CHICAGO - NEC Display Solutions of America, a leading provider of commercial LCD display and projector solutions, announced today that Southern Theatres, LLC, has selected digital cinema projectors from NEC for the newly renovated and redesigned Theatres at Canal Place in New Orleans. The move by Southern Theatres extends its current relationship with NEC and Master Reseller Ballantyne Strong, Inc. (NYSE Amex: BTN), and positions this leading exhibitor to capitalize on the growing list of upcoming 3D Hollywood blockbusters.
Seeking to resurrect The Theatres at Canal Place, Southern Theatres outfitted five all-digital auditoriums with over-sized, reclining leather seats, shared swivel-tables and drink holders in a stadium-seating configuration with reserved seating. The new amenities include an upscale café and premium bar in the foyer, and a call button for in-theater food and beverage table service. NEC large-screen LCD displays give the concession areas added appeal and menu flexibility. The grand opening of the complex is at 10 p.m. today, just before the 12:01 a.m. premiere of the new "Sex and The City 2" movie.
"It is an honor to continue our work with George Solomon of Southern Theatres," said Pierre Richer, President and C.O.O. of NEC Display Solutions. "New Orleans is being restored one project at a time, and we are very privileged to play a small role."
Ballantyne Strong, a master reseller for the exhibitor segment of NEC's business, is providing the hardware and installation services for the theaters. For this project, NEC NC2000 projectors were selected, which are 3D capable with advanced security features for digital content protection. The NC2000 also includes sophisticated technology for venting and cooling.
"Ballantyne Strong is grateful to have a role in revitalizing New Orleans, and this major upgrade transforms The Theatres at Canal Place into a top entertainment destination," said John Wilmers, President and CEO, Ballantyne Strong. "Our innovative solution of mounting the projectors in soundproof ceiling enclosures also provides more room for movie patrons to enjoy the ambience of the buildings."
"Investing in this community means a lot to us, and the superb design of the facility continues Southern's tradition of delivering the best movie-going experience possible," said Solomon, President of Southern Theatres. "NEC and Ballantyne Strong are great partners, and they understand our mission of rebuilding the area to include simple luxuries people have missed since 2005."
Solomon has been in the theater business with his family for more than 50 years and launched Southern Theatres, LLC, to develop and operate state-of-the-art, multiplex stadium-seating movie theaters.
The NEC Digital Cinema Projector Series models meet DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives) requirements, so exhibitors are prepared to capitalize on current opportunities as well as position themselves for future growth.