The UK digital 3D cinema explosion

In all there will be 83 Apollo Cinema screens in the UK which will be equipped with the Sony CineAlta 4K systems, a third of these will be 3D capable.

When asked whether the screens would survive if 3D wasn't an option in the cinema, Arthur noted: "4K works without 3D, but it will help bolster the box office."

RealD cinema

SPECS APPEAL: More than 30 movies will be in 3D in 2010

Compared to the US, the UK digital cinema sector is a small one. When it comes to Sony-equipped screens, America's biggest cinema chain Regal announced earlier this year that it was installing the technology into all of its locations (all 6,763 screens) within the next three to five years.

Also AMC Theatres is another partner, with 4,628 of its screens to get the 4K treatment by 2012.

The UK is getting there. With 500 screens already digital-enabled and more to come, Lord Putnam is positive that digital cinema is key to the UK film industry, believing that the technology "will be at the heart of the digital budget due to be reviewed soon."

It's not just picture quality and 3D that are set to bring in audiences, however. Both Sony and Apollo Cinemas are thinking about other ways to entice the punters. It looks as if they are looking at what the US is doing and taking a whole new approach to cinema going.

"From a Sony point of view we are already in the States bringing in music artists to cinemas and the launch of games on the big screen in Sony 4K. The ability for people to see the game on the big screen in 4K is amazing," explains Pasch.


CLOSE CALL: Even close-up, the benefits of digital are there

While Arthur is looking at the indie market: "having digital makes it easier to get the independents in. This isn't just a recipe for Hollywood but a wide range of things."

Whatever steps are made to bring people kicking and screaming from their TV sets to the multiplex, Putnam is very much in awe with just how much cinema has changed in the last 20 years: "It was a cold November day back in 1985 when I cut the ribbon of the first AMC multiplex in Milton Keynes – how things have come on since then."

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.