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11/03/2009

Christie At Heart Of Digital Revolution In Holland's First VPF-Funded Roll-Out

Christie, a leader in digital cinema projection, has announced that it has been selected to fit 68 Christie 2K DLP Cinema projection systems in the exclusive agreement between the Amsterdam Booking Company B.V. (ABC), a buying group representing Dutch independent cinemas, and Arts Alliance Media (AAM), Europe's leading digital cinema provider.
Christie digital cinema projectors will be deployed in 68 screens within 20 cinemas across The Netherlands. The deal also covers the installation of a professional satellite network for the transmission of live events and encrypted content.
Richard Nye, Senior Market Development Manager, EMEA, Cinema, said: "We are very pleased that ABC has chosen to invest so strongly in digital cinema for its future development. We are also delighted that Arts Alliance has secured another success in Europe, a testimony of their leadership in digital and 3-D digital cinema.
"We have been working with AAM for five years now, and this agreement will further strengthen the excellent relationships we have with them in what is now four European countries."
ABC acted quickly to equip screens for the Dutch release of Disney's 3D movie "Bolt" on February 11, making it the first wide 3-D release in the Netherlands. Seven Christie CP2000-S 2K DLP Cinema projectors have already been installed in Heerenveen, Heerlen, Schagen, Spijkenisse, Venray, Weert and Zutphen, in time for "Bolt". The remaining projectors will be a mixture of CPS2000-S and Christie CP2000-ZX models.
ABC's roll-out will permit the screening of other upcoming 2009 3-D movies such as Monsters vs. Aliens (Dreamworks/Paramount), Up (Pixar/Disney), Ice Age 3 (Twentieth Century Fox), Planet 51 (Sony Pictures), Toy Story 3D (Pixar/Disney) and Avatar (Twentieth Century Fox). Digital 3-D screens generate higher box office than standard screens.
Rich Phillips, Head of Technical Operations, AAM, said: "We have chosen Christie's projectors because of their performance and flexibility offered for a variety of screen sizes in existing theatre infrastructure. Our commitment is to help all cinemas convert to digital, regardless of size or location and having Christie on board is incredibly valuable from this point of view."
The Christie projectors and Doremi servers were jointly selected by AAM and ABC for the deployment. The satellite equipment will be provided by Arqiva Satellite and Media.
Under the conditions of the agreement, AAM will create a fully integrated digital cinema and satellite network within the ABC group of cinemas. The agreement requires AAM to procure, service and maintain all digital cinema systems deployed, including the projectors and servers, central storage servers and a Theatre Management System.
FTT Filmtronics, a subsidiary of Christie partner FTT in Germany will carry out the installations, as well as provide maintenance and local support. Thomas Rüttgers, General Manager of FTT, said: "We are delighted to be working again with Christie for this exciting project, as previous installations such as the major deployment of D-Cinema systems in Austria, already proved to be a success. We are also very pleased to be working jointly with Arts Alliance on this project."
To date, AAM has a European footprint of 507 installed and operated digital cinema screens in the UK, France, Spain and Norway. Successes of Christie with AAM include the UK Film Council funded project - the Digital Screen Network (DSN) and Circuit George Raymond (CGR Cinémas) in France.
The company is currently completing the 400-screen rollout in CGR Cinémas with the help of Christie projectors. AAM was the first digital cinema provider in Europe to sign VPF-based deployment agreements with studios and exhibitors.
With 75 years of experience in cinema, Christie is today manufacturing the most actively used projectors in digital cinema, designed to fulfil the requirements as specified by DCI for a superior cinematic experience.
To date, Christie surpassed an historic 5,500 active 2K digital cinema installations worldwide, less than four years after launching the world's largest digital cinema deployment plan.
(KMcA/BMcC)
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