Last month at CineEurope, Harkness Screens’ chief technology officer Laurent Espitalier became the first Harkness staffer to sit in on a Union Internationale des Cinémas | International Union of Cinemas Round Table talking about exhibition and laser speckle. Laurent also attended a second UNIC panel. These are some of his personal thoughts about what was discussed during the meetings.
The UNIC shares the same focus as the National Association of Theatre Owners on two key areas of interest to exhibitors– sustainability and energy efficiency – in that moves to make cinemas more sustainable and energy efficient should progress from European law to national law as soon as possible, to encourage the sector to embrace the opportunity.
Laser technology is the focus of a new group formed by UNIC to clarify why exhibitors have been slow to embrace laser. For instance, since last December, only 10.3 percent (or 4,080) of projectors installed in Europe are laser projectors and only 11.3 percent (approximately 5,000) in EMEA, despite the fact laser projection uses less power. UNIC is keen to gather light degradation data and to work with projector manufacturers to find a repeatable way of measuring the light emanating from projectors.
One of the reasons may be concern from the creative community. For example, directors and screen writers, who prefer to stick with xenon technology rather than risk speckle but nevertheless understand that laser projection is the way forward commercially.
NATO’s cinema foundation is a collaboration to gather data to drive the industry, particularly where innovation is concerned. Data such as how sustainable is the industry and what can it do to get to know its customers better. Membership of the foundation will be open to everyone, not just NATO members, to collaborate across the world and not just in the U.S.
The desire to install LED screens appears low, even in Los Angeles, but they are expected to become a force to recognize in another decade.
The 4K movement is still being driven by home entertainment/streaming. While production costs are dropping, demand by cinemagoers for this standard is rising.
It looks like 3D is set for a triumphant return with the upcoming Avatar movie, but is it worth operators investing in new screens, as done badly, 3D might not be worth the investment? Screens that were decommissioned for 3D won’t deliver the quality now.