Reg. Trib. Milano n. 418 del 02.07.2007 - Direttore responsabile: Elisabetta Brunella

International Edition No. 134 - year 11 - 6 December 2016
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Dear readers,
I am particularly excited to open the present issue of DGT online informer: MEDIA Salles has successfully been in operation for 25 years now.
Our association was constituted in Rome on 16 October 1991, on 12 November the first General Meeting was held in Brussels and on 17 December our Milan offices were inaugurated. Whilst my grateful memories return to those who started and carried forward this innovative and courageous adventure, I should like to dedicate a special thought to those members who are no longer with us: Jens Rykaer, a highly appreciated President of the Association, and Joachim Ph. Wolff, who devoted his energies and passion to several different posts but above all inspired MEDIA Salles' research work.
Below you will find the most recent fruits of the twenty-five years spent monitoring trends in the cinema industry all over Europe and bringing visibility to the role of the movie theatres which were, are and will continue to be the prime meeting place for films and spectators. If this table seems, at first sight, to be merely a string of figures, we all know that it is actually the result, on the one hand, of the patient and systematic work of data collection and elaboration and, on the other, of an effort made by those operating in the sector to make their work transparent.
From these figures it emerges that there are now almost 37 thousand digital screens in Europe. So is digitization a "mission complete"? The answer is partly yes and partly no: the majority of exhibitors have already faced or are about to face the second phase of digital conversion, i.e. replacement of the first wave of projectors.
We also know that in the initial phase of this process several tools attempted to reduce the lack of balance between the savings expected on the side of distribution and the investments required of the exhibitors.
Now that the first generation of projectors has to be replaced, it is of prime importance to keep the attention of the industry and institutions alive, demanding that plans for public intervention be extended to the second phase, too, as has already happened in Italy, for example.
This is one of the commitments that MEDIA Salles assumes as the association begins its 26th year of work.

Paolo Protti

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Cinema Digitization in Europe
Number of digital* and 3D screens by country as at 30th June 2016
*(equipped with DLP Cinema™ and SXRD projectors)
© copyright MEDIA Salles

Note: the figures in italics are estimates or not confirmed data


Deborah Sapienza
Regional Secretary of ANEC - Sicilian branch

My name is Deborah Sapienza and I was born in 1974. I'm the daughter of a Sicilian cinema exhibitor. I was raised on "bread and cinema" and have experienced all the various changes that have taken place in the sector over the past twenty years. The most radical of these was the shift from good old film to the installation of technology for digital screening.
After some experience working in family-run, single-screen cinemas and four years as deputy manager for the group The Space, and, in particular since 2010 as Regional Secretary of ANEC Sicily, I have had the chance to understand the sector's needs more thoroughly and identify, thanks also to an attentive and sensitive Presidency, the most effective tools for making the transition to digital.
Work to increase the awareness of Sicily's public institutions resulted in the publication in 2010 of a call for applications specifically intended to support movie theatres that intended shifting to digital technology, with a lump-sum contribution for covering up to 50% of costs.
Three million euros were used for three types of action.
To know more click here
The contribution, which initially aims to support single-screen cinemas and later include multi-screen movie theatres with up to 5 screens, has allowed 70% of Sicily's screens to adopt the new technology.
This technology certainly offers advantages for theatre management and for access to content, although distribution strategies have not yet fallen sufficiently in line with the theatres' new programming requirements to allow full exploitation of the potential that digital technology offers in terms of diversification. The next phase of my work will be in this area.

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This column hosts portraits of cinemas in Europe and the rest of the world which are quite different from one another but have in common the fact that they have all adopted digital projection.

No. of screens
No. of digital screens
Egyptian Theatre

Egyptian Theatre - Hollywood Boulevard
by Elisabetta Galeffi

It is all too evident that Hollywood means cinema: no tourist with Los Angeles on the itinerary can resist the appeal of the Walk of Fame, a photo in front of the Dolby Theatre - the one where the Oscars are presented - or the eclectic and eastern-style Chinese Theatre, which offers 3D screenings of the latest films with special effects. But the essential stamp of an authentic Hollywood cinephile is membership of the Egyptian Theatre. Curious tourists can at the very least go and see a film as soon they have set foot in Hollywood. Watching a screening here means retracing the steps of the cinema and of cinemas, perhaps sitting next to famous directors who have come to seek inspiration from their predecessors and rekindle their imagination.
Nonetheless - apart from the habitués - not many people know where it is, even though the Egyptian is the oldest movie-house in the Walk of Fame and opened in 1922.
It rises, ornate and a little nostalgic, on Hollywood Boulevard at the back of a long, rectangular courtyard, which has lost much of its charm as a sober and mysterious ante-chamber. The entrance to the theatre is majestic, standing between two mighty pillars. Yet below the fake, gold hieroglyphics are the inevitable fast-food tables and ads for tourist excursions.
The auditorium, too, has undergone transformation over time. Not until the lights dim is the opulence of the American, nineteen-twenties-style, Egyptian pharaoh statues to be seen, behind the modern decorations. It was an age when America, fascinated by the magnificent discoveries of the archaeological expeditions to Egypt in the early nineteen-hundreds, wanted to relive the splendour of the pharaohs. Charles Toberman, a Los Angeles real-estate agent, and Sid Grauman, a theatre producer, were particularly charmed by the pyramids, the immense statues, precious objects and mysterious language of hieroglyphics and had the idea of building the theatre.

The national première of an all-time success, the colossal "The Ten Commandments", inaugurated The Egyptian and it remained the only movie-house in the Walk of Fame until 1927. When the huge Chinese Theatre - another of Grauman's projects - opened, the Egyptian hosted the first and most important live shows in Hollywood at the time.
As to films, the Egyptian specialized in long runs of the biggest movie hits. For months on end audiences were entertained by "My Fair Lady" and held their breath watching "Ben Hur".
The Egyptian Theatre has now taken on a new lease of life as a cineclub and a group of volunteers ensures its survival with the passion of authentic cinephiles, ready to tell tales about every film on the program or about the building's history. It has become the headquarters of the American Cinemathèque, whose repertory ranges from the great classics of the past to "B series" screenings, such as "Naked Alibi", a film made in 1954 and directed by Jerry Hopper, or film festivals: in October it hosted the 10th "German Currents Film Festival" and in November the 12th "Cinema Italian Style", a festival of Italian cinema.
The theatre has also made the digital shift: as well as the classic 16mm, 35mm and 70mm projectors, the two auditoriums of the Egyptian Theatre are also equipped with a "Full Digital Cinema 2K" (NEC 2500) projector 3D enabled.
In the morning, before screenings begin, our curious tourist will also be able to take part in a guided tour and make a donation to the association for restoring the splendour of this important piece of cinematographic history and not only that of Hollywood.

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