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

  International Edition No. 40 - year 3 - 22 December 2008


Dear readers,

The “DigiTraining Plus 2009” course, now in its sixth consecutive edition, is approaching and I am happy to announce that again it will take place in Great Britain – in London to be exact. The reason why is, of course, that the UK is still by far the most experienced country in Europe speaking in terms of digital equipment in cinemas.

Last year’s course gave the participants an in-depth insight of the status quo in several cinemas and comments galore from a vast number of expert players in the field of the digital revolution. An excellent opportunity to ask all the basic and shrewd questions to people who were actually sitting with the propositions, answers and maybe even solutions. The UK Film Council project which has financed the installation of digital projectors in more than 200 cinemas in order to diversify the offer is certainly unique in Europe so far, but will probably be followed by a similar “official” (i.e. State funded) initiative in Norway. An initiative that will catapult Norwegian cinemas into the digital world in one sweeping move.

Other European countries, well, most other European countries, are still holding their breath waiting for the appropriate business plan to materialize. While waiting it is essential for especially the small and medium sized cinemas to learn and understand as much as possible which are the options, experiences and possibilities in the future within the field of digital technology.

The MEDIA Salles course, thanks to support from the MEDA Programme and the Italian Government, has been conceived to fulfil exactly this purpose. The course offers an overview of technology, business models and forms of public intervention, focusing on accounts by the key players of the digital transition worldwide and on visits to significant sites.

The objective: to help exhibitors answer the questions that the prospect of digital cinema brings with it and equip themselves with the necessary competences for taking informed decisions on their companies’ future strategies.

There should be no doubt in anybody’s mind that the future is now. It’s just a matter of how the individual cinema-owner/manager adapts to this fact in the most efficient and prudent way. In 2009 the MEDIA course in London, from 25 February to 1 March 2009, intends to contribute to this development of the European exhibition sector, which is becoming increasingly competitive.

I wish you all a happy festive season and a peaceful 2009.

Jens Rykaer
President of MEDIA Salles

“DigiTraining Plus 2009:
European Cinemas Experiencing New Technologies”

In accordance with its popular six-year tradition, MEDIA Salles takes great pleasure in announcing the 2009 edition of the “DigiTraining Plus” course: “European Cinemas Experiencing New Technologies”, now confirmed for a further 4 years, thanks to the new contract signed with the EU MEDIA Programme.
DGT, the only initiative in the MEDIA Programme to concentrate on new technologies from the cinemas’ point of view, updates and informs exhibitors and representatives of professional associations and public institutions on the status and latest news about digital cinema technology, not only from a technical point of view but also from the perspective of those who may be considering adopting new technologies themselves in the near future.
The 2009 Course, which will again take place in London from 25 February to 1 March 2009, will feature a unique and intensive programme, thanks to the collaboration of experts of international renown.
The lectures will cover the main points involved in making the digital transition as trouble-free as possible, whilst also drawing attention to the risks and opportunities involved. Professionals of the cinema industry from other parts of the world will share their knowledge on burning issues such as standards, availability of digital contents and the prospects for 3D. To make the approach more realistic, the case-study method will be used, to identify the business models that have been adopted in Europe. An important source of added value, which greatly enhances the programme, are the field visits to cinemas that already use digital projection, thus giving participants the chance to assess the technology at close quarters, on the basis of hands-on experience.
The Course gives to exhibitors and professionals the chance to:

  • Acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully operate in the field of digital projection in cinemas;
  • Acquire skills to analyze the new markets and targets which might be reached thanks to digital cinema;
  • Get to know the most important international companies in this field;
  • Create a network of contacts to compare with;
  • Update on the latest offers of digital cinema.

“DigiTraining Plus 2009:
European Cinemas Experiencing New Technologies”

Venue: London (United Kingdom) plus a visit to Hull
Dates: 25 February – 1 March 2009
Fee: 700 Euro (covering tuition, teaching material, accommodation and meals included in the programme)
Deadline for application: 15 January 2009
Scholarships: MEDIA Salles provides a limited number of scholarships on request.

For further information and enrolment forms please visit the Course page on our website:

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A DGT 2009 special event: a visit to Vue Princes Quay Hull "Europe's first purely digital multiplex"

Celebrations are currently taking place to honour the first year’s existence of what is defined “Europe’s first digital multiplex”: the Vue Princes Quay, opened in Hull, on the East coast of England, on 14 December 2007. Its unique feature consists in its 10 screens equipped exclusively with digital projectors, and this is what has made it a text-book case. It has been visited by exhibitors of many different nationalities, interested in discovering how programming is managed in a complex that remains open 364 days a year (Christmas is the only holiday) and offers over 40 screenings a day without resorting to 35mm. Decision-makers from Canada and from Holland have arrived in Hull, a city of 200,000 inhabitants, mainly known for its sea-going traditions; February will also see the arrival of the participants in the “DigiTraining Plus 2009” course, organized by MEDIA Salles for European cinema professionals who wish to come to the digital transition well prepared.
A transition which in the eyes of Paul Denny – the dynamic manager of the Hull complex – is now a firmly established reality: “In these past twelve months we have shown 140 titles, all in digital format and – after a “running in” period, which served to fine-tune the equipment and the software that manage a range of operations from turning up the lights in the theatre to screening advertising, trailers, films and alternative content - everything has been running smoothly for six months.”
Paul Denny “touches wood”, but is quite convinced that digital is the future for the cinema and is already imagining a time when the spread of digital projectors will cover at least 50% of all screens in operation and new products will become available to broaden the market of potential spectators. “Now already,” continues Denny, “the offer of alternative content – both pre-recorded, like the “Tribute to Pavarotti” or “Hansel & Gretel” have brought us great satisfaction. However, I am waiting for the moment when, thanks to their flexibility and limited cost, digital distribution and projection will make it possible for the same film to be seen in several versions, suitable for the general public or for those over a specific age limit.

Close collaboration with the distributors – Vue has special agreements with the majors, regarding not only the supply of digital versions but also participation in the costs of the cinema’s technological updating, and with suppliers (Dolby is Vue’s main technical partner, with Barco and Cinemeccanica) - this is the secret of a decidedly courageous initiative. Courage rewarded by the Vue Princes Quay spectators who, in a survey carried out by an independent body, declared their appreciation of the quality of vision and sound they enjoy in their cinema, which is 20% above average.

For those who wish to know more, the appointment with Vue Princes Quay is on 27/28 February 2009 during MEDIA Salles’ sixth “DigiTraining Plus” course (which begins on 25 February, ending on 1 March 2009 in London).

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Join MEDIA Salles at the Berlinale 2009
during the
CICAE, AG Kino and MEDIA Salles gathering
that will take place on
Saturday 7 February 2009
From 1 pm to 3 pm

Where: Café Oxymoron, Hackesche Hoefe, Rosenthaler Str. 40/41, 10178 Berlin

How to get there: take the S-Bahn from Potsdamer Platz to Friedrichstrasse, change into any train towards Alexanderplatz and get off at the next stop “Hackescher Markt”. The Café Oxymoron is situated at the far side of the crossing in the first court of Hackesche Hoefe.

MEDIA Salles will present the “DigiTraining Plus 2009: European Cinemas Experiencing New Technologies”, London and Hull, Great Britain, from 25 February to 1 March 2009.

Be updated on the present state and future prospects of digital screening with the sixth edition of the MEDIA Salles’ training course for European cinema exhibitors.

Course application deadline: 15 January 2009

The gathering at the Berlinale is jointly organized by:
CICAE – Confédération Internationale des Cinémas Art & Essai, MEDIA Salles and AG Kino - Gilde deutscher Filmkunsttheater e.V.

Testing the future
Lene Løken, managing director FILM&KINO

Exhibitors all over Europe are discussing Digital Cinema. What will the future for the film exhibition industry be? What will the costs for the exhibitors be? What sort of commercial opportunities are there? The questions are unlimited.

In Norway we have decided to run a test. Two digital projects with 22 DCI-compliant screens were established back in 2006. They were followed by 12 more screens in 2007. Each of the two projects is organized as a consortium, Nordic Digital Alliance (NDA) and NORDIC. The two companies Arts Alliance Media (NDA) and Unique Digital (NORDIC) are central partners. The projects are supported and evaluated by FILM&KINO, the national cinema owners organization.

These pilot projects are testing:

• technical issues, such as interoperability, automation, functionality and moving of equipment;
• organizational issues: how can the bigger cinemas in a region support the smaller ones?
• workflow issues: how does the process from distributor to cinema function?
• digitizing of multiplexes: how will the programming function and what about alternative content and revenue?

FILM&KINO is planning the future digitization of Norwegian cinemas. We support and evaluate these pilot projects in order to develop a knowledge we think will be necessary in the future. The more we learn about managing a digital cinema, the better we will be able to carry out the big project which is to digitize all the Norwegian cinemas within one and the same process.

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