From the earliest days of feature length films until the 1980s, the movie going experience typically happened in a very large theatre with a really big screen. Faced with rising costs and increasing competition from television, exhibitors of that sad era cut their buildings into multi-screen complexes to increase ticket sales and maximize profits on concessions. Today, faced with a different set of economic realities, exhibitors around the world are increasingly responding by creating movie palaces that rival all but the most spectacular theatres of the turn of the last century. One trend at this year’s CinemaCon, which wrapped up last week, was the continuing rise of premium large format theatres. Another trend was the almost comical trashing of Netflix. PLF theatres and Netflix are both here to stay; we’ve been here before
Premium Large Format
A highlight of this year’s CinemaCon, which wrapped up Thursday, April 4, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, was the announcement of the formation of the Cinity Cinema System, a joint effort between the Huaxia Film Distribution Company, Christie Digital Systems and GDC Technology to “develop, leverage and promote premium format movies driven by new, advanced configurations.” The announcement follows several years of debate in Hollywood and around the world regarding the best way to move forward with critical technology issues including high dynamic range, high frame rate, wide color gamut and immersive sound. Those issues were widely discussed at CinemaCon and we will have more to say about the show in the coming days. But the Cinity Cinema System announcement stands out because it feels like a watershed event. The question now is this: is Hollywood still the center of the motion picture industry or is that center shifting to China?
CJ 4DPlex announced that Cineplex will add as many as 20 ScreenX locations in select Canadian markets over the coming years. The announcement follows the successful launch of Canada’s first ScreenX auditorium at Cineplex Cinemas Queensway and VIP in Toronto, Ontario.
This past February, DTS and CJ 4DPlex announced a strategic alliance to bring DTS:X immersive audio technology to ScreenX theatres worldwide. What the companies didn’t announce at the time was that their first joint project together was already up and running in Liberty, Kansas. B&B Theatres brands their premium large format offerings as Grand Screens, which counts as typical Midwestern understatement because, at four stories tall and seven stories wide, the new B&B Theatres Liberty 12 currently features the largest ScreenX auditorium in the world.
Next week at CinemaCon, Dolby will highlight a year of global growth that shows no signs of slowing down and will also exhibit a full spectrum of innovative, technologies for cinema exhibition, including the new Dolby Cinema Processor CP950.
THX today announced that the world’s first THX Ultimate Cinema at Regency Westwood Village Theatre is scheduled to open later this year. THX company is working closely with Cinionic on the project.
Next week Galaxy Theatres will open the world’s first Sony Digital Cinema premium large format auditorium at its Las Vegas Boulevard Mall location. The opening is timed with this year’s CinemaCon, which is being held April 1-4 at Caesar’s Palace.
Éclair today announced that it has completed a high dynamic range remastering of the Spanish version of Hans Petter Moland’s Cold Pursuit. It is the second feature film color graded and mastered at 300 nits for Onyx Cinema LED screens through its Éclair Color HDR technology.
Wein Cinema is the largest cinema complex in Asia, with 34 state-of-the-art theaters occupying a 20,000 square-meter area. Wein is located within the massive Shanghai National Exhibition and Convention Center, which also contains multiple exhibition halls, a business center, high-end office space and hotels.
Wanda Cinemas, China’s largest film distributor and cinema operator, recently partnered with Samsung and Harman Professional Solutions to create the world’s first Onyx all-LED screen cinema multiplex.