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

  International Edition No. 75 - year 6 - 16 November 2011 


Dear readers,
I am happy to open this new issue of the DGT online informer by announcing the ninth edition of the course DigiTraining Plus: European Cinemas Experiencing new Technologies to be held in 2012 from 29 August to 2 September. After two years in the Deep North, as guests of Finland and, in 2011, also of Estonia, this time we are moving to the Netherlands. Thanks to the collaboration with our Dutch partners, the course will take place in a very special location: the headquarters of the EYE Film Institute, a futuristic building now under construction in the centre of Amsterdam. Here the participants will be able to experience theatres with innovative solutions: digital projectors of course, but also versatile spaces conceived to offer spectators the very best conditions for enjoying both films and alternative content, such as live music. Those keen on technology will find another reason for taking part in the course in the visit to the Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum, amongst Europe’s most important centres for the conservation and viewing of audiovisual material, one of whose strong points is the digitalization of the material. For those who, instead, are more interested in economic models that can facilitate the digital transition, the Netherlands boast one of the most significant examples: in the Cinema Digitaal project, distributors and exhibitors have joined forces to achieve complete digitalization of Dutch cinemas by 2012, thanks also to the intervention of public institutions.
And so, “arrivederci” in the hope of seeing you in Amsterdam,
Elisabetta Brunella
Secretary General of MEDIA Salles
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The meeting for the planning of DigiTraining 2012 in Amsterdam
From left: Eveline Ferwerda (Cinema Digitaal),
Michiel de Rooy (EYE Film Institute),
Elisabetta Brunella (MEDIA Salles),
Michael C. Lambrechtsen (Dutch Film Distributors' Association), Marieke Jonker (Amstelfilm),
Ger Bouma (Netherlands Film Fund),
Ido Abram (EYE Film Institute),
Ron Sterk (Dutch Exhibitors’ Association)

MEDIA Salles
the ninth edition of the training course for
European exhibitors and cinema professionals

DigiTraining Plus:
European Cinemas Experiencing New Technologies
that will take place
from 29 August – 2 September 2012
in The Netherlands
the country whose film theatres are all going digital
with Cinema Digitaal
The new and innovative location of the
EYE Film Institute Netherlands in Amsterdam
will host the course

The course programme includes
lectures by international experts, exchange of experiences,
visits to cutting edge cinemas equipped with digital installations
Participation fee: 850 € + VAT (if applicable)
Includes: lessons, teaching materials, hotel (4 nights)
and the most part of the meals

Scholarships available:
the reduced fee for those who will be granted a scholarship
is 630 € + VAT (if applicable)

Visit the page dedicated to the course on our website
or write an email to:

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FOCUS ON ITALY: the challenges of digital for the Italian cinema industry. 1,000 screens have changed to the new technologies, 2,500 have yet to be digitalized

Between the end of October and beginnings of November, first at Eurovisioni and then at the Rome Film Festival, several conferences were held in Italy on the digitalization of cinemas.
At these meetings some advance news was presented from a highly interesting study, carried out by MEDIA Salles and the European Audiovisual Observatory, entitled “The European Digital Cinema Report”, which analyzes the costs and benefits of this technological transformation and the way digital roll-out is progressing in European countries.
In particular, attention was drawn to the fact that the digital shift involves high costs and may come to even 3 or 4 times the cost of traditional 35 mm equipment.
From the debate amongst the numerous and authoritative figures from the cinema industry present and from the data provided by the analysts from the European Audiovisual Observatory, it emerged that, although digitalization represents a great opportunity for the cinema industry in general, at present considerable problems of a financial and economic nature are preventing small and medium-sized exhibitors from proceeding to digitalize their theatres. This is why in Italy around 2,500 screens have yet to be digitalized.
(Click here to read the whole article)
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In Rome, the MEDIA Salles and European Audiovisual Observatory presentation: an opportunity to take stock of digitalization in Italy

The digitalization of Italy’s cinemas is experiencing a slowdown. Proof comes from the data revealed by MEDIA Salles on the day organized to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the MEDIA Programme, which took place on 20 October at the Hotel Bernini Bristol, at the Rome Film Festival’s Business Street. In the morning session, devoted to the digital transition in Europe, several players from the sector were present, including the President of Agis and Anec, Paolo Protti, the Vice President of MEDIA Salles and Acting Vice President of Anec, Luigi Grispello and the President of Anem, Carlo Bernaschi. Also present was the Director General for Cinema of the MiBAC (Ministry of Cultural Affairs), Nicola Borrelli.

According to the figures presented by Elisabetta Brunella, Secretary General of MEDIA Salles, from 1 January 2011 to October 2011 the number of digital screens in Italy rose from 912 to 1,080 (+18.4%), whilst on the other leading European markets the increase was much higher: in Germany, in particular, the number of digital screens rose from 1,239 to 2,000 (+61.4%), whilst, when taking into consideration the first six months of 2011, the increase in France was of 43.2% (from 1,885 to 2,700 digital screens), in the United Kingdom 42.8% (from 1,400 to 2,000), in Spain 32.1% (from 772 to 1,020) and in Russia 27.5% (from 941 to 1,200).
It should also be noted that from 1 January 2010 to 1 January 2011, in Italy the number of digital screens rose from 434 to 912 with a 110% increase.

(Click here to read the whole article)
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Click here to see the latest MEDIA Salles presentations:

Elisabetta Brunella at Eurovisioni (video) – Rome, 19th October 2011

Power Point presentation at the European Day - Rome, 29th October 2011

Power Point presentation at “D-Cinema: Viaggio nel Digitale” – Rome, 1st November 2011

Elise Brandt
Manager Assistant - Kuusan Kino Ky/Studio 123 - Kuusankoski (Finland)

My career in cinema began at the age of six, when my family started running a newly-built cinema in our small town. Of course the whole family, kids included, was helping out and so I got to spend my childhood in a cinema environment, and naturally continued on the given path to my adulthood, learning the booth work and taking on regular shifts behind the counter at fifteen.
Of course ten years ago I told everyone who was talking about digital cinema that it would never come to pass. Too many controversies, and absolutely nothing can equal film. Those words have been taken back many times! Our three-screen cinema turned all-digital a year ago, over a period of three years. It has been a very eventful three years, and quite a learning curve! The whole industry has changed and is still changing, and we are determined to be on the frontline.
Not only have the distribution methods changed, but there is also a variety of alternative content to be had quite easily. We have shown documentaries and locally made movies, and started regular opera and ballet screenings last February, from the Royal Opera House in London. At first we were the only cinema in Finland showing their content but after some talks we agreed to act as a distributor for Finland for the same content and now in November there will be eight cinemas to join us and as more small cinemas find out that showing alternative content is actually not expensive or difficult at all, they will follow. We will also be showing a series of four Broadway musicals starting from November, which is something our audience have requested. At the moment we are, yet again, the only cinema in Finland to be showing this content.
In my opinion, a small town cinema (and why not all others as well) needs to be versatile. Not just movies, and not just showing them. What about a staff member masked as an ape and behaving like one, to take your ticket at the door for Planet of the Apes? Or a green lantern to sell your ticket to, surprise, Green Lantern movie? We have seen an outbreak of Smurf fever (symptoms include uncontrolled smiling, excessive joy in living and blue spots on facial area) and organized a Harry Potter event for local fans, complete with broom-flying lessons and getting the audience to shout a spell together to start the movie. With all this we want to make our audience expect something more than just the movie. We want to make them feel we are just as enthusiastic about movies as they are! Simply, we want them to feel more inclined to come back more often to spend their money having fun with us.
Also, there is the web. Social media, forums, new marketing opportunities but also high maintenance. To use such tools, we can’t just put the information out there and start waiting. We need to be participating, selling actively. We are competing with so much, and we need to remind the audience that going to the movies is not only about the movie, it’s about the experience that you cannot have anywhere else. Sadly, sometimes we need to remind ourselves to remember this as well.
As we reach out actively to new and existing audiences, we can help each other adapt to the change that’s constantly going on. To that purpose, myself and a colleague of mine have opened an online forum for all those working in the field of making or showing movies, and anything that touches that field. As we move to the digital age, it’s far better to do it together instead of each banging our heads on the proverbial wall one at a time. Someone’s bound to find the door in that wall and let everybody else know about it.

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All different, all digital
by Elisabetta Brunella

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.





Number of digital




No. of 3D screens

United States

Landmark Sunshine Cinema

New York City







Landmark Sunshine Cinema – New York
The American spectator does not live from multiplexes alone. Proof of this is the good fortune of a cinema like New York’s Landmark Sunshine, situated in Lower Manhattan in a brick building built in 1844 to house the Dutch Reformed Church and later used for various other functions: as a cinema, a theatre, a warehouse. Since its radical transformation, lasting over a year, in 2001, five screens have emerged, three of which with stadium seating, capable of accommodating between 118 and 284 for a total of 830 spectators, preceded by a roomy foyer equipped with a bar. Tickets are bought on the sidewalk under a marquee lit by a myriad of small light bulbs. With a look suggesting the ‘Twenties, the golden age of movie palaces, and, most importantly, its decidedly arthouse programming based on a mixture of independent American films and foreign-language productions screened with subtitles, as well as a wide selection of documentaries, the Sunshine attracts customers with sophisticated tastes amongst the residents of Lower East Side. “Our audiences are ‘arty’,” says Mandy Moncayo the young and dynamic manager of the cinema, “just like this neighbourhood.” The price of the ticket is more or less the same as in big complexes: thirteen dollars for each screening from the first, at 11.45 a.m., to the last, at 10 p.m. A customer loyalty card gives a free screening for every ten tickets purchased. The classics, on offer at midnight Fridays and Saturdays, are sold at ten dollars. For those who wish to purchase online from the webpage there is an extra charge of one dollar. Facebook and Twitter are the tools the Sunshine uses to keep in touch with those who belong to its Film Club and whom it targets with special initiatives. “We offer a large number of events, such as thematic screenings for Christmas or other occasions, as well as advance screenings with actors present, in collaboration with distributors, particularly for the Hollywood productions our audiences are likely to appreciate. But we don’t sell these events: access to our red carpet is by invitation only,” adds Mandy. As for technology, the Sunshine reflects the approach of the mother company: for Landmark – the arthouse chain boasting 245 screens in 21 U.S. cities – the transition to digital proceeds “cautiously”. Thus, in its Lower Manhattan complex two digital projectors have been installed so far, a Barco 2K and a Sony 4K. For the moment no 3D.
But the habitués of the Sunshine are content, even without special events. They are more educated spectators with more money to spend, older than average and not dependent on a car. Probably vegetarian, if not vegan. The choice of “concessions” thus includes dry fruit and chocolate, strictly organic, as well as a dozen or so different teas or infusions. Amongst the favourite products are both the exotic “Pocky” – chocolate-covered biscuit sticks imported directly from Japan and the more conventional popcorn. But the most standard cinema food, too, is “customized” at the Sunshine: there are vegan and kosher options and ten types of dressings. “But, unlike the multiplexes, we offer the dressings free,” stresses Mandy.
If there’s anyone who doesn’t feel like going without their animal proteins, they have nothing to fear: a little further on, on the same sidewalk as the Sunshine, is the Katz, the eminently New-York-style deli serving huge pastrami and corned beef sandwiches. With special effects: remember “When Harry met Sally”? The most famous scene was shot in this very place.

Elisabetta Brunella
Secretary General of MEDIA Salles

This article has been published in the "Giornale dello Spettacolo" no. 15, 7 October 2011
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News on the development of digitalization in Europe
by Francesca Mesiano

Barco and Nevafilm complete first European 3D audio installation

At the Jam Hall cinema in St Petersburg, Barco and Nevafilm have installed Auro-3D, a truly immersive audio technology reproducing sound in 3D so that it comes from above and all around the spectator.
In combination with 3D images, Auro-3D aims to involve movie fans more completely in the action.
Jam Hall is one of the first cinemas worldwide and the first in Europe to be equipped with this technology.

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News from Spain

440,000 euros for digitalization allocated by the Basque government

On 18th October last, the Basque government approved a proposal providing a basis for regulating contributions to the digitalization of movie theatres in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country.
The aim of the measure is to facilitate access by spectators to a variety of cultural products.
The contributions, for a total amount of 440,000 euros, will be given to cinemas that possess five screens at the most and offer programming that gives priority to the screening of EU and Spanish-American films and short films.
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Yelmo Cines becomes the first exhibitor in Spain fully digital

Yelmo Cines, Spain’s leading exhibitor, is the first in the country to become 100% digital.
With Arts Alliance Media (AAM) all 402 screens in 34 sites are now equipped with digital equipment, including 93 screens outfitted with RealD 3D screens.
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YMAGIS signs agreement for digital cinema deployment with Spanish independent distributors Baditri S. L and Olwyn Films S. L.

Ymagis has signed an agreement in Spain for digital cinema deployment with distributors Baditri S. L. and Olwyn Films S. L.

Under these agreements, both distributors will provide their content in digital format when programming films with Spanish exhibitors equipped with digital cinema systems. They will also provide financial contributions during an agreed period of time, contributing to the promotion of digital cinema in Spain.

The first movie distributed by Baditri in digital format following this agreement was Transgression by Enric Alberich, released on 21st October.
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MEDIA Salles’ contacts and address

MEDIA Salles
Piazza Luigi di Savoia, 24 – 20124 Milano - Italy
Tel.: +39.02.67397823– Fax: +39.02.6690410
Sito web: