Spain to double 3D capable digital screens

Arts Alliance Media, Yelmo theater chain ink deal

MADRID -- Spanish movie goers will soon be able to enjoy more than twice the number of digital screens currently available following a deal announced Wednesday between digital service distribution company Arts Alliance Media (AAM) and the Yelmo theater chain.

Under the agreement, AAM will install digital systems in 370 screens at Yelmo's 31 cinemas in conjunction with the Spanish integrator company Grupo Kelonik.

Spain currently has around 300 digital screens of which 80% are 3D ready, the companies said in a statement.

At least half of Yelmo's screens at each theater will be converted to digital, with the rest to be installed over the coming months.

"More and more 3D films are coming out and the theater owners realize they need more screens to show these movies," said AAM spokeswoman Kate Pidgeon.

Over the past two years, AAM has already installed several screens at Yelmo cinemas.

Last year, Spanish boxoffice take was up almost 9% to €678 million ($882 million) with the rise attributed to the release of such 3-D films as "Avatar," "Up" and the third installment of the Ice Age franchise.

"The results we have had from digital cinema over the past two years, particularly in bringing 3D to customers and also in the opportunities brought to us from alternative content, have convinced us to digitize our entire circuit," said Yelmo Cines CEO Fernando Evole.

Pidgeon declined to disclose precise financial details of the deal but the statement said the rollout would be achieved with financing provided by AAM which has signed similar digital deployment agreements in six other European countries.
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