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Dutch cinemas complete digital rollout

Transition as part of the Cinema Digitaal project was completed in 14 months; 506 out of 789 screens converted in conjunction with Arts Alliance Media.

All 789 screens in the Netherlands have now been equipped with digital projection equipment as part of the collaborative Cinema Digitaal project.

506 screens were converted by Cinema Digitaal in conjunction with Arts Alliance Media while theatre chains Pathé, Utopolis, Euroscoop and a few independent theatres implemented the conversion independently. The first installation took place on July 20, 2011 with the transition completed in 14 months.

A public-private digitisation project, Cinema Digitaal cost €39m in total and was initiated by Dutch Cinema Exhibitors’ Association NVB, the Dutch Film Distributors’ Association NVF and EYE Film Institute Netherlands. With investment from the 20 active independent Dutch distributors and six major American studios as well as from Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation and the Netherlands Film Fund, the digitisation will lead to wider distribution of films, more flexible programming and improved image and sound quality.

Alongside the technological conversion, the project also prevented the compulsory closing of small film threatres and cinema.

Ron Sterk [pictured] of the NVB and Cinema Digitaal commented: “The year 2012 will bring the end of more than 100 years of screening analogue film. With the digitisation of cinemas, our business is undergoing tremendous innovation.”

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