The COVID-19 crisis is hitting many markets and industries hard. The cinema market, and specifically theatre exhibition is experiencing a big impact. Being the home of large crowds, flocking together to enjoy a fun social experience, going to the movies was put in lockdown across the world. The impact of this is not to be underestimated, because typically cinema exhibition is close to a 24/7 activity. In this article, we’ll take a forward-looking stance and focus on things to consider when starting up projection booths and re-opening cinemas again.
Barco today entered the LED cinema screen market in a big way by purchasing a stake in Unilumin, a Chinese company that manufactures LED components on a major scale.
Cinemas worldwide are preparing for what is now commonly called the second wave: a technology renewal where they will install next-generation digital projection equipment. However, the journey ahead poses different considerations and challenges compared to the film-to-digital conversion of the first wave. Before we forge ahead, it’s important that we consider the old adage: To know where we’re going, we need first to know where we’ve been. So let’s take a look.
[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.
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 One Network Alliance – a strategic partnership between Barco and in-theatre marketing pioneer Vision Media – will commercially debut its turnkey digital Lobby Experience at Cinemark’s Plano, Texas and Playa Vista, Los Angeles theatres this month. This will enable Cinemark to transform its cinema lobbies into immersive storytelling environments using digital content viewed on billboard-size displays.
As part of the Belgian Economic Mission to the United States, Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium, Representative of His Majesty the King, is visiting Austin and will honor Lee Roy Mitchell, the founder and executive chairman of Cinemark Holdings during her stay. This exclusive award is in recognition of the company’s longstanding relationship with Barco, a worldwide digital cinema leader and a Belgian-based company.
AEG, one of the world’s largest sports and entertainment presenters, and Regal, operators of the largest theater circuit in the United States, are partnering Barco on a multi-year, strategic partnership to create Regal L.A. Live: A Barco Innovation Center. The current Regal Cinemas L.A. Live, owned by AEG, will transform into a one-of-a kind creative hub for all of Barco’s cinema technology. The deal also marks the first and only naming rights partnership for an entire movie theater complex.
The oldest drive-in movie theatre in the United States Shankweiler’s Drive-In Theatre in Pennsylvania, has selected GDC Technology’s SX-2000AR server with Barco’s DP2K-32B projector and Ballantyne Strong for its digital conversion.
The Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction, a new 4D Show, opened last month and its creators believe it is the first and only show of its kind. It features groundbreaking digital technology from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and the largest year-round team of digital puppeteers in the world. The new show also offers a unique real-time experience with over 100 possible outcomes, as the audience determines the direction of the story through live participation.