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Carmike to project BCS title game in 3-D

CONYERS - If you like your football games big and in your face, then you might want to consider heading down to the movie theater Thursday night.

The Carmike Conyers Crossroads 16 theater will be one of 35 cinemas around the country to display a special live 3-D broadcast of the BCS college football championship game between the University of Florida and the University of Oklahoma.

According to a press release prepared by Carmike, the broadcast is part of a growing slate of 3-D content planned for the coming year. During the fourth quarter of the 2008 fiscal year, Carmike completed a conversion of its entire theater circuit to accommodate 3-D technology, giving the company a total of 502 compatible screens across the U.S.

"Cinedigm's CineLive Satellite Distribution Network is the only system that can distribute over a national theater footprint, and we are delighted to collaborate with them to bring these premier sporting events for the first time to the viewing public, live and in 3-D," said Michael W. Patrick, Carmike chief executive officer.

"The major motion picture studios are solidly behind 3-D, and we share their excitement as this content is ideally suited to the customers in our markets. Importantly, movies continue to be added to the studios' release schedules, with over 20 3-D films currently slated for debut in 2009 and 2010. In addition to professional and college sports in 3-D, there are a growing number of additional special events that we will be bringing in digital and or 3-D format to the Carmike circuit, including religious programming, concerts and arts-oriented productions such as opera and ballet."

The technology had one of its first public tests last month during an NFL game between the Chargers and the Raiders. Only theaters in Los Angeles, Boston and New York City were included, and the event received mainly positive reviews. According to The Boston Globe, the visuals were "stunning, the picture sharp, and when the graphics came up on the screen, you felt as if you could reach out and pluck them off with your fingers."

Tickets come at a a premium - $20 - but they appear to be selling. An employee said Tuesday afternoon that about 100 tickets remained. The program begins at 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.carmike.com.