Omniplex Cinemas, part of the Ward & Anderson cinema group, will open Ireland's first fully digital cinema on Friday. The Wexford Omniplex is a $14.2m (Euros 9m), eight-screen development with a total seating capacity of 1,577.

Projection in each auditorium will utilise service provider Digital Cinema Ltd's Barco 2K digital projectors with Doremi digital servers. The site is also fully equipped with the latest 3-D digital equipment and has a 3-D digital screening programme planned into next year.

While all films will be presented exclusively in digital format one 35mm projector is being retained one 35 mm projector for old stock and reissues.

'We are delighted to announce Omniplex Wexford as one of the first cinemas in Europe (and the first in Ireland) to fully embrace digital projection. Omniplex Cinemas has always been at the forefront of technology and continues to break new ground to provide better presentation facilities for our patrons,' said Paul Anderson, Managing Director.

Responding to a query from ScreenDaily, a company spokesman said they have a full digital roll out planned and that the Wexford site is the first step in a 2-3 year process. The next site being developed is at Dundonald, in southern Belfast, and will be another 8-screen fully digitalised cinema to open towards the end of this year.

The Ward & Anderson Group now operate sixteen cinemas in the Republic and six in northern Ireland. Their new Wexford cinema cinema, which will be employing around 35 people, will be opening with Hancock, Kung Fu Panda, Chronicles of Narnia - Prince Caspian, and Wanted.