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Live events put cinema screens to extra uses.

The convergence of cinema and television has highlighted another one of the key benefits that electronic cinema affords, notably the potential for exhibs to increase revenue streams outside peak screening times through the scheduling of live events.

Founded in 1996, Video Transmission Haute Resolution (VTHR) in France is the only live-event electronic theater operation in existence. It currently has more than 225 screens up and running, typically situated in small towns with populations under 10,000.

With its e-cinema system, using Barco projectors in the auditoria, bought and operated by the cities or district authorities (who can access up to 70% of the installation costs through state or regional grants), VTHR offers a package of live events, running from highbrow (opera, theater, ballet) to popular (pop concerts, circus, sports). Admission charges are set locally, and can vary from $3-$10, depending on the event.

Getting people into the seats

"The concept has proved itself, but as with cinema, you still have to get people into the theaters," president Jacques Rey says. "But the good thing about live events, outside the cultural aspect, is that people come together to enjoy them, while with features, the viewer has a much more personal relationship with the screen."

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Author:Avis, Tim
Publication:Variety
Date:Jun 21, 1999
Words:204
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