$4 mil more for German digital cinema

For digital conversion of arthouse cinemas

COLOGNE, Germany -- Germany is hoping to kick start the digital conversion of its arthouse cinemas with a €3 million ($4 million) plan to support movie houses upgrading their equipment to shows films in 3D and allow celluloid-free projection.

The plan is intended as a first step towards converting German cinemas to 3D-capable technology. Germany had initially suggested a much more ambitious plan that would have seen German cinema owners contribute to a national fund to help finance upgrades. That was blocked by larger cinema chains, which saw it as an unfair tax.

The new scheme will focus on smaller movie theaters, which have been falling behind multiplex groups who can afford to bankroll the digital conversion for their theaters themselves.