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TOPIC: The big boys and Digital Conversion

The big boys and Digital Conversion 06 Mar 2007 10:44 #25299

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UPPER SADDLE RIVER, N.J., Mar 06, 2007 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The motion picture industry is at the threshold of another major theatrical transition: the transformation from celluloid 35mm film to digital technology.

Three leading motion picture exhibition companies, AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark USA, Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group (RGC), have formed an equal partnership to create Digital Cinema Implementation Partners, LLC (DCIP). The company will plan and implement the deployment of digital cinema in theatres. DCIP has named Travis Reid, former Loews Cineplex Entertainment CEO, as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. The company will be headquartered in Bergen County, NJ.

DCIP owes its start to, and will continue to build off of the digital cinema business plan that was developed by National CineMedia (NCM) on behalf of the three DCIP founding partners. That plan includes procuring equipment, arranging financing and negotiating usage agreements with studios and other content providers. Simultaneous with NCM's recent IPO, the NCM founding exhibitors determined that execution of the digital cinema plan was best served through direct oversight outside the corporate structure of NCM.

Each founding member of DCIP will have an equal ownership interest. The company's board of directors will be comprised of seven persons including CEO Travis Reid and two directors appointed by each founding member. As announced in June of 2006 by NCM, JPMorgan will continue to assist with the evaluation and development of a financing plan to help support the exhibition and motion picture industries' transition from film to digital cinema.

Digital cinema promises a new world of programming flexibility, picture quality and image consistency. It is expected to expand alternative, non-traditional theatre programming, ultimately providing more choices to moviegoers.

"These are exciting times in the motion picture exhibition industry," Reid said. "Within the next four years we will literally see thousands of auditoriums retrofitted with digital technology. Moviegoers will enjoy a number of additional entertainment options at their favorite theatre including many upcoming releases using digital 3-D technology."

Prior to his current position, Reid served as president and chief executive officer of Loews Cineplex Entertainment and acted as a digital cinema consultant to NCM. He has also held positions with General Cinema Corporation, Cineamerica Theatres, Century Theatres and Theatre Management, Inc. Reid served as a member of the executive committee for the National Association of Theatre Owners and as vice president of the Will Rogers Memorial Fund. He was recently honored as the 2005 Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation Pioneer of the Year.

About Digital Cinema Implementation Partners

Digital Cinema Implementation Partners, LLC (DCIP) is a joint venture owned equally by exhibition industry leaders AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark USA, Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group, representing more than 14,000 screens in the U.S. and Canada. Formed in February 2007, the company is headquartered in Bergen County, NJ, with offices in Minneapolis, MN, and Denver, CO. DCIP will plan and implement the deployment of digital cinema during the transition in the motion picture industry from film to digital technology.
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