Hall of Fame day for ShowEast exhibs

Conference inducts 8; 3-D buzz rises

ORLANDO -- Nods to industry veterans, knots of attendees strolling the trade show floor and lots of tech demos by vendors keen to impress made for a most conventional mix Wednesday at ShowEast.

The confab's traditional Hall of Fame luncheon inducted eight industry elite, while a second day of operations on the trade show floor saw the usual array of popcorn and candy vendors plying a brisk trade. But ShowEast always seems to have a different new technology causing considerable commotion each year, and this year all the fuss is about 3-D exhibition.

Tuesday's highlight was a rousing endorsement of the technology by DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg (HR 10/17). A day later, 3-D systems vendor Real D staged lengthy demos for exhibitors of 3-D clips from films including the highly anticipated animated feature "Beowulf" from Paramount and Warner Bros.

Other 3-D clips featured scenes from New Line's "Journey 3-D" and Summit Entertainment's "Fly Me to the Moon."

Real D worldwide president Joe Peixoto said the company's disposable 3-D glasses mean less maintenance hassle for exhibitors using its systems.

"We don't want to give exhibitors anything more to do," Peixoto said.
Also on Wednesday, Real D announced its largest international distribution partnership to date, agreeing to install as many as 500 of its 3-D systems for the Odeon theater chain, an operator of about 1,600 screens throughout Europe.

The deal extends Real D's footprint in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria and Portugal while extending its European reach with 3-D screens in Spain and Italy. The U.S. has led the rollout of 3-D systems, but international interest has been gaining.

Real D will install the Odeon systems during the next two years. ShowEast's other notable 3-D vendors include Dolby Labs, Imax and NuVision.

A committed cadre of executives from such digital-cinema companies as Access IT, Technicolor and others form another notable presence at ShowEast, pitching sundry d-cinema products and services. 3-D systems essentially are embellishments of more conventional digital projection, so many of the players in each have interlocking agendas.

Sony Electronics said Wednesday that it plans to equip four new AMC theaters with its 4K-resolution d-cinema systems.

Sony will install its CineAlta SXRD systems in AMC multiplexes in Dallas, Indianapolis, San Diego and Riverside, Calif. The work is set for completion by December, said Gary Johns, who heads Sony's d-cinema division.

ShowEast's screening series also continued throughout the day, with Warners showing the drama "P.S., I Love You," Fox Searchlight the black comedy "Juno" and the Weinstein Co. its John Cusack starrer "Grace Is Gone." Cusack was set to receive the confab's Star of the Year Award after the screening.

The new inductees into the ShowEast Hall of Fame included Dolby's Ioan Allen, Disney's Phil Fortune and Jim Nocella, Luxury Theatres' Tom Moyer, Mid-States Theatres' Roy White and Georgia Theatre Co.'s Bill Stembler. John Stembler Jr. and AMC's Arnold Shartin were inducted posthumously.

ShowEast concludes todayThursday at the Orlando Marriott World Center. Its series of movie screenings continues at nearby AMC Pleasure Island, with closing-day activities to be capped by an evening awards gala.