OMAHA, Neb. -- Ballantyne Strong, Inc. (NYSE Amex: BTN), a provider of digital cinema projection equipment and services, cinema screens and other cinema products, announced today the opening of its 2,800 square-foot, state-of-the-art Digital Network Operations Center ("NOC"). The new facility, located at the Company's Omaha, NE headquarters, provides 24/7 remote monitoring services capable of tracking and managing a full range of digital equipment, including all makes of digital projection systems, audio, flat panels and the associated networks that provide the unifying connections and systems security. Ballantyne will highlight the NOC's capabilities next week at ShowEast in Orlando (Oct. 12-14th, Booth #401).

The NOC is staffed with a team of experienced hardware, network and engineering professionals. The NOC provides real-time support for technical issues, parts supply and dispatch of Ballantyne's nationwide Strong Technical Services (STS) team. By subscribing to Ballantyne's NOC service, customers will be better able to identify and address potential operational or maintenance issues before they can impact a theatre's operations.

Allen Coburn, President of Bedford, NH-based Chunky's Cinema Pub, an early adopter of Ballantyne's NOC service, stated, "Given the excellent job Ballantyne's service group has done with our NEC digital projection equipment installs, it was an easy decision to register for their NOC service. Having a team of skilled technicians available on a 24/7 basis provides early identification of potential issues and gives us the added confidence that we are well covered in the event of an emergency or malfunction of our digital equipment."

Ballantyne Strong President and CEO John P. Wilmers, stated, "The opening of Ballantyne's cutting-edge Network Operations Center is another important step in our evolution as a one-stop provider of a full range of digital cinema products and services. The NOC represents yet another operational advantage that theatre owners will gain in converting to digital technologies. We believe the NOC's capabilities, combined with our 70-person team of field technicians, provides our customers with the highest level of support available to keep their theatres up and running all year long."

 

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LOS ANGELES -- Rentrak Corporation (Nasdaq: RENT), today announced the top ten DVD sales and rentals for the prior week based on estimated consumer spending.

According to the company's Retail Essentials and Home Video Essentials tracking services, the top ten selling DVDs and the top ten most-rented motion pictures, per data collected for the week ending October 3, 2010 include:

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Source: Vulture

Mike Myers will provide the voice of debonair skunk Pepé Le Pew in a live action/CGI film that is being housed at Warner Bros. The studio is obviously ready to start bringing back a lot of old cartoon properties. Yogi Bear opens against Tron Legacy on December 17. It's only a matter of time before Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and other return to the big screen.

Myers is coming off the $730 million+ worldwide performance of Shrek Forever After, which is supposedly the last film in the series. Pepé Le Pew could be the beginning of a new franchise for the comedic actor.

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LOS ANGELES -- The International 3D Society will be continuing its "3D University" educational series for 3D professionals in association with the Entertainment Technology Center at USC. The class is scheduled for Saturday, October 9, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Sony Pictures Imageworks and will focus on 3D Postproduction Planning; 2D to 3D Conversion; 3D Writing; 3D Live Events; and Previsualization.

A blue-ribbon panel of experts in the educational series will include Buzz Hays, International 3D Society chair and Executive Stereoscopic 3D Producer for the Sony 3D Technology Center, Sony Corporation of America, Tim Sassoon, President and Creative Director, Sassoon Film Design, Ray Zone, President, 3D Zone, Catherine Owens, Director, U2 3D and Ken Schafer, Lead Program Architect, Innoventive Software, LLC.

The 3D University series is an immersive, ongoing, stereoscopic 3D education and training program created to improve the core competencies of professional participants. Past speakers include Phil McNally, DreamWorks Animation (DWA), Lenny Lipton, Oculus 3D, Steve Schklair, 3ailty Digital and John Nicolard, Fotokem. The courses are offered to 3D Society, Cinematographers Guild, BAFTA-LA and PGA members for free with live demonstrations and discussions.

"We are proud to offer Society members the opportunity to learn from industry experts in a forum such as this. The International 3D Society stands alone in providing a comprehensive continuing education program for tomorrow's 3D creative professionals," said Jim Mainard, International 3D Society Vice-Chair and Head of Production Development of DreamWorks Animation (DWA).

Jim Chabin, President of the International 3D Society, added, "The Society's mission is to guide professionals to 3D expertise by sharing "Best Practices" from our 3D leaders at 3DU. The response to the program has been very strong."

The International 3D Society provides community, education, and recognition to its membership and is dedicated to the advancement of Stereoscopic 3D arts and technology. The Society is the producer of the 3D Technology Awards on October 19, as well as educational programs throughout the year, including the 3D University series.

International 3D Society sponsors include Signature Sponsor XpanD and Founding Sponsors MasterImage 3D, Panasonic Hollywood Lab, DreamWorks Animation (DWA), The Walt Disney Studios, PIXAR, Dolby Laboratories, Sony Corporation of America, IMAX, and Member Sponsors, Discovery Communications, DirecTV and Autodesk. For membership or to RSVP, please visit info@international3dsociety.com.

 

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Centennial, CO -- National CineMedia, Inc.'s (NASDAQ: NCMI) operating subsidiary National CineMedia, LLC (NCM), and its founding member theater circuits AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK) and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC), have agreed to an amendment of its existing long-term Exhibitor Services Agreements (ESAs) to allow for the connection of NCM's national advertising and Fathom Events networks to the founding members' new, higher quality digital cinema projection systems.

These new systems will not only provide higher quality 2-D images, they will also expand NCM's capability to provide 3-D advertising and 3-D live and pre-recorded events. It is expected that over the next 36 months the vast majority of NCM's 15,230 founding member screens will be equipped with the new digital cinema equipment. These founding member installations, combined with the digital cinema installations of NCM's network affiliates, are expected to provide an enhanced digital cinema presentation for approximately 90% of NCM's approximately 700 million annual theater attendance.

"This new digital cinema agreement with our three founding member theater circuits is the next evolution of our cinema network, once again raising the industry standard for pre-feature advertising and entertainment programming in cinemas," said Kurt Hall, NCM's chairman and CEO. "This new technology will provide a better experience for theater patrons, a unique and more impactful marketing platform for our advertising clients and a more effective distribution network for NCM Fathom content owners."

Mr. Hall concluded, "While the theater access fees that are paid to NCM's founding member circuits will increase over time as our cinema network is connected to their new digital cinema equipment, this increased cost is expected to be more than offset by the benefits associated with the improved presentation, including the ability to more broadly distribute 3-D advertising and alternative content."

 

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