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European Cinemas Experiencing New Technologies

In six months there has been a 25% increase in the number of digital screens in Europe’s cinemas: this is the most important finding in the figures at 30 June 2008, elaborated by MEDIA Salles, the organization operating in the field of cinema with the support of the European Union’s MEDIA Programme and the Italian Government.

The results announced today, 27 February, in London, during the sixth edition of the DigiTraining Plus course, show a total of 1,120 screens fitted with projectors using DLP Cinema or 4K technology, situated in 609 complexes. Six months previously, the figures were 897 screens in 550 venues.

The average number of digital screens per complex, which now stands at 1.8 continues to grow: this confirms the fact that the exhibiting companies tend to place a larger number of digital projectors in the same cinema, in order to guarantee digital screening for the whole of a film’s commercial life cycle, both when demand is at its height and when only the tail end of demand remains to be satisfied.

With 298 units, the United Kingdom is still the country with the highest number of digital projectors, followed by Germany (164) and France, now more or less at the same level (162).
The countries whose growth rate is above the European average are France which more than doubles the numbers of digital screens, from 66 to 162, and Italy, growing from 38 to 57.
On the smaller markets there are significant growth rates in Portugal (from 14 to 26), in Switzerland (from 16 to 23) and in Finland (from 1 to 6).

“The increase in Europe’s digital screens in 2008 was influenced mainly by the decision taken by CGR, the third largest French exhibiting company, which was the first to start the conversion of its approx. 400 screens,” stressed Elisabetta Brunella, Secretary General of MEDIA Salles, when commenting on the figures presented in London today. “The growth trend recorded in the first half of the year should turn out to be confirmed in the second, judging from the provisional data already available, which shows that the installation of digital projectors is increasingly accompanied by the installation of an auxiliary system for stereoscopic projection. In other words, today 3D films are one of the strongest motivations for the digital transition.”


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