January 12, 2009

Inauguration to be shown in movie theaters

President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration will be screened live in 27 U.S. theaters, MSNBC said Monday.

The cable channel said it had reached a deal with Screenvision to put its coverage of the inauguration on 27 theaters in 21 markets, The Hollywood Reporter said. Admission will be free and tickets are being distributed at MSNBC.com.

The programming will be presented from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST.

The arrangement gives MSNBC an opportunity to reach an audience in movie theaters, and it gives theater operators a chance to bring people into theaters -- and perhaps sell some popcorn and beverages -- at a time of day when movie attendance typically doesn't amount to much, the report said.

The signal will not be high-definition, but the cable channel and Screenvision say the picture will be high-quality. MSNBC President Phil Griffin said, It'll look great.

Griffin told the Reporter the exhibiting its inauguration coverage in movie theaters is intended to reach people we've never reached before.

We're going to do numerous things like that to get our name out there, he said. Ubiquity is the name of the game in 2009.