The CEA has welcomed the announcement today of a deal which will allow the vast majority of small and medium-sized cinema operators across the UK to convert their sites to digital cinema technology.

The deal, announced today by the Belgian digital integration company XDC, will cover at least 400 screens owned and operated by over 120 companies, most of whom would not have had the financial resources to fund the purchase and installation of this technology.

Welcoming the announcement of the deal, CEA Chief Executive Phil Clapp said:

“Supporting the UK’s many smaller operators to convert to digital cinema technology has been the number one priority of the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association for several years. While there is much hard word that remains, today’s announcement by the Digital Funding Partnership (DFP) and XDC will I am sure be warmly welcomed by every member of the Association, big and small.

The DFP was set up with the full support of all of the UK’s major cinema circuits, who value the diversity that their smaller operator colleagues bring to cinema-going. As a result of this deal, that diversity will not only be maintained, but communities across the country can look forward to enjoying state-of-the-art cinema, including digital 3D, and alternative content for years to come.

I want in particular to pay tribute to the inspiration provided by Steve Perrin, who has led the DFP since October 2009, and to its Executive Committee – Chairman Sir Hayden Phillips as well as CEA members Gerald Parkes, James Collington, Mark and David Williams, Sue Picken and Gavin MacKenzie – for all their hard work and commitment to the cause.

As today marks the day that his role transfers from the UK Film Council to the BFI, it also seems appropriate to recognise the unstinting support provided by Pete Buckingham throughout this whole process from long before the DFP was even established.”

Download full XDC Press Notice.