Arts Alliance agrees deal with Yelmo

Spanish exhib to digitize 370 screens

LONDON — European digital cinema company Arts Alliance Media has inked a deal with Yelmo, Spain’s largest exhib, to digitize 370 of its screens.

The arrangement includes all the financing to procure the equipment, allowing the rollout to begin immediately. All screens will be 3D ready.

The first phase of the rollout will see at least half of Yelmo’s screens digitized, with the remainder installed over the following months.

The rollout is financed by AAM through a E50 million ($65 million) investment from funds advised by Sankaty Advisors, the credit affiliate of Bain Capital, for digital cinema conversion announced earlier this year.

Installation and maintenance will be carried out by AAM in conjunction with local Spanish integrator Grupo Kelonik.

AAM and Yelmo have struck a number of deals over the past two years under which several screens have already been installed. AAM opened up an office in Barcelona in July to provide services for the Spanish and Portuguese markets.

Yelmo Cines CEO Fernando Evole said: “The results we have had from digital cinema over the last two years, particularly in terms of bringing 3D to customers and also in the opportunities brought to us from alternative content, have convinced us to digitize our entire circuit.”

Spanish digital screen numbers have skyrocketed 400% in 2009 and the increase is set to continue throughout the year. Screen Digest forecasts Spain will have more than 500 digital screens by the end of 2010.

Spain currently has around 300 digital screens, approximately 80% of which are 3D ready.

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