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Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace To Be Screened Digitally In Four Theaters Starting June 18, 1999

Press Release  |  Jun 3, 1999

San Rafael, Ca. (June 3, 1999) – For the first time in motion picture history, a widely released feature film will be made available to moviegoers via digital projection. CineComm Digital Cinema and Texas Instruments, two of the industry's leading forces in digital projection of motion pictures, will provide their digital projector technology to screen Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace on two screens in Los Angeles and two screens in New York starting on Friday, June 18, 1999. In Los Angeles the CineComm digital presentation will be held at Pacific's Winnetka Theater and the Texas Instruments presentation will be held at AMC's Burbank 14 Theater. In the New York area, CineComm's presentation will be at Loews' Route 4 Paramus and Texas Instrument's presentation will be at Loews' Meadows 6 in Secaucus, New Jersey.

Lucasfilm President Gordon Radely states, "We are proud that Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace will be the first movie digitally projected for movie-goers. We went to CineComm and Texas Instruments because we wanted to bring the reality of digital projection to the eyes of the public as soon as possible. Digital projection is a tremendous breakthrough for the motion picture industry and by choosing to use our movie to showcase this technology, we seek to escalate the wide scale introduction of digital projection for everyone's benefit--the studios, the theaters, filmmakers and the public."

Rick McCallum, Producer of The Phantom Menace, states, "This is a milestone in cinematic history. Why? Because, for the first time ever, a filmmaker can be certain that the audience will see and hear the film in the way the filmmaker intended it to be seen and heard. Like the introduction of sound and color, these digital screenings represent the beginning of a new era in film presentation. Digital projection guarantees a perfect print with each and every screening for the full life of the film and for every copy that is made. All any filmmaker wants is to be able to show a film that is free of scratches and which has all the qualities of image brightness, focus and color that everyone has struggled and spent so much time and effort to create."

"This event marks an historical moment in the movie industry," said Bob England, Senior Vice President and Manager of TI's Digital Imaging division. "We're delighted to have DLP Cinema associated with what is sure to be one of the century's most popular movies, and to be taking part in an event which may well shape the entire future of the movie industry."  

Russell Wintner, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of CineComm Digital Cinema said, " We at Cinecomm are quite certain that historians will one day write about the June 18th opening of the digital release of The Phantom Menace with no less excitement than was given the opening of The Jazz Singer, motion picture's first talking movie. We are thrilled to be a part of this historic event as we bring the world its first glimpse of Hollywood in the new millennium."

Tom Sherak, Chairman of 20th Century Fox Domestic Film Group, states, "It is very exciting to be part of this presentation and seeing the future 'today.'"

Lucasfilm Ltd. is one of the leading film and entertainment companies in the world. Lucasfilm's businesses include George Lucas' film and television production and distribution activities as well as the business activities of the THX Group. Lucasfilm's feature films have won 17 Oscars and received 56 Academy Award nominations, and its television projects have won 12 Emmy Awards.

CineComm Digital Cinema represents a new paradigm in the end-to-end electronic delivery and projection of first-run theatrical motion pictures to theaters across the globe. Working in tandem with world leading technology providers Hughes-JVC Technology (a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan Victor Corp.) and QUALCOMM Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), filmmakers and studios, CineComm Digital Cinema will replace a century-old tradition of celluloid with a cost effective system that delivers first-run film quality, reduces piracy and provides maximum flexibility in distribution.

CineComm Digital Cinema is based in Los Angeles, California.

Texas Instruments Incorporated is a global semiconductor company and the world's leading designer and supplier of digital signal processing solutions, the engines driving the digitization of electronics. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, the company's businesses also include materials and controls, educational and productivity solutions and digital imaging. The company has manufacturing or sales operations in more than 25 countries. Texas Instruments is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TXN. DLP Cinemaä is a registered trademark with Texas Instruments.


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