Palace Cinemas to get total digital overhaul

Digital cinema integrator XDC to convert Euro circuit

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AMSTERDAM -- Digital cinema integrator XDC said Tuesday that it has inked a pact with Central Europe's Palace Cinemas to convert its entire 170-screen circuit to digital projection.

The rollout is covered by virtual print fee agreements with several studio film distributors and will begin immediately. Palace plans also to install 3-D equipment in many of the venues.

"With the conversion to digital, we will be able to provide our audience a full lineup of movies shown perfectly in digital on the big screen every single time, in every language, dubbed or subtitled, in 2-D or 3-D," Palace CEO V.J. Maury said.

Palace operates 20 theaters in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.

"This agreement is the result of the excellent relationship that we have built with Palace Cinemas' visionary management team over many months, as well as the successful test bed with 12 systems," XDC chief Serge Plasch said.

XDC didn't detail what bank financing will be used to fund upfront costs of implementing the conversion agreement. But in the past it has worked with Fortis Bank, a subsidiary of BNP Parisbas.

XDC previously has helped implement digital conversions covering more than 500 movie screens in 10 European territories, including the Palace test sites. News of its latest implementation agreement comes on the second day of Europe's annual exhibition confab here, Cinema Expo.