views

Cineworld in £40m digital investment

Marion Dakers
ENTERTAINMENT chain Cineworld announced yesterday it will team up with Arts Alliance Media to install state-of-the-art digital technology in 77 of its cinemas so they can show 3D films..

The full digital rollout is expected to cost around £40m, including the £10m already spent over the last year converting one third of its screens to handle 3D films.

The UK’s only listed cinema operator has already posted encouraging results on the back of the boom in 3D films such as Avatar. While it reported flat advertising income in April, extra sales of tickets and 3D glasses boosted revenue by 14 per cent.

Cineworld hopes to recoup the cost of the refit over seven to ten years through a deal with Arts Alliance, who will collect fees from distributors every time Cineworld shows a 3D film.

Arts Alliance already has fee agreements in place with five Hollywood distributors, and collects payments for around 2,000 digital screens across Europe.

Cineworld chief executive Steve Wiener said: “Alternative content in 3D such as live rugby, plays, opera, concerts and other sporting events will now become more readily available at all Cineworld cinemas across the UK.”

Wiener added: “We are delighted to be at the forefront of the UK cinema industry, offering our customers the very best in entertainment at every Cineworld location.”

Julian Levin from Twentieth Century Fox said the deal represented “a major step forward in the digital transition in Europe... which offers a tremendous boost to the cinema industry and provides an enhanced experience for the movie goer.”

Shares in the firm closed 1.7 per cent up at 178.5p.