International Edition No. 16 - year 2 - 20 February 2007


“DigiTraining Plus: New Technologies for European Cinemas”

Kuurne, Belgium
28 March – 1st April 2007

in collaboration with

Deadline to benefit from the early-bird fee of 500 euro
23 February 2007

To download the course application form, click here

The fourth edition of the training course ”DigiTraining Plus: New Technologies for European Cinemas” begins on 28 March.
A message to European exhibitors from Jens Rykaer, President of MEDIA Salles

Digital? Yes! But how?
The development of D-Cinema in Europe has been and still is an on-going process involving many speculations. For instance on standards. Again at a conference in Paris last October it was repeated that one global standard was the optimal goal. This statement was backed by Anders Geertsen who is the manager of the commercial module within “European Digital Cinema Forum”. It indicates that the war on standards is over. Only bigger companies would be able to handle several standards, for the smaller independent operators a mix of standards would be a nightmare.
Having gotten the standard-complex out of the way there is now room for further discussions on what kind of business-model should be promoted. How shall the massive savings, that are the result of implementing digital technology, be divided in a reasonable way? Consensus on this delicate matter is very unlikely in Europe. The so-called “Virtual Print Fee” (VPF) model that seems to be the way in the USA can hardly be used everywhere in Europe because of its market fragmentation and there is a fear that the US model will close down a lot of smaller cinemas and loss of diversity will be a negative side-effect.

Talking about projectors, smaller cinemas may also envisage banal problems. Simply because of size. Digital projectors now are designed for the largest cinemas, the largest screens and prepared for massive outlet of heat. Smaller models for smaller operators would be desirable. Still 2K of course. The Japanese are now experimenting with 8K (!). This is the kind of information that feeds fear of on-going expenses for upgrading the equipment. Experience from the USA indicates that one should calculate maintenance costs that are 4 or 5 times higher in comparison with ordinary technology. This should also be considered when talking about VPF.

In other words, there is still a lot to discuss and learn on these matters. The MEDIA Salles “DigiTraining Plus” course in Kuurne is another important tool for getting wiser.

Jens Rykær
President of MEDIA Salles

The “DigiTraining Plus” 2007 course: where

Barco Kuurne: home of the manufacturing facilities of Barco’s 2K digital cinema projectors
The MEDIA Salles “DigiTraining Plus” course will take place at the headquarters of Barco’s Media and Entertainment Division in the West Flanders town of Kuurne in Belgium. The Kuurne site is also home of the manufacturing facilities of many of Barco visualization products including of course Barco’s D-Cine Premiere range of 2K digital cinema projectors. Over the past year, Barco has made significant and vital changes to its overall digital cinema operations, with increased staff and factory capacity, plus additional dedicated clean rooms for the critical engine assembly and sealing phases of the D-CINE manufacturing process. The digital cinema revolution has truly begun and in order to meet the expected upsurge in demand, Barco is increasing its capacity from the current 300 units a month to 500 a month in the course of 2007.

Visit to a digital theatre: Kinepolis Bruges
Kinepolis Bruges, the latest Kinepolis Group’s cinema complex, opened to the public on Friday, 7 July 2006.
The cinema site in Bruges has eight screens, 1,605 seats, 600 parking places and 100 bicycle slots. It is located in the vicinity of major approach roads. It is Kinepolis Group’s tenth complex in Belgium and the 21st in Europe. In addition to Belgium, Kinepolis also operates in France, Spain, Poland and Switzerland (click here to see the list of all Kinepolis multiplexes).
click here to see the whole article

The Parkhotel in Kortrijk will accommodate DGT course participants
The Parkhotel is located at the centre of Kortrijk opposite the train station, at a few steps from the main shopping area.
Kortrijk is about one hour from Brussels (Belgium) or half an hour from Lille (France), by train.
All rooms are equipped with private bathroon with shower or bath and hairdryer. Colour television, minibar, trousers press and telephone with direct dialing facilities are standard in every room. A wireless internet connection is available in all rooms and public places.
The Parkhotel’s Health Centre, with sauna, Jacuzzi, steambath and small fitness centre, welcomes the hotel guests every day between 4:30 pm & 9:30 pm. The use of the Health Centre is free of charge for guests, staying at the hotel.
Free taxi service within a distance of 15 kilometres.
A free and private car park is available just next to the hotel.



Petra Pettersson
Managing Director of Studio 1 2 3, Porvoo Finland
Deputy member of SEOL ry The Finnish Cinema Exhibitors' Association

Digitalizing Finland from an exhibitor point of view

Writing this article is definitely not one of the easiest tasks that I’ve had in my time working in the cinema business as an exhibitor. Especially when the title is “Women in Digital” and digital cinema is still an egg not yet hatched in Finland.
Finland is a small country with 5.2 million inhabitants and 221 cinemas with a total of 341 screens. The total number of admissions in 2006 was 6.9 million. Most of the cinemas in Finland are single-screen theatres and work in rural areas. Finnkino is a major market leader with multiplexes in 9 locations.

click here to see the whole article


Boom in digital screens worldwide. The second half of 2006 confirmed a trend that had already manifested itself at the beginning of the year: the considerable increase in screens equipped with digital projectors using DLP CinemaTM technology.

This is what is revealed by MEDIA Salles, which announced at the Berlin Festival the publication of figures on cinema-going in Europe in 2006, included in the “final 2006” edition of the European Yearbook, which was presented on 15 February, during the traditional “Italian Breakfast” at the CineStar Imax in the Sony Center, and which can be downloaded free of charge from the MEDIA Salles website at the address

The total worldwide over a 12-month period increased almost four times over, rising from 595 to 2,866, with a 382% increase. Moreover, the different continents deal with the digital transition at highly varying rates: in the same period North America grew by 1,031%, totalling 1,957 installations, Europe by 168% (531) and Asia by 70% (347). The number of complexes housing digital screens grew from 456 to 982 in 2006, meaning that the average number of digital projectors per site has risen from 1.3 to 2.9. This can be considered further proof of the fact that exhibition companies tend to consider the installation of a digital projector not so much a technical trial with the aim of becoming familiar with a new type of equipment, but a strategic choice.

Elisabetta Brunella
Secretary General of MEDIA Salles

Summary table of digital screens and cinemas worldwide as at December 2006

From the MEDIA Salles' "European Cinema Yearbook - 2006 final edition"
Presented in Berlin on 15 February 2007

To see the full section entitled "Digital Cinema Worldwide in 2006", published in the MEDIA Salles "European Cinema Yearbook - 2006 final edition", please click here