Nu Metro boasts the biggest 3-D screen in the world at Montecasino in Johannesburg.

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Joburg boasts world's biggest 3-D screen
Mark Harris, Content and Marketing Head for Nu Metro Cinemas, explains: �The screen at IL Grande at Montecasino is a massive 77 foot 3-D screen. When this screen becomes operational in September this year, it will be the biggest RealD 3-D screen in the world!�

Harris adds that although there are other vendors who supply 3-D technology in cinemas around the world, �RealD is the market leader in most territories.�

He maintains that 3-D is the way of the future. �3-D allows films to become �an immersive experience� so from the front row to the last row, customers now have a seat in the middle of the action. Having this technology on a screen this size (77ft) is most definitely something that cannot be replicated in the home environment. 3-D movies also generate two to three times more revenue of the same titles on 2-D.�

There will be no fewer than 30 3-D movies slated for release over the next three years, including the much-anticipated Avatar (release December 2009), Final Destination 4, A Christmas Carol, Garfield Pet Force, Alice in Wonderland, Piranha, Step Up 3, How to Train Your Dragon, Toy Story 1, 2, 3, Shrek Goes Fourth and many more.

Harris says Nu Metro�s business strategy is to keep up with the 3-D developments. �We have also just invested in an additional three 3-D screens at the Bedford Centre, Hyde Park and The Glen Shopping Centre cinemas. We will also increase our 3-D footprint to seven cinemas across the country in the not-to-distant future. Some of these include Menlyn Park, Canal Walk, The Pavilion and Montecasino.�

Asked whether South African films or our local film industry can ever hope to compete with 3-D films coming out of Hollywood, Harris responds: �Not all films will be made in 3-D, there will still always be space for traditional 2-D. In other words, there are no real advantages to making a romantic comedy in 3-D. However, at some point the South African industry will also need to start looking at this technology. If I am not mistaken there are already some animation houses busy with 3-D projects.�

He continues: �However one must keep in mind that it is more expensive to produce films in 3-D. For DreamWorks Animation, the cost of making a film into 3-D is an extra $15 million.

�As with all new technology, there will always be a price tag. But I�m sure you will agree that there are already some advantages in South Africa with the number of screens we already have and the amount we will have by the end of the year. Globally, Nu Metro is staying ahead and that is the key to success,� concludes Harris.