RealD to equip 1,500 more Regal theaters with 3D

All told, Regal will have 3,000 RealD-equipped 3D theaters when the new installation is completed.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
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Regal Entertainment Group and RealD have inked a deal that will see the motion picture exhibitor bring 3D to 1,500 more screens throughout the United States.

The latest deal between the companies is an amendment to an earlier agreement signed in May 2008 that delivered RealD's 3D-enabled technology to 1,500 Regal auditoriums. With this new deal, Regal will have a total of 3,000 3D-enabled screens with RealD technology, comprising 40 percent of all Regal screens. Regal movie theaters are located in 37 states and in Washington, D.C.

Regal's decision to invest in 3D is due mainly to the growing demand for that kind of content, the company's CEO Amy Miles said in a statement. RealD's CEO Michael Lewis said that 22 3D films were released in 2010. This year, studios expect to release 35 movies in 3D.

RealD technology is a combination of both hardware and software to help project 3D content. A company spokesman told CNET in a phone conversation today that RealD produces "twice the light to the screen" of competing 3D technologies. The more light, the better the quality of the experience.

RealD's technology is able to project a display out to 80 feet wide, he said. In addition, the single-projector system is designed to switch between 2D and 3D, allowing theaters to offer any content in a respective auditorium.

RealD announced back in September that its 3D technology was running in about 9,300 auditoriums worldwide. It said at the time that it expected to add 2,000 screens in the fourth quarter of 2010.

But the company doesn't just compete in the theater business. Last year, Samsung said that it would use RealD's 3D display technology in its line of 3DTVs. Earlier this month, the two companies partnered up again at CES to talk about the development of a new technology called RDZ. That offering, the companies said, will deliver brighter visuals than existing technologies.