[Editor’s Note: In a new white paper, Barco senior product manager Tom Bert makes a strong case for the importance of contrast ratio in cinema.] In any visualization system, the contrast ratio is one of the key parameters that define image quality. A metric for comparing the brightest whites to the darkest blacks in the image, you could say that a good contrast ratio truly adds depth to the image. A low contrast ratio makes an image look washed out. Details as well as the artistic intent get lost. This is true for direct view displays as well as for projectors.
South Africa’s Nu Metro Cinemas is opening Xtreme theatres at Nu Metro Emperors Palace in Johannesburg and Nu Metro Galleria on the KZN South Coast.
Christie is marking a decade of collaboration with the Shanghai International Film Festival as the event’s exclusive cinema projection partner. “This is the tenth consecutive year that Christie has partnered with the SIFF, which is one of the largest and most prestigious film festivals in Asia, by serving as its exclusive cinema projection partner,” said Lin Yu, vice president, cinema sales for Asia, Christie. “It is an honor for us be associated with the SIFF, supplying our cinema projectors for screening feature films from around the world that are distinguished by their artistic excellence. It is a perfect combination of ‘art and technology’, and we are fully committed to delivering the best possible image on screen that allows all audiences to enjoy an immersive and highly satisfying cinema experience.”
Cinionic, the Barco cinema joint venture, will be the exclusive laser projection provider for Kinepolis. The replacement of hundreds of existing and new screens with Barco laser projectors will take place over the next three years across Western Europe and Canada.
The Laser Illuminated Projector Association reports that as of the end of 2017, the global installed base of high-end RGB laser projectors had reached nearly 700, an increase of nearly 100 percent since 2016, according to industry analysts at IHS Markit. In addition, the analyst firm also reported that, according to industry sales figures estimates, the number of laser phosphor projectors installed in cinemas has now surpassed 10,000; again an approximately 100 percent growth rate over the previous year.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema locations are known for introducing firsts to their customers, and they can add another to the list: the first U.S. installations of Sony’s 4K laser projection systems, installed at the just-opened Alamo Drafthouse Lake Highlands theater in Dallas, Texas. According to the location’s owner and COO, Bill DiGaetano, rolling out the new projectors is right in line with the Alamo Drafthouse approach of putting the customer experience first.
“We wanted to be first to market in Houston with laser projectors,” said Jason Ostrow, vice president of Star Cinema Grill. With the installation of 30 Sony 4K laser digital cinema projectors over three locations, starting with College Station, Texas, Star Cinema Grill is accomplishing their goal. “Houston is becoming a very competitive market, not only with traditional theaters but also dine-in theaters now,” he said. “We need to make sure that with any dine-in theater we open going forward, we’re doing whatever we can to differentiate ourselves. This gives us a true competitive advantage.”
AMC Theatres today signed a binding letter of intent to install IMAX’s new laser experience for commercial multiplexes in 87 of the exhibitor’s highest-performing IMAX at AMC locations across the U.S. The announcement coincides with the launch of IMAX with Laser.
With more than 300 screens in Peru and Chile, Cineplanet is one of the most progressive theater circuits in Latin America offering first-class amenities. When it came time to outfit its new multiplex in Costanera, Chile, the exhibitor once again looked to Cinionic, the Barco cinema joint venture, and digital cinema integrator Bardan Cinema Barco.
The sales, services, and marketing teams from Cinionic – Barco’s cinema joint venture – are now brought together with Barco’s cinema manufacturing and engineering departments at one location in Kortrijk, Belgium. With a focus on automation and innovative technologies, Barco’s branewand production facility, called the Engine, is geared to create the cinema projectors of the future, both in terms of volume and technology.