Digital cinemas in Sweden
by Rickard Gramfors, Project Manager of Digitala Hus, Folkets Hus och Parker

Sweden currently has more than 50 digital cinemas, whereof four have 2K projectors, and the others 1.3K projectors. All cinemas have EVS servers.
40 of the cinemas are run by FHP, the others by independent exhibitors and other organizations. The vast majority of the cinemas were installed between July 2005 and March 2006, through the XDC leasing initiative.
Most of the cinemas are situated in small towns and rural areas of Sweden. These cinemas have quite small venues and screens, where the audience is experiencing a far better quality from watching films through 1.3K projectors than through 35mm projectors in the same venues.

The digital cinemas in Sweden have so far screened a majority of mainstream domestic films, as well as a smaller number of US major titles. The circuit has also screened independent films and a number of alternative content events in high definition quality, such as rock concerts, major sports events, musicals and opera.

Scalability of equipment, depending on the size of the venue and screen, is an important factor in discussions regarding quality and standardization. To install 2K projectors in small venues, in order to be allowed to screen major feature films, is unnecessary. The difference in quality of 2K on big screens compared to 1.3K on smaller screens is not distinguishable.

Sweden has almost four years of practical experience in digital cinema screenings. To us, the distinction between d-cinema and e-cinema is a fabrication. The Swedish cinemas are digital cinemas, we open films on a first run basis day-and-date with the major cities; the quality is superior to 35mm, the encryption is excellent and there have not been any breaches in security, the audience loves it, the revenue has increased, and everyone is happy.

The rollout of digital cinema in Europe is a question of balancing cost and quality, and taking into consideration the diversity of cinema infrastructure, culture, demography and geography in different countries. We look forward to fruitful cooperation with our fellow exhibitors in Europe, as well as all distributors and other content providers.