Harry has a date in Trafalgar Square


To give the biggest franchise in movie history the appropriate send-off that Harry Potter and his magical crew deserve, Warner Bros. Pictures has booked London’s Trafalgar Square for the July 7 premiere of Deathly Hallows Part 2. This is the first time the iconic site will be used for a red-carpet event, organizers noted. Special areas will be reserved for fans and competition winners from all over the world. Cast and guests will then make their way to cinemas in Leicester Square to watch the film.

“We pride ourselves on the creativity of our premieres and the space within Trafalgar Square will lend itself to being a magical experience,” said Josh Berger, president and managing director of Warner Bros. Pictures U.K.

Cineworld Expands into Spain
“We are delighted to be making our first continental acquisition, taking us into a market which we believe has good growth prospects,” said Stephen Wiener, chief executive officer of Cineworld Group plc., of the circuit’s entry into Spain. Some 47 million Spaniards attend the cinema 2.38 times a year, versus 2.81 times at Cineworld’s home base in the U.K.

After securing a new loan on March 21, the leading U.K. operator will purchase all shares in Cinesur Circuito Sánchez-Ramade, S.L. (www.cinesur.com) with a gross asset value of €18.6 million (US$26.8 mil.).

Founded in 1932 and boasting 11 multiplexes and 136 screens, including the country’s first 20-plex (Nervión Plaza de Sevilla), Cinesur is the fifth-largest operator in Spain and the largest in the Andalucía region.

Danaos Adds Kinoton in Athens

Considered “one of the most prestigious cinemas” in Athens, Greece, and a dedicated member of Europa Cinemas, the Danaos Cinema recently added a Kinoton DCP 30 LX II digital-cinema projector and related equipment. Installed by Pittas Motion Picture Equipment, the integrated Dolby 3D system launched with Wim Wenders’ Pina, a portrait of dance legend Pina Bausch, on April 24. Kinoton noted that a rail system allows for moving the digital projector from its FP 25 E film projector “for easy servicing and then precisely repositioning it for the next digital show.”

As a leading art house, Danaos “successfully bolsters its program” with added content, both from digital sources and archival prints shown on 35mm reels. Kinoton’s Cine Player HD E-Cinema system is fully interconnected with the analog and DLP Cinema projection systems, the tech experts confirm from Munich, Germany. “Shows are completely automated, even ringing bells in the lobby to let patrons know that it is time for them to take their seats.”

Cinema City Grows in Romania
With ten screens, including five digital, and 2,135 seats, Cinema City opened its tenth multiplex in Romania, in the city of Braila. Nisan Cohen, deputy CFO of the largest multiplex operator in Central and Eastern Europe and in Israel, observed “growing cinema-going levels in Romania.” With 6.8 million admissions countrywide representing a 23% increase over the prior year, Cinema City is “happy to see that Romanian people like to watch movies in modern multiplexes.”

Cinema City’s 3.1 million tickets in Romania were up 101.4% over 2009, while operations revenue grew 135.8% to €18.2 million (US$26.3 mil.) Operating a total of 98 screens, Cinema City will open another three to four locations on the way to fulfilling no less than 20 lease agreements by 2013.

The company also reported it has selected MasterImage 3D as its new systems provider. “Cinema City International is a force,” said Brian Kercher, managing director in charge of European 3D cinema, “known as much for keeping the ethos of a family-owned company as they are for their success and size… We are really pleased that our systems and approach have earned their respect and business.”

CineStar Shines on Flagship Kino

Work is underway at Sony Center in Berlin, Germany, to turn the largest auditorium of the complex into a “superlative” kino. To the tune of €1.1 million, the current IMAX theatre will receive the largest 2D and 3D screen in the German capital (300 sq. m, 3,229 sq. ft.), CineStar Gruppe promises for the mid-May re-launch, along with “the best sound” and “highest comfort.” Enlarging the legroom to a staggering 125 cm (50 inches) reduces the capacity to 350, but certainly qualifies for creating “special amphitheatre-style seating.” Special challenges include opening up an entire building wall on the second level for cranes to move in the screen. Barco 4K projectors will illuminate the RealD WIDE-XL-3D system, which has locally been dubbed an “in-the-middle-of-the-film” experience.

Blair Fosters Faith Films
“Film and religion often dominate the headlines, but rarely do we see them come together,” the Tony Blair Faith Foundation writes in its invitation launching a global competition for 14- to 18-year-olds. “Faith Shorts is putting faith in film and showing that religion is and can be a force for good in the world."

Founded in 2008 by the former British prime minister, the competition has attracted 2011 judges including Hugh Jackman, Jet Li, Anil Kapoor, former studio president Sherry Lansing, influential Muslim television preacher Amr Khaled, Rabbi David Rosen, and Dr. Mustafa Ceric, the Raisu-l-Ulama of Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Grand Mufti of Bosnia. Last year, the competition prompted hundreds of inspirational entries from five continents and from Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jewish and humanist backgrounds. This year’s winners will receive an all-expense-paid trip to London to accept their awards at BAFTA headquarters. The overall best in show will have the opportunity to make the film with a professional crew.

Czech Out Current Euro Cinema
The Czech Center and Romanian Cultural Institute in New York, in collaboration with a large array of European cultural institutes and consulates, including the Goethe-Institut, presented “Disappearing Act III, A Showcase of Current European Cinema” in the recently opened digital cinema at Bohemian National Hall in Manhattan.

The program of 19 contemporary films from as many countries is an official project of EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture) with support from the EU Delegation to the UN.

Leading the way was the public launch of the Subtitled Cinema Initiative, a group of “foreign-language-film promoters, festivals, film and government agencies, and programmers, whose goal is to use innovative means of cross-promotion, cross-programming, and other modes of sharing the experience of watching and discussing films from around the world in the U.S.”