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# 1937 Scophony

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London—Mar 15, 2007

Empire Cinemas launches its first all digital cinema

Empire Cinemas has today (15 March 2007) announced the launch of its first all digital cinema at its site in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

Empire Cinemas, in partnership with Kodak, Barco and Bell Theatre Services, is pioneering digital cinema projection technology as it becomes one of the first cinema operators in the country to go all digital in one of its sixteen sites. All six screens at the High Wycombe site have been equipped for digital cinema.

Justin Ribbons, CEO, Empire Cinemas said: “The transition to all digital at our High Wycombe site is fully compliant with the highest industry standards of today and we are delighted to have made this happen in partnership with Kodak, Barco and Bell Theatre Services. Empire Cinemas is the largest private cinema operator in the UK and the switch to all digital at High Wycombe demonstrates our commitment to delivering an improved and outstanding entertainment experience to our customers as we continue to upgrade and invest in our sites.”

Digital projection has numerous advantages for both the cinema audience and the operator. For the audience at High Wycombe, Barco’s state of the art digital projectors will enable the perfect re-production of film, time and time again ensuring high quality and consistent clarity, contrast and vibrant colours. Barco 2K projectors are unique in placing this technology in a sealed light engine thereby reducing the possibility of contamination and picture degradation over time.

Glenn Wastyn, Market Director, Digital Cinema Barco commented: “The true flexibility of film programming cannot be fully realised until 100% of the screens at a site have digital capability. The Empire Cinema at High Wycombe will enable exhibitors, distributors and advertisers to maximize the availability of digital content for the audience. As one of the first fully integrated sites, High Wycombe will develop a thorough knowledge of the procedures and advantages of operating a digital cinema of tomorrow.”

The Kodak unit at the Empire Cinema in High Wycombe will handle 2D or 3D movies and automatically recognises the compression format used – JPEG or MPEG – and employs that for playback. It is designed to be used in network configurations, to take full advantage of the system’s capability, flexibility, efficiency and Kodak’s future Theatre Management System (TMS). TMS is designed to automatically load all content from multiple suppliers via hard drive or satellite in the future and distribute it to targeted screens over the in-cinema network. Decryption keys are also loaded, migrated and managed over the network.

Brian Kercher, regional manager, Kodak Digital Cinema said: “Kodak is delighted to be working with Empire because it’s been our experience that when strong brands connect, great things can happen. This relationship is consistent with the commitment that our companies share – to bring the finest image quality to the screen in ways that continue to add value to the cinema experience.”

Bell Theatre Services carried out the digital installation at the High Wycombe site. Max Bell, Managing Director, Bell Theatre Services commented: “We are delighted to be involved in this project. Over recent years digital cinema has been gradually growing in Europe, however now that we are seeing the first fully digital multiplexes appearing, it is indeed an exciting time for the industry.”

For further information on Empire Cinemas please visit www.empirecinemas.co.uk

About Bell Theatre Services Ltd : Bell Theatre Services specializes in providing digital and film projection equipment, sound equipment, and services to the cinema industry, film productions, and beyond. With a wealth of practical sound and projection experience, Bell Theatre Services have supplied over 700 screens to multiplex and independent cinemas with film projection and sound equipment. Bell Theatre Services also specializes in equipment for film studios, preview theatres and laboratories, supplying high-speed projectors, digital projectors and stereo optical recording equipment. Bell Theatre Services Ltd Directory page About Empire Cinemas: Empire Cinemas is the largest independently-owned cinema chain in the UK. Currently operating 185 screens in 18 cinemas across the United Kingdom, Empire Cinemas screens everything from mainstream blockbusters to art-house classics in quality cinemas, staffed by individuals who are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about film. Its flagship London location, Leicester Square, was the first cinema in Europe to launch IMAX's new laser projection system this September. Empire Cinemas Directory page
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