Move will take advantage of 3-D pic wave

ROME — Anticipating the release of James Cameron’s “Avatar” along with a slew of other upcoming 3D pics, Italy’s top exhibition chain, the Space Cinema, has inked a deal with leading European digital cinema company Arts Alliance Media to digitalize its multiplex circuit.

Under the agreement, the Space Cinema loop, which accounts for 15% of the Italian market, will be equipped with at least one 3D location in each of its 24 sites before Christmas, with a rollout of 50 more digital, and also 3D, screens within the first quarter next year.

In addition, AAM, in collaboration with its partner Arqiva Satellite and Media, will be providing satellite distribution systems for each of the Space Cinema’s sites, allowing the circuit to start showing content such as concerts and sports events.

The Space Cinema, a united effort of fashion’s Benetton family and prime minister and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset, operates 242 screens with plans for further expansion. Italy currently has 340 3D-equipped screens out of a total 3,800.

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