In May 1999 Star Wars: Episode 1 â The Phantom Menace opened with digital screenings in a handful of movie theatres in and around New York and Los Angeles: digital cinemaâs first decade was underway. An eyewitness to all the challenges and changes taking place, Nick Dager, founder of the website Digital Cinema Report, chronicles the people who are using new technology to reinvent cinema.
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|Title of Business & Economics eBook: Reinventing Cinema: The First Decade of Digital Cinema|
|Release Date: 06-03-2010|
|Publisher: (Indie Author)|
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Reinventing Cinema: The First Decade of Digital Cinema
To be sure there were serious efforts prior to 1999. JVC with their D-ILA technology can make a legitimate claim for the first digital cinema demonstration. On March 19, 1998, they collaborated on a digital presentation at a cinema in London. Another early effort was the movie The Last Broadcast, which may have made cinematic history on October 23, 1998 when it became the first feature to be theatrically released digitally, via satellite download, to theatres across the United States. Wavelength Releasing, Texas Instruments, Digital Projection and Loral Space headed that effort. In 1999, it was repeated across Europe using QuVIS technology and The Last Broadcast became the first feature to be screened digitally at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2000, Disney, Texas Instruments and Technicolor worked with several U.S. and international exhibitors to deploy prototype digital cinema systems in commercial theatres. Technicolor assembled and installed the systems using the TI mark V prototype projector, a special Christie lamp house and QuVIS’s QuBit server with custom designed automation interfaces.
But the Phantom Menace digital screenings generated widespread visibility and publicity and developments began to occur on a more regular basis. The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers began work on standards for digital cinema in 2001. The Digital Cinema Initiatives formed in March 2002 as a joint effort by Disney, Fox, MGM, Paramount, Sony, Universal and Warner Bros. The serious technical groundwork was being laid. The rest, as the cliché goes, is history....