H'Wood Reporter prediction: Digital screens surpass film by 2010
Currently, there are about 3,000 digital screens installed domestically out of a total screen count estimated at about 37,000. Most of those are part of the Christie/AIX program, which aims to deploy 4,000 digital screens. The AccessIT unit already has completed the rollout of about 2,800 screens with such exhibitors as Marquee Cinemas, Neighborhood Cinema Group, Celebration Cinema, Cinema West, Cinetopia, Emagine, UltraStar, Galaxy, Rave, Carmike Cinemas and AccessIT's Pavilion Digital Showcase Cinema. Deployment of the 4,000 screens is expected to be completed by November.
NATO chief John Fithian is still cautious, saying, "(Digital cinema) is the biggest technological transition in our industry since the advent of sound, and it is much more complicated. This rollout will take somewhere between five to 10 years."