Digital roadshow for U.K. theaters

CEA, Film Council to address digital, 3-D issues

LONDON -- The digital cinema charm offensive is about to take off in April as the U.K. exhibition trade body the Cinema Exhibitors' Assn. and the U.K. Film Council team up to court operators across the country.

The duo, working with Screen Digest, will embark on a U.K.-wide program of digital roadshows to exhibitors, spanning commercial and specialist theater operators, arts venues and film societies.

Several events also will focus on a digital 3-D cinema, currently setting chins wagging in the wake of the release of "My Bloody Valentine" and "Bolt" and in anticipation of the upcoming "Monsters vs Aliens" rollout.

"It seems clear that the current transition to digital is only likely to gather pace in the future, CEA chief executive Phil Clapp said. "It is vital, therefore, that all exhibitors are armed with the facts to enable them to decide whether they want to make that change, and if so, on what timescale."

Added U.K. Film Council distribution and exhibition chief Peter Buckingham: "Everyone shares the same issue here, no matter what type of venue or type of program. Namely, how is the switch from 35mm to digital going to benefit their operations, and, crucially, how will it be funded?"

It is hoped some answers will be found during the roadshows, which will run from April through June at 11 digitally equipped venues across the U.K.