NATO Elects New Officers

Add Comment on September 17, 2009

Washington, D.C. and North Hollywood, Calif.- The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) announced today the election of new officers ¬- the first chosen by the Executive Board of Directors under a recently enacted board restructuring at the association's annual meeting at the Fairmont Hotel in Newport Beach, Calif.

Elected to two-year terms were - Tony Kerasotes, Chairman and CEO, Kerasotes Showplace Theatres, as Chairman; Aubrey Stone, President, Georgia Theatre Company, as Vice-Chairman; Amy Miles, CEO of Regal Entertainment Group as Treasurer; and re-elected as Secretary, Mark O'Meara, President, University Mall Theatres.

The association's two-day meeting came at the end of a record-breaking summer at the box office amidst a troubled economic climate in which box office and attendance continue to exceed the previous year. 118 members celebrated the robust state of the movie theater industry while discussing issues of common importance to theater owners, such as camcorder theft, digital cinema and 3D projection. Universal Pictures chairman Marc Shmuger keynoted a private dinner for exhibitors.

NATO's outgoing Board of Directors recently enacted sweeping changes to the association's governing structure, creating a streamlined 17-member Executive Board intended to be more efficient, more representative of the makeup of NATO's membership, and more directly responsible for the association's governance. The Board of Directors now becomes a 97-member Advisory Board, charged with consideration of the broader issues facing theatrical exhibition.

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BURBANK, Calif. -- 3ality Digital, LLC, and Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. (Nasdaq: CIDM - News) announced they plan to collaborate on a series of alternative 3D entertainment projects that should arrive in theatres nationwide over the course of the next two years.

The companies, which earlier this year joined forces on the first live 3D sports broadcast available to consumers, plan to introduce a minimum of eight projects in the next 24 months. Strong ticket sales for their previous effort -- the live 3D broadcast of college football's national championship game to 80 Cinedigm theatres in 31 states -- confirmed the growing consumer demand for pixel-perfect 3D entertainment experiences.

The game between the University of Florida Gators and the University of Oklahoma Sooners was broadcast live in 3D on Jan. 8, 2009; Cinedigm reported its partner theatres grossed more than four times the best per-screen movie gross that evening.

"This is a tremendous opportunity to build on the success we enjoyed with the FedEx Bowl Championship Series event," said 3ality Digital CEO Sandy Climan. "The millions of moviegoers who have been drawn to recent animated 3D film releases will be astonished by the power of digital 3D technology to transform live-action content as well. The various sports leagues, music producers and other industry executives we are speaking with share our belief that digital 3D will continue to change the way people think about everyday entertainment."

3ality Digital will produce the projects and Cinedigm will distribute and market them through its state-of-the-art CineLive satellite network. Production will be managed by 3ality Digital professionals who are at the forefront of the medium, having contributed not only to the BCS broadcast but also the first live 3D broadcast of an NFL game, the first 3D commercial to air during Super Bowl halftime (SoBe's "Lizard Lake") and the groundbreaking concert film U2 3D.

"This series of 3D productions will create a highly immersive entertainment option that traditional 2D fare simply can't match," said Jonathan Dern, President of Cinedigm Entertainment Group. "Expanding our 3D content offerings allows us to maximize the investment we have made in our industry leading digital cinema network, and to deliver an unparalleled customer experience."

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Knoxville, Tennessee - Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC), a leading motion picture exhibitor owning and operating the largest theatre circuit in the United States, today announced that the Tennessee Benefit Screening of Summit Entertainment's The Twilight Saga: New Moon will be held at Regal Cinemas Pinnacle Stadium 18 on Tuesday, November 17. Proceeds from this advance screening will benefit Variety - The Children's Charity of Eastern Tennessee. Two of the film's stars Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner will attend this benefit screening of New Moon.

"Regal is honored to host the benefit screening of this eagerly anticipated film to raise money for Variety's special needs children. We sincerely thank our partners at Summit Entertainment and the visiting stars for making this possible. The Twilight Saga: New Moon is generating enormous interest and anticipation in every corner of the world. I am confident that this will be Variety of Eastern Tennessee's most successful fundraiser to date," stated Greg Dunn President and Chief Operating Officer of Regal Entertainment Group.

"We at Summit were happy to be asked to lend our support to this very worthwhile charitable event for Variety - The Children's Charity," said Richie Fay, Summit's President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution. "We look forward to celebrating the success of this event in Knoxville with our exhibitor partners at Regal Entertainment."

A limited number of tickets will be available to the public. There will be a drawing for the opportunity to purchase these $100 general admission tickets to the event. Registration for the drawing will be held from October 9 - 11 during regular business hours exclusively at Regal Cinemas in Knoxville: Pinnacle Stadium 18, West Town Mall Stadium 9, Riviera Stadium 8, Knoxville Center Stadium 10, and Downtown West 8. There is no purchase necessary for registration. As sponsor of the drawing, Regal Entertainment Group employees and their immediate family members are not eligible to participate. To enter, you must be 18 or older. One entry per person will be accepted. Complete rules for the drawing will be available at participating theatres.

Winners will be selected by November 3 and contacted by phone for the opportunity to purchase two (2) general admission tickets for $100 each. Tickets are not for re-sale. At the time of purchase, both guest names will be registered. For entry to the event, valid, corresponding identification must be shown.

Guests at the Variety benefit screening will enjoy a catered reception at Regal Cinemas Pinnacle Stadium 18. The reception will be held before Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner walk the red carpet to greet the crowd. After the red carpet reception, attendees will have the honor of being some of the first moviegoers to view New Moon.

Variety - The Children's Charity is a multi-million dollar philanthropic organization that spans the globe with 50 chapters in 14 countries, improving the lives of children through creative fundraising efforts, well-placed donations with exceptional children's charities, and through its own charitable programs. With the help of volunteers and sponsors, Variety - The Children's Charity continues its mission to provide lifesaving and life-enriching assistance to children in need on the local and international level. The local chapter of Variety was founded in Knoxville by Regal Cinemas in 2001 and since then has generated more than $2 million to assist children in East Tennessee.

In The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is devastated by the abrupt departure of her vampire love, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) but her spirit is rekindled by her growing friendship with the irresistible Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). Suddenly she finds herself drawn into the world of werewolves, who are ancestral enemies of the vampires, and finds her loyalties tested.

Based on Stephenie Meyer's book series, New Moon will be released on November 20 in theatres nationwide. This film has not yet been rated.

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CYPRESS, CA - Christie, the world leader in digital cinema projection, announced that it has been selected by B&B Theatres to supply all the DLP Cinema projectors for the circuit's two newest 10-screen multiplexes in Wildwood and Ozark, Missouri. The multiplexes, scheduled for completion in the spring of 2010, will be equipped with Christie CP2000-ZX digital cinema projectors with Christie Brilliant 3D, which allows 3D content to be projected in full 2K resolution utilizing 1.2" DMD chips from Texas Instruments (TI) (NYSE: TXN).

The 29th largest theatre company in the U.S., B&B Theatres operates a chain of more than 179 screens in 30 locations throughout Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. It is recognized by the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) as one of the oldest family-owned circuits in the Midwest. B&B started 2009 with no digital projectors, but has already digitized half of its circuit with at least one Christie digital cinema projector per complex. It is committed to installing additional Christie projectors in all of its theatres within the next year, according to B&B's president and owner, Bob Bagby.

Kansas-based Sonic Equipment Company, a service, consulting, remodeling and new construction company for motion picture exhibitors, is responsible for B&B's conversion efforts. Sonic is also a certified reseller of Christie's digital projectors and currently services more than 400 screens in eight states. Christie is a major partner in Sonic's highly successful digital roll-out strategy.

"Christie has been with us every step of the way and their excellent technical staff has helped us through the many questions that come up in transitioning so many different auditoriums," remarked Eric L. Olson, director of operations for Sonic. "Christie's customer service staff has been very helpful in coordinating shipments and deliveries to ensure timely installations that coordinate with new 3D openings. Christie Brilliant3D triple-flash technology is a must, as the majority of our conversions are for 3D. Thanks to Christie, business has been better than expected in every town we have converted."

Bob Bagby noted that Christie has installed more digital projectors than any other company in the business. On Sonic's recommendation, Bagby was drawn to Christie because the company is backed by the industry's most experienced technicians and has a proven reputation for offering the most reliable projector in the digital cinema market at "a very competitive price."

"Our customers love 3D, thanks to Christie Brilliant3D!" said Bagby. "We have been keeping very detailed records on attendance for 3D verses 2D, and we have found that the Christie digital projectors are paying for themselves through the extra customers who attend 3D movies."

Added Bagby: "A movie theatre without 3D is like a bank without an ATM. In today's environment, you just aren't considered a real movie theatre if you don't have 3D! That is why we are working with Sonic to aggressively install at least one Christie digital cinema projector with Christie Brilliant3D in every one of our locations. We are extremely pleased with how smooth our digital installations have been. With Christie projectors, we have not lost a single digital show!"

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CYPRESS, CA - Christie, a global leader in visual solutions for business, entertainment and industry, is pleased to announce that its popular DLP Cinema projectors will be featured at select theaters hosting the 34th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), September 10 -19, 2009. This marks Christie's eighth year as projection sponsor of the Festival, one of the most prestigious international film festivals in the world. Attracting thousands of Canadian and international industry delegates, the Festival's selection of eight Christie projectors for the screening of major digital premieres marks their mutual vision for "...seeking new ways to engineer creative and cultural discovery through film."

Remaining true to this vision, in 2009, the Festival will feature the exciting, new addition of a 3D movie premiere with Christie's industry acclaimed and most deployed digital cinema projectors, the Christie CP2000 Series. This class of projectors features Christie Brilliant3DTM technology, which provides crisp, clear and significantly brighter images for a true digital experience.

According to Film Journal International magazine, by 2012, approximately 20% of the world's cinema screens will be converted to digital projection. "The changing perception of digital cinema, that it is becoming the premiere format of choice, speaks to the importance of continuing to screen films digitally at our festival," remarks Andrei Gravelle, Technical Manager, TIFF. "We are pleased to be presenting 48% of all titles in digital format and are especially excited for the presentation of our first digital 3D film ever utilizing Christie's advanced 3D DLP Cinema projectors."

Joe Dante's suspense thriller, The Hole, will screen in Dolby 3D at the Ryerson Theatre, Scotiabank Theatre 4 and AMC 9 during the Festival. The Ryerson Theatre will feature the Christie CP2000-SB and Christie CineIPM 2K in Dolby 3D. This 30,000 ANSI lumens projector is the world's most deployed digital cinema projection solution and is ideally suited for large screen theaters, such as the Ryerson Theatre (17ft H x 40ft W screen size). With the filmmaker in mind, Christie engineered this projector to support the storytellers' creative abilities by developing a visual solution that provides depth and perspective, rendering an immersive cinematic experience.

The Christie CP2000-X makes its red carpet appearance at the Visa Screening Room in the Elgin Theatre, where The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Up In The Air and The Boys are Back will screen. This historic, landmark theater features one of the few remaining double-decker (or stacked) Edwardian theater facilities in the world.2 The split body design of the Christie CP2000-X projector meets the requirements of this well preserved theater, where the projection head and engine of the Christie CP2000-X are separated from their power source and placed in a compact space, providing a projection solution that "fits" even the most long-standing theaters.

Other films screening with Christie digital projectors include Get Low, Micmacs, Mr. Nobody, Women Without Men, and Jennifer's Body. The first two titles will screen at the iconic Roy Thomson Hall, where the Christie CP2000-SB projector will take main stage.

Christie is also providing four three-chip DLP projectors to exhibit movies from HDCAM in HD resolution. Theaters that will provide this digital, high-definition experience include: the Visa Screening Room (Elgin Theatre), the Ryerson Theatre, the Isabel Bader Theatre, Scotiabank Theatre 1, Scotiabank Theatre 4, and Jackman Hall at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) for titles such as: Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel, The Joneses, Capitalism: A Love Story, A Serious Man and Love and Other Impossible Pursuits.

"Now in its 34th year, the Festival continues to engage and entertain audiences by showcasing the best in Canadian and international film," observes Natalie Lue, TIFF's vice-president of Operations and Production. "Through our long-standing partnership with Christie, their outstanding projectors and unparalleled support, we are able to provide audiences with a superior visual experience in Toronto."

The "superior visual experience" Lue describes is a testament to Christie's position as a leading provider of digital cinema solutions. Christie owns a commanding 70% of the worldwide market share and 75% of the North American market share, with a total number of 7,500+ digital cinema projection systems installed worldwide. Christie's dominance in cinema is also witnessed in its successful, worldwide exhibitor partnerships, the latest being with Time Antaeus Media Group Co. Ltd. The two companies recently announced that they are working together to deploy 800 digital cinema projector units in theaters across China by the end of 2010.

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