PARIS, France and BURBANK, Calif. (USA) — Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS), through its Technicolor Digital Cinema business, today announced it will install digital projection systems in all of Zyacorp Entertainment’s Cinemagic screens throughout the Northeastern United States. Under the terms of the agreement, 22 systems will initially be installed as part of the Technicolor Digital Cinema beta test, with the balance of the Zyacorp circuit to be installed during the broader digital cinema rollout beginning in early 2008.
Zyacorp is a member of the Cinema Buying Group, a consortium of independent exhibitors which formed to find cost-effective solutions to convert their theatres from film to digital projection.
“Technicolor Digital Cinema is proud to be working with a forward-thinking state-of the art circuit such as Zyacorp. We are committed to providing high-quality digital cinema installations and services to all exhibitors, regardless of size, from national circuits to smaller independents” said Curt Behlmer, executive vice president of Technicolor Theatrical Services and COO of Technicolor Digital Cinema, within Thomson Services division. “We want to ensure that no exhibitor is left behind in this important industry transition.”
“We strive to provide our customers a state-of-the-art family entertainment facility, and our commitment to digital cinema further demonstrates this promise,” said Mark Adam, president, Zyacorp. “We are confident in the outstanding service that Technicolor provides, and we look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship.”
“We are pleased that Zyacorp will be working with Technicolor Digital Cinema,” said Wayne Anderson, managing director of the Cinema Buying Group, “and we look forward to continue working together to explore digital cinema solutions for all of our members.”
Zyacorp is the first member of the Cinema Buying Group to sign an agreement with Technicolor Digital Cinema. The company currently operates stadium-seated theaters in Saco, Maine; Westbrook, Maine; Salisbury, Massachusetts; and Merrimack, New Hampshire; and will open a new theatre in Hooksett, New Hampshire this summer. Zyacorp is also a member of The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO).
Zyacorp’s Cinemagic installations are part of Thomson’s broader rollout of complete digital projection systems in up to 5,000 screens over the next three to four years. Thomson intends to equip at least 15,000 screens in the United States and Canada, through the initial rollout and additional phases, over the next 10 years.
As previously announced by Thomson, the Group has signed digital cinema equipment usage agreements with DreamWorks SKG, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros. to support its plans for the distribution of digital cinema content and systems throughout North America. Under the separate, long-term accords, each of these studios has agreed to distribute content digitally throughout the United States and Canada, and pay a virtual print fee to Thomson for screens equipped with Technicolor Digital Cinema systems, which began in late 2006. Thomson is currently in negotiations with other film studios to expand the range of its non-exclusive content agreements in North America.
As part of its beta test, the first phase of its roll-out, in North America and Europe, Technicolor Digital Cinema has installed digital cinema systems with several prominent exhibitors including ArcLight Cinema Company, Mann Theatres, National Amusements, Wehrenberg Theatres, Zyacorp’s Cinemagic Stadium Theatres, and Kinepolis Group in Belgium.