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

International Edition No. 98 - year 8 - 8 November 2013


Dear readers,

I am happy to open this new issue of the DGT Online Informer by presenting the most recent statistics on digitalization in Europe, updated at 30 June 2013 and published in the European Cinema Yearbook.
From the research carried out by MEDIA Salles on the trend of digitalization in Europe (in 36 countries from Iceland to Russia) it can be seen that three quarters of the Continent's screens have now transformed to the new technology. The statistics at 30 June 2013 show that by this date 27,457 European screens had been equipped with digital projectors - a 9.5% increase compared to six months previously.
Apart from pure numbers, a significant fact for evaluating the spread of the new technology is digital's rate of penetration, in other words the percentage of digital screens compared to total screen numbers. Below we provide a chart showing the incidence of digital in the different European countries.
The 27,457 digital screens represent in all around 75% of the over 36,600 operating in the countries analyzed by MEDIA Salles.
However, the average result for Europe conceals considerable discrepancies in individual countries. Amongst the latter some are decidedly above the average result for Europe, recorded halfway through 2013, whilst others are still well below it.
The discrepancies can be clearly seen in an analysis of the six leading European markets.
Whilst France and the United Kingdom are very close to 100% digitalization, with respectively 98% and 97%, the results for Germany and Russia are only just over 75% of digital screens and thus just over the average for the Continent (respectively 79% and 78%), whilst Italy (60%) and Spain (55%) are well below the average.
As to the remaining territories, alongside those - like Norway, Luxemburg and the Netherlands - that have already completed their digital roll-out, we still find countries where digital screens account for a very low percentage of total screen numbers. Amongst the latter are small and medium-sized markets, such as Serbia (24%), Lithuania (28%) and Estonia (26%), but also larger countries such as Greece (21%) and Turkey (19%).
These figures are obviously a cause of concern and lead us to wonder about the future of the 25% of screens that have not yet adopted digital technology.
Some years ago, when praising the measures that had allowed Norway to be the first to attain 100% digital roll-out, we used the expression "not one less".
It is to be hoped that Europe sets itself the same objective and that the transition process can be completed without a single screen having been lost.

Elisabetta Brunella
Secretary General of MEDIA Salles

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The National Cinema Conference in Rome:
9 November, public meeting with the Minister

The National Cinema Conference, instituted by the Italian Minister of Culture Massimo Bray with the aim of creating a space for discussion and exchange on the prospects of the cinema and audiovisual sector, is taking place this week in Rome.
The initial phase of the event was held on 5 November at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, creating three different round tables, each linked to a specific theme. The Conference will end with a public meeting on Saturday 9 November during the Rome International Film Festival, at which the Minister will be present and the results of the considerations emerging from the round tables will be presented.


European Day at the Rome Film Festival
On 15 November at the Casa del Cinema in Rome, the traditional European Day will be held, organized for the sixth consecutive year by the MEDIA Desk Italia and The Business Street with the support of the European Commission, MIBACT, Regione Lazio and Luce Cinecittà.
The meeting - entitled "Creative Europe (2014-2020): the EU Programme for cultural and creative sector" - will be the occasion for a detailed examination of the new financing opportunities offered by the European Union to the audiovisual sector and contained in the new Community Programme to come into operation from 2014.
Amongst the speakers are Nicola Borrelli, Director General for the Cinema of MIBACT (the Italian Ministry of Culture), Lidia Ravera, Head of Culture and Youth Policies for the Lazio Region, Michel Magnier, Director of Culture and Creativity of the European Commission's Directorate General for Education and Culture, Silvia Costa, Member of the European Parliament and Rapporteur of the Creative Europe Programme, and Giuseppe Massaro, Director of the MEDIA Desk Italy.

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DigiTraining Plus: New Technologies for the European Cinemas of the Future. An account of the tenth edition

It was Poland's turn to host the tenth edition of DigiTraining Plus: New Technologies for the European Cinemas of the Future, the MEDIA Salles course addressing European cinema professionals who wish to keep up-to-date with the new technologies.
This year there were 28 participants from 12 different countries - from Bosnia Herzegovina to the UK, from Spain to Greece - taking a look at the present situation and future prospects for digitalization in Europe and listening to talks by internationally known consultants, such as Michael Karagosian, and experts who have contributed to the digitalization of large private circuits, such as Jan Petersen from Denmark, Technical Manager for Nordisk Film Biografer, or to the formation of purchasing groups for medium- or small businesses, such as Ron Sterk, Director of the Dutch initiative Cinema Digitaal.

Poland: a variety of economic models for digitalizing different types of cinemas

In the case of Poland, which by mid-2013 had digitalized 904 screens, or around three quarters of its screens, digitalization is based on a variety of economic models, according to the different types of cinemas.
On the one hand, the country's three leading exhibitors - Multikino, Helios and Cinema City - completed the process of digitalization some time ago - Multikino in 2011, Helios and Cinema City in the first half of 2012.
On the other hand, several public support schemes have been made available, both at a national and a local level, for smaller and commercially weaker cinemas.
During the course Renata Pawlowska-Pyra presented the support programme for digitalization set up in June 2011 by the Polish Film Institute, distinguished by being destined specifically for quality and arthouse cinemas, with the aim of creating venues with a cultural role which are also avant-garde in terms of projection technology.
Two years from its foundation, the scheme has guaranteed support for digitalizating more than 110 cinemas, with allocations amounting to a total of 15 million PLN (around 3.5 million euros).
At a regional level comes the "Małopolska Digital Cinemas Network" experience, set up in 2010 thanks to an initiative by the Fundacja Rozwoju Kina and financed by the European Regional Development Fund with the aim of enhancing tourism in the region by improving the offer of cinema-going. An overview of how this model works was given at DigiTraining Plus 2013 by Marta Materska-Samek, during one of the visits scheduled, devoted to a cinema belonging to the same Małopolska network, the cinema Centrum in the Cultural Centre of Wadowice.
The work of this cinema situated in Pope John Paul II's birthplace, was presented by the Manager, Piotr Wyrobiec, and is a good example of integration between the cinema and its surrounding territory, as well as the use of cinematographic offer in relation to tourism: the programming of the cinema Centrum does in fact include content linked to religious tourism centring on the figure of Pope Wojtyła.

The evolution of technology

Mike Vickers, Treasurer of MEDIA Salles, opened the tenth edition of the course by showing pictures of the newly revived Thurso cinema - the northernmost in the UK - which re-opened in 2012, placing all its bets on digital technology. He stressed the prime objective of the digital transition: to enhance the role of the cinema as a place of entertainment and cultural activity and to make sure that the big screen can be enjoyed by a growing number of spectators, taking cinema to places where it is lacking today.
The statistics elaborated by MEDIA Salles - presented by Elisabetta Brunella - nonetheless show that - if more than 27,000 screens, or almost three quarters of the European total, have opted for digital technology - it cannot be taken for granted that the remaining 25% will manage to transform to digital without difficulty. In some territories or in certain types of cinemas the percentage of digital projectors is well below average.
An overview of the situation worldwide was given by Michael Karagosian, who stated that there are now 36 markets on which traditional film has completely disappeared, whilst it is estimated that there will be an increase to 65 by mid-2014.
The installation of digital projectors, which proceeded at a rate of 30,000 units over the past three years, is now becoming less intense. The industry's interest is thus shifting to new products and to the application of digital technologies but - continued Karagosian, to reassure exhibitors who were worried about the possibility of digital technology rapidly becoming obsolete - experience has shown that digital projectors have a life expectancy that lasts well beyond the ten years initially estimated. A wide-ranging session led by Emidio Frattaroli, Director of the technical journal AV Magazine, was devoted to the new prospects for technology and encouraged a critical view of some issues crucial to the quality of digital projection, meeting with keen interest from the participants.

Careful programming and communication with the public

Petr Vitek, the genial co-founder of the Aero in Prague, a landmark for quality cinema, gave participants a series of examples of how to involve the public in promoting a cinema.
Agreements with art academies and design institutes have allowed Aero and its other "satellite" cinemas to take advantage of an original brand of image and graphics at a low cost. On the other hand, the creators of the festival posters or programmes of the various initiatives - students from these schools - gain experience of real-life commissions and have the opportunity of making their talent visible. But even the "average" spectator can play an active role, for example by decorating a balcony with the banners that Bio Oko gives its fans. In the digital age, by making intense and original use of the social media, Aero encourages its aficionados to talk about their favourite cinema and its programmes more or less every day, thus creating an ever-increasing community of supporters. At no cost or almost.
Programming at the Svetozor is equally creative, although the programme is fortnightly. Centring on the screening of one or two international premières - which, according to the day in question are offered at different time slots - it is complemented by productions of local interest, documentaries, advance screenings, children's films and alternative content (starting from opera by the New York Metropolitan), scheduled for the time slots most suited to the specific type of spectator.
The talk by Peter Bosma, an independent programmer and researcher, focused on the positioning of cinemas, based on a knowledge of their audiences, both traditional and prospective, and began by placing movie theatres in categories. From "old-time" cinemas to "luxury" theatres, Bosma identified six modes of programming, challenging the course participants to come up with a seventh category, based on digital technology.

The visits: digital technology at the service of the cinema and diverse audiences

One of the strong points of the DigiTraining Plus course are the visits to cinemas where digital technologies are used to offer the public diverse and innovative programming.
One example was the Cinema City Bonarka, a highly popular multiplex on the outskirts of Cracow. As well as traditional screenings, the Bonarka offers Cinema Park, an avant-garde initiative in the field of so-called "edutainment", in other words educational entertainment, mainly - but not necessarily - addressing children and schools, and which the course participants were able to witness live.
Again in Cracow, the Kijów cinema - which hosted the first evening of the course - was an example of a very different sort of cinema: a theatre which, with over 800 seats, is one of Poland's biggest and presents numerous cinema events, including, in the past three years, Eurocinema Expo, the convention at which digital technologies are presented to representatives of the Polish cinema industry.
Amongst the cinemas visited in Warsaw, the second course venue, Kinoteka is an arthouse cinema with 8 auditoriums and 2 foyers, situated in the grand Palace of Culture and Science, built in 1955. Programming at the Kinoteka - where course participants were able to watch "Warsaw 1935", a striking, animated short-film in 3D reconstructing how the city looked before the war - combines a series of blockbusters and independent films, accompanied by theme festivals and special events. Projection was digitalized in March this year.
The Multikino Złote Tarasy is completely different: a luxury, new-generation multiplex in a large mall, with a unique character that seems to have been created on purpose to amaze, starting with the VIP area and the Velvet Bar, where a buffet meal was served.
The avant-garde technology at the Złote Tarasy made it possible to screen a demonstration of High Frame Rates (48 photograms a second), made thanks to collaboration between Barco and Arri.
The last stage of our day in Warsaw marked by the theme of diversity, was the Iluzjon, a cinema with two screens offering programming based mainly on films from the National Cinémathèque archives. The Illuzjon is an attractive, single-floor building, surrounded by a small park, and was completely renovated in 2010.

What will tomorrow's cinemas be like?

A glance at the cinemas of the future came in the talk that concluded the course and was given by Ron Sterk, Director of the Dutch Exhibitors' Association (NVB) and Cinema Digitaal, the initiative that has allowed cinemas in the Netherlands to attain 100% digitalization. Sterk stressed the importance of starting to "think digital". Making a break with old models linked to traditional film and discovering new potential and innovative ways of working are much greater challenges - but also more exciting ones - than just changing your equipment. This, according to Sterk, is the new way of thinking that will make a theatre's lease of life longer. To those who believe that they do not have the necessary resources, Sterk pointed out a successful path experimented in the Netherlands: that of cooperation. It was by joining forces that the Dutch exhibitors - even those running the smallest theatres - managed to digitalize thanks to a collective VPF model, and again thanks to cooperation that "Cinéville" was created, a monthly subscription allowing free access to arthouse cinemas in Amsterdam and nine other towns. Thus independent cinemas, too, were able to equip themselves with a tool that in the past had been a prerogative of the leading European chains.

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Amongst the most interesting challenges for the movie theatres of the future is undoubtedly increasing accessibility, in other words opening up the cinema-going experience to those with impaired sight or hearing.
In Europe this issue is beginning to arouse interest, partly because of the need to comply with EU policies, whilst in other parts of the world accessibility is already in place.
For further information on accessibility in cinemas, see Michael Karagosian's talk at the 2013 DigiTraining Plus course, available at the following link:

Argentina: a handbook published on accessibility in cinemas

Last August in Argentina, the Instituto Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales presented the publication "La accesibilidad a los medios audiovisuales: la narración en lengua de señas argentina y el subtitulado para personas sordas".
This handbook, which came out in response to the Ley de Servicios de Comunicación Audiovisual, guaranteeing that all types of spectators enjoy audiovisual content, opens by stating that in a world where new technologies ensure that the means for inclusion are possible, the right of those with impaired sight or hearing to take part in the cinema-going experience must be guaranteed.
The publication, authored by Claudia Gabriela D'Angelo and María Ignacia Massone, arises out of collaboration with the Argentinian Deaf and Dumb Association (CAS) and the National Institute against Discrimination, xenophobia and racism (INADI), as well as with the Federal Authorities on Audiovisual Communication Services (AFSCA) and the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research.
Thanks to the competence of its individual contributors, the publication is able to deal with the various technical aspects of accessibility - from subtitling to audio descriptions - with close attention to the practical side of it.
Extremely precise instructions are given, for instance, to cinemas that wish to create subtitles for a film or for other types of content (for example live events), or to include a window on the screen for an interpreter translating the content into Argentinian sign language. One particularly significant consideration emerging from the book is linked to domestic cinema. Argentina is a country in which foreign-language films - particularly those produced in the U.S. - are subtitled. Almost paradoxically, this makes American cinema and foreign productions accessible to those with impaired hearing, whilst the same is not true for domestic productions. The use of subtitles for those with hearing impediments can thus be considered a resource that will boost the domestic cinema market.

France and the UK: accessibility already in place
by Elisabetta Brunella

The Fontenelle may appear to be a small cinema site, just like many of the others that serve one of the numerous small towns scattered over the region of Paris. If Marly-le-Roi (population 16,000) is less famous than its neighbour Versailles, it is just as "proud of its royal origins", but at the same time "looks to the future".
This is what the municipal website has to say and the same philosophy seems to inspire the Fontenelle, a traditional art-house cinema yet recently equipped with two digital screens, which has always laid emphasis on quality programming.
But what makes the Fontenelle an avant-garde cinema is also its ability to address spectators with difficulties in seeing or hearing.
The cinema offers films with French subtitles for spectators with hearing impediments and - when a film has a channel available for audio description - titles suitable for the sight-impaired.
The situation at the Fontenelle thus already proves to be in line with European policy, which demands that cinemas take steps to provide a service for all types of spectators. This is the spirit of article 7 of the EU's AVMSD (Audiovisual Media Services Directive), which reads:

"Member States shall encourage media service providers under their jurisdiction to ensure that their services are gradually made accessible to people with a visual or hearing disability."

"Why on earth should the hearing-impaired not have the chance to be cinema lovers?" comments Pascal Humbert, manager of the Lido cinema in Castres, which has been offering versions suitable for the hearing-impaired since last June.
As a consequence, for some weeks, audiences in this small town in the region of Toulouse have been witnessing screenings with rather different subtitles from those generally provided for films in their original language.
To make them more useful to those who have a hearing impediment, for example, the words are colour-coded according to the character who speaks them. Capital letters are used if the actor is shouting and comments are provided to describe sounds. "The only disadvantage," continues Pascal Humbert, "is that there are still very few films available in this version."
On a larger scale, the experiences of the Fontenelle or the Lido are offered in France by a group that covers the whole country, Gaumont Pathé, whose cinemas provide films subtitled for the hearing-impaired on Thursdays and Saturdays.
It is not only France that is determined to move towards a goal which - as the European directive states - must progressively be adopted by exhibitors in Europe, but also Great Britain.
Here the big chains - Vue, Odeon and Cineworld - offer a range of services including audio descriptions and subtitles on individual devices, such as mini-screens or glasses, made available by the cinema to those who ask for them.
The transmitter/receiver on the glasses is also a support for the audio channel, with descriptions for the sight-impaired.
What makes these options feasible is without doubt digital technology.
With 35mm film, the channel for the hearing-impaired was created by the audio processor, whilst the narrative channel for the sight-impaired was only available on an "Accessibility Disc for Digital Theatre Systems".
Digital has improved this situation dramatically: channels for those with hearing or visual impediments are already available in the files the cinema receives together with the film and no particularly complex equipment is necessary for them to be used.
We often ask ourselves what tomorrow's cinema will be like. One of the keywords will certainly be accessibility, or the possibility of getting rid of physical or sensorial barriers, so that a growing number of people can enjoy the experience of cinema on the big screen.

The Italian version of this article was published in "Cinema & Video International" no. 10/11, October-November 2013.

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Jorien Scholtens, Researcher at the Netherlands Film Research Foundation (Stichting Filmonderzoek)
For more information, contact:

In my living room there are two cinema seats, single-handedly removed from a cinema a couple of years ago. They are very old, their dark red colour has faded and they are not at all comfortable, but they remind me of the magic of the big screen, and my love of sitting in the dark watching great films. Fortunately I do not leave my passion for film at home, I take it with me to work everyday, where I research the Dutch film industry. I'm a Master in Film Studies and a researcher at the Netherlands Film Research Foundation (Stichting Filmonderzoek), see The Foundation carries out researches on the film industry in the Netherlands commissioned by the exhibitors and distributors associations and other market parties. An interesting coincidence is that the founding father of Stichting Filmonderzoek is Dr Joachim Ph. Wolff, who has been scientific advisor to the MEDIA Salles Yearbook for many years. Over the last three years I have learnt from him what good research is all about.
The aim of our research is to provide practical knowledge to the film industry, by establishing accurate and useful data on audiences and industry developments. I contribute to this with research on the audience perception and market for our national cinema - an English translation of the conclusions will be available soon - and of course with my research project on digital cinema. My first report about digitisation appeared last year and it stressed the expected impact of the Dutch digital cinema roll-out, based on interviews with exhibitors and distributors. The Cinema Digitaal project that contributed to the 100% digitisation of all screens in The Netherlands had just started. While there was no clear vision for the digital future, there was certainly no lack of progressive pioneers with innovative ideas. Inspiring discussions I had with exhibitors and distributors about this innovation - seemingly invisible to the public - made digital cinema a fascinating topic for further investigation. Now that digitisation has reached its conclusion in The Netherlands and more experience has been gained, the research project is being followed up with a new study. I will now focus on possible changes in the size and scale of new film releases as well as experiences now that all cinemas are digital.

I hope that my research can contribute to a better understanding of what the impact of digitisation is and that my conclusions can be shared within the international community. During the Dutch Film Festival that was held in Utrecht at the end of September I observed the true impact of digitisation, as young filmmakers are given the opportunity to show and view their films on the big screen much more easily and cheaply than was possible in the 35mm era. In the long term this will be a valuable contribution to the importance of the cinema screening room. And, in my opinion, that's what digitisation should be all about: keeping the cinema theatre as the main stage for sharing the magic of film, now and in the future.

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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


Splendid Palace


Riga Nami





Splendid Palace, Riga (LV)

Ninety years old and - fortunately - showing its age.
Founded at the end of 1923, the Splendid Palace was built in Riga at the initiative of two businessmen from St. Petersburg to drawings by the architect Fridrihs Karlis Skujins (1880-1957). The first building in the Latvian capital conceived from the start to house a cinema, the design was extremely ambitious: not only its huge dimensions (824 seats), but above all the highly original style, combining the neo-Baroque of the façade with the neo-rococo inside the building and contributions by renowned Latvian artists from whom sculptures and frescos were commissioned.
During its nine decades of life the Splendid Palace has managed to live through the complex historical events in this Baltic Republic - the enthusiasm for independence won in 1920, German occupation and successive Soviet dominion up until the return of freedom in the 'Nineties - managing to conserve its main features which make it the only cinema of its kind in the world.
Soviet reminiscences having disappeared - from the name "Riga" adopted in 1952 to the busts of Lenin and Stalin - thanks to careful restoration work the Splendid Palace presents its audiences with the stucco, varnishes and gold enamelling of the 'Twenties (what has changed is the entrance: once leading onto a small square overlooking the central Elizabetes Iela, the Splendid Palace is now partially hidden by a post-war building, about whose possible demolition there is - as can well be imagined - fierce debate).
This remarkable architecture revealed itself in all its splendour - enhanced by an original light show - on 25 October, when it officially celebrated its 90th anniversary. A celebration in harmony with the cinema's rationale, tending towards quality and making the most of cultural diversity. To sum up, a "counter-trend" in style.
The occasion, which opened with the "unveiling" of hand-painted posters by Artis Koknevics, another of the Splendid's special characteristics, continued with a few speeches, few well-known figures but a lot of attention to the public and a celebration of the cinema's distinctive features: the screening of the the oldest Latvian documentary of which there is still a copy, accompanied by the orchestra performing a score especially written for the occasion by a young Latvian composer, a documentary recalling the history of the cinema and the people who were responsible for its success, an exhibition of photographs bearing witness to the host of advance screenings, festivals and special events that have been held in its "first" ninety years of life.
The "first" because today's management of the Splendid Palace is determined, despite conditions that are certainly not the most promising from a purely commercial point of view (today who can afford an auditorium seating 650 and the luxury of grand foyers decorated with frescoes?), to give this "non-conformist" cinema a great future. The digitalization of the large auditorium - begun in 2009 - is an example of this effort and that of the smaller one "a project," Daira Abolina, representing the cinema tells us, "that we hope to achieve soon, particularly if we manage to combine public funds with our own resources."
The commitment to preserving tradition whilst at the same time innovating has met with acknowledgement from the public: 68,860 spectators in 2011, 84,173 in 2012.
And so, a Happy Birthday to the Splendid Palace and Many Happy Returns, always in "splendid" form.

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News on digitalisation worldwide
by Francesca Mesiano

United Kingdom: the Digital Funding Partnership completes its digital roll-out
Digital Funding Partnership - the private buyers' group created in 2010 by the UK Cinema Exhibitors' Association for the digitalization of independent British exhibitors - announced at the beginning of September that its project had been completed with the installation of digital projectors on around 300 screens taking part in the initiative.
This excellent result - achieved thanks to the negotiation of VPF agreements through collaboration by the integrator dcinex - brings the UK close to 100% digitalization, avoiding the risk of closure for screens in small- and medium-sized businesses, which, instead, is a threat in many other territories in Europe.
This is the aspect emphasized by Steve Perrin, CEO of the Digital Funding Partnership, responsible for creating the strategy: "The project has ensured that over 120 independent exhibitors, representing around 300 cinema screens, have been able to convert to digital projection technology under the best possible terms and conditions. Without this scheme - as we are unfortunately seeing in a number of other territories - a large number of cinemas would have been seriously disadvantaged, perhaps to the extent that many would have been forced to close."

The success of the initiative has also been recognized by the British Culture Minister, the Hon. Ed Vaizey, who emphasized the fact that, thanks to the efforts of the DFP, the UK will be one of the first countries to attain full digitalization. It is certainly the first country to do so without using public money.

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Germany and Austria: UCI Kinowelt installs the Locksmith system

Thanks to an agreement between Arts Alliance Media (AAM) and the Odeon & UCI group, the Locksmith system is to be installed in 25 cinemas and 231 screens belonging to the UCI Kinowelt chain operating in Germany and Austria.
Locksmith's objective is to simplify the delivery of KDMs, which are collected from distributors and delivered directly to the server of the screen on which the film will be shown.
Whilst previously the distributor sent the keys by email to the cinema, which then had to select them and transfer them manually to the appropriate screen, Locksmith makes this process automatic, receiving the keys from a cloud and directing them immediately to the right screen.

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ITALY: Regional Support for Digitalization *
With a rate of digital penetration equal to 60% (at 30 June 2013), Italy remains well below the European average.
Financial support for theatres that have not yet been able to undertake digital conversion therefore becomes a more and more decisive factor.
Regional commitment continues to make its contribution, thanks also to the use of ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) funding.

At the beginning of July Lazio approved a call for applications - an allocation of 3 million euros - to "facilitate innovative investments in plant, systems and equipment for digital cinema projection".
As well as the purchase of projection equipment compatible with DCI standards, eligible costs also include expenditure on modifying the space where it is to be installed.
The call for applications, which can be answered up to 31 December 2013, foresees non-repayable financing for up to 70% of the eligible costs actually sustained, with the establishment of a cap to comply with the "de minimis" rule.

On 31 October the Region of Lombardy approved a measure that will allocate 3 million euros for "the restructuring and technological adaptation of movie theatres and the installation of digital equipment".
The total financial resources will be divided into three parts: 1.5 million is destined for the restructuring, adaptation and security of premises; 1.3 million will contribute to the purchasing and installation of digital projection equipment and, lastly, 200,000 euros will be devolved to projection equipment for arenas and open-air cinemas.
The date forecast for the publication of the call for applications is 15 December 2013.

* The present text updates the articles published in DGT online informer nos. 91, 89, 88, 82

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Italy: foundation of the Cinemax chain to save single-screen cinemas
Thanks to the Cinemax project, on 31 October in Milan, after five years of closure, the cinema San Carlo re-opened, inaugurating its theatre, which has been renovated and equipped with a Christie CP2210 projector, with an animated film, Justin and the Knights of Valour.
Cinemax is an initiative by the distributor Moviemax aiming to give a new lease of life to single-screen cinemas in Italy's main towns, which may have ceased to operate.
The project, which has been launched in Lombardy, intends expanding to Lazio and Campania. Cinemax's formula, based on a leasing contract and the use of digital screening, aims to make the most of what current technology can offer - such as screen-sharing - and focuses on variety of offer.

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United Kingdom: The Audience in live cinemas
So-called "alternative", or better "added", content is increasingly proving to be a resource for cinemas and one of the major advantages of the new technologies from the point of view of offer to the public.
Amongst the markets where this type of content meets with particular success is undoubtedly the United Kingdom where, on 13 June, the stage performance of The Audience, broadcast live from the Gielgud Theatre in London, earned a box-office of £ 841,000 in British movie theatres, winning recognition as the most successful live event up until then.
The Audience is a play by Peter Morgan (author of the screenplay for the film The Queen) focusing on the audiences that, for sixty years now, have been granted by Queen Elisabeth once a week to the British Prime Minister.
Star of the performance is the stage and film actress Hellen Mirren, who has already been seen as Elisabeth II in The Queen.

Italy: coming soon, the British Museum's Pompeii
On 25 and 26 November, distributed by Microcinema in collaboration with More2Screen, the interactive exhibition "Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum", made by the British Museum to reconstruct the history of Pompeii, will be coming to Italian cinema screens.
This show - unique of its kind - was already a great success last June in the United Kingdom, when it was screened in cinemas belonging to the leading chains (amongst which Cineworld, Odeon, Vue), but also by independent exhibitors.
Since the end of August the exhibition has been available for international distribution and will be screened in over 1,000 cinemas throughout the world. The list of theatres that will show the event is available on the British Museum's website:

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USA: in Seattle the first digital projector using laser technology
The first cinema to install the first digital projector using laser technology, a Christie 4K with scalable light output up to 60,000 lumens, will be the Cinerama Theatre, in Seattle.
The announcement has come right after a modification of the U.S. FDA regulations, which has made it possible for this type of product to be sold and used in movie theatres (whilst prior to this they were almost considered as weapons).
A study of the site and technical evaluations began last August, whilst the first screenings using the new technology are foreseen for the beginning of 2014.
The use of laser technology is one of the most important technological innovations in the field of digital cinema and, as such, was one of the topics dealt with in the 2013 course DigiTraining Plus: New Technologies for the European Cinemas of the Future.
The programme of this event and the presentations are available at the following link:

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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