Change to digital: why? Will I get bigger audiences in my cinema? What problems will I encounter and who will help me solve them? These are some of the questions that exhibitors most frequently ask themselves when faced with the growing presence and availability of digital technology. And if, on the one hand, the DCI specifications published last summer can be considered a positive element by those who fear the technological Tower of Babel and may inspire reasonable confidence in the growing availability of film material in this new format, on the other hand this “race for standardisation” to the high levels of quality required by the Hollywood majors arouses perplexity amongst those who are unwilling to grant digital cinema the prerogative of introducing “First Run Theatrical Feature Films” into movie theatres, as foreseen by DCI, and, what is more, introducing them with such high standards of quality that they become inaccessible to small theatres often situated outside the big city centres.
This is why we believe it is neccessary, for a project like MEDIA Salles, that has been involved for years in “formation and information” for exhibitors, to be present and offer positive suggestions in a widely expanding field such as this, where the search for the best business solutions is still accompanied by some doubts but also by an increasing number of practical experiences. This new information tool, particularly for those who manage movie theatres and want to know more about digital, arises from this commitment and will go side by side with the preparation and realisation of the third course devoted by MEDIA Salles to this very topic: “DigiTraining Plus: New Technologies for European Cinemas”, to be held at Kuurne, in Belgium, from 5 to 9 April 2006. It is a course I am particularly proud of, as it has been conceived to answer specific questions from exhibitors and has partly changed with them, as explained clearly in the short interview published here with Barco’s Business Development Manager, Glenn Wastyn. What has not changed is the reason why we offer it – the same reason for creating this new online magazine: to ask the questions that exhibitors are most concerned about and help them find answers.
President of MEDIA Salles