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Final Fantasy To Be Released Digitally

On July 11, Columbia Pictures released FINAL FANTASY: THE SPIRITS WITHIN in digital cinema format in seven theaters. The seven cities that will display the film digitally are: AMC Empire, New York City, New York; Edwards Irvine Spectrum, Irvine, California.; AMC Media 6, Burbank, California.; Cinemark Legacy, Dallas, Texas; Famous Players Paramount, Toronto; AMC Barrington, Chicago, Illinois; and the AMC Van Ness, San Francisco, California. The film, directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi and produced by Sakaguchi, Jun Aida and Chris Lee, features the voices of Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Peri Gilpin, Ming-Na, Ving Rhames, Donald Sutherland and James Woods. The presentation will also mark the first use of an 8 Channel Sony Dynamic Digital Sound (SDDS) motion picture in an electronic format. The premium audio format utilizes five full-range screen channels instead of the conventional three. "These screens will be using a Texas Instruments DLP projector, operating from a server called a QuBit," said Bill Hausch, senior vice president, strategic technologies, Digital Studios Division for Sony Pictures Entertainment. "The sensation you get with digital cinema is a picture without a flicker, scratches, dirt or focus flutter. We're providing the movie going patron a glimpse of the future of theatrical exhibition." Lee said, "We are very excited that Columbia is releasing this film in a digital format. This medium is something exciting and different, and so is our film." The first major studio film to be released digitally was STAR WARS: EPISODE ONE -- THE PHANTOM MENACE in 1999.

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Rick DeMott
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