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Digital investment in future of cinema

By Dean Taylor, June 2010 (Courtesy of Te Awamutu Courier)  
3-D Equipment
Audio Visual Equipment Ltd owner Glen Bullen fine tunes the digital equipment supplied and installed at The Regent Theatre.

Te Awamutu’s Regent Theatre complex boasts the latest in cinema technology with the installation of digital equipment in the Number Two ’Cameo’ theatre.

Regent owner Allan Webb says it was imperative he keep up with the latest developments in cinema to offer patrons in Te Awamutu and its environs the best available cinema experience. He says a team of people helped him plan the upgrade, and now that it is complete, he looks forward to opening the doors to cinema-goers.

Audio Visual Equipment Ltd owner Glen Bullen supplied and installed the latest Dolby 3D format projection equipment. He favours the Dolby system over the three main rivals, and says it gives great picture and sound.

Although it is a difficult job to upgrade an old theatre, he believes it has been well worthwhile. He believes the attention to detail in the planning and choice of equipment will make this at least as good as the best digital experience in the country, maybe the best.

A new screen gives a sharper picture and the new digital projector exceeds the requirements for the size of the theatre. Dolby 3D utilise reusable glasses. Mr Webb asks patrons to look after the items and return them at the end of screening where they are cleaned to ensure the best possible experience for the next patrons.

Having previewed a range of forthcoming 3D offerings, I can confirm this is a wonderful film experience.

Mr Webb says the ’Cameo’ now has the ability to screen 35mm film, plus 2D and 3D movies. Two forthcoming movies expected to do well are only available in 3D, so the timing has been right for Te Awamutu. These are the dance movies StreetDance, which opened the 3D theatre in Te Awamutu and is currently screening, and Step Up 3. In the next school holidays The Regent will be screening 3D versions of Shrek Forever After and Toy Story 3. Mr Webb has also selected Despicable Me and Avatar: The Last Airbender in 3D for the following school holidays.

Pricing for the new format has also been given a great deal of thought, and Mr Webb believes his price structure will be better than other digital theatres. While there won’t be any concessions for 3D movies, they will earn a Frequent Moviegoer stamp towards entry to other formats. Mr Webb hopes the pricing and quality will ensure good patronage, something he needs to pay for the investment and plan for the next upgrade — digital 3D and 2D in the Number One theatre in 2011.