A nightmarish vision of the corporatized future.
With, Burbank as handmaiden…
While standing in line for Spider-Man: Homecoming this weekend, you’ll probably be most concerned with getting a good seat or digging into some popcorn. But if you’re in one of the nearly 30,000 theaters serviced by the Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition (DCDC), take a moment to glance up at the roof because your movie will be beamed in via satellite.
You likely don’t give much thought to how your movie gets to the big screen, but in the case of DCDC, digital files from movie studios are delivered to a processing center in Burbank, California, and sent via high-speed fiber connection to DCDC’s uplink in Arizona. Encrypted files are then transmitted to a satellite that’s in geo-synchronous orbit above the US, which beams movies to satellite dishes on theater roofs. Movies are uploaded to DCDC’s servers and assigned a theater so you can watch Spider-Man in its full digital glory.
The personalized touch.
DCDC now serves 75 percent of US theater screens. While the digital delivery of movies is its main driving force, DCDC’s ambitions for the industry are a lot bigger. In the future, [DCDC CEO Randy] Blotky explained, exhibitors will be “programming the cube,” with the “cube” being the entire cinema complex, not just what’s on the screens.
“For example, here at Cinemark Playa Vista and XD, in the future, DCDC might be able to [help] manage digital signage, ticketing, and loyalty programs with self-identifying apps/beacons as well as delivering live events,” he said. “Eventually you’ll have theaters that are outfitted for specific types of esports as well as movies designed around certain tech-heavy catchment areas, like here in Playa Vista. This means it won’t just be about watching events, but competing, too.”
What does that mean?
Nothing at all. Meanwhile, Fotokem’s the only 70mm lab left in the world. So there’s something still worth talking about and saving.