Palace Cinemas offers live HD broadcast in Budapest multiplex

By Laszlo Kriston

    In an effort to beat the summer doldrums with creative solutions, Palace Cinemas (www.palacecinemas.hu) is offering live high-definition broadcasts of Formula One (www.formula1.com) races.

    Shell Hungary (www.shell.com/home/content/hu-hu) is sponsoring the screenings (sold at regular ticket prices), which have already attracted bookings.

    The new venture kicked off on the 100 square meter screen of a 215-seat, digitally equipped theater in one of the most centrally located Budapest multiplexes, Palace Westend.

    The new formula may effect the festival circuit as well. In its official selection, the Karlovy Vary Film Festival offered a digital screening of The New York Metropolitan Opera House's production (www.metopera.org), The First Emperor. Starring Placido Domingo and produced by prominent Chinese director, Zhang Yimou, the stage production was broadcast to select movie theaters around the world.

    Besides Hungary, Palace Cinemas (www.palacecinemas.net) is present in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, operating 179 screen on 21 sites, among them 104 in 13 Hungarian multiplexes. It earned the leading position in Hungary when, following the acquisition of the Mammut multiplex from Budapest Film (www.budapestfilm.hu), it has also bought the Hollywood Multiplex cinema chain from Andrew G. Vajna's Intercom (www.intercom.hu) in August 2006.