British cinemas explore digital future
by Naman Ramachandran
The Cinema Exhibitors’ Association (CEA) has launched an initiative to find out whether UK cinema operators are interested in grouping together in order to collectively negotiate funding the move to digital cinema, as current costs of purchase and installation of equipment are high.
CEA Chief Executive Phil Clapp said, “Once we have a clearer idea of those with an in-principle interest in taking part, we will be better placed to decide on next steps. It might be that the CEA leads on this going forward, or it might be for example that some other exhibitor or grouping of exhibitors takes the lead. The important thing is that we begin a structured dialogue on how we might find a sustainable and market-driven solution which allows as many as possible of those who wish to, to convert.”
The CEA, along with the UK Film Council (UKFC), have also announced a UK-wide programme of digital roadshows (April 27- June 8) to raise awareness amongst exhibitors about digital cinema.
UKFC Head of Distribution and Exhibition Pete Buckingham said, “The transition to digital cinema technology will impact at some point on everyone who currently exhibits films or wishes to do so in the future. Everyone shares the same issue here, no matter what type of venue or type of programme. Namely, how is the switch from 35mm to digital going to benefit their operations, and crucially how will it be funded. It is therefore vital that as many as possible working in this part of the sector fully understand the financial and operational implications.”
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