VSS-SOUTHERN THEATRES RIDES 3D JUGGERNAUT, SIGNS EXCLUSIVE AGREEMENT WITH NEC DISPLAY SOLUTIONS FOR DIGITAL CINEMA PROJECTORS
CHICAGO - March 15, 2010
The Grand Theatres, AmStar Cinemas in 9 States Add to Their Stable of NEC Equipment; NEC Financial Services Offers Financing Incentives
NEC Display Solutions of America, a leading provider of commercial LCD display and projector solutions, announced today an exclusive agreement with Southern Theatres, LLC, management company for VSS-Southern Theatres, owners of The Grand Theatres and AmStar Cinemas, to provide digital cinema projectors at locations in nine states.  The move by VSS-Southern Theatres extends its current relationship with NEC and Ballantyne Strong, Inc., and positions this leading exhibitor to capitalize on the growing list of 3D Hollywood blockbusters coming out in 2010 and beyond.

Building upon its more than 30 NEC digital cinema projector systems already installed, VSS-Southern Theatres selected NEC's new Digital Cinema Projector Series for its extreme reliability, performance and brightness.  The projectors also were chosen for their upgrade capabilities to 4K technology. 

The full complement of NEC digital cinema projectors can be seen in Palace 5 (Booth No. 1205) at ShoWest 2010, the motion picture theater industry convention held today through March 18 at Bally's & Paris in Las Vegas, Nev.

"Our relationship with VSS-Southern Theatres has been a strong one for quite some time, but we're especially grateful for the trust they have placed in us with this exclusive agreement," said Pierre Richer, President and C.O.O. of NEC Display Solutions.  "The 3D juggernaut is upon us, and NEC is prepared to help forward-looking exhibitors, such as VSS-Southern Theatres, capitalize on the powerful opportunities presenting themselves to the industry."

NEC Financial Services is providing the financing for the project, which will be rolled out in three phases over the course of this year and early 2011.  Phase I will be completed in time for the movie releases, "How to Train Your Dragon 3D" and "Clash of the Titans 3D."

Ballantyne of Omaha, a trusted partner and master reseller for the exhibitor segment of NEC's business, is supplying the ancillary digital components, screens and installation for the 18 VSS-Southern Theatres locations, which consist of 268 screens.

"Ballantyne Strong, Inc.'s, relationship with VSS-Southern Theatres extends back to its start as a theater circuit.  We have been providing projectors and associated equipment to the Solomon family since the "70s," said John Wilmers, President and CEO, Ballantyne Strong, Inc.  "VSS-Southern has aggressively been equipping theaters over the past two years to keep up with the 3D demand, and we are excited they are committed to lead the pack as the industry transitions to digital cinema."

"We pride ourselves on offering the best movie-going experience to the public," said George Solomon, President of Southern Theatres, LLC. "NEC and Ballantyne Strong, Inc., are playing crucial roles in that objective."

Solomon has been in the theater business with his family for more than 50 years and launched Southern Theatres, LLC to develop and operate state-of-the-art, multiplex stadium-seating movie theaters.

Among the NEC digital cinema projectors being deployed are the NC1600-C, NC2500S-A, NC1200C, NC2000C, and the ultra-bright NC3200S at 31,000 lumens. 

The Digital Cinema Projector Series models meet DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives) requirements, so exhibitors are prepared to capitalize on current opportunities as well as position themselves for future growth.  These NEC projectors include new Texas Instruments Series 2 electronics and are designed for easy maintenance to minimize downtime.

Combining advanced DLP Cinema projectors with reliable multiplex and screen servers, NEC's Digital Cinema Projector Series offers the most comprehensive digital cinema solution on the market today.

For more information about NEC's digital cinema projectors, please visit http://necdisplay.com/Products/SubClass/?subclass=Projectors.
To learn more about financing options, please visit www.necdisplay.com/3Dpromo, or contact NECDigitalCinemaLease@neclease.com.

About NEC Display Solutions of America, Inc.
Headquartered in Itasca, Ill., NEC Display Solutions of America, Inc., is a leading designer and provider of innovative desktop LCD monitors, commercial- and professional-grade large-screen LCD displays, a diverse line of multimedia and digital cinema projectors, and integrated display solutions. NEC Display Solutions develops leading-edge visual technology and customer-focused solutions for a wide variety of markets, including enterprise, healthcare, education and digital signage. For additional information about NEC Display Solutions of America monitors, consumers can call (866) NEC-MORE, or visit the website at www.necdisplay.com. For digital images, please visit http://www.necdisplay.com/products/digitalmedialibrary/.

About VUKUNET
VUKUNET, powered by NEC Display Solutions of America, is the universal advertising platform that connects digital out-of-home networks with ad revenue. VUKUNET is a web-based tool that provides a centralized, automated place for network owners to connect their screens to advertisers looking to place their digital ads. Advertisers and ad agencies can use the companion ADVUKU ad-serving platform to search for the best networks in any location. For additional information about VUKUNET, please visit www.vukunet.com, or call 877-805-VUKU. For VUKUNET logos and digital images, please visit http://www.vukunet.com/PressResources.aspx. For additional information on ADVUKU, visit www.advuku.com.

About Southern Theatres
Southern Theatres, LLC, managed by George Solomon, CEO, was formed in May of 2002.  George has been in the theatre business with his family for over 50 years and launched Southern Theatres, LLC to develop and operate state-of-the-art multiplex stadium-seating movie theatres.
 
In April 2005, Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS) made a $30-million equity investment in Southern Theatres LLC. VSS is a private equity and mezzanine capital fund management company dedicated to investing in media, communications and information industries in North America and Europe.

Southern Theatres, LLC is responsible for the daily operations of The Grand Theatres and AmStar Cinemas in 18 locations with 268 screens in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. Southern Theatres, LLC is headquartered in New Orleans, La. For more information, please visit www.thegrandtheatre.com.

About Ballantyne Strong, Inc.
Ballantyne Strong, Inc., is a provider of digital cinema projection equipment and services as well as cinema screens, motion picture projectors and specialty lighting equipment and services.  The Company supplies major and independent theater chains, top arenas, theme parks and architectural sites around the world.  For more information, visit www.ballantyne-strong.com.

About NEC Financial Services, LLC
NEC Financial Services, LLC, delivers tailored leasing structures of extraordinary flexibility to customers nationwide and has expanded to include a complete range of technologies and services. NEC Financial Services offers financing services to Solution Providers, System Integrators, Resellers and Dealers, and their customers by supporting the sale of products and solutions to businesses in the United States. For more information, visit www.neclease.com.

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Email ewolff@necdisplay.com
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