LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - Oct 12, 2012) - Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. (NASDAQ: CIDM), in conjunction with the National Association of Theatre Owners' (NATO) Cinema Buying Group (CBG), today announced it has now signed over 3,000 independent CBG screens for conversion to digital cinema. Cinedigm is the digital cinema integrator partner for the CBG, a buying program for NATO's independent theatre operators in the United States and Canada and is responsible for deploying nearly 40% of all digital cinema screens in North America.
"NATO and the CBG congratulate Cinedigm on the momentous 3,000 screen milestone," said John Fithian, President of National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO). "Cinedigm's efforts and leadership have brought all the benefits of digital cinema to the local communities these theatres serve and we are tremendously proud of the outcome."
The transition from 35mm film projection, which has been used for 110 years, to digital projection systems is a worldwide motion picture industry effort and the costs to deploy this new technology are covered primarily through the payment of virtual print fees (VPF) from studios to implementation companies. Cinedigm's Digital Cinema division facilitates funding, installation and operations support, along with ongoing VPF administration, for the company's digital cinema rollout plans. Cinedigm has signed long-term VPF agreements with all the major studios and interim agreements with over one hundred independent distributors.
"When we implemented the virtual print fee program nearly eight years ago, our goal was to help convert as many theatres as possible -- both large and small -- to digital cinema. We are so proud that Cinedigm has delivered on that promise and is without question the number one choice for exhibitors to entrust with their digital cinema program," said Gary Loffredo, President of Digital Cinema & General Counsel, Cinedigm.
The Elkader Cinema, a historic movie theatre in a town of less than 1500 people, is a perfect example of a theatre not left behind by Cinedigm. Built in 1941, closed down in 1993 and vacant for 10 years, the Elkader Cinema's present owners Lee and Diane Akin, refurbished it, complete with original marquee, with a volunteer group and some community grants. Cinedigm helped the Akins, self-financiers and CBG members to keep the theatre open as the industry transformed to digital.
To date, Cinedigm has signed 180 Cinema Buying Group exhibitors representing roughly 3,000 screens. The company has converted CBG theatres in 22 states throughout North America including Alaska, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin, Wyoming, British Columbia, Quebec, and Newfoundland.
Cinedigm digital theatres are fully networked, turnkey systems, simple and cost-efficient to operate.
Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. is a leader in providing the services, experience, technology and content critical to transforming movie theaters into digital and networked entertainment centers. The Company partners with Hollywood movie studios, independent movie distributors, and exhibitors to bring movies in digital cinema format to audiences across the country. Cinedigm's digital cinema deployment organization, state of the art distributor and exhibition software, and marketing and distribution platform for alternative content and independent films are a cornerstone of the industry's digital cinema transformation. With the April acquisition of New Video, the world's largest aggregator of independent digital content and leading distributor of quality entertainment, CIDM has created a new full service end-to-end digital studio, enabling the Company to acquire and distribute independent films and specialty content both theatrically and via digital, mobile and home media platforms, including iTunes, Hulu, Vudu, Netflix, xBox, and Playstation to name a few.
Cinedigm™ and Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp.™ are trademarks of Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. www.cinedigm.com.
About NATO and NATO-CBG
The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) is the largest exhibition trade organization in the world, representing more than 30,000 movie screens in all 50 states, and additional cinemas in 56 countries worldwide. NATO's membership includes the largest cinema chains in the world, and hundreds of independent theatre owners too. NATO's Cinema Buying Group (NATO-CBG) is a separately-financed group buying program within NATO for independent theatre owners and operators. One important purpose of NATO-CBG has been to help smaller exhibitors survive and thrive in the transition from film to digital projection technologies.