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Tech, taste treats tempt exhibs

Latest in digital projectors, sound systems exhibited

LAS VEGAS — The smell of pizza and popcorn greeted ShoWest attendees as they wound their way through the nearly 300 booths promoting new products on the trade show floor at Bally’s.

Among the new foods to be rolled out in theaters this year are hot dogs made of 100% ground beef, soft pretzels filled with pizza topping or sweet cream cheese, and crispy mini chocolate chip cookies.

Tech displays featured the latest in digital film projectors, sound systems, computerized ticketing systems, seats that vibrate synchronously with the movie and improved versions of Dolby and THX sound systems.

Pre-show motion

At the Val Morgan Cinema Advertising display, projected pre-show announcements were animated for the first time. The Australian-based company, which is launching its product in the U.S., digitally generates and projects such ads.

Launching later this month is Hollywood Previews, a free CD-ROM magazine containing firstrun movie previews, interactive interviews, movie trivia and other cinema-related content. Published by MOD Studios, the monthly magazine will be primarily distributed at movie theaters but will also be available through subscription. According to a company spokesman, 2 million copies per month will be distributed initially, increasing to 3 million by the end of the year.

Also making its U.S. launch this year is Image.net, a digital distribution system for publicity material. A London-based company currently serving 40 countries, Image.net procures digitized images, text, video and audio provided by the movie companies and places the information on its Web site for downloading by authorized users.

Personalized ‘Tomb’

The longest lines on the exhibition floor were at the Paramount booth, which was promoting its upcoming “Tomb Raider,” starring Angelina Jolie. Confab participants could enact an escape scene from the film while standing in front of a green screen, and they were given a video of their own action-adventure movie afterward.Near the trade show area, nine companies demonstrated the latest equipment in digital cinema technology.

Now in its 27th year, ShoWest is the world’s largest motion picture industry convention. Attendance for this year is approximately 3,000.

The confab continues through Thursday.

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