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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Biggest US Digital Cinema Plan Now Has a Leader

National CineMedia is going to handle the digitization of 13,000 screens in the U.S. -- likely the biggest roll-out of digital cinema by any one entity. (NCM is a joint venture of three large theater chains: Regal Entertainment, Cinemark USA, and AMC Entertainment.)

NCM announced its digital intentions six months ago. As of today, they've finally hired someone to actually run the digitization initiative: Travis Reid, formerly CEO of Loews Cineplex Entertainment. (No one has ever accused a joint venture of making decisions too quickly.) From the release:

    In his new role, Mr. Reid will work with National CineMedia's management and NCM founding partners, as well as various financing sources and the major motion picture studios on the development of a digital cinema business plan and financing model. Reid will also work closely with Tom Galley, NCM's chief operations and technology officer, who is responsible for digital cinema system design, procurement and implementation. Once a digital cinema business plan is finalized, Reid, in cooperation with funding sources and the studios, will guide the development of a financing structure to support the deployment of digital cinema equipment for NCM's partners'13,000 screens, as well as other participating exhibitor screens.