ITALY: regional support for digitalization*
The Region of Lombardy has published a new call for applications regarding the digitalization of cinemas, with an overall allocation of 3 million euros, divided between three main areas: 1.5 million for refurbishment, technological upgrading, security and fitting out of theatres destined for presenting entertainment", 1.3 million for the "purchase and installation of digital equipment for projection in cinemas" and 200,000 euros for the purchase of the equipment necessary for digital projection in arenas or open-air cinemas.
The publication - the fifth implemented by the Region to promote the conversion of screens in the territory - addresses public and private bodies and subjects but also parishes and ecclesiastical organizations, any of whom may present a single application for one only of the three categories indicated, by 17 March 2014.
The contribution will cover up to a maximum of 70% of total outlay and the projects will cost an overall sum of between 30,000 and 300,000 euros.
Of particular interest amongst the objectives of the publication is the attention given to "improving audience experience and accessibility in entertainment venues, also with a view to acquiring equipment for the subtitling of live performances."
As the so-called "switch-off" hour for traditional film approaches, some Regions that had not previously implemented any support mechanisms for the digitalization of cinemas are now taking steps in this direction.
One example is Calabria, where the Regional Councillors Emilio De Masi and Domenico Talarico have filed questions to the Head of Culture Mario Caligiuri, pressing for intervention in favour of the Calabrian cinemas' transition to the new technology.
The Councillors emphasize that, of the 50 cinemas present throughout the territory, at least 20 run the risk of closure if they cannot find the means to convert their screens.
* This text updates the articles published in DGT Online Informer nos. 99, 98, 91, 89, 88, 82