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Last Updated: Friday, 24 March 2006, 17:58 GMT
Live 3D sport plan for US cinemas
It is hoped showing live games will attract midweek audiences
Live sporting events could be screened in 3D in US cinemas by 2007 in a bid boost flagging mid-week ticket sales.

Tickets sales dropped 9% last year, with cinema owners partly blaming competition from other forms of entertainment, such as computer games.

They hope to use digital projection to change how people think about cinemas.

Shari Redstone, president of the National Amusements chain, said he wanted cinemas to become "community entertainment destinations".

"What better way to do this than sports?" he added.

'Brave new world'

In 2004, when baseball team Boston Red Sox baseball won the World Series for the first time since 1918, National Amusements screened their mid-week games in high-definition in several New England cities.

Sports fans were able to buy hot dogs, peanuts and beer from vendors in the aisles.

Mr Redstone said it all added to the experience of watching the game in the cinema.

"We are not just putting the game up on the big screen but making the experience like being in Fenway Park.

"The experience is more important, really, than what you are showing."

Peter Brown, chief executive of AMC Theatres, said cinema chains are in the early stages of trying to show more live content.

But he added that trying to establish who owns the rights to screen games in cinemas was a difficult area.

"It's a bit of a brave new world," he said.

"The folks that control those rights or owners have to sort that out. [The contracts] weren't created with that notion in mind."

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