London -- In what is the largest digital cinema deal to date in Spain, Arts Alliance Media (AAM) and Yelmo Cines have reached an agreement to digitise Yelmo's 31-strong chain of cinemas, in a move which is set to dramatically increase the number of digital and 3D screens in the country. The arrangement includes all the financing to procure the equipment, allowing the rollout to begin immediately.
Yelmo, Spain's leading local exhibitor, will install digital systems in 370 screens under this deal. In Phase One of the rollout, at least half of Yelmo's screens at each location will be converted to digital, with the remainder to be installed over the following months. Today's announcement follows the deals struck between AAM and Yelmo over the past two years under which several screens have already been installed. AAM has recently announced the opening of an office in Barcelona to represent AAM's business in the Spanish and Portuguese markets.
The installation and maintenance will be carried out by AAM in conjunction with local Spanish integrator Grupo Kelonik. All screens will be 3D capable and will receive AAM's Theatre Management System software and library management server. Sites will also be equipped with satellite receivers in cooperation with AAM's partner Arqiva for the receipt of digital prints and live events.
The rollout will be achieved with financing provided by AAM through a €50m investment from funds advised by Sankaty Advisors, LLC, the credit affiliate of Bain Capital, LLC, for digital cinema conversion, announced earlier this year. The deployment with Yelmo in Spain is AAM's seventh announced territory following deals in the UK (Cineworld and Reel), France (CGR), Italy (The Space), Holland (ABC), Denmark (Denmark Digital) and in Norway via its JV Nordic Digital Alliance.
Fernando Evole, CEO of Yelmo Cines, said "The results we have had from digital cinema over the last 2 years, particularly in terms of bringing 3D to customers and also in the opportunities brought to us from alternative content, have convinced us to digitise our entire circuit. Our experience with Arts Alliance Media has also proven to us that they are the right long term partner."
Howard Kiedaisch, CEO of Arts Alliance Media, commented, "Yelmo has been a leader in digital not only in Spain, but also in Europe and has always provided the best experience to their customers. We have enjoyed a great working relationship with Fernando and his team, and are thrilled to be selected to work with them going forward."