Holiday Inns Inc. has signed an agreement with three other firms that will bring feature motion pictures into more than 280,000 hotel and motel rooms across the country.
Twentieth Century-Fox Telecommunications Inc., Bell & Howell and Southern Satellite Systems announced on Friday that they had entered in agreement with Holiday Inns to bring the films, via satellite, to Holiday Inns.
Kemmons Wilson, chairman of the board of Holiday Inns, stated that after extensive market reserach, the company decided the addition of motion pictures "would be a significant attraction for hotel guests."
Fox will supply the movies, Southern will transmitt them over its satellite system and Bell & Howell will provide the link from the satellite signal to the various hotels and motels receiving the movies.
Southern now beams an Atlanta television station, via satellite, to some 170 cable television systems around the nation.
Steve Roberts, president of Fox Telecommunications, a subsidiary of Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. said the films offered in hotels will benefit both the hotel industry and producers and distributors of motion pictures.
Although the film industry already supplies films to some hotels, this is the first effort to do it via satellite, and it promises to expand the market for hotel films considerably.
Robert Pfannkuch, president of Bell Howell's video division, estimated that within two years as many as 500 receiving stations could be installed across the country to pick up the satellite transmissions.
"Once this sattelite network is in place," he added, "a number of other uses, such as video conferences may become feasible, but movies are the best vehicle to justify the initial capital investment."