Ballantyne Strong, Inc. (NYSE Amex: BTN), a provider of digital cinema projection equipment and services, cinema screens and other cinema products, announced today that it will provide 66 NEC Digital Cinema projection systems with RealD 3D technology to National Amusements, Inc. (39 systems) and Marcus Theatres Corporation, a division of The Marcus Corporation (NYSE: MCS) (27 systems).
With each projector Ballantyne Strong will also provide high-gain ‘silver’ screens required for 3D projection, and its service group will install over half of the projection systems. The installations are expected to be completed in the first and second quarters of calendar 2010.
Funding for the projectors was completed via Digital Link II, LLC (Digital Link II), an entity formed by RealD and Ballantyne in which Ballantyne has a 44% stake. NEC Finance provided debt financing to Digital Link II to fund the projector deployment. Ballantyne and RealD each provide guarantees for the debt based on their respective ownership in Digital Link II. The cinema screen sales are outside of the Digital Link II facility.
John P. Wilmers, Ballantyne’s CEO, commented, “We are pleased to again team with RealD to expand the digital and 3D footprints of these important, long-term customers. It is particularly gratifying given these exhibitors’ satisfaction with systems we have previously provided to them. The patron appeal and box office benefits of digital cinema and RealD 3D technology have been well demonstrated throughout the exhibition industry, driving demand for additional systems to take advantage of the growing slate of 3D releases.”