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Christie is a leader in visual solutions for world-class organizations, offering diverse applications for business, entertainment, and industry. A leading innovator in film projection since 1929 and a pioneer in projection systems since 1979, Christie has established a global reputation as a total service provider and the world's single source manufacturer of a variety of display technologies and solutions. Christie offers comprehensive solutions for cinema, large audience venues, control rooms, business presentations, training facilities, 3D and Virtual Reality, simulation and education as well as industrial and government environments.

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UDITOA/Kissimmee, Fla.—Feb 2, 2012

Christie and Partners Lead America’s Drive-In Theaters into the Digital Age

Iconic Part of American Cinema History Gets New Lease on Life
As part of its national initiative to usher America’s drive-in theaters into the digital age, Christie® is a sponsor of the 12th annual convention for the United Drive-In Theatre Owners Association (UDITOA), February 6 – 9, in Kissimmee, Florida, and has partnered with leading dealers across the United States to bring the benefits of digital cinema technology to a sector characterized by traditional 35mm projection. 
 
“No single institution in American cinema history offers the sense of nostalgia, romance and freedom that drive-in theaters convey,” said Craig Sholder, vice president of Christie’s Entertainment Solutions. “With more than 80 years serving the exhibition community, Christie understands first-hand the challenges of running drive-ins and we are eager to bring them into the modern age, preserving this important legacy of cinema history.” 
 
Christie offers the world’s best-selling and most powerful digital projection system, the Christie Solaria™ Series of 2D and 3D projectors, to light up the largest drive-in screens under the most challenging twilight conditions. In the southern and Midwest states specifically, Christie has joined forces with two of the country’s most renowned dealers – Sonic Equipment Company and Entertainment Supply and Technologies (ES&T) – to offer complete, single-source digital cinema solutions. Design, consultation, installation, and ongoing support are available from Christie and its partners. As well, Christie’s Network Operating Center (NOC) can provide 24/7 technical support and ongoing maintenance.   
 
A Storied Past and Confident Future
At the height of their popularity in the 1950s, more than 4,000 drive-in theaters covered the American landscape. Changing movie viewing habits saw their numbers dwindle, but there are now exciting signs that they’re making a comeback, according to UDITOA.  The association notes that drive-in theaters not only remain a time honored American institution, but in a battered economy, they still offer one of the best values for family entertainment.
 
With moviegoers seeking to recapture the magical memories of their youth, digital technology represents for drive-ins a distinctive competitive edge against the “hard tops” (indoor theaters) by offering alternative content such as major sporting events, musical and other cultural performances, in a unique outdoor environment, under the stars.  The installation of powerful Christie DLP Cinema® projectors allows audiences to experience the brightest and sharpest images on these big outdoor screens at the lowest cost of operation, eclipsing traditional 35mm film projection.  
 
Florida Exhibitor Seizes the Opportunity
For more than 60 years, the Silver Moon Drive-In Theatre has been a landmark in central Florida, where it was the first of its kind to open in Lakeland. Today, the Silver Moon continues to operate successfully, offering a double feature of first-run movies on two screens. “We are the last drive-in theater in Polk County, but we are here to stay,” said owner Harold T. Spears.  
 
Entertainment Supply and Technologies, LLC (ES&T), a full service cinema industry dealer and certified Christie partner from box office to projection booth “and everything in between,” recently completed the digitization of Silver Moon.  ES&T chose the Solaria Series Christie CP2230 digital projectors as the most effective for lighting up the two massive screens of 55’ and 70’.
 
“Audiences have remarked how much brighter and sharper the images on the screen are now,” said Bruce Schneiter, vice-president, Technical Services, at ES&T.  “Christie was our first choice, because they have always provided top-level products and service, and they stand behind everything they offer.  They are unparalleled for their technical expertise and industry experience.”
 
Missouri Leads the Charge at B&B Moberly Five and Drive 
Recognized by the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) as one of the oldest family-owned circuits in the Midwest, B&B Theatres have seen the coming of sound, color, widescreen, digital, 3D and countless other advances in stereo sound and projection technologies. Currently, B&B Theatres operate in towns of all sizes, opening multiplex theaters in many of the same places that once housed their old-time, single-screen and twin theaters.  When B&B Theatres decided to replace its two aging downtown movie houses in Moberly, Missouri with a new, multi-million-dollar multiplex, they built on their drive-in theater lot – vacant since 1985 – and put the drive-in screen back to work as well. The new theater complex, opened in 1997, is called the Moberly Five and Drive. 
 
Sonic Equipment Company, a Kansas-based digital cinema integrator and certified Christie partner, installed a Christie CP2230 DLP Cinema® projector with a 4,500 watt bulb for the drive-in’s large, 64’-wide screen. According to Dan VanOrden, circuit general manager of B&B Theatres, “I was extremely impressed with the results. The audience, too, absolutely loved the bright new look. The drive-in is so bright now that Highway 63 is lit up in front of it!”
 
VanOrden noted that the conversion to digital gave Moberly many more options for alternative content, as well.  “We’ve been able to run DVD’s of classic movies, for example, and they actually look much better on that huge screen than their old 35mm prints did.”
 
Sonic had previously installed Christie digital projectors in six drive-in screens in Texas, including the Stars and Stripes in Lubbock, as well as the Big Sky in Midland.   
 
“Speaking for The Big Sky, our Christie Solaria™ projector gives us a gorgeous picture and our customers love it!” said Sam Kirkland, owner of The Big Sky.  “When a drive-in goes to digital movies, it’s a big difference from film, and people see that difference immediately. The quality at drive-in theaters using Christie projectors is as good as the indoor theaters now.”
 
Steve Zimmerman, director of business development at Sonic, agreed.  “Both Sonic and the theater owners at these locations in Texas were extremely impressed with the end result, allowing us to confidently recommend Christie to B&B Theatres.” 
 
“Christie is committed to ensuring that America’s drive-ins remain competitive for generations to come by providing them with the dazzling images of digital cinema and the expanded revenue streams of alternative content. As we have been for more than 80 years, we are here for the long term to support them with superior customer service,” said Sholder. “Along with exceptional partners such as Sonic and ES&T, we want movie goers everywhere to rediscover the pleasure of watching the big screen under ‘the big sky.’”
 
About Entertainment Supply & Technologies
ES&T is the single source dealer for all cinema needs, from 35mm and digital projection and sound equipment, to cinema parts and supplies.  It also deals, distributes and installs concession stands, box office counters, cocktail bars, and guess services casework, as well as stage draperies and food service equipment.  ES&T is also a provider of FF&E installations and project management services on new construction sites, remodels, and design and décor coordination.  Visit www.ensutec.com.


Logo: Christie
About Christie: Christie Digital Systems USA, Inc. is a global visual and audio technologies company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ushio Inc., Japan (JP:6925). Consistently setting the standards by being the first to market some of the world’s most advanced projectors, complete system displays, and cinema audio solutions; Christie is recognized as one of the most innovative visual technology companies in the world. From retail displays to Hollywood, mission critical command centers to classrooms and training simulators, Christie display solutions and projectors capture the attention of audiences around the world with dynamic and stunning images, accompanied by awe-inspiring sound. Visit www.christiedigital.com. Christie Directory page Christie Web Site
About Sonic Equipment Company: Sonic’s reputation for providing current and future customers with unparalleled technical support and maintenance has made them a popular and trusted provider of cinema sales, service and installation. Sonic Equipment Company Directory page
About Entertainment Supply and Technologies, LLC.: ES&T is a privately-held international company that is a continuation of a supply organization that has been in cinema industry since 1926 for all cinema and drive-in theater needs, from digital projection and sound equipment, food service equipment and casework design, front-end screen systems, wall drapery and sound panels, auditorium seating, and related interior and exterior signage. ES&T is also a provider and certified installer of large format extreme screen installations. Entertainment Supply and Technologies, LLC. Directory page

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Jan 2, 2019 B&B Theatres President Bob Bagby Announces Sale of Sonic Equipment Company
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Sonic Equipment is pleased to announce a partnership with Cinema Equipment and Supplies (CES), the global leader in digital cinema solutions.   Sonic will implement the CIELO platform, a cloud-based, remote monitoring, technical support and predictive analytics solution across all their customers. CIELO’s capabilities will allow Sonic Operational Solutions team to increase business efficiencies and provide superior customer support.

Nov 12, 2015 B&B Theatres Selects Christie Solaria Projectors and Christie Vive Audio to Power All Screens at the New Wentzville 12 Missouri Location
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Christie®, a leader in creating and sharing the world's best visual and audio experiences, announced it is the exclusive provider of digital cinema projection and high performance speaker technology for Missouri’s newest B&B Theatres Wentzville Tower 12, located in Wentzville, which opened on November 5.

Sep 8, 2015 Sonic Equipment Company Announces Ron Hageman as New Executive Director
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Christie® is helping the Fox Berkshire theatre, Reading, Pa., enter the modern age of digital cinema, following the complete upgrades of its eight screens exclusively with Christie Solaria® Series projectors.  Formerly the Wyomissing 8, the facility recently celebrated its return to the Fox Theatres family after being under different management since 1996.

Apr 26, 2012 Frank Theatres Selects GDC Technology for Digital Cinema Conversion
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GDC Technology (“GDC Tech”), a world leading digital cinema solution provider, announced today Frank Theatres (“Frank”), a division of the Frank Family Entertainment Group, has selected GDC SX-2000A Digital Cinema Servers with Integrated Media Block (“IMB”) for its digital conversion with NEC projectors. This deployment covers close to 80 renovated and redesigned screens and an additional 36 newly constructed screens, which will be completed by the end of 2012 or by mid 2013 respectively.

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