CinemaTech
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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Disney and Christie, sitting in a tree


This isn't the world's most significant press release, but it seems to hint at progress nonetheless.

Disney is saying they'll supply movies to digital cinema systems from Christie/AIX. The Christie/AIX joint venture hopes to install between 2,500 and 4,000 systems around the U.S. and Canada over the next two years. They've already raised enough capital to fund the initial 200 systems, according to the release, and plan to have 150 of those operational by Christmas. "Under the plan, Christie/AIX will act as a financing intermediary between content owners -- including major studios and independent distributors -- and exhibitors who will utilize DCI-compliant digital cinema systems including 2K projectors and related hardware and software," the release says. That means theater owners won't have to pay for digital cinema systems (projectors plus servers for storing the movies) themselves.

This doesn't mean that Disney will exclusively give its digital movies to theaters with Christie/AIX system; I expect they'll distribute to any digital cinema systems that follow the rules laid out by the studios' Digital Cinema Initiatives group.