You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NATO takes digital stand

Resolution covers conversion matters of theaters

The National Assn. of Theater Owners adopted a resolution Friday spelling out exhibitors’ position on how the conversion of theaters to digital projection systems should proceed.

“There’s both a symbolic and substantive importance of the resolution,” NATO prexy John Fithian said. Symbolically, he said, “It’s the first time exhibition has been united on digital cinema.”

NATO chair Steve Marcus, of Marcus Theaters, said in a statement accompanying the resolution, “Industry planning for digital cinema stands at a critical juncture. Our members believe it is the right time to describe our needs publicly.”

Much of the resolution covers old ground, such as exhibs’ belief that new digital systems should deliver to moviegoers an experience superior to both existing film systems and home entertainment systems.

Splitting the costs

But the resolution also covers the most tricky elements of converting the industry to digital cinema, such as how to split the price of purchasing new equipment between studios (which stand to save the most in lowered distribution costs) and theaters.

In the doc, exhibs said any financing plan under which studios would assist exhibs in the upgrades must be an industrywide one, “supported by all major motion picture studios through one financial entity or a consortium of financial entities, and that all other motion picture studios willing to participate in the plan must be given the opportunity to do so.”

Fithian said exhibs don’t want to be in a situation where their digital projectors show only films from certain studios. “How do you implement equipment that you don’t know will work with product from all studios? You don’t. It’s a nightmare.”

Security still a concern

Resolution also covers more prosaic matters, such as how security systems would work.

Films that exhibs would download over satellite, or other data servers, would arrive encrypted.

In order to prevent piracy, studios would provide decryption “keys” that would allow the film to be decoded only by the projection system in a specific auditorium.

Exhibs, fearful that this would limit their ability to move films into different auditoriums, say in the resolution that they want the auditorium keys to be provided for all screens in a complex, so the exhibs maintain “full discretion over the selection of auditorium, schedules and presentation of advertisements, trailers, features and other content.”

More Film

  • PGA Awards Winners Announced Live

    PGA Awards: 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Wins Animated Film Prize

    Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” has won the animated movie award at the Producers Guild Awards. The fifth season of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” repeated as the winner of the Live Entertainment and Talk category. The second season of “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” took the David L. Wolper Award [...]

  • Netflix HQ LA

    Andy Gruenberg, Veteran Film Executive, Dies at 68

    Veteran film executive Andy Gruenberg, who most recently oversaw theatrical distribution at Netflix, died suddenly on Friday. He was 68. Gruenberg worked on classic films like “Ghostbusters,” “Karate Kid” and “Silverado” while at Columbia Pictures in the 80s and 90s. He then moved to MGM where he served as exec VP of distribution. There he [...]

  • Fyre Festival Caterer Receives Thousands in

    Unpaid Fyre Festival Caterer Raises Thousands in Donations on GoFundMe

    As two Fyre Festival documentaries hit the airwaves, a couple who say their credit was ruined due to the Fyre Festival’s lack of payment for their services have raised $54,381 at time of publication on GoFundMe. Elvis and Maryann Rolle wrote on their page that they catered “no less than 1000 meals per day” in [...]

  • DF-10956_R – Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Producer Confirms Bryan Singer's Reason for Leaving, Says 'No One' Was Attached to Play Mercury

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King provided insight into some of the events surrounding the Golden Globe-winning film Saturday at the Producers Guild Awards Nominees Breakfast, including director Bryan Singer’s departure from the film partway through production. “It’s an unfortunate situation, with like 16, 17 days to go and Bryan Singer just had some issues, his [...]

  • Author Tony Mendez arrives at the

    Tony Mendez, Former CIA Officer Depicted in 'Argo,' Dies at 78

    Tony Mendez, the former CIA technical operations officer who orchestrated the 1980 rescue of six American diplomats from Iran and who was portrayed by Ben Affleck in the Academy Award winning film “Argo,” has died. He was 78. Mendez’s book agent, Christy Fletcher, announced the news on Twitter Saturday morning. “Early this morning, Antonio (Tony) [...]

  • Glass Movie

    'Glass' to Rank in Top 3 MLK Debuts With $48 Million

    M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass” is on its way to a solid debut with an estimated $48 million for the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. A sequel to 2000’s “Unbreakable” and 2017’s “Split,” the Universal superhero thriller should bring in around $41 million from 3,841 domestic locations over the Friday through Sunday period. The estimates are [...]

  • China's 'Three Adventures of Brooke' to

    China's 'Three Adventures of Brooke' to Hit French Theaters (EXCLUSIVE)

    Midnight Blur Films has signed a deal with French distributor Les Acacias to release Chinese arthouse drama “Three Adventures of Brooke” in France this year, the Chinese production company told Variety on Saturday. A release date has yet to be set for the film, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival and stars Chinese newcomer Xu Fangyi [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content