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Regal Entertainment Group Adopts IBM and Linux for Point-of-Sale Application

New Technology at Regal's High-Volume Concession Stands is One of the First and Largest Linux Rollouts in a POS Environment

RALEIGH, N.C. - 25 Sep 2002: Regal Entertainment Group, operator of the nation's largest chain of movie theaters, has begun using new IBM point-of-sale systems and open-source Linux technology to serve millions of customers at its high-volume Regal Cinemas concession stands in one of the first and largest rollouts of Linux in the retail point-of-sale environment, IBM announced today.

Regal is also testing a new, in-theater, Linux-based kiosk that will enable movie patrons to purchase tickets or retrieve tickets purchased from an online service.

"After carefully examining a variety of options for our concession stand and kiosk needs, we selected IBM as our strategic technology partner. IBM's reputation for reliability and customer service to the Retail sector, coupled with the excellence of their SurePOS technology design, made our choice easy," said J.E. Henry, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Regal Entertainment Group. "With the nationwide scale of our business and our need to handle millions of concession and kiosk transactions annually, we needed a strong, reliable partner like IBM to support our growth."

Regal Cinemas is using rugged IBM SurePOS 500 point-of-sale systems at its concession stands, running Linux from Red Hat and linked with Regal's IBM eServer iSeries, a mainframe-class midrange server, at Regal's headquarters in Knoxville, Tennessee. An average of 13 SurePOS 500s will be used at each theater complex.

"We chose Linux because it is an open, affordable operating system, giving us lower cost and relative ease of programming with the Java2 projects we already had in place," said Todd King, Vice President of Technical Information Services, Regal Entertainment Group. "We need a rugged, reliable technology solution for the time-sensitive, high-volume traffic in our concession stands, as well as a platform on which to build future applications, such as our ticket kiosk."

"The concession stand is a significant profit center for a theater and is one of the most important and demanding areas of theater operations due to the need to provide service to a large number of customers in a very short time. They cannot afford downtime or rebooting when customers are in line for concessions and the movie is about to start," said Tom Peterson, General Manager, IBM Retail Store Solutions. "The fact that Regal is using Linux in such a critically important way demonstrates that Linux running on retail-hardened IBM point-of-sale systems can be an attractive alternative for retailers."

The new networked IBM POS system, when linked with the in-store server and the IBM eServer iSeries at headquarters, greatly reduces the settlement time at each theater, and improves the accuracy of the sales and inventory data.

Regal Entertainment Group
Regal Entertainment Group is a leading motion picture exhibitor operating the largest theatre circuit in the United States. The Company's nationwide theatre circuit, comprising Regal Cinemas Corporation, United Artists Theatre Company and Edwards Theatres, Inc., operates 5,788 screens in 548 theatres in 36 states.

IBM and Linux
Due to the economics of open source technology, use of Linux is spreading rapidly across the business world in a variety of industries. According to industry analyst IDC, Linux grew 24 percent in 2001, making it the fastest-growing operating system. IDC forecasts a 37 percent growth rate for Linux in 2002.

Linux and the open-source movement are central to the IT industry and to IBM's e-business strategy. In 2001, IBM invested $1 billion in hardware, software and services related to Linux. In addition to working with customers across a variety of industries, IBM is committed to using Linux inside IBM with more than 1,000 servers running Linux. Mission-critical applications that run Linux include the IBM website, support for IBM's new $2.5 billion, 300mm chip manufacturing facility, and applications supporting more than 300,000 IBM employees worldwide.

In addition, IBM is now engaged with more than 2,500 Linux customers worldwide, helping reduce their computing costs with solutions ranging from Web serving to some of the largest supercomputers doing seismic processing, financial calculations and genomic research.

The IBM SurePOS 500
The IBM SurePOS 500 is an award-winning point-of-sale solution that brings exceptional reliability, retail hardening, advanced technologies and a sleek, attractive design to the food service, hospitality and gas and convenience store industries. These industries are among the most demanding environments for computers due to surrounding heat, spills, smoke, crumbs and bright sunlight.

Unique technology, such as a cooling pipe design and spill-resistant displays, allow the SurePOS 500 to withstand the rigors of the demanding food service and retail environments. Reflecting IBM's commitment to open standards, the SurePOS 500 supports a variety of operating systems. It also offers the option of an integrated, active-matrix touch screen with multimedia capabilities, and can operate as a wireless terminal.

Contact(s) information

Greg Thompson
IBM Media Relations
(404) 238-5052
gregoryt@us.ibm.com

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