MUMBAI: Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp has signed six CBG member exhibitors, representing 94 screens, to its 10,000 screen Phase 2 digital cinema deployment program.
With these recent screen additions, Cinedigm will have contracted almost 400 CBG-member screens to participate in Phase 2. All of the members of the National Association of Theatre Owners’ (NATO) Cinema Buying Group (CBG) are eligible to work with Cinedigm using a master license agreement developed especially for CBG members. The CBG represents more than 600 members that collectively have over 7,000 screens.
Cinedigm has helped create several financing options in its Phase 2 digital cinema deployment program, which provide opportunities for smaller exhibitors to participate. In addition to vendor sponsored options, such as Barco’s Deliver Digital program and NEC’s NEC-Financial, EFA Partners and Infuse Commercial Capital joined to develop a unique SBA-guaranteed loan program for small exhibitors. All of these programs are designed to support exhibitors that want to pursue the self-financing option under Cinedigm’s Exhibitor-Buyer deal structure.
Under this plan exhibitors select and purchase Cinedigm Certified(TM) fully-networked digital cinema systems and Cinedigm manages the reporting, billing and collection of VPFs from movie distributors, receiving fees for doing so. Cinedigm and the CBG have system supply and service arrangements with Barco, Christie, NEC, as well as with a growing number of local and regional dealers and service providers.
Ajay Theatres, based in Memphis, Tennessee, already a customer of Cinedigm’s screen advertising business, UniqueScreen Media, is the largest of the six with 56 screens in four locations. Ajay will be purchasing Cinedigm Certified digital cinema systems including Barco projectors for all 56 screens. Other independent exhibitors include: West Orange 5 with five screens in Ocoee, Florida; Athena Grand with 11 screens in Athens, Ohio; Great 8 Cinema with eight screens in Union, Missouri; Sullivan 6 Cinema with six screens in Sullivan, Missouri, and Keystone Cinema with eight screens in Bardstown, Kentucky.
CBG managing director Bill Campbell said, "The CBG team has worked hard with Cinedigm to create the opportunity for independent exhibitors to gain the benefits of digital cinema technology for their theatres. Our members get the same advantages as larger exhibitors while utilizing the unique and flexible financing options available in the Cinedigm Phase 2 deployment program. Knowing that they will be able to participate in the future of bringing digital movies and alternative content to their loyal customers is extremely gratifying."
"Digital cinema is a unique opportunity for all exhibitors, regardless of how many screens they operate, who want to grow their businesses in the coming years. Cinedigm is proud to have been chosen to work with the CBG and its members to bring our Cinedigm Certified networked digital cinema systems to independent theatres across the country. The flexibility created via digital cinema not only enables feature movies to be more easily delivered and shown but also enables exhibitors to expand their programming with alternative content and special events. It definitely can enhance the future of the independent exhibitor who is looking to create an entertainment destination," said Cinedigm’s Media Services Group president Chuck Goldwater.
To date, Cinedigm has contracted for and completed the rollout of more than 4,500 systems in 41 US states.