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Marcus Theatres Selects NEC Projectors

NEC Display Solutions of America announced that Marcus Theatres has selected NEC projectors to make a full-scale conversion to digital cinema on almost 700 screens it owns or manages across the Midwest and East.

The agreement also includes deployment of NEC large-screen displays for the theater chain's lobbies and concession areas to promote food, beverage and other specials, as well as adhere to new FDA calorie guidelines.

"We've enjoyed a long history with Marcus Theatres and are grateful for the opportunity to expand our relationship to help meet the demands of 3D movies as well as the overall migration to digital cinema," said Pierre Richer, president and COO of NEC Display Solutions. "Unlike its competitors, NEC is able to offer a comprehensive solution for exhibitors - from high-performing digital cinema projectors to powerful, commercial-grade digital menu boards and our VUKUNET DOOH (Digital Out of Home) inventory management, ad delivery, billing and payment system - to generate new revenue streams as well as elevate the entire theater-going experience."

Marcus Theatres ordered NEC's complete line of digital cinema projectors - the NC1200, NC2000, NC3200S and NC3240S models - for virtually all of its circuit in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and Ohio. It also will deploy NEC's E, V and P Series large-screen displays in other areas of the cinemas.

"NEC Display is renowned for offering quality digital cinema projectors, but we're also looking forward to benefiting from a wider spectrum of products in our latest agreement," said Bruce Olson, president of Marcus Theatres. "The ability to change food and beverage items on the fly with dynamic digital menu boards and to easily run advertising will be true differentiators for us in the marketplace."

Meanwhile, Cinedigm is responsible for structuring and implementing the underlying VPF (virtual print fee) agreement that enables the conversion to digital cinema, as well as providing the entire administration responsibility of the VPF program.

"We're thrilled we were able to create a customized digital cinema solution for Marcus Theatres, including an anchor position in our recently announced up to $130 million digital cinema funding facility," said Chris McGurk, chairman and CEO of Cinedigm. "We look forward to supporting the Marcus rollout so their audiences can enjoy the benefits of digital cinema as soon as possible."

Ballantyne Strong is the project's reseller, and will provide installation and integration services, warranty and first-level support, monitoring the health of each projector in the system from its network operations center. Doremi will provide the digital servers with integrated media blocks.

"Ballantyne Strong is extremely proud to continue our 40-plus year partnership with Marcus Theatres on their conversion to digital projection technology. Along with providing the first-rate equipment of our distribution partners, NEC and Doremi, Ballantyne will also be offering installation, NOC and after-sale maintenance services for the entire Marcus Theatres circuit," said president and CEO Gary L. Cavey of Ballantyne Strong.

"Doremi is honored to be working with partners NEC Display, Ballantyne and Cinedigm to benefit Marcus Theatres and its valued patrons," said Michael Archer, vice president of digital cinema at Doremi.

NEC digital cinema projectors are Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) compliant, which allows exhibitors to capitalize on current and future growth opportunities, and can be centrally managed, freeing up on-site theater personnel for more strategic activities.