Over half of Europe’s cinema screens are now digital according to a new report by the European Audiovisual Observatory and MEDIA Salles. Some 185,000 digital screens were installed in Europe by the end of 2011.
The report suggests that the 2011 roll-out, unlike 2010, was driven by 2D screens rather than 3D installations. It credits public initiatives such as legislation (France), publicly funded industry-wide conversion schemes (Norway and the Netherlands) and direct public funding schemes for last year’s high rate of conversion.
An analysis shows that small cinemas and exhibitors have significant problems converting to digital. By the end of 2010 only 11% of single-screen cinemas had installed a digital screen, compared to 89% of multiplexes. Yet these small cinemas form a characteristic part of the European cinema landscape, with single-screen cinemas alone accounting for almost 60% of all European cinemas.