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Kinopolis goes 100% digital in Germany

Chain inks deal with XDC for 123 screens

BERLIN — German multiplex operator Kinopolis is the first major exhib in the country to go completely digital.

Company has inked a digitization deal with tech provider XDC to upgrade all of its 123 screens in 15 locations throughout Germany.

Kinopolis will begin the conversions this year with complete digitization to be finished by the end of 2011.

“The model offered by XDC represents the best solution in the market as far as our particular requirements are concerned, and so we opted for this long-standing partnership,” said Kinopolis managing partner Gregory Theile.

“As the first cinema circuit in Germany, we are setting the course for the digital future of cinema (in Germany) by equipping our cinemas with digital projection systems. The installations will start this year and will be completed by the end of next year.”

The deal marks XDC’s second major Virtual Print Fee agreement in Germany following a similar pact in April with Kieft and Kieft and Partner, which is upgrading 150 screens in Germany, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

With only around 13% of its total screens so far digitized, Germany lags behind other major markets like France and the U.K., which are at around the 20% mark.

XDC chief exec Serge Plasch said: “This agreement also demonstrates the solidity of our business model, which offers agreement with all six majors U.S. studios, easy available financing and advanced knowledge in digital cinema technology.”

The upgrades will include Series 2 DCI-compliant digital projection systems as well as a network setup that will make it possible for distributors to deliver films directly by satellite or broadband to the cinemas and allow transmission of live content in 2D or 3D.

Dusseldorf-based equipment integrator FTT — since January part of the Belgium’s XDC group.

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