singapore government would fund the "incremental costs" of upgrading to 3D digital set-up. This, in essence, means, cinemas who already have installed 2K digital systems do not have anything to invest
The D-Cinema Enthusiam three years ago: A demo of Promotional programme at Cathay CineLeisure
â€˘ SPECIAL FEATURE â€˘
since the upgrade fund is coming from the government, and they don't need to pay it back at all. It is a huge booster for circuits like EngWah whose cinemas are almost totally digital, and others - except GV - who have substantially digitised their screens. It is only for the single largest major to invest to the extent it attracts government "grant" for going 3D digital. "I suppose we are moving the last hurdle out," emphasises Tan. "It's actually not just about the funding; it is also about the assurance that there will be the content, to feed the cinemas regularly." So, a strong case had been made.
The Plan and Purpose Why does the government, after al do this, the event as well the funding for upgrade?
honchos brainstormed on what they could develop and own. Three-D digital was one such strategy. As part of the Blueprint plan, the Singapore government had already started building an exclusive Media Park which would be Singapore's first Sound-stage complex. The strategy is to jump start, and catalize Singapore as a global media content hub. That billions of dollars of digital media work is being outsourced by producers to different service providers in Asia, Singapore intends to leverage its 'connectivity' strengths to attract those business opportunities and grow big. Now that they are half-way through from where they started, the IDA and MDA highpriests of threedimensional transformation hope they are pretty much on their way to fruition before time. The Media Park whose model is displayed at the new MDA office premises - is said to be ready in three years time, still four years to go before it becomes the heart of the intended hub.
"That's part of the Singapore Media Fusion 2015 Blueprint," comes the answer. An upgrade of the Connected Singapore drafted during the "We have identified 3D as something that early part of 2000, the Blueprint Singapore can do and own. We can envisages Singapore to be a onebecome the first territory, and the first stop PHD i.e. posting, hosting and country in the world, to be nationally distribution centre, at least for deployed. We are small enough to do that. the Asia-Pacific to begin with, We are sufficiently technologically and hopefully for the whole inclined and equipped to do that." world in the the foreseeable future. The IDA and MDA â€“ Kenneth Tan, COO-MDA
As of now, the buzz is on making the November event a reckoning case for the global industry. Given the commitment, and the passion that the Singapore administration is known for at completing its task, there may be little doubts about their mission accomplishment.
â€˘ SPECIAL FEATURE â€˘
The Box (Office)! 'Think out of the box,' they say, to elicit a desired result from a person's thought process. A catch-phrase for champions of innovation and novelty, this had oft been chanted by in highpriests of technology in cinema exhibition too. Here is a person, who, however, thinks for the box (office), even as he explores the ways and means to strengthen its cause. While most honchos in the business are being taken by the 'digital mindset,' that of the Head of the Golden Village Cinemas appears steadfast. Speaking from his newly relocated head office in Singapore that administers 73 screens, from nine locations, out of some 125 screens on the island, David Glass sounds as defiant as ever, though willing for demonstrably different experience. Excerpts from a recent tete-e-tete! On going for (DCI-compliant) digital projectionâ€Ś. Going digital just for the sake of being branded digital is meaningless. It doesn't carry any value, and Golden Village Cinemas does not see any specific benefit in the idea. The point of showing alternative content is a different matter. The issue of showing a Hollywood or Bollywood blockbuster movie either in digital or 35mm film format makes no difference to the consumer- he doesn't care. Digital sound is different, and pretty much valid. Because of the sheer difference it created in the consumer experience. There is a demonstrable difference between digital sound and non-digital or analog sound. Each transient element of the sound that the moviemaker had incorporated into the content is reproduced to almost near perfection in digital sound- which is why it carried value. Going digital means millions of dollars of investment for which no extra box office revenue is guaranteed simply because the consumer doesn't feel a great demonstrable difference as had been the case of digital sound. I'm aware that some moviemakers have been shooting movies on digital to save costs of film- that may be okay for them, but we are in the business of selling cinema tickets that is dependent on the consumer who is not bothered if the TW-34
movie was made in digital or film. The consumer is only concerned about the quality of movie and presentation at the cinema. So, digital itself doesn't bring any demonstrable difference. 3D is a different discussion- there is a demonstrable difference in the movie experience. And people might even pay a premium to have that experience.
• SPECIAL FEATURE •
It's an amazing experience and takes one's breath away. The modern version of 3D is something that a cinema can really look up to, to increase ticket sales.
Those arguing in favour of digital projection may probably be doing so to make people buy their argument which is difficult, to say the least.
On the argument that digital format helps prevent piracy, faster distribution et al…
On scores of exhibitors going gaga about digital…
All that is true only to some extent. For piracy, there is no sure-fire solution till now to the problem of in-the-theatre camcording of movies. However preventive means one adopts, with the kind of technology available today, movies are being pirated at various stages. So, digital cinema cannot be a total solution to piracy. Distributionit involves high investment which is a moot subject. Alternative content- that is the only benefit as of now! But again this aspect comes into consideration only when there is no blockbuster or popular movies. As long as good movie content is available nobody wants to throw it away in favour or fancy of alternative content. So, what is important is the quality of movie content and its presentation in the cinema. On the spectre of assumption that there would be no film projectors after few years since manufacturers have been cutting down their production in favour of digital projection…. I don't believe it. I have seen substantial number of people who say they want to see movie on film and nothing else.
They are not going gaga. It hasn't taken off as it had been hyped- even in the United States, the home of most manufacturers. Look at the penetration- it is very tiny, when compared to total number of screens in the world. Exhibitors tend to think that instead of paying huge amounts of money for something which doesn't give them extra revenue, they could invest the same to put one more popcorn machine to sell more and variety of eateries. On cases of big theatre chains in and outside the US going for large-scale digitisation; on a case in Singapore too …. They had not sold one extra ticket purely because of digital- not one ticket, because the public just don't care. Any extra sales might be due to the movie's or the cinema's presentation quality. On GV adopting the 3D digital model… We are pretty much looking at it, but would not be able to say with specific amount of certainty when and how we will be going to do it. It is difficult to put a time-frame.
Contd. on page TW-42...
“We are pretty much looking at the 3D Digital model, but it is difficult to put a time-frame on when and how we do it. We need to look at all the possible angles. A lot more depends on the applicability of the format commercially, and availability of content on a regular basis.”
• CINEMA SYSTEMS • Projection Series-XXII
Change Over to 70mm In the last issue, we discussed different processes involved in synchronising sound formats onto the film and various gauges that are currently in use. As part of the continuing series on sound and projection formats, this time we bring you the sound formats required for 70mm projection, the most popular format for today's cinemas.
70mm films use magnetic sound tracks, which merit special consideration. Unlike optical sound tracks, magnetic head assemblies - commonly known as penthouses - always come before the gate, so (as with digital penthouses), a different film path is appropriate. Magnetic sound tracks also bring their own maintenance problems in practice. The tracks are made of the same type of substance as other magnetic recording media, such as audio and video tape, so they suffer from the same problems: The wider screen of 70mm requires stereo sound, or at least a wide spread of sound. Cinemas which regularly show old 70mm films often have five speakers behind the screen, while others showing only modern Dolby 70mm films have only three speakers needed by Dolby Stereo 35mm films. The number and type of sound tracks on 70mm film can vary, up to six channels, either mono surround or stereo sound. It is important to know the exact variant that the projectionist has to project, so the necessary information should be on the film can labels, or the film leader. If not the projectionist has to check back with the film renter who supplies the print. In order to ensure optimum sound reproduction, test films are used to set up the sound system. One is called tone, and the other pink noise film. These are normally provided along with the film itself because the relative levels and frequency response of the six channels gradually change
Every time a film with magnetic tracks passes through the projector, it shreds particles of oxide in the gate and elsewhere which must be cleaned out after every showing. If this task is neglected, the film can get damaged as deposits build up with successive showings. Loose magnetic track particles will scratch the film. These deposits can also clog up the magnetic sound reproduction heads, so they must be cleaned regularly as well, to maintain good sound quality in the auditorium. The
as the heads in the cinema wear with the abrasiveness of the film's magnetic tracks. The tone film provides six 800 Hz continuous signals so that the correct levels can be set for each channel, and the pink noise contains the frequencies necessary for an engineer to check that each channel has the same response or the tonal qualities. As for the optical sound, cinemas should carry a loop of the 70mm tone film so that levels can be checked periodically. This usually entails running the loop the correct way - usually marked with an arrow - through the sound head, adjusting the trimmers on the various magnetic preamplifiers until the specified Dolby level is achieved. If the cinema does not regularly show 70mm films, it is essential to have a test screening whenever a film of that gauge is selected for presentation- if only to make sure that it gives the best out of the sound system. At the most basic level, because the projectionist cannot see the projectionist should make sure to follow the procedures recommended by the manufacturer. Also, the heads must be checked for wear as unlike the reading an optical track, the film comes into physical contact with the magnetic heads. •
Another disadvantage of magnetic sound is that it I vulnerable to damage by magnetic fields. Care must be exercised to ensure that films with magnetic sound tracks are kept away from loudspeakers and other electromagnetic devices to prevent distortion or loss of sound known as dropouts.
• CINEMA SYSTEMS • Change over from 35mm to 70mm: stage one
Change over from 35mm to 70mm: stage two
Either insert beam spreader
Or adjust focus
Install 70mm back plate
Fit 70mm aperture plate in slide & install
Change over sound head
Release catch, slide 35mm gate up & lift out
Install & latch 70mm gate
Remove 35mm intermittent sprocket & fit 70mm
Undo retaining screw & remove 35mm backup
Slide 35mm aperture plate out
All pad rollers must be turned
Including the intermittent
Remove heat sink
Locate 70mm parts box
Check each roller to make sure it is set to 70mm
Change the lens for 70mm
The test screening provides an opportunity to adjust and test the film tension. If it is too light, then the film will be damaged, and if it is too slack, then the picture will be unstable. Different projectors have different methods of tension adjustment, but in general, the best method is to work from too slack, gradually increasing the tension until the picture is stable, exactly as for 35mm film. In any case, the projectionist has to follow the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines.
Non-Dolby sound track 1 - left 2 - inner left 3 - centre 4 - inner right 5 - right 6 - surround [all tracks are full range, pre-1976
Dolby mono surround: track 1 - full range left 2 - low frequency boom 3 - full range centre 4 - low frequency boom 5 - full range right 6 - full range surround
Dolby stereo surround: track 1 - full range left 2 - If boom / hf left surround 3 - full range centre
4 - If boom / hf right surround 5 - full range right 6 - full range mono surround
[LEFT SURROUND = LF TRACK 6 + HF TRACK 2] [RIGHT SURROUND = LF TRACK 6 = HF TRACK 4]
sound on the film, he cannot know if it is there, without hearing the same. It is perhaps, a good idea to check the film right through the magnetic damages or dropouts. Because the magnetic tracks are printed on the base of the film, the film itself will be thicker than normal, which will affect film tension settings during projection.
Once the projector begins performing satisfactorily, the projectionist should get into the auditorium for the final sound checks, as also for masking settings. If the settings need changing to accommodate the different aspect ratio of the 70mm image, which is normally 2:1:1, the projectionist has to immediately swing into action and do the necessary changes so that the picture on the screen is presented as it was intended. Many 70mm films today, however, are enlargements (blow-ups) of 35mm negatives. So if the negative is 1:85:1, then the 70mm is masked at that ratio also. The projectionist has, therefore, to check the ratio of the given setting, and do the necessary changes. Some 70mm films have an overture at the beginning. This is an integral part of the show, usually to set up an atmosphere. It will appear as a blank film, ahead of the first picture, with sound tracks. It is important that this is not removed by mistake, and that the projectionist has allowed for it when he sets up the automation cues for lighting, curtain moves etc. (To be Con’td)
October 13-16, 2008 2008
Orlando World Center Marriott, Orlando, Florida
ShowEast 2008, the 21st annual convention and tradeshow for the motion picture exhibition and distribution community in the East Coast of the Americas will be held from 13-16 October, 2008, at the Marriott Orlando World Center in Orlando, Florida. The four-day event promises to provide the motion picture industry with the perfect place and opportunity to gather, and share ideas and information on the current and future state of the industry.
Dubbed to be ‘sister event’ of ShoWest, ShowEast 2008 promises a continuum in the momentum built up by ShoWest in March 2008 by coordinating meetings with business associates, working with existing vendors and finding new ones at the tradeshow and continuing industry education along with a host of opportunities to enhance business. The event also boasts of facilitating smart purchasing and programming decisions for the participants to last the entire year.
The event also promises to be a platform for distribution professionals to network with customers and all the major cinema equipment and concessions manufacturers, suppliers and distributors.
Every year around 1500 professionals from across the industry spectra of theatre operators/owners, movie
In line with its practice of over 21 years since its inception, the ShowEast event fare, this time too, include: • Screenings of new movies • Product reel presentations of upcoming movies • Sponsored food events • Technical sessions on issues concerning issues • Networking Events • Product demonstration Suites • Tradeshow • Awards presentation
buyers, distributors, concessionaires, theatre design/ construction professionals, equipment manufacturers, marketing/media professionals and advertising agencies participate in ShowEast. This year’s event is expected to improve upon this profile of participants. The four day event will be crested by a grand finale of awards ceremony that recognises and honours significant contributions made by the industry professionals in various areas of activism. The awards, to be presented on October 16 comprise: • International Achievement Award in Distribution • International Achievement Award in Exhibition • MPA Anti-Piracy Award • Show “E” Award • Salah M. Hassanein Humanitarian Award • The Kodak Award • Al Shapiro Distinguished Service Award This year, the Show E Award for industry achievement will be presented to Carmike Cinemas senior vice-president-
film Larry Collins. Collins will be feted at an awards gala set to close the convention confab on October 16. ”Throughout his 40-year career in the business, Collins has achieved enormous success in bringing quality films to theaters across the country through his astute negotiating and excellent reputation with film companies and distributors,” ShowEast co-managing director Mitch Neuhauser said. The ShowEast 2008 Award for International Achievement in Distribution will be conferred upon Griselda Fortunato, Managing Director of Warner Bros. and Twentieth Century Fox Argentina. Fortunato will receive the honour as part of the International Day programming, to be held on October 13. On the other hand, Nancy Klueter, vice-president of Exhibitor Relations for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, will receive the ShowEast 2008 Al Shapiro Distinguished Service Award.
Exhibitors List Access Integrated Technologies ... 1106 ACS Enterprises ............................... 523 Advanced Specialty Lighting ......... 403 American International Concession 823 Barco-Digital Cinema ...................... 500 Big Sky ............................................. 515 Blair Communications ..................... 920 Burdette Beckmann ....................... 1119 C Cretors .......................................... 908 Caddy Products ................................ 923 Camatic Seating .............................. 309 Christie ............................................. 914 Cinema Concepts ............................. 405 Cinema Equipment & Supplies ..... 1510 Cinema Scene ................................... 400 Cinemeccanica ................................. 815 Cinestar Software ........................... 614 Coca-Cola .......................................... 800 Color Ad Packaging ......................... 521 ConAgra Foods ................................. 714 Continental Concession Supplies ... 407 CoolScreen Communications .......... 416 Crown International ...................... 1002 D-BOX Technologies ...................... 1114 Dale & Thomas Popcorn ................ 1022 DFE Technologies ............................. 419 Digiscreen ................................. SUITE P Dolby Labs ....................................... 900 Dolphin Seating ............................... 423 Doremi Cinema .............................. 1214 DTS Digital Cinema .................. SUITE K Durkan Hospitality ........................ 1004 Eisenberg Gourmet ......................... 811 Embedded Processor Designs ......... 204 Eomac ............................................... 617 Filmack Studios ............................... 506 Franklin Designs ............................ 1524 Gehl Foods ....................................... 518 Gold Medal ..................................... 1512 Golden Link ...................................... 315 Granger Construction ...................... 418
Greystone International ................. 200 Harkness Screens ............................ 821 High Performance Stereo ............... 606 iCount USA ....................................... 308 Inorca Seating ................................. 722 International Cinema Technology Association ............................... 304 Irwin Seating Company .................. 814 Jack Roe ........................................... 819 JBL Professional ............................ 1000 K.C.S. ................................................ 505 Kernel Seasons ................................ 210 Kinoton ............................................. 607 Kneisley ........................................... 305 Maintenance Cooperative .............. 208 Marcel Desrochers .......................... 701 MARS Snackfood ............................ 1101 Martek Contracts ............................ 615 MasterImage ............................ SUITE N Mobiliario ........................................ 608 Moving Image Technologies ........... 314 Mycinemastore .............................. 1023 Nanjing Huaxia Cinetech .............. 1612 National Dairy Brands .................... 621 Nestle ............................................. 1516 Odell's .............................................. 716 Omniterm Data Technology ........... 709 Osram Sylvania ............................... 707 Outpost 12 Studios ....................... 1528 Paradigm Design ............................. 307 Paramount Security ........................ 719 Partner Tech ..................................... 113 Philips LTI ........................................ 715 Preferred Popcorn ......................... 1526 Prime Ticket .................................... 619 Proctor Companies ........................ 1520 Promotion In Motion Company ...... 906 QinetiQ North America .................. 409 Qsc Audio Products ......................... 600 Qube Cinema ................................... 300 Radiant Systems .............................. 501
RBS WorldPay ................................ 1018 RCM Media ....................................... 514 Ready Theatre Systems ................ 1609 Resonate Innovative ....................... 422 Retriever Software ......................... 720 RGS International ............................ 214 Ricos .................................................. 710 Roney International ........................ 414 Schneider ....................................... 1009 Seating Concepts ............................. 406 SOLO Cup ......................................... 921 Sony ...... 100/101/ATL/SUITE L/SUITE M St. Jude Children's Research Hospital .................................. 1020 Stadium Savers ............................... 306 Stadium Seating .............................. 618 Stein ................................................. 401 Strong International 700 SUBWAY ........................................... 206 Taste Of Nature .............................. 622 Tempo ............................................... 215 Texas ................................................. 620 The Hershey ..................................... 404
TW - TheatreWorld .... Pub bin Therma-Stor ..................................... 517 Titan Technology ........................... 1604 Tivoli .............................................. 1115 TK Architects ................................... 820 Tootsie Roll .................................... 1006 Track Seating ................................. 1607 Ultra Stereo Labs ............................ 508 Universal Cinema Services ............. 721 Variety ........................................... 1611 Ventura Foods ............................... 1508 VIP Cinema Seating ........................ 520 Vista ............................................... 1109 Vistar ............................................... 623 Weaver Popcorn .............................. 922 West World Media .......................... 114 WideScreen Media ........................ 1014 Winters Janitorial ........................ 1007 XpanD ............................................. 1008
CINEMA EXPO 2008 Cinema Expo 2008, the annual event for motion picture exhibition industry in Europe, was held from 23-26 June, 2008, at the RAI in Amsterdam, the event’s regular venue. In to 17th year of its existence, the event was generically in line with its tradition- in that it had the all-important tradeshow with almost all the global equipment manufacturers exhibiting their existing and new products, technical sessions, enticing food functions that were interlaced with product reel presentations and screenings of newly released movies. To top it all, the regular Awards programme, recognising significant contributions from the industry professionals. The main event, as usual, was preceded by one-day seminar sessions by International Theatre Exhibitors Association (ITEA) that focused on subjects concerning the European exhibition industry movement and its technology upgraditions. Discussion on digital cinema, as usual, took its prominence.
Programming The most notable aspect of Cinema Expo this year – unlike the previous edition – was a high degree of technical sessions on day one itself. So much so that it had as many as six seminar sessions that were interlaced with as many as four screening programmes. The subjects debated at the seminars included: •
D-Cinema in Europe – Stalled?
Digital Cinema Worldwide
The Challenges of In-Theatre Marketing
Alternative Content – European New Frontiers
The Ins and Outs of Running An All-Digital Theatre
While the technical sessions apparently elicited insightful impressions from the industry professionals across the spectrum of the cinema exhibition industry – though mostly representing the European industry – the day one programming was also characterised by the interlacing highlights as well as full-length screening of ensuing
blockbuster movies. The movies brought into limelight included DreamWorks’ Animation creations Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, and Monsters vs. Aliens – the latter presented in Real D 3D format. While Paramount Pictures presented its product reels through the day, the day ended with the screening of DreamWorks’ Tropic Thunder presented in 2K digital format. Day two had product reel presentations from Sony and Twentieth Century Fox while day three had presentations by Warner Bros and Disney. The day was also marked by live screening of Euro Cup 2008 soccer semi-final presented by Christie and Arts Alliance Media. The last day of the event was marked, besides the gala night of the Awards, by the screening of two blockbuster movies: Fly Me To The Moon – presented in XpanD and nWave Picture’s digital format – and Journey to the Centre of the Earth – presented in Real D 3D. The Final Day Luncheon and Awards Ceremony, sponsored by Coca-Cola, DLP Cinema and Nielsen EDI, included the
Theatre World at the Cinema Expo’08 tradeshow front desk; (right) The Coco-Cola Lounge
presentation of the Nielsen EDI International Gold Reel Awards to those movies which have earned more than $100 million at the international box office. Roger Pollock of Paramount Pictures International was conferred upon with the International Distributor of
the Year Award, while Jocelyn Bouyssy of Franceâ€™s CGR Cinemas was awarded the International Exhibitor honour. Dany Boon, Jerome Seydoux and Claude Berri, the men behind the French box-office hit Bienvenue chez les Châ€™tis, were all jointly honnoured with Award of Excellence in Filmmaking.
The Tradeshow The tradeshow which began on 24 June afternoon was evidently a Europe-focused show, with most exhibitors being from Europe, besides those with global presence, and a few with interests in Europe. Prominent at the two-and-half days of
AUTUMN 2008 OCTOBER 13-16 SHOWEAST, ORLANDO, USA www.showeast.com
NOVEMBER 5-8 BIRTV, BEIJING, CHINA www.birtv.com
WINTER 2008 DECEMBER 9-11 CINEASIA, MACAU www.cineasia.com
SPRING 2009 FEBRUARY 17-19 FRAMES, MUMBAI, INDIA www.ficci-frames.com
MARCH 6-8 CINEMA TODAY, CHENNAI, INDIA www.cinematoday.in
MARCH 30 - APRIL 2 SHOWEST, LAS VEGAS, USA www.showest.com
SUMMER 2009 JUNE 22-25 CINEMA EXPO AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND www.cinemaexpo.com
AUTUMN 2009 SEPTEMBER AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL MOVIE CONVENTION GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA www.movieconvention.com.au
SEPTEMBER 11-15 IBC, AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND www.ibc.org
SEPTEMBER KINO EXPO, ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA www.kinoexpo.ru
tradeshow were projection majors Christie Digital Systems, NEC, Sony Europe, Barco, Strong International, Kinoton, Cinemeccanica, audio majors JBL-Crown, Dolby, DTS, QSC, Alcons Audio, and cinema equipment manufacturers Proyescon and USL Incorporated, ticketing solutions providers Vista, control systems solutions provider Quick Sensor, digital cinema solutions providers Qube Cinema, Doremi Labs, and GDC Technology also figured prominently. In all, around 100 companies exhibited their product range at the tradeshow.
New Launches DTS Digital Cinema ramped up their solutions with new offerings- The ScreenStore Media Player, Theatre Management System (TMS), and Screen Management System (SMS) have all been launched at the industry showcase demonstrating DTS Digital Cinemaâ€™s commitment to providing solutions for the digital cinema network. The 4K digital solutions advocate Sony presented how its market leading CineAlta 4K digital cinema projector systems, Ziris digital signage solution, HD standard LCD panels and plasma screens are transforming the cinema experience for audiences across Europe.
...Contd. from page TW-35
Thinking For The Box (Office)! We need to look at all the possible angles. A lot more depends on the applicability of the format commercially, and availability of content on a regular basis. Today's 3D is certainly a much improved technology fare than what it is used to be earlier- combination of red and blue glasses, blurring of images etc. used to dampen the 3D effects. However, today's 3D is much better. In fact, we hosted programme here at GV on July 15, to examine various aspects of 3D digital and its benefit to cinemas. In addition, we are also planning a 3D Digital movie festival in November this year, under the auspices of Media Development Authority of Singapore. This programme, apart from a broad-based agenda, is aimed at sensitising Singapore cinema exhibitors towards the impact of 3D digital, and how they can benefit from it. On Singapore exhibition industryâ€Ś Singaporean exhibition is as enthusiastic as any other industry in the world, and is excited about the variety of blockbuster content coming to it- even as it retains its own very special identity. I don't think if there is any other industry in the world that has so much variety of movie content running so well. Almost all the Asian language movies - Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese, Hong Kong, European, and of course, Hollywood and Bollywood - run in Singapore, and churn good revenues too. The movie awareness is very high. Singapore exhibition industry also, characteristically, has a potential market for local movies. Simply because the local movies generically try to depict issues that Mr. Average Singaporean faces, the movies get a strong support from the patrons. Jack Neo-movie Money Not Enough grossed more revenues than any other non-Singapore movie thus far. With a whole lot of local content flowing in- thankfully due to the emergence of a strong breed of local moviemakers, the industry has a very strong outlook. More, the industry is open to the technological advancements taking place in the domain- to the extent it benefits the box office. Technology like that of 3D digital is one the industry is looking at.
Changing the Picture Profile Kenneth Tan, the till-recently 'first person' of Singapore Cinema exhibition - in the role of managing director of Golden Village Cinemas - is in a new role now, that presents, probably, an entirely different profile of the person. From a seat of authoritative defence against what was considered not beneficial, he has moved to an office of aligning one and all- to the ideation of the administration. As the Chief Operating Officer of Singapore's Media Development Authority (MDA), he has his task cut out: To see the fund-rich country as a global digital media hub- the immediate task of which is the 3DX festival, followed by the Media Fusion Plan. TW speaks to its First Person this time on what is in the offing. TW – What exactly the 3DX is all about? KT – The 3DX is an exchange of 3D digital expertise where one can learn and share ideas about leveraging the strengths of 3D digital technology to further competencies in the business of media entertainment. It comprises both technical sessions, with experts and entrepreneurs from across the globe sharing their views and experiences, and movie screening programme. The event will be held from 19-23 November, with most, if not all the, cinema circuits in the country. And, it will be held every year, for the next ten years to come. In fact, one of the journalists at a media programme recently asked me- 'Mr Tan, you are calling the event 3DX- is that because you want to do it for ten years?' Though the X does symbolise number ten in Roman numerical, it actually connotes exchange of digital expertise, the content technology. TW – What all does the event programming comprise? KT – We are going to bring people who are involved in 3D content, for example, from studios like DreamWorks, frims like Technicolour, Kodak, Barco, Christie etc., and filmmakers who are shooting movies in digital. We are trying to get Jeffrey Katzenberg and James Cameron. We have in principle consent from a wide range of people to come here and speak, and that includes high definition, digital broadcasting and television equipment providers. I suppose a starting point of cinema-centric because much of the consumer visible 3D innovations in the last year or so have been in cinema- which is why we will have screening of Fly Me To The Moon. But the broader interest is to push across the spectrum of media- which is why we will also have the 3D version of the U2 concert. TW – What specific advantage(s) you see from the exercise?
KT – If we get all the major content, technology developers and providers involved and committed, then Singapore becomes the first market for anything they do- not just the 3D. It is a way of getting the technology providers, decision makers, and movers and shakers to be here in Singapore, to make decisions here, to launch things here, and network one another, in a sense, a neutral space. If we can get Katzenberg, Cameron and all that here, suddenly this becomes a place where any innovation in the theatrical world begins and develops. Apart from movies, there can be opportunities galore. For example, sports and music! Both these fields lend exciting opportunities in 3D digital- for recording, processing and broadcasting live. There are efforts to shoot the Singapore Symphony orchestra in 3D digital so that they can tour easily without having to shift the whole lot of equipment and gather the artistes from all over. Musicians are very fussy about how they and their equipment are flown. This is a specific case of advantages with the digital technology, and the impact, if it is shown in 3D, would be tremendous. TW – Singapore doesn't have a 3D digital cinema yet, and the plan is to have it on a national scale, and an international event… KT – Which is why the government has stepped in! We will fund the 3D digital component. For a theatre operator, if they do not have digital at all, the leap is quite big. For those who already have it, all that they need is an upgrade to 3D digital which is only incremental, and, I understand, less than 50,000 SGD. If we help a little bit financially, this is not a huge investment per se. TW – To what extent will be the funding? Any guideline, or framework? KT – I think, in principle, if we assume that the exhibitor is September 2008
already a 2D operator, we will fund 100 per cent of the incremental cost to upgrade to 3D. It's unrealistic for us to say we will fund the deployment from scratch. For, each install would cost over $150,000. So, it is hard to do that way. And, our payback will be seeing the industry thrive. We don't see it as a loan; we see it as a grant. If the festival succeeds, and generates enough enthusiasm globally, we have a case to demonstrate. TW – How about the cinema circuits' receptivity to the move? KT – They have all told us yes. Initially, however, except EngWah because they already did a large-scale 2D deployment, the rest of them said they don't want to fund themselves. That's always been the line and languageGolden Village advocating that very strongly. Now that the government is funding, I suppose we are moving the last hurdle out. EngWah has very little to do. I think Cathay and Shah Cinemas will do it since they have moved some
distance. With GV also giving in-principle assent, it is possible to get the industry in line with the Blueprint vision. It's actually not just about the funding; it is also about assurance that there will be the content, to feed the cinemas regularly. TW – Does the MDA now guarantee content supply regularly? KT – I would actually hesitate to say we will guarantee because we will not produce any content ourselves. But we are certainly going to give them everything we have got. Chris (Dr. Christopher Chia, CEO of MDA), has gone to see every major studio in Hollywood, and meet their heads to say 'we assure you anything that is available in Singapore (to show), and we will make it happen.' I think we need to keep doing it. We have an international Advisory Council headed by Greg Coote who is long time professional, and former head of the Burbank-based entertainment company leading the charge. TW – Why does the IDA-MDA combine want to do all this? KT – This is part of the Singapore Media Fusion 2015 Blueprint that envisioned Singapore to be a onestop PHD i.e. posting, hosting and distribution centre, at least for the Asia-Pacific to begin with, and hopefully for the whole world in the the foreseeable future. Singapore, in absolute sense, is small. But, we turn that to our advantage, because that also means Singapore is a microcosm. We brainstormed on what we could develop and own- something very special that is not done by others, as also speaks out our competency. Three-D digital was one such opportunity for which we are sufficiently technologically inclined and equipped to do. TW – What exactly is the Blueprint vision? KT – The Blueprint document envisages, apart from the digital exchange that you are already familiar with, interactive digital media R & D, and high definition television. We are also going to build an exclusive Media Park - that would be ready in another three years time - which would be Singapore's first Sound-stage complex. Why we are doing it? Because no one else will! Even if we invite a company like Warner Bros. to come here and make their creative works, I don't think they would be willing to build a studio of this scale on their own
and then create their movie content. And, the local companies are certainly not going to do it. So the government decided to do it. This is all part of a main strategy to jump start, and catalise Singapore as a global media content hub. TW – What and how exactly you go about realising the vision? KT – Setting up a national 3D digital cinema network, the 3DX festival, and the Media Park are already detailed. Thereafter, MDA intends to borrow the name of a new company called the Bridge Builder to ensure that all the content providers keep Singapore on the Radar. The efforts put in, in the run-up to the festival, and thereafter would have to pave way for future action. There is a lot of postproduction work that can be sourced to here. We were told by Walden Media that every year they have post-production work worth around 120 million USD that they get done outside the US. The work goes to Korea, Thailand, and elsewhere. Things like that bring in tremendous opportunities. I suppose the heart of all this, in terms of the philosophy common to what we do with our international trade and manufacturing, is the geographic location of the country. If one wants to give us OEM work, we will do it here; if one wants to bring work that is custom-created here, we will do it; if one wants to use our services, we will add value to the work; and if one wants to relocate everything to different places, we invite them to do all that in Singapore, using our well-developed infrastructure. TW – Outsourcing is directly proportional to cost factor. And most works outlined are UScentric, which would not come unless there is a perceptible cost factor with superior quality… KT – We would hesitate to be chosen only because of cost. We really want to provide the best we can or anyone can hope for. If that means costwise we are not the cheapest, then we will make it up other ways. We would probably give tax incentives, seed funding etc. So, in the end, the total equation makes the whole finances safe. Also, the geographic location matters significantly. Singapore is characterised by some interesting, exotic island locations for outdoor shooting, technologically viable environment, stepping board positioning for reaching out to Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Indo-China etc. All this will count even as we strive to leverage them to enrich domestic market and benefit local industry.
TW – How do you propose to do that? KT – As far as cinema industry is concerned, we made 12 feature films last year. This year, if everything goes according to plan, we will make 20. This is a combination of things that government funds, and otherwise. The new scheme that we launched guarantees the distribution through Golden Village, about a dozen feature films a year, funded by government. On top of that, there would be films made by others. I would say 20 feature films a year should be manageable. This can be replicated to nonmovie entertainment, as explained earlier. TW – Where do you think you are positioned today? KT – We are half-way through with the Media Fusion 2015 Bleuprint. We have some seven more years to go. We believe we are on track, and in the right mode.
entertainworld A Cinema City of Its Own Central and Eastern Europe as well as the West Asia (popularly called Middle East) form a very typical stretch of geographies, unmatched by any other region in the world. Each territory of the region is characterised by its own socio-economic and political tenets as also its cultural heritage. However, they all look alike in certain areas of modern human endeavour- the cinematic entertainment. Even as each region retains and reflects its own set of modern lifestyle, it joins the global quality ranks in terms of cinematic excellence. Bringing out this unification across the sizeably big geography is a Cinema City that has virtually turned the region into one big cinematic place. This issue of Entertain World brings you a visual treat of movie theatrical brilliance that is spread across six countries. The Cinema City International - a true-to-itsname cinema chain that is determining the region's cinema as a whole!
entertainworld Cinema City International
Cinema City International - the largest multiplex theatre operator in Central and Eastern Europe, and Israel - is one single reference to cinema exhibition industry in the region. Probably, the oldest cinema operating company in the region with almost 80-year history - it took its origin in 1929 when Greidinger family opened the first cinema in Haifa, Israel - the group owns the honours of ushering not only the West Asian country but also the neighbouring European nations into the modern era of multiplexing and megaplexing.
Having launched the first multiplex in Israel in the early 1980s, the company made rapid strides into the then cinema starving markets, and by July this year, marketed its stamp at 62 locations - with a total screen count of 563, including 8 Imax theatres, for an aggregate of over 100,000 seats - in six countries: Poland, Israel, Hungary, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Romania.
Living up to its name, the Cinema City International has ushered the region to some truly international cinematic styles- in design, product offerings and services. Astonishingly done cinemas wish spacious interiors oozing glitz and movie glamour all over speak volumes about the cinematic thrills created outside the movie patrons, enticing them into the cinemas. With an intelligent mix of audiovisual elements, each interior presents a different world altogether. The auditoriums, on their part, are depictions of luxury that is harmoniously blended with aural and visual comfort making up for a great movie watching experience.
entertainworld With a view to taking this experience to hitherto unknown highs of excitement, the Group has recently embarked upon a massive digitisation drive, in association with German projection major Kinoton. Fifteen of the initial phase of 50 digital installs have already been completed while the rest is currently under implementation. With the completion of the stipulated digital drive, the group would, probably emerge as the largest digital cinema player in the region.
With as many as 43 more multiplex theatres with an estimated screen count of 450 currently under various stages of planning and construction, Cinema City International is a truly international cinema force to reckon with.
F U T U R E
R E L E A S E S
A glimpse of movies coming to Asia this summer or laterâ€¦ An American Carol Production: Vivendi Entmt
Production: Screen Gems
Director: David Zucker
Director: John Erick Dowdle
Starring: Kelsey Grammer, Kevin Farley
Starring: Jennifer Carpenter, Jay Hernandez
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Body of Lies
Max Payne Production: Warner Bros.
Production: 20th Century Fox
Director: Ridley Scott
Director: John Moore
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Genre: Action, Thriller
City of Ember
Morning Light Production: Fox Walden
Production: Walt Disney
Director: Gil Kenan
Director: Mark Monroe
Starring: Bill Murray, Tim Robbins
Starring: Chris Branning, Chris Clark
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
F U T U R E
The Secret Life of Bees
R E L E A S E S
Production: Fox Searchlight
Production: Universal Pictures
Director: Gina PrinceBythewood
Director: David Wain Starring: Seann William Scott, Paul Rudd
Starring: Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning
Genre: Adventure, Drama
Pride and Glory
Production: New Line Cinema
Production: Dimension Films
Director: Gavin Oâ€™Connor
Director: Malcolm Lee
Starring: Edward Norton, Colin Farrell
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Bernie Mac
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Quantum of Solace Production: Lionsgate
Production: Columbia Pictures
Director: David Hackl
Director: Marc Forster
Starring: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor
Starring: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Genre: Action, Adventure
The Haunting of Molly Hartley Production: Freestyle Releasing Director: Mickey Liddell Starring: Chace Crawford, Haley Bennett Genre: Horror, Thriller
The Soloist Production: DreamWorks Pictures Director: Joe Wright Starring: Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr., Genre: Drama
F U T U R E
Transporter 3 Production: Summit Entmt
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Director: Olivier Megaton
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson
Starring: Jeroen KrabbĂŠ, Francois Berleand
Genre: Romance, Thriller
Punisher: War Zone Production: 20th Century Fox
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Director: Lexi Alexander
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman
Starring: Ray Stevenson, Dominic West
Genre: Action, Adventure, Romance
Genre: Action, Crime
The Tale of Despereaux Production: MGM
Production: Universal Pictures
Director: Kyle Newman
Director: Sam Fell
Starring: Jay Baruchel, Dan Fogler
Starring: Matthew Broderick, Robbie Coltrane
Genre: Adventure, Comedy
Genre: Adventure, Animation
R E L E A S E S
Production: New Line Cinema
Production: Warner Bros.
Director: Seth Gordon
Director: Peyton Reed
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon
Starring: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel
Genre: Comedy, Romance
F U T U R E
Marley & Me
R E L E A S E S
Drona Production: 20th Century Fox
Production: Rose Films
Director: David Frankel
Director: Goldie Behl
Starring: Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston
Starring: Abhishek Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan,
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Kidnap Production: Lionsgate Director: Frank Miller Starring: Gabriel Macht, Samuel L. Jackson Genre: Action, Adventure
Production: Shree Ashtavinayak Cinevision Ltd Director: Sanjay Gadhavi Starring: Sanjay Dutt Genre: Action,Thriller
Production: Paramount Vantage
Production: Yash Raj Films
Director: Sam Mendes
Director: Jugal Hansraj
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet
Starring: Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor
Genre: Romance, Animation
Chandni Chowk To China Production: United Artists
Production: Warner Bros.
Director: Bryan Singer
Director: Nikhil Advani
Starring: Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Genre: Action, Comedy
ADVERTISERSâ€™ INDEX INTERNATIONAL Company Name
Email / Website
Juliana.Tong@christiedigital.com / www.christiedigital.com
firstname.lastname@example.org / www.dlpcinema.com
email@example.com / www.jblpro.com
firstname.lastname@example.org / www.kinoton.de
email@example.com / www.strong-cinema.com
firstname.lastname@example.org / www.uslinc.com
email@example.com / www.vista.co.nz
This issue of TW has two sets of page numbers - International pages TW-1 to TW-56 for TW, and India pages TM-1 to TM-32 for TM. TM is inserted between pages TW-42 and TW-43 of TW.
INDIA Company Name
Email / Website
firstname.lastname@example.org / www.anutone.com
email@example.com / www.autoramaa.com
firstname.lastname@example.org / www.bluestarindia.com
email@example.com / www.electrovoice.com
firstname.lastname@example.org / www.esselgroup.com
email@example.com / www.easysign.co.in
firstname.lastname@example.org / www.galalitescreens.com
email@example.com / www.@kundanchairs.com
firstname.lastname@example.org / www.premierfountains.biz
R&S (India) Elec.
email@example.com / www.rands-india.com
firstname.lastname@example.org / www.soundlight.in
email@example.com / www.shrikrishnashray.com
The next issue of TheatreWorld is our Winter Special. It will be promoted at CineAsia, Macau. The last date for advertising orders is 5 November 2008. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Published on Nov 16, 2017