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

  International Edition No. 47 - year 4 - 14 May 2009


Dear readers,

From 25 February to 1 March 2009, MEDIA Salles successfully ran its sixth edition of the “DigiTraining Plus” course in London, with the support of the MEDIA Programme and the Italian Government.

Digital implementation in cinemas worldwide is still the hottest issue that all players have to face in the business. Now that the teething troubles have been overcome, from a technical point of view, financing problems are still piling up in most countries, especially for middle-sized and small independent operators. The MEDIA Salles courses, however, offer participants a great opportunity to exchange ideas, discuss business plans and to “think” digital. The truth of the matter is that the digital changeover demands a completely new way of business culture. Alternative content, new staff skills, maintenance plans present serious opportunities and demands that each and every cinema manager has to face today. Nobody knows for how long we shall still have our traditional 35mm distribution running parallel with the digital version (some believe 10 more years), but still it is strange that in so many countries politicians and institutions are sitting on their hands waiting for – yes, for what? Figures provided by MEDIA Salles to the European Audiovisual Observatory and that are about to be presented in Cannes in the framework of the partnership established last year, will clearly show that the train has left the platform.

In this respect it is with pleasure that MEDIA Salles will continue its efforts to lighten the digital challenge by organizing yet another edition of the “DigiTraining Plus” course from 17 to 21 February 2010.

Jens Rykaer
President of MEDIA Salles


After the Opening Ceremony including the 3D presentation of the new Disney Picture “Up” – a world premiere - a wealth of digital screenings will take place during the 62nd Cannes Film Festival.
These are the key figures for the 2009 edition: 50 digital films including 3D, 100 digital screenings, 19 digital systems. There had been 37 digital films in 2008 and 20 in 2007.
XDC, Christie, XpanD and Doremi are the equipment suppliers whilst the French CST ensures technical supervision of the projections given during the Festival.


Last February Amsterdam Booking Company B.V. (ABC), a buyers’ group representing Dutch independent cinemas, announced that they would digitalise 68 screens in 20 cinemas across The Netherlands.
For this purpose they have signed an agreement with Arts Alliance Media and chosen Christie and Doremi as equipment suppliers.
Paul Visser, ABC’s managing director, said: “We see clearly what the future of cinema is going to be: digital, 3D and live events. We are proud to be the first widespread movers in the Netherlands.”
The ABC roll-out has started equipping screens for the Dutch release of Disney’s 3D film “Bolt”. Other upcoming 2009 3D movies for the ABC rollout will include “Up” (Pixar/Disney), “Ice Age 3” (Twentieth Century Fox), “Planet 51” (Sony Pictures), “Toy Story 3D” (Pixar/Disney) and “Avatar” (Twentieth Century Fox).

Yelmo Cines, one of Spain’s largest exhibition chains, decided last March to equip 18 new screens in 18 different sites throughout their chain with digital cinema, 3D and satellite functions.
The deal follows Arts Alliance Media installation of digital projection equipment for 5 screens at Yelmo’s Isla Azul complex in Madrid last summer.
Fernando Evole, CEO of Yelmo Cines, said: “The digital cinema trial that we have been carrying out at Isla Azul has been a great success. That’s why we are now extending the installation of digital systems for 3D at 18 of our sites.”

Palace Cinemas, the exhibition company founded in 1999 to operate cinemas in Central Europe, announced last March the addition of twelve 3D digital screens at their sites in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary using Masterimage 3D technology in eleven cases and RealD at Palace West End in Budapest.
Projectors are supplied by Barco whilst servers by XDC.

At the end of April CGR, the third largest exhibition chain in France, and RealD announced an agreement aiming at the installation of a total of 200 3D-enabled screens in 33 locations.
Jocelyn Boussy, chief executive officer of CGR, the first French exhibitor to decide on the digitalisation of all their screens through a VPF agreement signed with Arts Alliance Media in 2008, has defined this move into the realm of 3D as another example of CGR’s ability to seize new opportunities in the cinema business.

According to the statistics on digital screens in Russia, showing the situation as at 19 March 2009, Cinema Park is the main player in this sector thanks to its 27 digital screens, all 3D-enabled.
The key figures for Russia, published by Nevafilm, are: 120 digital screens (out of which 117 are also equipped for 3D), installed in 97 sites in 47 different towns. The main market is Moscow, with 24 screens, followed by St Petersburg (8) and Ufa (6).


Judith Michel, Content Services Sales Manager, XDC International

I joined XDC in fall 2008, but I have always lived with cinema, since my father is a film director and my mother is producing films.

I am responsible for all matters related to content. On the one hand, I am in charge of our Digital Content Lab, making the price quotations as well as informing Distributors, Producers, Sales Agents about digital cinema. To date, there is still work to be done in order to inform more about the digital workflow. Digital represents a major change for smaller companies, and it is necessary to spend time explaining the advantages of going digital and to assist them from scene to screen. We are currently working with many distributors all over Europe and every day there are more clients showing interest in this new and better way to release a film.

On the other hand, I am responsible for meeting all European distributors regarding the VPF model. Last year we signed agreements with the 6 major studios in order to co-finance the digital roll-out of maximum 8,000 screens in 22 countries. That means that, in four to five years, digital will become a standard for films. In fact, we will also need the support of independent distributors. My role is to explain to them how this model works, and why it is important to switch to digital. We have already started this roll-out in Austria, so it is important everyone knows about the VPF.

I really enjoy this new challenge. Working with XDC is a great opportunity for me since I can contribute to a fast-growing company within a nice business area, a perfect mix between technology and entertainment!


MEDIA Salles latest data on digital cinemas and screens in Europe as at 1st January 2009
will be presented in Cannes during the European Audiovisual Observatory’s Afternoon Workshop: ”Show me the money! Monitoring film revenues and collecting rightsholders’ money”.

Marché du Film 2009, Sunday 17 May 2009, from 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm at the Salon des Ambassadeurs, Fourth Floor, Palais des Festivals, Cannes.


“DigiTraining Plus:
European Cinemas Experiencing New Technologies”

MEDIA Salles organized the sixth edition of the “DigiTraining Plus” course: “European Cinemas Experiencing New Technologies” in London and Hull (UK), from 25 February to 1 March 2009.
32 participants from 13 different European countries took part in the DGT, the only initiative in the MEDIA Programme to concentrate on new technologies from the cinemas’ point of view, which updates and informs exhibitors and representatives of professional associations and public institutions on the latest news and information 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 featured a unique and intensive programme, including:
- Lectures, covering 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 have shared their knowledge on burning issues such as standards, availability of digital contents and the prospects for 3D. Among the speakers were: Michael Karagosian, Senior Consultant on digital cinema for NATO (US), Peter Buckingham, Head of Distribution & Exhibition at the UK Film Council and Rolv Gjestland, Adviser in Cinema Technology and Design for Film&Kino (Norway);
- Visits to significant sites and screenings: an important source of added value, which has greatly enhanced the programme, were 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. In particular, this year the participants visited the Vue Digital Multiplex in Hull and they assisted to an exclusive 4K screening at Sony private screening room at Sony Pictures Europe offices in London, as well as visiting the Empire Leicester Square cinema in London;
- Reports by exhibitors who have already experimented with digital technology: to make the approach more realistic, the case-study method has been used, to identify the business models that have been adopted in Europe. For istance Harri Ahokas and Tero Koistinen talked about their experiences in Finland and Derek Cownty, Head of Programming at Empire Leicester Square, talked about how to manage a digital cinema.

The daily press releases of the “DigiTraining Plus 2009” course are the DGT online informer from no. 42 to no. 46 of 2009; you can reach them directly from the menu on the left side of this page.


The seventh edition of the “DigiTraining Plus: European Cinemas Experiencing New Technologies” course will take place from 17 to 21 February 2010.
Further information will be published on our website, at the page dedicated to the course:


Digital cinema proves itself to be the right choice for successful movies. The hit movies from the 61st Cannes Film Festival, such as the Palme d’Or Entre le Murs and the Dardenne brothers’ Le silence de Lorna were distributed in digital around Europe. Thanks to XDC, the participants of the “DigiTraining Plus 2009” course were able to watch some excerpts from those movies during their visit to the Empire Leicester Square Cinema in London, experiencing the quality of screening and the entity of the European offer of films in digital format.

Group of participants at the DGT 2009 at the gigantic screen 1 at the Empire Leicester Square Cinema in London

From the training offer of the
MEDIA Programme
Venezia, from 31/08 to 09/09/09
Application Deadline: 31/05/09

CICAE, the International Confederation of Art Cinemas, is organizing the 6th edition of its training Course “ART CINEMA = ACTION + MANAGEMENT” (Venice, 31 August – 9 September 2009, during the MOSTRA), open to young European art cinema exhibitors. The objective of the course is to pass on to younger generations the necessary competences for managing a cinema devoted to quality films. Thanks to the variety of practical activities, meetings and groupwork, the Course means to be a point of reference for young exhibitors who wish to successfully undertake a hard but at the same time fascinating job, on the market of quality cinema and European films which is everyday more vulnerable.

The application form is active on and all information is available on the website: contents, synthesis of previous editions, tariffs & scholarships.

For further information and enrolment, please log on to the CICAE website at: (in English) (in French) (in Italian)

(Per leggere il testo in italiano cliccare qui)


On MEDIA Salles’ website, you can now find the digital screens situation, country by country, in Europe, as at 30 June 2008. These are the lists detailing, for each country, the sites, the number of digital screens, the type of projectors and their resolution, the servers and the availability of 3D screens.
As an example, we are publishing herebelow the table concerning Italy
To see all the tables, please visit this page:

copyright MEDIA Salles

MEDIA Salles’ contacts and address

  MEDIA Salles
Piazza Luigi di Savoia, 24 – 20124 Milano - Italy
Tel.: +39.02.6739781 – Fax: +39.02.6690410
Sito web: