Lithuania Digitalises Cinemas

    Photo by Luke McKernan on flickr (CC by sa) Photo by Luke McKernan on flickr (CC by sa)

    VILNIUS: Lithuania is expecting to see a burst of activity in the process of cinema digitalisation. “The comming year, 2013, probably will be a match point in digitalisation of cinemas,” Forum Cinemas (www.forumcinemas.lt) project manager Gintaras Plytnikas said.

    The EU MEDIA Programme has provided funding for two of the cinemas for digitalisation.

    Vilnius Cinema Centre Skalvija (www.skalvija.lt) which has 1 screen and 88 seats recently added a new digital projection system with the support of a MEDIA Programme grant of 20,000 EUR and a grant of 29,000 EUR (100,000 LTL) grant from the Lithuanian Ministery of Culture (www.lrkm.lt). Skalvija successfully developed its arthouse film distribution activity, attracting 58,000 spectators annually and organising more than 1,200 screenings. The cinema is a member of Europa Cinemas (www.europacinemas.org) and CICEA (www.cicae.org).

    Cinema boutique Pasaka (www.kinopasaka.lt) in Vilnius, which has three halls and 270 seats, was awarded a 40,000 EUR grant for digitalisation from the MEDIA Programme 2012. This new action under the MEDIA Programme 2012 is for European independent cinema operators who screen a majority of European films (of which at least 30 percent are European non-national) and who acquire and install a DCI-compliant digital projector. The support, in the form of a lump sum of 20,000 EUR per screen, co-finances the costs related to the digital transition of European theatres, excluding the cost of the digital projector and server.
    Scandinavian-owned Forum Cinemas, the owner of the largest chain of movie theaters in the country, has six movie theaters with 40 screening rooms. Of those, 13 have been converted, while 27 still await ditalisation at a cost of 50,000 EUR each.

    Forum Cinemas Vingis is the largest multiplex in Lithuania with 11 cinema halls (2,294 seats) with DTS sound technology.

    The Polish-owned Multikino (www.multikino.lt), and Cinamon (www.cinamonkinas.lt) have one mulitiplex each, in Vilnius and Kaunas respectively. Multikino contains seven screening rooms (1,673 seats) equipped with 2D and 3D projection systems. Cinamon in Kaunas has equipped with modern Dolby 3 Digital system in all five screening rooms with over 1,000 seats in total. Baltic Multiplex Ventures, the owner of Cinamon, invested some 1.6 Million EUR (5.5 m LTL).