The Laemmle Royal Theatre in Santa Monica, has worked with Christie to create the first booth-less cinema within Los Angeles. The conversion to digital was part of an upgrade made throughout the Laemmle chain. “Being 100 percent digital made the renovation easier as we were able to carve out multiple auditoriums without having to allocate additional space for a projection booth,” said Greg Laemmle, president of the company.
“We got back space in the old projection booth which has now been put to other uses,” Laemmle said. “And we also avoided the cost of building new booth space. It’s great to have all the equipment, including our Library Management Server, as part of the box office. That way, staff can input movie files and set playlists while still being available to customers.”
In addition to digital projection, the newly-restored theatre has stadium seating and three screens instead of one, which will allow it to expand its programming and offer more choices to its guests. Prior to the renovation, The Royal was one of the last one screen theatres in the city.
With eight locations and 41 screens throughout Los Angeles, the independent Laemmle chain was started by Laemmle’s grandfather and great-uncle in 1938, and has highlighted the work of independent filmmakers. It also carries mainstream titles such as Hitchcock and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The Royal re-opened in late December, 2012 with LA’s exclusive engagement of Amour. With the conversion of The Royal, a traditional cinema built in the 1920s, the chain is now 100 percent digital.
“We have a long history of working with Christie. We had our share of hiccups during the conversion process, but the Christie team has been very responsive. We truly feel they’ve been our partners in getting the art house scene switched over to digital. They took the time to understand how our world is a little different from the world of major studio exhibitors, and were willing to adjust to come up with a better program,” said Laemmle.
Craig Sholder, vice president, entertainment solutions, Christie, said the firm is proud to be part of the renovation of The Royal, and the digital upgrade throughout the chain. “It’s important to Christie to work with each customer to create the solution that works best with their unique needs. Independent cinemas are a vibrant part of the industry and it’s our pleasure to help them make the transition from film to digital.”
Christie integration partner Southern California Cinetech managed the conversion to digital throughout the chain. Cinetech installed Christie CP2210 and CP2220 projectors from the Christie Solaria Series digital projectors, and orchestrated the Christie Virtual Print Fee financing plan, with Christie’s Managed Services team providing monitoring and maintenance services.
Christie Digital Systems www.christiedigital.com