Smitty’s Cinemas was the brainchild of four brothers from Merrimac, Massachusetts who opened a single-screen cinema pub in early 1992. The idea of eating in big, comfortable chairs while watching a movie was an instant hit, and people are now enjoying five Smitty’s Cinemas across Maine and New Hampshire. The New England chain has installed laser projectors – NEC NC1100Ls – in several theatres. I recently spoke with one of the brothers, Tucker Smith, about their business model and about the new projectors.
NEC NC1100L laser projector
Esteban Sune is the fourth generation of his Argentinian family in the exhibition business. His great grandfather opened the family’s first theatre in 1910 to show silent films. Some eighty years later, the theater concept changed from the big single screen houses to multiplexes and Cinemacenter was born. Sune, the company’s managing director, recently installed his country’s first laser projector – an NEC NC1100L. I spoke with him about that experience and about the exhibition business in general.
One of the promises of digital cinema technology was that it would enable new theatres to be built in places that had gone years without a movie house. That promise is has been fulfilled in Vandalia, Illinois where owner Rick Cripe recently opened the Starmax Cinemas and installed one of the first NEC NC1100L 2K laser projectors.