Tag Archives: Ster-Kinekor

Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 12 March 2014

QSC at AMC16 Theater 8

Audio: Immersive audio is set to be a big topic at the upcoming CinemaCon, with Dolby and Barco both pushing their Atmos and Auro solutions. But meanwhile there is on going discussion and work towards open standards. A very comprehensive document that charts these efforts have been published in the motion Picture Editors’ Guild website. Titled “Towards a SMPTE Standard - MDA Cinema Proponents Demo Open-Standard Surround-Sound Format“ by Mel Lambert is well worth reading by anyone who wants to understand where this issue stands and is headed, as well as the MDA tests at the AMC Burbank.

To date, the MDA Cinema Proponents Group has held two demonstrations of its proposed format for working group members and other industry professionals at the AMC 16-theatre complex in Burbank. Theatre 8 has been outfitted by QSC Audio Products with a total of 54 behind-the-screen, surround and ceiling loudspeakers, plus subwoofers to create an audio test bed for replaying various surround-sound configurations. All signal processing, including EQ, time alignment and crossovers, is handled by a QSC Q-Sys Core 500i processor; replay is from a Doremi cinema server. Playback material for the special demonstrations comprised a short video produced by DTS, entitled The Escape, accompanied by replay of a single MDA object-based soundtrack that was rendered in real-time through the Q-Sys processor to produce outputs appropriate to targeted loudspeaker channels.

Be sure to then read “MDA Immersive Audio Demo’d, and Openly (Patently?) More” by ever-knowledgeable CJ Flynn about what exactly ‘open’  means and entails.

Event Cinema

South Africa:  Ster-Kinekor will be screening extreme fighting matches in its cinemas this March

EFC AFRICA 28, taking place on Thursday, 27 March, will be screened at select Ster-Kinekor cinemas around the country for the first time, with an eruption of high-definition (HD), larger-than-life MMA action on the big screen.

In a partnership that has been in development for months, EFC AFRICA and Ster-Kinekor announced on Wednesday, 12 March that fight fans throughout South Africa will be able to watch all 13 bouts from every upcoming EFC AFRICA event, live.  LIVE

USA (CA): The Met Opera is not the only event cinema opera company in the US.

And, of opera moving into movie theaters: A series of high-definition films of three recent San Francisco Opera productions at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, which began with Tosca on March 3, will continue with Porgy & Bess on April 21, and Don Giovanni on May 26.

At $12, tickets are about half of the Met HD prices. These screenings mark the return of SFO presentations to the Kabuki, as part of the company’s Grand Opera Cinema Series, also shown in arts centers, independent film theaters, universities and other venues in the Western region of the country and around the world.  LINK

Cine Dining

Post-Second-Chance-Cinema

UK: Upmarket cinema is in vogue, including this pop-up venture in the UK.

Forget your local Odeon, Second Chance Cinema is a stylish cinema experience, held at luxurious locations, dishing up gourmet cinema food.

Taking place at Bethnal Green’s Old Town Hall Hotel, Second Chance Cinema will be screening some Academy Award winning blockbusters this week, with a lineup kicking off this Wednesday…

With Cinema Taster boxes on offer designed by award winner chefs of the hotel, you can wave goodbye to pick ‘n’ mix and say hello to luxury chocolate cigarettes and indulgent posh popcorn served by Second Chance Cinema’s 1950s usherette.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 26 February 2014

Our ‘Finally’ item from yesterday is today’s front page article; the opening of the first major multiplex in Jerusalem. Its opening is a big deal to the city.

Many of Jerusalem’s movie theaters closed over the last two decades, leaving a dearth of silver screens in the city. For Mayor Nir Barkat, who has spent a considerable part of his time in office reconsidering the capital’s cultural landscape, the lack of a real movie theater complex — complete with comfortable seating, available parking and access from various neighborhoods of the city — was a real concern.

“We’ve spent the last five years trying to bring Jerusalem to a new level, and there is no better marketing tool than the movies,” he said. “It gets added to the mix of new cultural centers, like Beit Hansen, Beit Mazia and the First Train Station. Jerusalem has a huge potential and we want to realize that potential.” Link 1.

It sounds like it will be quite a cinema, as no effort has been spared (bar one).

Jerusalem’s Cinema City will open Thursday, after an investment of NIS 250 million. The eight-floor 20,000-square meter entertainment complex, located on the site of the National Car Park across the street from the Supreme Court, has 19 screens, auditoriums for shows and conventions, and a theater.

The center also includes the Museum of Jewish Cinema, the Old Testament City, and a dynamic 3D “Journey to Judaism” and other children’s shows. The cinemas and auditoriums have 3,000 seats altogether, and the commercial space includes over 50 restaurants, cafes, and shops.

The Jerusalem Cinema City’s developers, brothers Moshe and Leon Edri, who own New Lineo Cinema (2006) Ltd., expect to sell two million tickets a year and host 15 million visitors in the first year. Link 2.

But the one thorny issue of whether it can be open on Shabbat (Fri evening-to-Saturday, ie the businest time for most cinemas) has yet to be resolved. There were protesters outside demanding the right to watch films when they wanted, not when Orthodox Rabbis permitted them.

Near the Bible Museum downstairs I see that a few girls are leaving. One of them sits down for a selfie on the horn of a giant rhinoceros statue that protrudes from between her legs. She tells me she’s one of the employees of the architectural firm that built the complex. I ask her what she thinks about the fact that the building didn’t take the Supreme Court into consideration. “We have an opinion but we’ll keep it to ourselves,” they respond diplomatically…

Outside a single protester is left, Ben Mukhtar, 14, from Ramot. “Everybody went home. If they had wanted to fight they would have all stayed. I’m tired of wandering the streets on Friday nights. The Haredim don’t even care that it’s open on Shabbat. Show me even one Haredi who watches ‘The Fast and the Furious,’” he says. Link 3.

Let’s see if the multiplex closes its doors one day after opening.

Business

Australia: Encouraged perhaps by our article of how well exhibitor share prices are doing, Hoyts is once again considering an IPO.

Cinema company Hoyts Group is again considering listing on the sharemarket, tipped to take place sometime later this year. It’s expected that the float will be valued at about $700 million.

The group has an impressive footprint, controlling about 18 per cent of the approximately 2000 cinema screens in Australia. It edges out nearest rival Greater Union to command the largest slice of the market.

As well as its numerical supremacy, Hoyts also owns Val Morgan, the cinema advertising business which controls 95 per cent of the Australian market. Last year, Val Morgan posted a 30 per cent rise in revenue.

But a challenging landscape lies before the company.

Link.

USA/China: If not IPO, perhaps sell Hoyts’ cinemas to the Chinese? The rising share price of exhibitors has paid of handsomely for AMC’s Chinese owner.

“China’s second-richest man, Wang Jialin, has seen the value of his controlling stake in AMC Entertainment more than double since he purchased it 18 months ago.

In August 2012, Wang invested about $800 million to acquire 80 percent of AMC — North America’s second largest movie chain — in a $2.6 billion debt-financed deal. That stake is now worth $1.7 billion at Monday’s closing price of $22.47, netting Wang paper gains of $900 million, according to Bloomberg.

Such a result was all but unthinkable back in 2012.”

AMC’s CEO claims that the rising value is down to “a record year for Hollywood films in 2013, improvements in customer service and a rising stock market overall.” He is two-third’s right.

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Christie’s New Projector Is Portent of Battle Ahead

What do you do once the majority of multiplex screens around the world are converted to digital? You mop up the remaining screens and look for new markets. That’s what we can read between the lines from the launch of the new Christie Solaria One projector at ShowEast. The projector, which is based on Texas Instrument’s new S2K DLP Cinema® chipset, 8K to 10K lumens output. While no price is given, it is expected to retail for as much as $10,000 less than Christie’s current cheapest projector. Similar projectors are coming from Barco, while Sony has already announced its cheaper entry into their market space (see previous post).

This is part of a deliberate and concerted strategy to maximise the market uptake reflecting the reality of global digital cinema penetration. With global uptake standing at just over two-thirds, with countries like Norway and Holland already having 100 per cent conversion, the question is which type of territories and cinemas remain. The brutal truth is that this 66-67 per cent represents 85-90 per cent of box office revenue generating screens. There is thus little financial incentive for converting the remaining screens and less money and almost no VPF schemes to do so. So the OEMs are launching products to mop up this last market, which faces it’s digital-or-die moment in the next 12 months.

While it is the most advanced multiplex chain of its continent, it is nevertheless telling who the client flagged in the press release is:

Ster-Kinekor Theatres, the largest cinema exhibitor in South Africa, will be first recipient of the solution, having ordered 198 projectors from the Christie Solaria One line. Ster-Kinekor Theatres CEO Fiaz Mahomed commented, “The Christie Solaria One projectors offer superb quality with a heightened viewing experience for movie lovers. These projectors are perfectly suited for smaller screens and are very cost-effective.”

What will be perhaps more interesting to see is how these new projectors filter through to new types of screening venues. not just Steven Spielberg’s home cinema, but growing mixed-use venues and bijou cinemas become possible with smaller and more affordable projectors. This will inevitably have an effect on booking patterns of film and other content. As the industry approaches the end of its one-for-one analogue-to-digital swap outs, the door to new and exiting digital cinemaa opportunities open.