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Yes, People Will Go to The Movies to Watch Opera

The Metropolitan Opera

Met's cinema shows hit high note

High-def transmissions sparks new interest

By Pamela McClintock

The Metropolitan Opera's live high-def theatrical transmissions – seen worldwide by more than 920,000 people during the 2007-08 season – are creating new fans and sparking renewed interest among existing opera fans. Findings were included in a poll conducted by trade org Opera America in cooperation with National CineMedia, the Met's distribution partner.

The digital theatrical transmissions have been hugely popular over the past two Met seasons. That's good news for Hollywood studios and exhibs as they begin to look to alternative digital content to fill theater seats, particularly since they can charge more per ticket for special events.

The Met's program, whereby select operas are beamed live into theaters on Saturdays, were the brainchild of Metropolitan Opera general manager Peter Gelb, who was seeking ways to boost opera's profile, particularly in the post-9/11 period, when Met attendance dropped off.

Read more about this at the Variety website: