Disney bows digital ‘Mars,’ ‘Dino’ mission

New technology to screen in 12 theaters

Disney said Tuesday that it plans to digitally project “Mission to Mars” on 12 screens across the country beginning Friday and its animated pic “Dinosaur” this summer — in each case, day and date with the film’s regular release in theaters.

The move continues Disney’s strong support of digital projection since last summer’s “Tarzan.” As with its digital screenings of “Bicentennial Man” and “Toy Story,” Disney will continue to use the DLP Cinema Technology projector built by Texas Instruments.

“Bicentennial Man” was digitally projected on six screens. For “Dinosaur,” the number of screens has yet to be determined.

“This represents the latest phase in our worldwide field demonstrations of DLP Cinema technology,” said Doug Darrow, business manager for Digital Imaging Cinema.

“Our purpose in conducting them is to allow us to show the industry and the moviegoing public the benefits of DLP Cinema technology. The audience gets a better picture, free of dirt, scratches and degradation; the theater operator can learn about and influence the eventual digital presentation system; and the studio can develop the production expertise to distribute a digital feature.”

“Mission” screenings will take place at theaters in Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Kansas City, Orlando, Phoenix, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver and three theaters in Los Angeles — Hollywood’s El Capitan Theater, the Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21 in Irvine and the AMC Media Center 6 in Burbank.

TI’s DLP Cinema projection technology was first used publicly to project Fox and Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” last summer.

In February, DLP Cinema installed five prototype projectors in Europe, bringing the total to 17. It plans to install an additional projector in Japan.

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