Australian exhibitors weretold today that if they want to stay in business they have ten years to find away to make the transition to digital.
"I do not know exactly howlong you can keep running 35mm prints of major movies but suggest that within10, 12 or 15 years they will not be available," John Fithian,president of the National Association of Cinema Owners, told delegates at theAustralian International Movie Convention. But he also said that issuessurrounding testing, certification and cost meant there was no compellingreason to rush out now and buy new systems.
Two Twentieth Century Foxexecutives, Julian Levin and Sunder Kimatrai, did providea reason to consider making the move soon however: each studio has enteredlong-term contracts to supply movies in digital form to US cinemas who make thetransition, and to pay virtual print fees (VPFs) tohelp with the capital cost, but VPFs may not beavailable forever.
Fithian says that his
Cost is one of the bigissues in
Some delegates wereadvocating the installation of systems that did not meet the
On the positive side forexhibitors, digital cinemas could open up new revenue streams from alternativecontent such as sport and education usage, independent feature films and moresophisticated cinema advertising. Some may also choose 3D capability. It mayalso mean more first-run films for very small operators.