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Gallery Seeks Court Consent for MovieBeam Sale

1 May, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Bankrupt Movie Gallery Inc. May 1 filed a motion with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond, Va., seeking expedited approval for the proposed sale of its MovieBeam download service to third-party Dar Capital for $2.2 million.

Dothan, Ala.-based Gallery shuttered MovieBeam last December nine months after acquiring it for $10 million.

Originally founded by The Walt Disney Co. and co-funded by Cisco Systems and Intel Corp. for about $150 million, MovieBeam used over-the air data casting to automatically load proprietary $200 set-top boxes, which allowed users to watch movies on demand with no downloading or hard disc storage required.

The service was available in 31 major cities nationally and featured a regenerating stock of 100 movies (10 new titles per week) loaded for on-demand viewing at any given time. Rentals (for 24 hours) ranged in price from $1.99 to $4.99.

Gallery envisioned MovieBeam as a catalyst to jumpstart a non-existent digital distribution channel that would be marketed at the retail level and include online rentals.

The court is slated to hold a hearing on the request May 8.

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