MORRISTOWN, N.J., November 2, 2005 - Access Integrated Technologies, Inc. ("AccessIT") (AMEX:AIX) and Christie Digital Systems (“Christie”) said today their target for installing the first 150 digital cinema projection systems under their 4,000-screen national rollout plan is on schedule for completion by December 31, 2005.
Based on recent distribution agreements signed with Disney, Twentieth Century Fox and Universal, the company has begun the initial deployment of systems in theatres in Detroit, Michigan owned by Emagine Entertainment, Inc. This will be followed shortly by installations at multiple locations in San Diego and Riverside County (CA) multiplexes owned by Ultrastar Theaters, Inc.
“Both of these regional chains have been partners with AccessIT since its purchase of Boeing Digital Systems in March 2004, making them excellent partners for this initial phase of the rollout. They have been involved with digital cinema for nearly two years now and have been anxious to deploy systems across their circuits. As soon as we had the studio agreements in place, they were ready to begin deploying the systems in their theatres,” stated Bud Mayo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AccessIT.
Jack Kline, President and COO of Christie Digital Systems USA, Inc., commented: "Our initial focus has been on ensuring that the Hollywood studios will provide a consistent flow of digital content to exhibitors. As more studios offer titles digitally, the need to retrofit theatres to accommodate and manage multiple projectors is minimized. I’m delighted that Emagine and Ultrastar recognize the long-term business advantages of digital cinema, as well as the benefit to movie goers.”
As advanced negotiations continue with several national and regional exhibition chains, Christie/AIX expects Emagine and Ultrastar Theaters, Inc. to deploy digital cinema systems throughout their entire regional circuits, totaling approximately 148 screens. These screens are in addition to AccessIT’s own Pavilion Digital Showcase nine-plex in Brooklyn, New York, where five digital projectors have been operating since May and four more are planned. AccessIT will announce future exhibitor agreements as they are signed.
In late June 2005, AccessIT and Christie announced details of their digital cinema rollout plan, providing the first economically sound framework for advancing Hollywood’s on-going transition to digital cinema. Designed to address the needs of studios and exhibitors both large and small, the plan is based on a fundable business model for the purchase of DCI-compliant projection equipment at nominal cost to exhibitors, supported by a steady supply of digital content for the new hardware from the studios.
Support from Hollywood’s major studios enabled AccessIT to expand its total planned installations from 2,500 to 4,000 screens. Disney, Fox and Universal have agreed to help finance exhibitors’ transition to digital technology by paying virtual print fees to Christie/AIX for each film projected on Christie/AIX-funded hardware. The company is also in late-stage negotiations with a number of other studios and content distributors for their participation in the plan.
“Over the past four months, AccessIT and Christie have been working diligently toward obtaining first-of-their-kind commitments to digital cinema from the major Hollywood studios -- an essential element of our groundbreaking digital cinema rollout strategy. The entertainment community’s response to our plan has been extremely encouraging and we are excited to have now begun preparations for the first series of installations as planned. Based on the unprecedented level of interest in our plan expressed by both regional and national exhibitors at ShowEast, this experience will be invaluable going forward as we continue with our deployments next year,” added Mayo
Under the Christie/AIX funding plan, participating exhibitors will receive complete digital cinema systems at no cost other than a project management and commissioning fee and a standard 10-year maintenance contract with Christie similar to existing film maintenance agreements. The Christie/AIX-funded deployment of Christie DLP Cinema® projectors also includes media players and a central “library” server plus two-way satellite communications and data storage equipment. The central servers feature AccessIT’s unique vendor-neutral Theater Command Centre (“TCC”) software, which enables all digitally-equipped screens in a multiplex to be networked, simplifying theater operations through centralized content management, scheduling, and reporting.
About AccessIT Access Integrated Technologies Inc. (AccessIT) is an industry leader in offering a fully managed storage and electronic delivery service for owners and distributors of digital content to movie heaters and other venues. Supported by its robust platform of fail-safe Internet data centers, AccessIT is able to leverage the market-leading role of its Theatrical Distribution System (TDS) with its innovative digital delivery capabilities and in-theatre software systems to provide the highest level of technology available to enable the emerging digital cinema industry to transition from film with changing workflows. For more information on AccessIT, visit www.accessitx.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
Investors and readers are cautioned that certain statements contained in this document, as well as some statements in periodic press releases and some oral statements of AccessIT officials during presentations about AccessIT, along with AccessIT 's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including AccessIT 's registration statements, quarterly reports on Form 10-QSB and annual report on Form 10-KSB, are "forward-looking'' statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Act''). Forward-looking statements include statements that are predictive in nature, which depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, which include words such as "expects'', "anticipates'', "intends'', "plans'', “could”, “might”, "believes'', “seeks”, "estimates'' or similar expressions. In addition, any statements concerning future financial performance (including future revenues, earnings or growth rates), ongoing business strategies or prospects, and possible future actions, which may be provided by AccessIT’s management, are also forward-looking statements as defined by the Act. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and projections about future events and are subject to various risks, uncertainties and assumptions about AccessIT, its technology, economic and market factors and the industries in which AccessIT does business, among other things. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and AccessIT undertakes no specific obligation or intention to update these statements after the date of this release.
Christie is a leader in visual solutions for world-class organizations, offering diverse applications for business, entertainment, and industry. A leading innovator in film projection since 1929 and a pioneer in digital projection systems since 1979, Christie has established a global reputation as a total service provider and the world's single source manufacturer of a variety of display technologies and solutions. Christie offers comprehensive solutions for cinema, large audience venues, control rooms, business presentations, training facilities, 3D and Virtual Reality, simulation and education as well as industrial and government environments.
For more information, visit www.christiedigital.com or contact:
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