Kinepolis and Barco: A 20-year partnership

Cinemas Features

Kinepolis Group is being honored with an award at CineEurope in Barcelona. And rightly so: The group definitely deserves the much-coveted “International Exhibitor of the Year” Award,” to add to the “Global Achievement Award in Exhibition” Award they received in 2014. As Barco has shared a passion for movies and innovation with Kinepolis since the early days of digital cinema, we know that the Kinepolis motto—“the ultimate movie experience”—is not just a slogan, but their passion. Here is a brief peek into close to 20 years of a partnership that we’re very proud of!

“Kinepolis is one of the most innovative exhibition circuits in Europe,” said Andrew Sunshine, VP of the Film Expo Group, when he announced the winner of the “International Exhibitor of the Year” Award. He couldn’t be more right.

Kinepolis: a truly successful innovator in cinema

The Kinepolis group’s founding family not only established Europe’s first multi- and megaplexes, the group has also been consistently generating first-class returns on its multiplexes by combining operational excellence with a relentless focus on improving the moviegoer experience with numerous cinema innovations ranging from seat concepts (e.g., “Cosy Seats”) to refreshing food and beverage concepts (including world-famous Belgian chocolates) and cinema technology innovations (e.g., the first deployment of laser projectors worldwide).

Our Barco team has had the unique occasion to witness the innovative spirit of Kinepolis in the latter domain and to cooperate with a very professional exhibitor that focuses on creating win-win scenarios with their partners. The adoption of laser technology is a great example of this.

Moving from Laser ULTRA to all-laser cinema

At the end of 2014, Kinepolis installed the world’s first Barco Flagship Laser 6P RGB projectors at the Kinepolis cinemas in Lomme (France), Brussels and Antwerp (Belgium) and Madrid (Spain). Already at the official launch, Kinepolis CEO Eddy Duquenne was enthusiastic: “The laser experience is truly amazing; there’s nothing like this on the market. We are confident that this investment will really help us bring the movie experience to new levels and offer our customers exceptional cinema moments.”

Over the following two years, Kinepolis built a strong PLF brand, “Laser ULTRA,” centered on immersive sound and Barco Flagship Laser and expanded it to a broad number of installations.

For Eddy, Joost and their teams, however, limiting laser projection to their PLF screens was not enough. Together with Barco, they looked for opportunities to improve the image quality on all screens while further reducing operational costs.

So it was no surprise when they opened the first all-laser cinema in Europe in the first half of 2016 in the Dutch town of Breda. While the largest auditorium features Laser ULTRA with Barco’s Flagship Laser projector, the other cinema screens are equipped with nine Barco Smart Laser projectors that significantly reduce operational costs. “Visitor numbers exceeded our expectations and our customers are raving,” says Vicky Vekemans, theatre manager at Kinepolis Breda. “Moreover, laser projection helps us cut energy costs by 30 percent, while we also save on lamps and on staff to replace them.”

Since the opening of Kinepolis Breda, Kinepolis has opened three more all-laser sites throughout Europe: Utrecht (the Netherlands), Fenouillet (France) and Granada (Spain).

These are just a few of the many illustrations of the innovative spirit of Kinepolis and its quest for combining the ultimate movie experience with sound and thoughtful economic reasoning.

Barco is extremely proud to share all the above premieres with Kinepolis Group and delighted to see how their efforts are now, once again, rewarded. Congratulations to the entire Kinepolis team, on this great recognition. We hope to continue helping you create “the ultimate movie experience” for many years to come!