Blackstone ( BX) and JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) plan to raise more than $1 billion to fund the conversion of up to 20,000 U.S. cinema screens to digital projection systems, in a deal to be announced on Wednesday, the Financial Times reports on its Web site.

Blackstone and JPMorgan are arranging the financing for a consortium made up of the three largest U.S. cinema chains, which has done a deal with five Hollywood studios, reports, citing a person familiar with the situation.

Lions Gate ( LGF)has joined Walt Disney ( DIS), Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom ( VIA), 20th Century Fox, a unit of News Corp. ( NWS), and NBC Universal's Universal Pictures in signing up to the consortium's plan, reports.

The Digital Cinema Implementation Partners consortium is made up of AMC Entertainment, Cinemark ( CNK) and Regal Entertainment ( RGC). The consortium has been in talks with the studios for several months over how to structure the costly conversion to digital cinema.
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