Sony offers up its 4K digital projector

ShoWest brief

Sony unveiled its long-delayed 4K digital projector Tuesday. Landmark Theaters has bought six of the projectors, which display images in 4K resolution, twice the pixel count of previous models. Landmark owners Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner have announced they’ll eventually install the projectors in all 58 of their houses.

Sony, which initially planned to deliver the projectors last June, offered demonstrations in a darkened ballroom in Bally’s Casino on the confab’s second day. Hovering over the projector, which looks like a black jet engine, a technician screened digital footage from “I, Robot” and “The Sound of Music.”

Sony’s 4K projectors are expected to cost upward of $60,000.

— Jonathan Bing

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In his bid to boost 3-D cinema, George Lucas will present clips of the original “Star Wars” (or as it’s been retitled, “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope”) at a Thursday presentation. James Cameron will be on hand to present parts of his Imax 3-D release “Aliens of the Deep,” a Disney doc about underwater life.

Presentation is sponsored by Texas Instruments DLP Cinema and will use Christie CP2000 projectors.

“The biggest action, visual effects and fantasy movies will soon be shot in 3-D,” Cameron said in a statement. “And all-CG animated films can easily be converted to 3-D without additional cost if it is done as they are made.”

Christie announced deals to install its CP2000 Digital Cinema projectors in five Italian cities. Pacts are with exhibs Arcadia, CineCity and CineWorld and include the world’s largest and brightest screen, a 98-by-54-footer at the Arcadia Multiplex outside Milan.

— Gabriel Snyder

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Screenvision, which provides onscreen advertising to nearly 15,000 screens in the U.S., said it would invest more than $50 million to deploy a digital distribution network with technology and services provided by Thomson’s Technicolor Digital Cinema unit.

Thomson will install digital projectors in about 5,000 of the screens served by Screenvision, allowing ads to be distributed by satellite and over broadband.

— Gabriel Snyder

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MegaStar Cineplex, a newly formed venture to build theaters in Vietnam, announced its first two megaplexes would be in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. MegaStar is a joint venture between Envoy Media Partners and Phoung Nam Corp.

Envoy CEO J. Edward Shugrue said MegaStar is the first company with Western backing to get Vietnamese government permission to build cinemas in the territory.

The Hanoi project is planned for the VinCom City Towers, which has office and retail space, and will contain eight screens and 1,122 seats, as well as restaurants and bars. The Ho Chi Minh City nine-plex at Hung Vuong Plaza will have 1,560 seats.

MegaStar plans to build eight to 10 complexes in its first phase of construction.

— Gabriel Snyder

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Crown Theaters has pacted with Fandango to provide online and phone ticketing at its theaters. The addition of the South Norwalk, Conn.-based chain brings the number of screens served by Fandango to some 12,500 at 1,100 locations.

— Gabriel Snyder

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