Kodak announced today that it has signed an agreement to install the proven Kodak Digital Cinema Content Player JMN3000 on 15 Empire Theatres Limited screens in six Canadian provinces. The installations, which are being completed, include connectivity to Kodak’s Network Operations Center for remote service monitoring, as well as integration with Empire’s audio and automation systems.
The Kodak systems will be used for 2D as well as 3D presentations, with most premiering Disney’s digital 3D ‘Hannah Montana / Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour’ when distribution expands to other Canadian screens in mid-March. Empire Theatres is the second largest and fastest-growing film exhibition company in Canada with 397 screens in 15 sites across the country.
“Working with the Empire team is an invigorating experience,” said Jose Rosario, sales representative for Kodak Digital Cinema in the US and Canada. “They’ve used Kodak systems in two of their sites for several months, testing the reliability of our technology and the speed and completeness of our response. They set high standards, so it’s great to be passing their tests.”
“Our technical people recognize the quality of the Kodak solution,” said Kevin MacLeod, executive vice president of Empire Theatres. “Our managers appreciate the functionality. Our procurement group values the relationship. Kodak has taken a true partnership approach to working with us, through listening and effectively managing our account.
According to MacLeod, Empire regularly monitors emerging technologies for application in their business and they see the value of digital projection both in terms of cost savings and revenue growth. “We see opportunities for improving the quality of the on-screen presentation and the guest experience -- while providing a more efficient use of labour,” he says,
The Kodak system being installed is currently in use worldwide by 32 exhibition chains in 14 countries. Although Empire is using it in the standalone mode, it can also be connected to the Kodak Theatre Management System which enables cinema managers to more fully automate their complexes.
“But all of Empire’s new digital screens will be connected to the Kodak network,” said Rosario, “so we will monitor the health of system components, taking an automatic heartbeat every five seconds. If potential problems come up, we can usually diagnose them and fix them before the cinema even knows they exist.”
“As a mid-sized circuit, we like to work with suppliers whose solutions are cost-effective -- and whose technical resources can supplement those we have in-house,” said MacLeod. “Kodak has proven to be a valued partner and we’re excited to take this next step together in our plan to maximize the value of digital cinema in the neighbourhoods we serve.”