CinemaNext installs Harman LED video fixtures at Athens Sphera theatre

Technology and New Products

CinemaNext recently deployed a complete Martin by Harman LED wall lighting system in its first Sphera theatre installation at Village Cinemas in Athens, Greece.

Owned by Ymagis Group, CinemaNext is Europe’s leading cinema exhibition services provider, offering theatre technologies like ÉclairColor HDR projection. CinemaNext recently debuted its new premium-format Sphera theatre concept at Village Cinemas in the Mall of Athens. The theatre includes an 82-foot-wide wall-to-wall screen, 669 luxury seats, 4K digital video projectors and a Dolby Atmos surround sound system. CinemaNext decided to incorporate Martin VDO Sceptron LED video fixtures to create a dynamic lighting system that complements the visuals on the screen.

“Our goal was to offer a more enthralling experience by including an immersive multi-dimensional lighting effect,” noted Jérôme Michel, business development manager at CinemaNext. “We wanted to be able to create different moods and ambiences that react to the visuals onscreen in real time. We’ve had great success with Harman solutions in the past, and the VDO Sceptrons were no exception. The fixtures were super-easy to configure using the Martin P3-200 controller—it was the perfect solution to accomplish our goals.”

The lighting system CinemaNext installed is comprised of 160 Martin VDO Sceptron 20 (1000mm) and 30 VDO Sceptron 20 (320mm) fixtures deployed in vertical columns on the left and right theatre walls. In order to keep the light from spilling onto the massive 82-foot screen, CinemaNext outfitted the VDO Sceptron fixtures with asymmetric wall-washing lenses. Utilizing a camera that is mounted adjacent to the projector, video signals from the film are mapped onto the VDO Sceptron fixtures via a Martin P3-200 system controller, extending the movie’s visuals off the screen and onto the sidewalls. When the feature film isn’t playing, the entire system is automated with preset lighting effects when guests are entering and exiting the theatre, during advertisements and while the credits roll.

“In cinema, contrast is of utmost importance—that’s why movies are shown in dark rooms,” continued Michel. “We wanted to use LED lighting to enhance the colors of the film without threatening the picture contrast. The Harman team worked closely with us to maximize the system’s desired effect within the tight deadline. Using the asymmetric lens, Martin VDO Sceptron 20 fixtures made it possible to peripherally stimulate moviegoers’ sense of immersion without the worry of washing out the picture quality onscreen.