24 March 2014 4:12 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The annual exhibitor conference CinemaCon began Monday at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with one take on a contentious issue: How much involvement should theater owners have in the digital business?

Universal Pictures prexy of international, David Kosse, who delivered the keynote address kickstarting the confab’s International Day, advocated that exhibitors strike while the digital iron is hot and partake in video-on-demand and other digital distribution platforms.

“You know best how to reach your consumers,” Kosse said, “and now is the time for exhibition to be in the VOD and digital business.”

Kosse later explained that he was not advocating that theater owners embrace any collapsing theatrical window; rather, exhibitors should “cooperate and collaborate so they’re part of the eco-system.”

“I think the (digital) business has massive room for growth,” Kosse added. “I also think exhibition is in a really unique position to benefit from that.”

Some theater chains outside the U. »

- Andrew Stewart

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