Thomson inks deals with three US exhibitors


MUMBAI: Thomson, through its Technicolor Digital Cinema business, has signed agreements with Clearview Cinemas, iPic Entertainment and Cinemaworld to install digital projection systems as part of its North American digital cinema equipment deployment.


“We’re proud to have been selected by these premier exhibitors to bring digital cinema technology to their audiences,” said Technicolor Theatrical Services, executive vice president, and Technicolor Digital Cinema, COO, Curt Behlmer.


Clearview Cinemas is a Chatham, New Jersey-based exhibitor that operates 50 theatres with 254 screens, 246 of which are in the New York DMA, the country’s largest metropolitan market. Clearview also owns and operates New York City‘s legendary Ziegfeld Theatre, one of the country’s most famous movie palaces and the location of countless movie premieres and red-carpet events.


“Clearview Cinemas is thrilled about working with Technicolor to further deploy digital cinema in our circuit and to bring our customers all of the benefits of this pioneering technology,” said Clearview Cinemas, senior vice president and general manager, Doug Oines.


IPic Entertainment, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is a new company founded by former president, Hamid Hashemi and CEO of Muvico Theatres. With its first location set to open in the Milwaukee suburb of Glendale, Wisconsin on 7 December, iPic’s innovative entertainment complexes will include luxury movie theatres, an upscale bowling venue, a restaurant and bar, and an auditorium for live events. iPic has additional locations currently under development in Texas, Illinois, Ohio, California and Florida.


IPic Entertainment, president and CEO, Hamid Hashemi stated, “Digital Cinema is the future of movie exhibition, and we are excited to be on the cutting-edge working with Technicolor so that our guests can experience movies with the highest quality image and sound possible. We’re also excited about the innovative new programming options that this technology enables, such as 3-D and live events.”


Vero Beach, Florida-based Cinemaworld operates 32 state-of-the-art, all-stadium screens in Florida and Rhode Island, and plans to expand into two new markets beginning in early 2008. Cinemaworld’s West Melborne, Florida site has been a test bed for Technicolor’s prototype digital systems since 2002.


“Cinemaworld’s partnership with Technicolor has positioned us as the technology leader in the markets we serve. Our customers now demand to see films presented in Technicolor Digital Cinema,” stated Cinemaworld, director of operations, Jim Deal.

Each theatre installation will feature Technicolor’s fully integrated networked systems, which include a satellite system for content delivery and the Technicolor Theatre Management System – a software solution that enables exhibitors to control theatre automation and manage all content such as trailers, advertisements, and features with simple drop and drag technology. The digital cinema systems will be supported by Technicolor’s maintenance services with 24/7 remote monitoring to ensure system health.


Technicolor Digital Cinema has installed digital cinema systems with several prominent exhibitors in North America and Europe including ArcLight Cinema Company, Mann Theatres, National Amusements, Wehrenberg Theatres, Zyacorp’s Cinemagic Stadium Theatres, and Kinepolis Group in Belgium.


Thomson intends to complete the first phase rollout of digital projection systems in up to 5,000 screens over the next three to four years, with 15,000 screens in the United States and Canada over the next 10 years.

All hardware and software placed in each site will conform to industry-standard specifications published by Digital Cinema Initiatives LLC (DCI). Furthermore, the Technicolor Digital Cinema plan is technology agnostic, enabling both exhibitors and studios to benefit from the best available technology, including both 2K and 4K projection.


As previously announced, Thomson has signed digital cinema equipment usage agreements with DreamWorks SKG, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros. to support its plans for the distribution of digital cinema content and systems throughout North America. Under the separate, long-term accords, each of these studios has agreed to distribute content digitally throughout the United States and Canada, and pay a virtual print fee to Thomson for screens equipped with Technicolor Digital Cinema systems, which began in late 2006.