Treasuring ‘Chimes’ at Collegiate Church

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European Update

For its eighth “Treasure of European Film Culture,” the European Film Academy (EFA) selected the Collegiate Church of Sant Vicenç in Cardona, Catalunya, Italy. Wishing “to raise public awareness for places of a symbolic nature for European cinema”—such as the house of the brothers Lumière in Lyon, France, and the Bergman Center in Faro, Sweden, to name two of the prior recipients—the EFA board will not only bestow the special emblem on Oct. 22 in a ceremony with local dignitaries, but will also host its fall meeting in the former mining tow.

Whereas the Potemkin Stairs in Odessa, Ukraine, will certainly need no introduction, the Collegiate Church may not necessarily ring a bell right away. In October 1964, Orson Welles used Sant Vicenç as the location for Chimes at Midnight, subsequent winner of the 20th Anniversary Prize and the Technical Grand Prize at Festival de Cannes. Although shooting lasted nine months, EFA explains, only 15 days were spent in Cardona, and yet 30 minutes of the final 115-minute cut were shot there, “containing some of the most emblematic locations.”

First to Shoot Laser

Pretty much the first in anything related to cinema technology, pan-European exhibitor Kinepolis would, of course, also be the one to open Europe’s very first all-laser cinema in Breda, The Netherlands. With an August opening, the ten-plex will have one Barco Flagship Laser (DP4K-30L) and nine phosphor-laser projectors (five DP2K-15CLP and four 20,000-lumen DP2K-20CLP). In combination with Dolby Atmos, the premium house will be branded Kinepolis “Laser ULTRA.” Noted chief executive officer Eddy Duquenne, “Kinepolis is on a constant quest to introduce new, innovative technologies that help bring back the magic of the movies. We knew that our investment in Barco's laser-illuminated projectors would help us bring the moviegoing experience to new levels.”

In another first—for Central and Eastern Europe—the nine-screen Grinn Film multiplex, built as part of a large mixed-used development in Kursk, Russia, will be all about laser projection too. Barco will deploy two Flagship (DP4K-60L and DP4K-45L) and seven phosphor-laser projectors (three DP2K-15CLP, four 20,000-lumens DP2K-20CLP with ultra-short 2K:1.0-1.29 lenses). The local system integrator is Kinocomfort.

“We had great past experience with Barco’s xenon cinema projectors,” explained Pavel Greshilov, Grinn Corporation’s deputy director-general. “After visiting seminars and viewing Barco’s Flagship Laser projectors at work, we concluded that, once again, Barco technology really stands out from the others.”

Another standout is that every auditorium at Mega-Grinn Kursk will feature Barco’s AuroMax sound-rendering technology—another “European première,” according to the partners. Barco added that this would help “to further step up the premium moviegoing experience with the most natural immersive sound possible at up to half the cost of a typical object-based sound system.”

One of those seminar sessions that Grinn’s Greshilov mentioned above was available during CineEurope, of course. In a post-show video, Barco invites our readers to “see more, hear more, re-live CineEurope.” Calling interest in its lineup “huge,” CinemaBarco says that “thousands of visitors took the time to attend our dedicated demo sessions, in lifelike cinema environments, going home with new insights into ‘the future of cinema.’”

4DPLEX Keeps Moving

Continuing on both the immersive and first-to-move track to the future, CJ 4DPLEX opened its first theatre in Serbia on July 15. Appropriately enough, CineStar Novi Sad went on an all-bumpy and wind-chilled Collision Course with the animated Ice Age gang while Tarzan swung through the jungle, both to over 90% capacity on their first weekends.

CineStar Cinemas operates 17 sites across the Balkan region, with 110 screens and nearly 19,000 seats overall and on track for over four million admissions this year. Three more multiplexes are expected to open, said Zoran Savic, managing director of Blitz CineStar for Serbia. “The motion seats are perfect to simulate adrenaline speed driving, space travel, flying or swimming. Strong wind blows, water, bubbles, fog, rainstorms, lightning and special scents such as coffee, gunpowder and the smell of burning tires, enable the viewers to be part of the film.”

In other parts of the world, 4DX launched at Caribbean Cinemas’ VIP Multiplex in the Dominican Republic. Whereas that marked another first for the “4D cinema market leader” with a market share of some 60% (over 34,000 seats in 268 auditoriums in 41 countries now), more than 20 new screens will be outfitted in East China alone, through Shanghai Film Corporation within three years. Currently there are 58 4DX auditoriums nationwide, aiming to expand to 100 auditoriums in China this year, the South Korean manufacturer noted.

Ciné Paradis Steps Up

Amongst the presenters on day four of DigiTraining Plus 2016 in Taormina, Sicily, Olivia Reggiani talked about expanding her family-owned and operated chain. The challenges faced to their existing cinema in Fontainebleau, France, included losing half their guests when two competing multiplexes opened. Together with her sister and mother, the enterprising enterprise fittingly called Ciné Paradis “courageously made a new bid, opening a six-screen complex and placing its odds on cutting-edge technology, including immersive sound.” Our friends and DigiTrainig organizers—for a lucky 13th year—at Media Salles also reported that Reggiani stressed the vital role of technology to today’s audiences. Additional Ciné Paradis sites are located in Nemours and Chartre.

A Science-Fiction Double Feature Picture Show

“In the back row, oh oh oh oh…” This Halloween, that classic lyric from The Rocky Horror Picture Show will come alive—just like the hills in The Sound of Music. BFI Southbank will host both the 1975 cult classic and its “often overlooked” 1981 sequel Shock Treatment during a day full of activities. Promising a “unique experience for super-fans and the uninitiated alike,” an international cast of Rocky Horror performers from the U.K., U.S. and Europe will be onstage to perform numbers from both films live, while the films screen in the background. Following Shock Treatment, cast and crew reunite for a celebratory panel discussion to mark the 35th anniversary. In addition to a “plethora of convention activity in the hours leading up to the screenings,” in the evening audiences are invited to the Time Warp Ball, “complete with Transylvanian cocktails and spooky tunes.”