Arts Alliance targets Spain, Portugal

Digital cinema company sets up in Barcelona

MADRID — European digital cinema company Arts Alliance Media is opening an office in Barcelona to provide services for the Spanish and Portuguese exhibition markets.

Guillaume Thomine-Desmazures, formerly based out of AAM’s Paris office, will head the Barcelona operation as sales manager.

Driven by huge B.O. trawls for stereoscopic 3D movies, Spanish digital screen numbers skyrocketed 400% in 2009. The trend is set to continue in 2010, with Screen Digest forecasting Spain will have more than 500 digital screens by year-end.

“The Spanish market is one we think has huge potential and we’re looking forward to working there,” said Thomine-Desmazures.

London-based AAM has been working in the Spanish market for the past two years to digitizing 35 screens for Spain’s top local chain Yelmo Cines, and is currently installing a 35 further screens for Yelmo, teaming with local integrator Kelonik.

Since it was founded in 2003 by Norwegian entrepreneur Thomas Hoegh, AAM has deployed more than 700 digital screens internationally. Another 2,300 screens are signed up for digitization. AAM has Virtual Print Fee deals with Hollywood studios Fox, Universal, Sony, Paramount and Disney.

Last spring, AAM announced that it had secured Euros50 million ($64.7 million) funding, advised by Sankaty Advisors, to back the rollout of Europe’s digital cinema exhibition loops over the next two years.