"European Cinema Exhibition: A New Approach"
Budapest, Hungary
22-26 September 2004


Milan, 25 September 2004


A summary of the current state of digital cinema opened the fourth day of the course promoted by MEDIA Salles at Budapest. According to the data gathered by MEDIA Salles, as at June 2004 there are in all 32 screens equipped with DLP CinemaTM technology in Western Europe. In August 2003, there were 14: they have more than doubled in less than a year. In Central-Eastern Europe, digital screening seems yet far off: there were 2 screens equipped with DLP CinemaTM as at August 2003 and were only 3 nearly a year later. The record goes to Asia, that has a good 109, followed by North America, with 85. Throughout the world, there are in all 242 digital screens.
Are the numbers still too low - above all considering that there are about 100,000 screens around the world that project in the 35mm format - to speak of a real interest on the exhibitors' side? Certain signs would suggest to the contrary.
In fact, though these figures can give the impression of a yet scarce interest towards this innovation, initiatives already undertaken or currently being realized demonstrate that the new technologies are attracting strong interest.
Proof of this is the project developed by the UK Film Council for the launch of a network of about 200 digital screens within the United Kingdom. "At the base of this choice - affirmed Steve Perrin, Deputy Head of Distribution and Exhibition of the UK Film Council, in his intervention - there is the desire to use the new technologies to offer a wider choice of films, reinforcing the market for national, niche films and those arriving from all over the world".
Trust in the possibilities of digital screening has also emerged from the words of Rolv Gjestland, from Norway, Technical Consultant of Film&Kino. In Norway, all advertising in the cinemas has left behind the 35mm format and is screened electronically. The project that is aimed at the conservation of the national cinematographic patrimony and towards spreading the knowledge of it also utilizes the new technologies.
Something crucial to the development of the cinema market, whether one speaks of digital screening or of the 35mm format, is the struggle against piracy. Intervening on this theme was Trevor Albery of Warner Bros, who illustrated the main strategies used to fight the market for counterfeits.
A reflection by Jan van Dommelen, President of Unic, offered the course participants ideas and notions regarding the future trends of cinema-going and, more in general, the spectators' expectations concerning the offers available for free-time activities.

For further information:
MEDIA Salles
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I-20127 Milan
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