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# 1952 Eidophor

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Chicago—Mar 15, 2010

VSS-Southern Theatres Rides 3D Juggernaut, Signs Exclusive Agreement with NEC Display Solutions for Digital Cinema Projectors

The Grand Theatres, AmStar Cinemas in 9 States Add to Their Stable of NEC Equipment; NEC Financial Services Offers Financing Incentives
NEC Display Solutions of America, a leading provider of commercial LCD display and projector solutions, announced today an exclusive agreement with Southern Theatres, LLC, management company for VSS-Southern Theatres, owners of The Grand Theatres and AmStar Cinemas, to provide digital cinema projectors at locations in nine states. 

The move by VSS-Southern Theatres extends its current relationship with NEC and Ballantyne Strong, Inc., and positions this leading exhibitor to capitalize on the growing list of 3D Hollywood blockbusters coming out in 2010 and beyond.

Building upon its more than 30 NEC digital cinema projector systems already installed, VSS-Southern Theatres selected NEC’s new Digital Cinema Projector Series for its extreme reliability, performance and brightness. The projectors also were chosen for their upgrade capabilities to 4K technology. 

The full complement of NEC digital cinema projectors can be seen in Palace 5 (Booth No. 1205) at ShoWest 2010, the motion picture theater industry convention held today through March 18 at Bally’s & Paris in Las Vegas, Nev.

“Our relationship with VSS-Southern Theatres has been a strong one for quite some time, but we’re especially grateful for the trust they have placed in us with this exclusive agreement,” said Pierre Richer, President and C.O.O. of NEC Display Solutions. “The 3D juggernaut is upon us, and NEC is prepared to help forward-looking exhibitors, such as VSS-Southern Theatres, capitalize on the powerful opportunities presenting themselves to the industry.”

NEC Financial Services is providing the financing for the project, which will be rolled out in three phases over the course of this year and early 2011. Phase I will be completed in time for the movie releases, “How to Train Your Dragon 3D” and “Clash of the Titans 3D.”

Ballantyne of Omaha, a trusted partner and master reseller for the exhibitor segment of NEC’s business, is supplying the ancillary digital components, screens and installation for the 18 VSS-Southern Theatres locations, which consist of 268 screens.

“Ballantyne Strong, Inc.’s, relationship with VSS-Southern Theatres extends back to its start as a theater circuit. We have been providing projectors and associated equipment to the Solomon family since the ‘70s,” said John Wilmers, President and CEO, Ballantyne Strong, Inc. “VSS-Southern has aggressively been equipping theaters over the past two years to keep up with the 3D demand, and we are excited they are committed to lead the pack as the industry transitions to digital cinema.” 

“We pride ourselves on offering the best movie-going experience to the public,” said George Solomon, President of Southern Theatres, LLC. “NEC and Ballantyne Strong, Inc., are playing crucial roles in that objective.”

Solomon has been in the theater business with his family for more than 50 years and launched Southern Theatres, LLC to develop and operate state-of-the-art, multiplex stadium-seating movie theaters.

Among the NEC digital cinema projectors being deployed are the NC1600-C, NC2500S-A, NC1200C, NC2000C, and the ultra-bright NC3200S at 31,000 lumens. 

The Digital Cinema Projector Series models meet DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives) requirements, so exhibitors are prepared to capitalize on current opportunities as well as position themselves for future growth. These NEC projectors include new Texas Instruments Series 2 electronics and are designed for easy maintenance to minimize downtime.

Combining advanced DLP Cinema projectors with reliable multiplex and screen servers, NEC’s Digital Cinema Projector Series offers the most comprehensive digital cinema solution on the market today.

For more information about NEC's digital cinema projectors, please visit http://necdisplay.com/Products/SubClass/?subclass=Projectors.
To learn more about financing options, please visit www.necdisplay.com/3Dpromo, or contact NECDigitalCinemaLease@neclease.com

Ballantyne Strong Inc. Contacts:
Mary Carstens
Chief Financial Officer             
(402) 453-4444

JCIR
Robert Rinderman, Norberto Aja
(212) 835-8500 or btn@jcir.com
NEC Digital Cinema Contacts: North America and South America
NEC Display Solutions of America 
www.necdisplay.com 
Phone: 630-467-3000 

Sales: Jim Reisteter 
General Manager, Digital Cinema Division 
Phone: 818-557-2500 
jreisteter@necdisplay.com 

Marketing: Emily Narkviroj 
Channel Marketing Manager 
Phone: 630-467-3288 
enarkviroj@necdisplay.com 


Europe, Middle East, Africa
NEC Display Solutions Europe Gmbh 
http://www.nec-display-solutions.com/p/hq/en/home.xhtml 
Phone: 49(0)89-99 6990 

Public Relations: Ann Kjellser 
PR Manager EMEA 
Phone: 46 72 162 8719 

Sales: Mark Kendall 
Senior Manager, Digital Cinema 
Phone: 44 118 969-1352 

Marketing: Gerd Kaiser 
Product line manager, Large Venue Projectors 
Phone: 49(0)89 99 699-623 

Japan
NEC Display Solutions, Ltd. 
http://www.nec-display.com/jp/projector.html 
Phone : 0120-610-161 (Customer Support Center) 
      *9:00-18:00 except Saturday/Sunday/National holidays 

China
NEC Solutions (China) Co., Ltd. 
http://cn.nec.com/ 
Phone  +86-10-5934-2885 

Australia, New Zealand
NEC Australia Pty Ltd 
Phone: +61 3 9262 1111 
http://au.nec.com/ 

Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Kambodia, Brunei
Goldenduck Group 
Phone:  +66 2887 8807 
http://www.goldenduckgroup.com/ 

Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan
Strong Westrex, Inc. 
Phone: +852 2827 8289 
http://www.strong-world.com/ 

India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal
Real Image Media Technologies Pvt. Ltd. 
Phone: +91 44 42041505 
http://www.realimage.com/ 

South Korea
Hyosung ITX Co., Ltd. 
Phone: +82 2 2102 8591 
http://www.hyosungitx.com/ 

*Web Site of NEC DLP Cinema Projectors 
http://www.nec-display.com/ap/en_projector/dlpcinema/index.html 
 
About Ballantyne Strong Inc.: Ballantyne Strong Inc. is a provider of digital cinema projection equipment, screens and services as well as specialty lighting equipment. The Company supplies major and independent theater chains, top arenas, theme parks and architectural sites around the world. Ballantyne Strong is a value added reseller of major brands that include BARCO, NEC, Doremi, GDC, USL, Dolby and QSC. Excellent products coupled with Strong Technical Services providing installation, integration, NOC (Network Operation Center) and field service. Ballantyne Strong Inc.is a true turn-key provider for sales and service to cinema chains of all sizes. Ballantyne Strong Inc. Directory page Ballantyne Strong Inc. Web Site About NEC Digital Cinema: Combining advanced DLP Cinema® projectors with reliable multiplex and screen servers, NEC Display Solutions’ Digital Cinema Projector Series offers the most comprehensive digital cinema solution on the market today. These 3D-capable models enable theaters to deliver stunning digital images regardless of screen size, while simplifying theater management and reducing costs. All of NEC's digital cinema projectors meet DCI specifications for performance and reliability, meeting the requirements of today’s cinema industry. NEC also offers full digital signage solutions, highlighted by its award-winning 32”-82” LCD displays and multimedia projectors, for lobbies, concessions and concourses. NEC Digital Cinema Directory page NEC Digital Cinema Web Site About Southern Theatres, LLC.: Southern Theatres, LLC., owned and operated by George Solomon, was formed in May of 2002. Solomon has been in the theatre business with his family for over 50 years and launched Southern Theatres, LLC. to develop and operate state-of-the art multiplex stadium-seating movie theatres.  In April 2005, Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS) made a $30 million equity investment in Southern Theatres, LLC. VSS is a private equity and mezzanine capital fund management company dedicated to investing in media, communications and information industries in North America and Europe.  Southern Theatres, LLC. is currently responsible for the daily operations of The Grand Theatres, Amstar Cinemas, GrandLuxe Theatres, The Theatres at Canal Place and oversight of  operations for Movie Tavern. The company operates 38 locations with 433 screens in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Southern Theatres, LLC. is well positioned for continued expansion in key markets throughout the United States. Southern Theatres, LLC. is proud to be headquartered in New Orleans, LA. Southern Theatres, LLC. Directory page
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