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

International Edition No. 88
year 7 - 9 November 2012

Dear readers,

It is with great pleasure that I present this new issue of the DGT online informer which, together with the usual selection of news on digital cinema, gives an account of a period filled with events and important results for MEDIA Salles.

Between 29 August and 2 September 2012 in Amsterdam, the ninth edition of "DigiTraining Plus: European Cinemas Experiencing New Technologies" was held. The course, which was attended by 35 European cinema professionals from 13 different countries, reconfirmed the success it has been having since 2004: over the nine editions, more than 85% of participants have stated that they were generally very or extremely satisfied with the "DigiTraining Plus" events organized by MEDIA Salles in the 2004-2012 period and considered them to be well or perfectly in line with the objectives, content and procedures planned in 90% of cases.

In this issue you will also find an account of the conference "From 35mm to Digital: the switch-off point", organized by MEDIA Salles at the Venice Festival, during which the most recent figures on the development of digitalization in Europe were presented, reporting the situation of digital screens at 30 June 2012.

Our monitoring of the financing schemes made available for the transition by the Italian Regions also continues, with an update on the situation presented in DGT online informer no. 82.

Lastly, I am pleased to announce the dates of the next edition of the "DigiTraining Plus" course, which in 2013 will take place in Poland from 28 August to 1 September with a new subtitle - "New Technologies for the European Cinemas of the Future" - which we shall be writing about in more detail in our next issue.

Mark the appointment in your diaries!

Luigi Grispello,
President of MEDIA Salles

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Save the date!

The tenth edition of

DigiTraining Plus
New Technologies for the European Cinemas of the Future

will take place

in Poland

from 28 August to 1 September 2013

Follow the updates
at the page dedicated to the course:

For further information, please send an email to

MEDIA Salles will soon publish the new edition of DiGiTalk, which will contain ideas, experiences and success stories in the field of digital projection, collected during the MEDIA Salles' course: "DigiTraining Plus: European Cinemas Experiencing New Technologies - 2012 edition" and accompanied by a section rich in tables and graphs on the state and development of digital projection in Europe.

Advertising spaces available!

If you're interested, please send an email to

Click here to see the 2011 edition of DiGiTalk.

MEDIA Salles at the Venice International Film Festival presents the state of digital cinema in Europe at 30 June 2012

"From 35mm to Digital: the switch-off point" was the title of the conference organized by MEDIA Salles, in collaboration with Open Sky, during the 69th Venice International Film Festival.
The latest MEDIA Salles statistics on the development of digitalization in Europe at 30 June 2012, announced at the same Venice Festival, provided the basis for the round table dealing with the key points of the transition now that Europe has digitalized over 60% of her screens and the moment of switch-off for film is drawing closer.
The event compared the Italian experience to that of some other European countries who have succeeded in coming up with efficient economic models, and took stock of the technological innovations and the new prospects opening up for European cinemas.

The conference was opened by Luigi Cuciniello, Director of Organization at the Festival, who recalled that the world's longest-lived Festival has very soon opted for the new technologies, so that in 2012 as many as 95% of the titles were screened in digital format.

Elisabetta Brunella, Secretary General of MEDIA Salles, presented the most recent figures on the development of digital cinema in Europe, published in the European Cinema Journal 2-2012, a special edition produced for the Venice Festival.

At 30 June 2012 Europe's digital screens amounted to close on 22,000, with a 17.4% growth rate compared to the beginning of the year, when there were 18,566.
In Europe as a whole the rate of digital penetration has now reached 60.5% but growth is taking place at varying paces on individual markets.
Alongside countries that had already achieved 100% digitalization in 2011 (Norway and Luxemburg), there are still several territories where the new technologies regard less than a quarter of screens, such as Turkey, Slovenia, Greece, Serbia.
Even in the six largest countries differences are to be seen. Whilst the United Kingdom (86%) and France (80%) see penetration rates that are well over the European average, Germany has digitalized only 54% of her screens, and Spain (43%) and Italy (47%) remain below even the 50% threshold.

It was the situation in Italy around which the first half of the conference revolved, introduced by the President of MEDIA Salles, Luigi Grispello, who presented the results of a study on the development of digitalization in Italy, emphasizing the fact that the pace of transition varies greatly according to the type of cinema involved and pointing out the difficulties encountered in particular by traditional cinemas (with 1 to 5 screens).

There followed a debate between representatives of the cinema industry and the institutions. Nicola Borrelli, Director General for the Cinema at the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, exchanged opinions with Lionello Cerri, President of the ANEC (the Italian Cinema Exhibitors' Association), Mario Lorini, President of the FICE (the Italian Art house Cinema Association), and Egidio Viggiani (Moviemax Italia), representing the Distributors' Section of ANICA (the Italian Producers' and Distributors' Association).

The focus on the Italian situation was accompanied by the presentation of some "best practices" from Europe.

The Dutch exhibitor Raymond Walravens (Rialto Film) presented the Dutch initiative Cinema Digitaal, which, launched in 2011 by combining public and private resources, has allowed even independent theatres to convert fully to digital projection.
Thanks to initiatives by the national exhibitors' association (NVB) and distributors' association (NVF), 170 independent exhibitors, for a total of over 500 screens, formed a sort of buyers' group which was thus able to negotiate a collective VPF, involving all the distributors operating in the Netherlands, thanks also to State intervention through the Netherlands Film Fund.

Marta Materska-Samek (Fundacja Rozwoju Kina) gave an account of the "Malopolska Project", which, with support from the European Regional Development Fund, made it possible to achieve the digitalization of cinemas in the Krakow region.

Based on a network of 18 local art-house cinemas, the "Malopolska d-cinemas network", opted for digitalization with a view to improving the offer of cinemas and making the region more attractive to tourists.
Of particular interest were the case studies presented, particularly that of the little town of Wadowice, where the local cinema has adapted to religious tourism centering on the figure of Pope John Paul II.

The final session opened up to wider horizons with a glance at the world scenario and the cinemas of the future, now that switch-off time is approaching.

The talk by Michael Karagosian (MKPE) focused on new technological developments, from high frame rates to the new opportunities offered by digital in a field of considerable current interest, i.e. the accessibility of cinemas to those with impaired sight or hearing.
Marieke Jonker (Amstelfilm) introduced the We Want Cinema project, which, thanks to the use of the social media, offers spectators the chance to become programmers of the cinemas that belong to the initiative with an "à la carte" choice that also includes alternative content.
Lastly, Walter Munarini (Open Sky) presented the opportunities offered by satellite technology, which allows for the rapid dispatch of films, trailers, ads and live events at limited costs.

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The MEDIA Salles press release

DigiTraining Plus: European Cinemas Experiencing New Technologies.
The highlights of the 2012 edition.

It was the turn of the Netherlands to host the ninth edition of DigiTraining Plus: European Cinemas Experiencing New Technologies, the MEDIA Salles course addressing professional players in the European cinema industry who wish to bring themselves up to date with the new technologies.
This year there were 35 participants from 13 different nations, from Bulgaria to the United Kingdom, from Spain to Finland, who exchanged views on the current situation and future prospects for digitalization in Europe at the dawn of the digital era, listening to internationally known experts such as Thomas Hoegh, founder of Arts Alliance, and Michael Karagosian, consultant for Nato, the U.S. exhibitors' association, at the start of the digital shift.

The Netherlands: a model for 100% digitalization
The choice of the Netherlands was not casual: this is a country that has managed to come up with a formula - the Cinema Digitaal initiative - which, by combining public and private resources, has made it possible for independent exhibitors, too, to fully convert to digital screening.
Ron Sterk, a member of the MEDIA Salles Executive Committee and Director of the Dutch Exhibitors' Association (NVB), presented its most prominent features:in answer to an initiative by the NVB and the corresponding distributors' association (NVF), 170 independent exhibitors, for a total of 500 screens, formed a sort of buyers' group which was thus able to negotiate a collective VPF agreement, involving all the distributors operating in the Netherlands, thanks also to State intervention, through the Netherlands Film Fund.
The project, by virtue of which in September 2012, with the installation of the last projectors, the Netherlands became 100% digital, addressed all those cinemas which, unlike the three foreign-owned circuits - Pathé, Euroscoop and Utopolis - had not yet gone digital using their own resources.
Starting out from the practical example provided by Cinema Digitaal, analysis and comparison of different economic models for digitalization was one of the main topics of the course.

Economic models: their importance is crucial for the remaining 40% of European screens that have yet to convert to the new technologies
After the overview provided by Olivier Hillaire (Manice), other best practices in Europe were presented: Ania Sienkiewicz spoke about the support provided by the Polish Film Institute for the digitalization of Polish cinemas, with the added aim of creating a network of art-house cinemas offering programming that centres on the screening of domestic and European films.
Silvana Pasqualino (EACEA) then presented the support mechanism implemented by the European Commission's MEDIA Programme for the digitalization of the Continent's movie theatres.
The picture was completed by Sègbastien Nicolas, representing dcinex, whose talk gave advice on choosing the most appropriate solution for each individual type of theatre.

Evolution of the technology shows no sign of stopping
The MEDIA Salles statistics on the development of digitalization in Europe and worldwideprovided the introduction for the session summing up the present situation regarding formats and novelties such as High Frame Rates, the core of the lecture by Peter Wilson, representing EDCF.

The future of the technology at the dawn of the switch-off for film was also at the centre of the talk by Michael Karagosian (MKPE), who in addition, went into current issues such as, in particular, the accessibility of movie theatres to the visually or hearing impaired, a topic that exhibitors will soon find themselves up against as a result of new legislation. In this field, the new technologies can offer interesting solutions thanks to digital sub-titling systems or audio descriptions.

New technologies for new content
A basic element - almost the course "motto" - was "Don't use new technologies for old content" and, from this point of view, the course venues were a source of real inspiration.
The headquarters of the EYE Film Institute Netherlands, inaugurated less than six months ago, with its spectacular architecture and cinemas fitted with cutting-edge technology, hosted the main sessions, with additional visits to avant-garde cinemas or structures of particular interest for their innovative use of digital technologies.
Amongst the former, the CineLounge in Houten, which combines innovation - it was the first fully digital cinema in the Netherlands - with the typically Dutch tradition of the service cinema, where waiters serve the audience food and drinks to be enjoyed during the screening, and the Oostereiland in Hoorn - a fully digital art-house cinema arising out of the restructuring of the city's former prison.
Amongst the latter, the Gofilex in Zeist, an organization that has been providing services delivering audiovisual content to the Dutch cinema industry for over 35 years and where the 35mm cans have made way for digital files distributed by cable, or the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, where Geert Wissink, head of the project, explained the work of conserving and making the most of the cinema's cultural heritage, whilst Thijs van Exel, of Knowledgeland presented the project "Images for the Future", launched in 2007 with the aim of digitalizing an amazing quantity of audiovisual material by the year 2014. After the presentations the participants witnessed the process of digitalizing content so far only available in 35mm, in order to ensure its conservation and widespread accessibility.
On the subject of new forms of cinematographic experience, Christine Costello (More2Screen) dealt with the topic of alternative content, with examples projected directly in the Oostereiland cinema.
Frank de Neeve (Cineserver) instead emphasized the advantages offered by digital technology for programming from the point of view of flexibility, whilst Marieke Jonker (Amstelfilm) presented the project We Want Cinema, where - by using the social media - the spectator personally becomes the programmer of the theatres that are part of the initiative, with an "à la carte" choice that also includes alternative content.
What will tomorrow's movie theatres be like?
A glance at tomorrow's movie theatres emerged in the talk - concluding the course - by Thomas Hoegh, the visionary founder of Arts Alliance, the "umbrella" organization that brought into being a series of companies operating in the sectors of entertainment and the media with an innovative approach.Hoegh opened a series of "windows" through which the course participants could glimpse new scenarios, revolving around the central role of the spectator and the pursuit of quality.Placing the spectator at the centre involves a new way of programming, giving the audience - or, better, the different types of audiences - the possibility of choosing what to see on the big screen.
And it will be the spectators themselves who - using the social media - "advertise" their favourite cinema, talking to other spectators and involving them in their own community.
It will therefore be possible to extend the cinemas' offer to a variety of content which ranges from theatre to music to educational programmes and which will combine to make up 20/25% of box office, emerging as an area with potential for considerable growth.
All this with the aim of making the "cinema space" into much more than an auditorium and opening it up for other functions, such as those that may be required by business companies for the purposes of communication, promotion and training.
And so a long life opens up for movie theatres, provided they are capable of listening to their public and concentrating on maximum quality.

Francesca Mesiano

This article has been published on the "Giornale dello Spettacolo" no. 8, September 2012

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Camelia Vajeu
Marketing Officer - dcinexTM

I graduated from Transilvania University (Romania) in 2002 with a passion for marketing and communication.
I entered the magical world of digital cinema in May 2009, when I started working as Marketing Officer for XDC, the European leader in Digital Cinema. I had the chance to be in contact with many aspects of the European cinema industry and witness first hand many of the major developments in this industry, and I thrived on the responsibility of sharing this across the industry, which I found exciting and very fulfilling.  

What started out as a job turned into a passion and now, the technological and digital revolution of cinema represents my area of core expertise and professional interest.

In order to maintain its leadership in the cinema industry after the digital revolution, my company has pioneered new forms of content distribution and protection, alternative content and cross-media. As Marketing Officer, I am the communication engine behind these changes, the organizing force that coordinates the new activities and project-manages their public presentations. My professional skills cover communication, event organization and co-ordination, project management, social media marketing strategy.

Lately, I have been at the centre of the rebranding of XDC, FTT and BEWEGTE BILDER into dcinexTM. The main goal in merging these three companies is to offer exhibitors and distributors the one-stop-shop that the industry has always needed. This important project gave me the opportunity to meet and talk with the most important figureheads in European digital cinema, both exhibitors and distributors, but also manufacturers.

Feeling the pulse of the most fascinating and fast-paced industry in the world, meeting extraordinary people all the time, is far more than a job for me.  

Being informed before most people about intelligent ticketing systems, seeing new projection techniques and hearing the most advanced 3D sound systems, makes my passion for digital cinema even greater. There is only one thing even more exciting: the future.  Something tells me that the future of digital cinema will be more than amazing.

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All different, all digital
by Francesca Mesiano

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.


Germany: landmark cinemas choose digital projection, too

Cinema Paris, Berlin





Number of digital




Cinema Paris


Yorck Kinogruppe


Kinoton DCS


The Paris, located inside the French Cultural Institute "Maison de France", a historical building at the heart of Kurfürstendamm, comes into being as a theatre for the screening of French movies, subsequently opening up to all Europe's art-house film production, thus winning the affection and loyalty of audiences in an age dominated by multiplexes.

This week's programming foresees Ken Loach's film "The Angels' Share", presented at the 2012 Cannes Festival, and "More than Honey", a documentary by Markus Imhoof on the world of bees.

Thanks to satellite technology, the Paris - that became digital in July 2012 - also offers alternative content: at present the programme includes live performances from the seasons at the Bolschoi and the Nederlands DansTheater.


Cinema METROPOL, Chemnitz




Number of digital






Kinoton DCS

The Metropol cinema in Chemnitz - a town in Saxony of around 240,000 inhabitants - screens its first film in digital format on the eve of its hundredth anniversary. Designed by the architect Wenzel Bürger in 1913, this building has lived through every step of German history in the Nineteen Hundreds. Originating as a concert hall, hotel and restaurant, it became a cinema in the '30s, surviving the Second World War despite suffering serious damage during an air raid in 1945.

After 18 months of renovation, the cinema re-opened in 1947, when, on 22 April, Johann Strauss's operetta "Die Fledermaus" was screened.

In the '80s the auditorium and the façade are completely renovated and the cinema faces another key event in Germany's history: the fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification. For a short time the Metropol is managed by Ufa (Universum Film AG), then by the Hamburg-based company "Kino Kino Entertainment" up until 2005, when it is once again closed.

The theatre's ultimate revival finally comes in 2006, thanks to Evelin Paulat, from Chemnitz, who re-opens the cinema, restoring it to its past splendour and guaranteeing its success right up to the present. Now, in 2012, this historical cinema enters the digital age, installing a Kinoton projector, as well as equipping itself with an Integrated Media Block for high frame rates.

This week at the Metropol the programme includes "Asterix and Obelix: On Her Majesty's Secret Service" and "Skyfall".

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News on digitalisation worldwide
By Francesca Mesiano and Camilla Lomazzi Jørgensen


Support from the Regions for Digitalisation*
The Regional Authorities of Campania have announced that a sum of 2 million euros has been allocated to support small and medium-sized businesses in the field of the cinema.
The resourceshave come from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF 2007-2013) with the aim of guaranteeing competition, pluralism, cultural and linguistic diversity, in an attempt to protect the country's smaller cinemas from closing, now that the switch-off point for 35 mm is drawing closer.
The maximum contribution foreseen by this measure amounts to 100,000 euros and is directed at traditional cinemas (1 to 4 screens).

The Region of Lombardy has launched a new call for applications, based on a financial endowment of 1.5 million euros for the technological upgrading of cinemas and the purchase of equipment for digital projection, including the accessories needed for its installation.Financing can be claimed for a single projector per screen and support cannot exceed 70% of the total expenditure, up to a maximum of 70,000 euros.
The deadline for presenting the application is 19 November 2012.

Emilia Romagna
On 29 October the call for applications regarding digitalization of cinemas in Emilia Romagna was approved. The call had been announced during the summer and is covered by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF 2007-2013).
Expenditure for the purchase of projectors conforming to DCI standards, but also the purchase of equipment for the reception of digital cable and/or satellite signals is considered eligible, as well as expenditure for the adaptation of equipment installed in the projection rooms. Costs for the purchase of 3D technology are, instead, excluded from the support.
The amount of Regional financing will vary according to the type of cinema: it will cover 50% of expenditure in the case of projects that foresee exclusively the digitalization of one or more single-screen cinemas, 40% for the digitalization of multi-screen complexes with 2 to 4 screens, 25% for multi-screen cinemas with over 4 screens and for multiplexes. In no case can the support exceed a sum of 75,000 euros per project, or a maximum of 200,000 euros for the same company.
Applications for financing may be presented from 1 December 2012 to 18 January 2013.

* This text is an update of the article published in the DGT online informer no. 82

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Transferibility of tax relief launched
Article 51 of the decree-law "Development" (no. 83 of 22 June 2010), published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale on 26 June 2012, gives free rein, once and for all, to the transferibility of tax credit for the digitalization of cinemas by small and medium-sized businesses.
The details of the law foresee transferibility of tax credit towards specific subjects, which may be banking, financial and insurance intermediaries or even the company providing the digital projection for which tax credit has been claimed.

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Agreement between ANEC and the BNL on the digitalization of cinemas
In Italy the National Exhibitors' Association (ANEC) has signed an agreement with the BNL Paribas BNP Group to support their member cinemas (around 11,000 throughout the country) in their daily running needs and above all in the modernization of their structures and the adoption of digital projection technology.
When commenting the agreement, the President of ANEC, Lionello Cerri, stated: "At the moment, digitalized structures in Italy account for around half of all screens but it is essential for all of them to have the opportunity to convert, even the small independent businesses for which the cost of a digital installation proves to be a particular burden. The joint initiative with BNL will offer our members the possibility of taking advantage of particularly interesting financing which we trust will offer practical support to those who have not yet managed to make the investment."
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dcinex and Odeon UCI announce an agreement for the digitalization of Cinesa
Announced at IBC Amsterdam on 10 September last, the VPF agreement between dcinex - a Belgian integrator born of the merger between FTT, Bewegte Bilder and XDC - and the Odeon UCI Group foresees the digitalization of 520 screens in Spain.Included in the agreement is the installation in the Cinesa cinemas - the Spanish branch of the Odeon UCI group - of satellite systems for the projection of 2D and 3D content.

The partnership between dcinex and Odeon UCI had already made it possible to digitalize 45 screens in Portugal.

With their 2,153 screens in 232 cinemas, Odeon UCI Cinemas Group is the largest exhibiting company in Europe, operating under the Odeon Cinemas brand name in the United Kingdom, UCI in Austria, Germany, Italy, Ireland and Portugal, and Cinesa in Spain.

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Arts Alliance Media and Grupo Sade sign a VPF agreement
Arts Alliance Media and the Sade group, owner of three cinemas in San Sebastian which host the International Festival of San Sebastian, have signed an agreement that will allow Sade to recover their investment in digital technology thanks to the Exhibitor Finance VPF Model of AAM. The Spanish company has already digitalized its three theatres, Principe, Trueba and Antiguo Berri (a total of 20 screens) during the course of the year, achieving full digitalization this summer. Each cinema will be fitted with TMS (Theatre Management System) "Screenwriter" technology by AAM, which will facilitate the programming, in particular during the Festival, which involves the screening of over 100 copies.

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Latin America

Arts Alliance Media and Cinevise: following the agreement on Brazilian cinemas, Ecuador comes next
Arts Alliance Media and Cinevise, a provider of digital technology with head offices in Miami and São Paulo, has announced an agreement with SuperCines, Ecuador's leading cinema circuit.
The agreement foresees installation of the AAM Theatre Management System (TMS), known as Screenwriter, by Cinevise in over 150 SuperCines cinemas in Ecuador.
This agreement marks the continuation of collaboration between AAM and Cinevise, which in 2011 had already come to an agreement for the installation of TMS in the Cinemais group's 72 Brazilian cinemas.

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Arts Alliance Media agreements with the studios for the digitalization of cinemas
Arts Alliance Media has announced the implementation of its programmed VPF agreements for the digital conversion of cinemas in Latin America.
Paramount and Universal have joined Sony and Warner in guaranteeing content in digital format for cinemas digitalized with AAM, agreeing to contribute to the costs of conversion.
Negotiations are also being concluded with Twentieth Century Fox.

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Golden Village Multiplex 100% digital
GoldenVillageMultiplex, Singapore's leading exhibitor, has completed its digitalization with the installation of Barco projectors in its 10 cinemas, for a total of 81 screens.
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Eutelsat and dcinex create DSAT Cinema
The satellite distribution company Eutelsat and dcinex have announced the creation of the joint venture DSAT Cinema, led by Fabrice Testa.
The objective is to provide owners of content with a range of services allowing them to distribute films and cultural events in 2D and 3D digitally throughout Europe, securely and at the speed offered by the satellite.
Commenting on the agreement, Marc Welinski, Marketing Director of Eutelsat, predicted that by 2015 the European cinema market would be 100% digital.

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"Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest'86" available for digital cinemas
As from 20 September 2012 the Queen concert recorded live in Budapest on 27 July 1986, now re-masterized in HD, is available for digital cinemas all over the world.
Eagle Rock Entertainment has entrusted the distribution of the event to More2Screen, a British distribution company specializing in alternative content.
At present the show is on the programmes of cinemas in 11 countries (Brazil, Canada, Denmark, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Japan, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom) and will soon be available in Italy, Lithuania, New Zealand and Portugal, too.

For further information:

Christine Costello, CEO of More2Screen, spoke at the DigiTraining Plus 2012 course that took place in Amsterdam from 29 August to 2 September 2012.

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MEDIA Salles' contacts and address

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