Japan's Gaga Communications plans to start public screenings of computer-graphics animation A*LI*CE from February 25, using a digital projection system that operates without film.

The screenings will mark the first time a digital film has been released theatrically in Japan. Gaga also produced A*LI*CE, a sci-fi drama which is directed by Kenichi Maejima.

Screenings will be held once a day at the Joy Cinema 3 theatre in Tokyo's Shinjuku district. The projector will be a Texas Instruments' machine that uses digital light processing (DLP) technology. The film will be recorded on a hard disc and projected with a quality and brightness nearly equivalent to that of conventional 35mm film.

Gaga plans to spend from Y30-40m ($288,462-$384,615) to install the projection system. The same system was used in the US last year to project The Phantom Menace in selected theatres.