CYPRESS, CA - Christie, a global leader in visual solutions for entertainment, business and industry, continues to demonstrate its commitment to helping independent theatres reap the full benefits of digital and 3D cinema. In conjunction with its authorized Digital Cinema resellers, Christie has developed more customizable programs that provide marketing and sales support, technical advice and expertise, maintain spare parts inventory, and deliver a streamlined RMA process which resolves issues quickly and speeds up the advanced warranty replacement process. These critical issues are often stumbling blocks for independent theatres that want to go digital.
"Independent theatres serve an important niche in the cinema marketplace. They cater to local audiences and provide a connection to their communities," observed Craig Sholder, vice-president, Entertainment Solutions, Christie. "By working closely with certified Christie dealers who sell, install and service the independent theatres, Christie can offer a broader range of support that includes turnkey operations and the most advanced digital projection solutions. Because dealers act as an extension of the Christie organization, we ensure that they provide the same high standard of service our customers expect of us."
Classic Cinemas, a family-owned business based in Downer's Grove, Illinois, operates 13 theatres in 12 communities. They were early adopters of digital sound, digital projection technology and 3D. Specializing in "lighting up the darkened downtowns" in northern Illinois, their theatres have become the engines for driving downtown redevelopment. Recently, Classic Cinemas installed Christie CP2000-ZX projectors in seven locations to show My Bloody Valentine and Monsters vs. Aliens in 3D.
According to vice-president Chris Johnson of Classic Cinemas, "Christie offers cost efficient projection equipment which dazzles audiences with superior image quality." "Their projectors are ideal for showing 3D content. Because they feature very efficient light engines, we use ‘less bulb' and get ‘more light,' which helps us reduce ongoing costs. The audience reaction to our 3D showings is excellent and we're confident that the viewing experience is due to the quality images that Christie projectors show on -screen."
3D Drives Digital Conversions
EuroWest Companies, headquartered in Essex, Vermont, recently converted one of its two theatre complexes in Essex, Vermont. Peter Edelmann, president of EuroWest, remarked, "The kids are going wild for 3D movies like Monsters vs. Aliens and we look forward to more content throughout 2009."
Edelmann noted that he selected Christie digital projectors because "of its reputation, quality and long term value." He added, "The new digital projection equipment from Christie will be used for more than movie showings. The projectors will support live concerts, video gaming activities and sporting events, such as the Super Bowl."
Dale Chapman, regional manager at EuroWest Cinemas, commented that they were extremely happy with the Christie CP2000-ZX projectors and pleased that there are no issues with them. "We primarily selected Christie equipment for Essex Cinemas because of their reliability, ease of service, convenient lamp warranty and the reputation that Christie has in the industry," he said. He recalled receiving an email from a moviegoer who saw Monsters vs. Aliens at one of his theatres. "It was the best 3D experience they ever had."
Chapman noted that they will install another Christie CP2000-ZX projector in the Cumberland 12 Cinema located in Plattsburgh, New York. He indicated that the record number of 3D features and alternative content coming through the Hollywood pipeline has become the driving force for digital conversions. "3D justifies our decision to convert and makes the new digital technology affordable for us. We will be in a position to finance our systems on the local level."
In 2002, Southern Theatres, LLC, headquartered in New Orleans, was launched to develop and operate state-of-the-art multiplex, stadium-seating movie theatres. Responsible for daily operations of The Grand Theatres and Amstar Cinemas in 18 locations with 280 screens, from Alabama to Texas, they have plans for continued expansion throughout the Southeast. Ron Krueger, COO of Southern Theatres, remarked that he wanted to take advantage of the digital cinema deployment and enjoy the value that 3D will bring to his theatres. "I believe that 3D is the lynch pin to the roll out of 2D digital cinema," he said.
Southern Theatres recently installed Christie CP2000-ZX digital projectors in five of their theatres, in time for Walt Disney's Jonas Brothers: 3D Concert Experience. Krueger said that Christie's products are very reliable and he has confidence in their ability to deliver. "We have no problems whatsoever. We selected the Christie CP2000-ZX projectors because they are the right size for our mid-size auditoriums and they are extremely cost-efficient."
The Best of Both Worlds
Integrity Entertainment Systems, LLC, an authorized digital cinema reseller for Christie, handled the sales and installations at both Southern Theatres and EuroWest Companies. Gary Engvold, president of Integrity Entertainment Systems, noted that his organization provided more than just projectors.
"We supplied all the components necessary for the complete installation. We coordinated the infrastructure and the financing, provided surveys and measurements and were responsible for the documentation required by the studios, as well as the 2D and 3D content providers," said Engvold. "I call it a one-stop approach where we include project management at no additional cost to the independent exhibitor."
Engvold added: "We also offer our independent cinema customers the ability to fund all or part of their cost for the digital cinema projectors. By referring them to various leasing companies where we have established a successful relationship, we open the doors for our clients' digital conversions. About a third of the systems purchased are through leasing options we arrange."
"Digital cinema can significantly expand a theatre's potential revenue streams," said Sholder. "Christie is dedicated to helping independent theatres enjoy the best of both worlds: affordable financing packages and the highest quality digital cinema installation and support platform."