Marcus Theatres®, a division of The Marcus Corporation(NYSE: MCS), today announced it has signed a master license agreement with CDF2 Holdings, LLC, a subsidiary of Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. (NASDAQ: CIDM) to deploy digital cinema systems in approximately 630 first-run screens at 47 company-owned locations.
The agreement includes 64 previously installed systems. When completed, state-of-the-art digital projection technology will be offered at virtually all screens operated by Marcus Theatres. Installation of the first systems is currently expected to begin later this summer, with the balance scheduled to be completed by the end of calendar 2011.
The transition from 35mm film projection, which has been used for 110 years, to digital projection systems is a standardized world-wide motion picture industry effort. The costs to deploy this new technology will be covered primarily through the payment of virtual print fees (VPF) from studios to implementation companies.
Under the terms of the agreement, CDF2 Holdings, LLC (Cinedigm) will purchase the digital projection systems and license them to Marcus Theatres under a long-term arrangement. Cinedigm, the global leader in digital cinema conversion programs, is responsible for structuring and implementing the underlying VPF agreements with the studios, as well as administering the VPF program.
“Marcus Theatres is proud to continue its long history of technological innovation and quality by entering into this agreement with Cinedigm to enable the conversion of our circuit to digital cinema and assure that our guests can experience the pristine visual presentations digital cinema offers. The advantages for our guests will be brighter and better focused images and a consistently clear and steady picture with truer, more vibrant colors, whether they see a motion picture on its first showing or in its last week of exhibition,” said Bruce J. Olson, president of Marcus Theatres.
“Marcus Theatres has been very diligent in evaluating their digital cinema options, and we’re thrilled we were able to create a customized solution that works for them,” said Chris McGurk, chairman and CEO of Cinedigm. “When I joined Cinedigm in January, one of my main goals was to establish a long-term relationship with this leading theatrical exhibition company, so I am personally thrilled that we were able to make this happen with the Marcus Theatres team, and we look forward to a fast rollout so their audiences can enjoy the benefits of digital cinema as soon as possible.”
“The installation of this new digital technology will give us the flexibility to schedule not just major Hollywood motion pictures, but more 2D and 3D presentations of live and recorded non-film programming such as sporting events, music, Broadway plays and many more offerings in all of our markets,” added Olson. Olson explained the rollout of digital cinema will also provide Marcus Theatres with the opportunity to increase the number of 3D screens the company will offer its guests in the future.
Olson said additional providers of digital cinema technology and services will be announced shortly.