MORRISTOWN, NJ -- Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. ("Cinedigm") today announced its Phase 2 Entity signed today on an $8.9 million credit facility. The facility will fund the launch of Cinedigm's first 137 Phase 2 conversions of Premiere Cinemas' theatres to the Company's digital cinema platform, in what is expected to ultimately be a 10,000-screen digital cinema deployment plan. The first 35 systems are expected to be operational in December, bringing the total for Phase 2 to 55 by year end. To date, Cinedigm has signed almost 500 screens to its Phase 2 plan and anticipates thousands more in the months ahead.

Cinedigm's Digital Cinema division has already installed more than 3,700 digital cinema systems in theaters across the United States during its two-year Phase 1 rollout, making it by far the market leader in making digital cinema a reality for millions of moviegoers. Cinedigm created the industry-standard, studio-backed deployment program that provides the funding, installation, support, and administration for fully Digital Cinema. The Company's Phase 2 plan will provide networked, turnkey, Digital Cinema systems in conformance with DCI specifications, including Cinedigm's unique Library Management Server(R) and Theatre Command Center(R) software. The system will also include digital projectors and JPEG 2000 media servers from a variety of vendors whose equipment is designed to meet the DCI specifications as well as a demanding set of performance and reliability requirements Cinedigm developed through its success with the Phase 1 plan.

"We are extremely pleased but not surprised to have closed on this initial financing," said Bud Mayo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cinedigm. "While the credit markets overall remain largely closed, Cinedigm is a proven business with a strong track record thanks to its Phase 1 plan and was able to secure credit to initiate our next-stage plans. As industry leader and the only company actually to have converted thousands of screens so far, we are committed to delivering on our promise to begin Phase 2 installations for Premiere Cinemas in this quarter in a significant way. Our goal is to continue to sign thousands of additional screens in the months ahead in anticipation of additional financing from a variety of sources."

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By Russell Wintner

For those who may have missed it, Monday and Tuesday of this week was the first of what might well become an annual event in Hollywood, the 3D Entertainment Summit. Planned in part by The Hollywood Reporter's past publisher, Bob Dowling, the event lived up to his reputation for providing the industry with quality, information-packed events pertinent to the Industry's cutting edge issues. The event was a veritable who's who of the 3D community with panels that touched on everything from how to make it, how to show it and what to include in it; "it" of course being all stereo 3D entertainment.

Many of the presenters admitted to drinking plenty of their home brewed Kool Aid, but still provided several solid reasons for why digital 3D (with the emphasis on digital) is not likely to be another passing fad but an entire paradigm shift in the way all visual content will eventually be consumed. Views covered a range but all were positive. At one extreme, Jeffrey Katzenberg evangelized 3D as something that will happen, must happen and needs to include everything from animated CG to serious drama (My Dinner With Andre seemed to be everyone's favorite example). The most reserved outlook was from NATO's John Fithian, who was a bit more conservative in his view of the appropriate place for 3D, but even he softened on his prior positioning by positing that 3D provides the value-add exhibitors needed to truly embrace the digital cinema transition.

A few speakers mentioned similar signs indicating that the time was right for 3D to become a permanent part of every film makers' toolkit: demand from audiences and exhibitors; genuine desire by leading filmmakers to use 3D to tell their stories and the subsequent support they have received from studios; and finally the money to make it happen. I'll add to that by including that we now have a level of technology which makes the creation and exhibition of 3D content simple and extremely reliable with breathtaking results, which, as everyone pointed out, could not have happened had it not been for digital cinema.
Let's look at some of the numbers these folks spewed out over the two day confab. Charlotte Jones, an analyst with Screen Digest in the U.K., noted that there have been 10 3D releases to date, 6 of them this year and 4 of them released in 3D only. At the same time, there has been a 600% increase in 3D digital screens just this past year. Every major studio has or will have had a 3D release by 2009. And during the 2-day event, estimates ranged from 12 to 15 digital releases for 2009 with more than that already green lit for production.

Disney's Mark Zoradi gave an hour presentation covering Disney's strong commitment to 3D with some sensational clips, some of which have never been seen outside the studio, that gave even more credence to his claim that every CG movie going forward from Disney will be available in 3D. And why not? He cited actual experience from Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons, and Bolt where each consistently demonstrated a two and one-half to one advantage over their 2D counterparts in both admissions and revenues. Others agreed with examples of their own. When was the last time exhibitors could increase ticket prices as much as 40% and still rake in audiences at 2½ times normal attendance?

And, of course it doesn't stop with movies. Several people discussed alternative content including a panel moderated by BOXOFFICE Media Publisher Peter Cane. There was plenty of talk about past NBA games, the upcoming NFL game, and the surprise announcement by Fox Sports TV Group chairman-CEO David Hill of Fox's intentions for a theatrical presence of the Bowl Championship Series in 3D.

If there is a problem, there is one on which everybody agreed: not enough screens. Only a small number of existing digital cinema installations have been outfitted with a 3D playback system. So, even if the continuation of the rollout is slowed down by the sad state of the economy, there are still plenty of screens to provide room for the 3D content that is coming. It seems to me that the challenge has been made. Will exhibitors respond?

 

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Toronto, ON - Cineplex Entertainment is pleased to announce that the doors to its newest entertainment destination, SilverCity Fairview Mall Cinemas, will open on Friday, December 5, 2008, with the box office opening at 6:00 p.m.

The new nine-screen, 54,000 square foot SilverCity Fairview Mall Cinemas offers an upscale urban experience with a dynamic new design. Fully equipped with digital projection systems in each auditorium delivering the most stunning, razor-sharp images as well as a digital electronic signage program consisting of more than 90 LCD screens located throughout the theatre, guests will be treated to a visually enticing experience like no other. With two auditoriums equipped with RealD 3D technology, guests will be able to enjoy a fully immersive experience with the great line-up of 3D movies scheduled for 2009.

"SilverCity Fairview Mall Cinemas will be a spectacular addition to the city and especially the Don Mills area," said Pat Marshall, Vice President Communications and Investor Relations, Cineplex Entertainment. "We have built a first class entertainment destination that features the latest digital projection and sound technology in the movie business today. Guests will enjoy crisper, brighter and bolder images on screen resulting from the installation of these powerful new digital projectors. Movies presented digitally ensure that every presentation - be it the first screening or the 500th screening - will look like it is being presented for the very first time," said Marshall.

The theatre also features a fully licensed lounge with appetizer menu offerings including chicken strips, sushi and a number of delicious desserts. Our new Print Skip Scan service enables guests to print their tickets at home, skip the line and scan their ticket on the way into the theatre allowing for added ease and convenience. New at SilverCity Fairview Mall Cinemas is The Screening Room, a private screening and reception area where up to 10 guests can enjoy a private screening, party or watch a game on a digital projector capable of presenting High-Definition images.

Also featured in the theatre are more than 1,800 all stadium rocker seats (each seat row will be 18" higher than the previous row) with ample legroom; wall-to-wall, giant, curved screens ranging in size with some as large as 50 feet wide; and Digital Surround Sound.

The concessions will include traditional movie fare such as popcorn, candy and soft drinks in addition to Pizza Pizza, Far Coast specialty coffees and teas, Outtakes and Yogen Fruz with a wide selection of low-fat and no-fat frozen yogurts and premium ice cream. A Techtown family entertainment centre will offer a number of interactive video games and activities and is accessible without the purchase of a movie ticket.

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MORRISTOWN, NJ -- Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. (Cinedigm) (NASDAQ: AIXD) (NASDAQ: CIDM), formerly known as Access Integrated Technologies, Inc., announced the company's shares of Class A common stock will begin trading on the NASDAQ Global Market System (GM) today under the symbol "CIDM." CIDM will replace the former symbol AIXD.

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Los Angeles, CA - Fandango is introducing a new way to give the gift of movies this holiday season at fandango.com/fandangobucks.

Previously available only for deliverability via email, Fandango Bucks are now also available as hard-copy customizable gift cards. Consumers can customize the cards by uploading their own photos and messages onto the gift card or they can select one of several festive designs featuring the Fandango Bag Puppets and other holiday icons. The Fandango Bucks gift cards can be presented inside customizable greeting cards and delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.

A limited edition Twilight gift card is also available. This collector’s item is already a popular gift for fans of the nation’s #1 movie.

Current sales of Fandango Bucks are outperforming last year’s sales at the same point in the holiday season, proving that moviegoing is still a favorite holiday activity, even during tough economic times.

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