Arenaplex,LLC, a new company established to provide non-feature film programming fordigital cinemas, revealed plans on 16 February, to produce and distributeoriginal content for the future generation of digitally-equipped multiplexes.

The company, comprising founder and CEO Ivan Chea, who lefthis position as SVP, Europe, Middle East and Africa at Warner Bros.International last November; Ross Entwistle, who until recently was VP,international film buyer at Village Roadshow and Alan Barson, former SVP,business affairs and general counsel for London-Sire Records, an AOL TimeWarner label, plans to develop a library of digitally-delivered entertainmentprogrammes covering music, family and sports genres.

While the current number of extant 'demonstration' digitalcinema projectors remains very limited, largely due to high installation costsand minimal product, interest and investment in the format has been gatheringmomentum since the digital 'premiere' of Toy Story 2 last year.

In addition, most international cinema operators areactively engaged in identifying and creating additional revenue streams beyondtraditional theatrical programming.

Notwithstanding the mounting crisis being experienced in theNorth American exhibition industry, Chea commented: " Wall Street has seriouslyundervalued the potential of the multiplex cinema. The big screen is theoriginal and still the ultimate mass-market entertainment platform. With theadvent of digital cinema, exhibition will soon return to its rightful position- at the top of the entertainment hierarchy."

At this year's ShoWest in March. Chea will be appearing on apanel discussion about the business issues of digital cinema. The ShoWestconvention will feature no less than 10 digital cinema demonstrations.