Christie, a global leader in Digital Cinema, is pleased to announce it has secured an exclusive contract with Scrabble Entertainment (SE) to supply 200 Christie DLP Cinema(r) projectors for India’s largest single Digital Cinema deployment. This historic roll-out will advance the world’s most prolific film nation to a new level of digital entertainment, and bring the Digital Cinema revolution to India.
Previously dominated by film and e-cinema, SE has embarked on the country’s most massive Digital Cinema deployment by being the first company to deploy systems designed to be DCI compliant in India. SE will act as an intermediary between content owners including major studios and independent distributors – and the exhibitor. Under a Virtual Print Fee (VPF) business model, SE will finance the exhibitors’ transition to digital by collecting a negotiated “virtual print fee” from movie distributors. SE has already secured commitments from studios in India to provide JPEG 2000 content, and major exhibition circuits for the roll-out. As part of the deployment plan, SE forecasts to install a total of 1,750 projectors over the next 5 years, at an average of 350 projectors per year.
“Christie has been a reliable brand in the cinema industry for many years. Its proven global success in Digital Cinema has further instilled confidence in us to select Christie exclusively for this massive deployment,” comments Ranjit Thakur, CEO, SE. “Traditionally, India has opted for e-cinema due to its low cost of deployment. Now, we can help cinemas leverage Digital Cinema technology at an affordable cost, while providing the ultimate experience for moviegoers – be it Hollywood or local movies.”
The first exhibitor to sign up for the deployment plan is PVR Cinemas, one of India’s largest cinema chains. With a total of 103 screens across India, the circuit spans major cities including New Delhi, Lucknow, Indore, Bangalore and Mumbai, among others. One of the most innovative cinema chains, it was also the first to introduce the concept of a multiplex to India in 1997. As part of the agreement, PVR will commit to converting all new theatres with the world’s most preferred Digital Cinema projectors – the Christie CP2000 series. Others who have signed up include Fame Cinemas, INOX and Cinemax Theatres.
“We’ve been using Christie film projectors in our theatres for many years. Over the years, the projectors have provided excellent results in terms of consistency and reliability, which speaks to the quality of the technology. This deployment plan is a natural progression for us to move to the next level together with Christie,” comments Amitabh Vardhan, CEO, PVR Cinemas. “By taking the leap to digital, we hope to trigger a domino effect for the local cinema industry and to enhance the cinematic experience for our patrons.”
“India has a constant flow of content produced by Bollywood, yet, has a relatively low screen count. With a huge movie-going community, the country has enormous room to support explosive growth in Digital Cinema,” comments Lin Yu, vice president of sales, Christie Asia Pacific. “With our global success in Digital Cinema, we have the experience to help our partners as the momentum picks up across the country. It is a privilege to be selected by SE and PVR Cinemas for this monumental roll-out and we look forward to a successful long term relationship.”
With a commanding 80% control of the Digital Cinema market, Christie has set a strong pace of installations that has culminated in more than 4,600 digital screens to date across North and South America, Europe, South Africa, Australia and Asia.