Cineplex to go all digital

Company fears shorter release windows may endanger rollout

COLOGNE, Germany -- Cineplex Deutschland has announced it will go entirely digital, converting all its 450 screens in Germany to digital projection. Cineplex has signed a letter of intent with the XDC group to finance the digital switch over.

Cineplex is the second major multiplex operator in Germany to commit to an all-digital future, following smaller exhibitor Kinopolis, which says all 123 of its German screens will be digital by the end of next year.

Cineplex boss Kim Ludolf Koch, however, said the digital rollout was in danger if distributors continue to push for shorter release windows. Shorter windows, Koch argues, erode the basis of the theatrical business. He wants distributors to commit to current release structures and has called for a mandatory six-month theatrical window for all films financed using state subsidies -- a category that includes virtually all German-language productions.