The Canadian Connection: Northern innovators who propel the movie theatre business

Features
Technology

On the occasion of ShowCanada in Banff, Alberta (May 30-June 1), FJI acknowledges the vital contributions of Canadian companies to movie theatre operations.

Christie

Founded in 1929, Christie is a global visual and audio company offering diverse solutions for business, entertainment and industry. Christie employs over 1,500 people globally and has installed over 100,000 projection systems for a variety of industries worldwide.

In 1999, Christie acquired Electrohome Projection Systems—an international manufacturer of commercial projection systems—and in the process established itself as a world leader in the digital projection revolution. Their ongoing commitment to the film industry has continued with the introduction of premium 4K high-resolution projectors, immersive audio and most recently laser projection.
Christie also manufactures a variety of display technologies and solutions for many industries, including government, education, media and control rooms.

In 2009, Christie launched the Christie MicroTiles® digital display system, which can be stacked to form any shape or size.

·       In 2013, the company introduced Christie Vive Audio, a complete cinema audio solution, as well as Christie Brio, a presentation and collaboration solution that allows users to simultaneously share presentations, video and other media in real time.​​
In 2014, Christie acquired Arsenal Media Inc.—now Christie 360—a digital signage agency specializing in experiential installations and interactive content.​

·       Specifically for movie exhibitors, the company also provides the Christie Lobby Experience, a theatre lobby environment that incorporates a curved screen with content from Christie 360 Experiential Studios, interactive kiosks and LCD flat panels.

·       Christie’s head office is located in Cypress, Calif. Christie engineering and manufacturing is headquartered in Kitchener, Ontario, with a second manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China. Christie is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ushio, Inc., of Japan. (christiedigital.com)

Imax Corporation

Founded in 1968, Imax Corporation specializes in motion-picture technologies and large-format motion-picture presentations. From the introduction of stadium seating, to developing the highest-resolution camera in the world, to their laser projection technology and partnerships with the world’s best filmmakers, Imax has revolutionized the moviegoing experience. More than 450 million people have been entertained in IMAX theatres since 1970, IMAX can be found in destination entertainment centers and multiplexes, as well as some of the most prestigious educational institutions worldwide.

Blockbusters recently released in the IMAX format include The Fate of the Furious, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, The LEGO Batman Movie, Logan, Beauty and the Beast and Kong: Skull Island. Future 2017 titles include Alien: Covenant, Wonder Woman, Dunkirk, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Transformers: The Last Knight, The Mummy, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Blade Runner 2049, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Thor: Ragnarok, Justice League and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Last November, Imax Corporation and Imax China Holding, Inc. completed the first phase of a $50 million virtual reality fund between Imax and other strategic investors to help finance the creation of at least 25 interactive VR content experiences over the next three years for use across all VR platforms including in IMAX VR™ centers. Imax and its partners will use the funds to aid in the creation of higher-quality VR content that can be leveraged across the burgeoning VR industry. The group will target event-style productions with its Hollywood studio and filmmaker partners that complement Imax’s film slate, as well as gaming publishers and other leading content developers.

Imax Corporation is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with offices in London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. As of Sept. 30, 2016, there were 1,145 IMAX theatres (1,037 commercial multiplexes, 16 commercial destinations and 92 institutions) in 74 countries. (imax.com)

D-BOX Technologies

Based in Longueuil, Quebec, D-BOX Technologies Inc. designs, manufactures and commercializes motion systems for the entertainment and simulation and training markets. Its patented technology uses motion effects specifically programmed for visual content which are sent to a motion system integrated into either a platform, a seat or any other product. D-BOX motion designers program every movement of the D-BOX-enabled cinema seats to reflect the actions and emotions portrayed in the movie. D-BOX is in more than 400 theatres worldwide; over 190 movies have been specifically encoded for presentation on those screens.

D-BOX motion systems are also used for racing and flight simulations, industrial and government simulations, and in casinos, arcades and museums.

In 2016, D-BOX motion-coding technology played a key role in a series of successful virtual-reality ventures for Ubisoft, Fox Innovation Lab, VRC, HTC Viveland, mk2 and Samsung. The company's latest project is a social responsibility campaign for Johnnie Walker brand Diageo. Created in collaboration with Vayner Media, the intense virtual-reality experience utilizes a terrifying car crash to underscore the consequences of drunk driving. (d-box.com)

Omniterm

As an innovator in cinema point-of-sale, Mississauga, Ontario-based Omniterm has seated millions of engaged moviegoers. Serving thousands of screens in North America and around the world, their engineering-driven approach delivers a stable and user-friendly platform to cinema owners and managers. Their Theatre Management Software (TMS) solution includes: automated ticketing, concession point-of-sale, kiosks, Internet ticketing, loyalty program, auditorium LCD signage, digital concession menu boards, box-office showtime monitor, and integrated restaurant, gift card and film settlement applications.

Developing their software and hardware solutions in their own technology center, Omniterm delivers one-customer-at-a-time solutions that are ready to integrate with existing hardware, theatre branding and promotions. And with up-to-the-minute data monitoring and reporting tools, Omniterm customers always see the big picture on screen-by-screen sales, concessions and more. (omniterm.com)

Strong MDI

Strong MDI of Joliette, Quebec was the first screen manufacturer to work with RealD and is the main supplier of giant screens for Imax Corp. The company is a leader in the development of sophisticated new coatings and a major player in 3D conversions worldwide. Strong MDI proclaims that it has “the best 3D silver screen signal-to-noise ratio in the industry.” The company’s modern 76,000-square-foot plant includes a state-of-the-art laboratory for coating development, with two coating towers—the largest in the world, with screen size capability up to 62 x 105 feet. Their product line includes premium screens, 2D and 3D screens, motorized systems, and structures and frames. (strongmdi.com)

TimePlay

Toronto’s TimePlay is an award-winning technology media company specializing in operating a unique multi-player interactive platform in cinemas, arenas and other venues worldwide, as well as producing interactive content for its platform. The company’s platform and content delivers engaging social interactive experiences through mobile phones, which interact with a second screen. From entertainment to sponsorship, advertisements and trailers, there are many ways to use TimePlay in the pre-show. TimePlay may also be utilized for gaming experiences and business meetings. The company provides user-friendly web tools for exhibitors and their partners to develop their own content, playlists and offers. Content and offers can be targeted by demographic, consumer profile or film titles to increase relevance. (timeplay.com)

Decoustics

Since 1975, Woodbridge, Ontario-based Decoustics has been manufacturing custom interior architectural acoustical ceiling panels, wall panels and systems. Decoustics’ range of premium custom products includes the Ceilencio torsion-spring ceiling system, Claro custom acoustical coatings, Madero natural wood finishes and Trelisio woven wire. (decoustics.com)

Encore by Palliser

Built to wow and made to last, Encore by Palliser power-recline theatre seating is designed for luxurious comfort, serviceability and durability. Stylish aisle and seat number lighting guides your guests to their seats with ease, and ergonomically placed fingertip controls enable smooth and simple recline positioning. Palliser’s Winnipeg manufacturing facility sources only the finest materials and implements diligent quality-control checks at every step in the production process. With a legacy of over 70 years of quality and attentive service, Palliser is the largest manufacturer of upholstered furniture in North America and an industry leader in power-recline technology. (encore.palliser.com)

eomac

eomac was established as a provider of acoustic wall and ceiling treatments for multiplex cinemas in 1990. Today, the company offers a wide range of cinema and architectural products, a responsive and informed business development team, and experienced installation crews and project managers. With locations in Caledon, Ontario and Sunderland, U.K., eomac is well positioned to handle projects globally. (eomac.com)

Mesbur + Smith

Mesbur+Smith Architects is a pre-eminent design firm specializing in entertainment architecture, from multiplex cinema design to historical theatre restoration projects to diverse entertainment and recreation facilities. The Toronto firm has successfully completed 500 projects spanning 47 countries across the globe. 

In 1983, David Mesbur became the exclusive architect for Cineplex Odeon Corporation to design multiplex cinemas in Canada, the United States and England. From 1983 to 1990, he designed and completed more than 250 Cineplex projects. In 1992, Mesbur partnered with Harold Smith to form Mesbur+Smith Architects, and the firm expanded its expertise in cinema design beyond North America. Over the next 15 years, Mesbur+Smith completed more than 75 new cinema complexes throughout Mexico, India and Russia. In 2003, the partners were joined by senior designer and project manager Ramin Moeini. Smith retired in 2013. (mesbursmith.com)