In celebration of the full digitization of their movie theaters, SM Cinema held the first-ever Free Movie Day in the Philippines. Upholding their commitment when they announced this massive project last year, SM Cinema completed the full conversion of their cinemas through the assistance of the Virtual Print Fee program, a subsidy program offered by international film distributors to assist theater operators in digital theater conversion.
“We are proud to announce that we have kept our promise to complete the transition of our 246 theaters in all of our 45 branches nationwide, and with this Free Movie Day, we show our gratitude to our loyal patrons by letting them experience first-hand the features of our fully digitalized theaters for free.” said Edgar Tejerero, Senior Vice President of West Avenue Theatres Corporation, the managing company of SM Cinema. “This digital conversion of our movie theaters serves as a testament to our loyal patrons of our commitment to provide only the best movie experience for them.” added Mr.Tejerero.
Aside from lowered costs for film production, editing and distribution for movie production companies, both theater operators and moviegoers can widely benefit in digital theatre conversion. Movie patrons can enjoy movies having clearer audio and crisper visual quality compared to film-based movies, while theatre owners can have real-time distribution of movies to several locations or branches at once. Moreover, the shift to digital cinemas reduces the chances of piracy with its tighter copy protection and the time-lock function that only allows a movie to be accessed at a preset time. This prevents unauthorized copies from being distributed prior to the world or local premiere.
On the Free Movie Day last December 8, SM Cinema patrons were able to watch a movie of their choice just by signing up on the SM Cinema/ e-PLUS Facebook Page. International and local movies consisted the line-up of movies featured for this special event which included the horror-thriller House at the End of the Street, action flick Stolen, the local biopic Supremo: The Andres Bonifacio Story, crime drama film Deadfall, and the popular dance movie Step Up Revolution. Moreover, as part of SM Cinema’s partnership on the Cinematheque project with the Film Development Council of the Philippines, various independent and classic local movies were also available for viewing during the Free Movie Day including the digitally remastered versions of Filipino Iconic movies Himala by Ishmael Bernal and Genghis Khan of Manuel Conde.
SM Cinema’s Free Movie Day was made possible by its partners: Multivision Pictures of the Philippines, AV Production, Crystalsky, Pioneer Films, Star Cinema and the Film Development Council of the Philippines, and also by its sponsors Coca Cola, Bright Pop, Purefoods San Miguel and Mister Donut.