Madrid's Odeon Sambil multiplex sets benchmark for Europe with Christie RGB EWD lasers plus all-Christie audio and projection

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Digital Cinema

The recently opened Odeon Sambil Dolby® Atmos™ multiplex in Madrid can boast of a remarkable number of “technological firsts” at its 12 theatres. The multiplex in the first in Spain with all screens equipped with 4K projectors (all from Christie®), the first to include Dolby Atmos and Christie Vive Audio™ sound in all theatres, and the only multiplex in Spain with more than one laser screen—Sambil has two screens equipped with laser projection, both with Christie Solaria™ CP42LH RGB projectors.

Yet another first: The two Christie RGB3DLP® laser projectors introduce EWD (enhanced wavelength diversity) technology to Spain. EWD uses a unique mixture and configuration of Christie laser modulesto reduce the impact of speckle on silver screens.

“Christie is the only projector manufacturer offering EWD projection,” said Luis Millán, owner of Odeon Multicines, “affording a much richer, colorful, brighter and higher contrast image quality. And that means we can give our audiences a truly unforgettable moviegoing experience,”

Millán started in the cinema exhibition business in 1984. He created Equipo de Cine, an integrating company which installed its first multiplex in 2003. In 2012, he founded Odeon Multicines, now one of the country’s most important chains, totaling 98 screens in the whole of Spain. Millán’s Odeon Sambil Dolby Atmos, which opened on March 24, can seat 2,000 people over a floor area of 6,000 square metres.

The two Christie RGB laser projectors at Odeon Sambil use eight laser modules to generate 40,000 lumens (each module can generate up to 5,000 lumens of white light). The scalability of the platform makes it possible to easily add, remove, activate or disable up to a dozen modules depending on brightness requirements, making it is possible to produce up to 60,000 lumens if needed.

The other 10 screens in the multiplex, ranging from 10 to 18 meters, employ a combination of Christie CP4220 (22,000 lumens) and Christie CP4230 (34,000 lumens) 4K 3DLP Cinema® projectors, all coming with Christie IMB, a DCI-compliant totally integrated media block to easily and efficiently run the cinema content.

In addition, Odeon Sambilis the largest all Christie Vive Audio and Dolby Atmos installation in Europe and, according to Chris Connett, EMEA market development director for Christie Vive Audio, the most complex. “A multiplex usually has one or two Dolby Atmos theatres, with the rest of the screens offering 5.1 or 7.1 sound,” Connett explained. “But this complex has Dolby Atmos and a record number of Vive Audio speakers and amplifiers in all its theatres. This is totally unique and demonstrates Odeon’s strong interest in equipping the whole complex with the best cinema sound available on the market.”

With a total of 514 speakers, the impressive Vive Audio installation at Odeon Sambil boasts the whole spectrum of Christie LA2, LA3, LA4, LS4S, LS5S, LA3S, LA4S and LA3C models for screen, surround and ceiling, and S218, S215 and S118 subwoofers, as well as 217 CDA2, CDA3, CDA5 and CDA7.5 amplifiers.

“Christie Vive Audio is the most advanced cinema sound system on the market,” said Millán. “Christie’s line array speakers provide absolute sound fidelity and produce higher sound pressure levels without disturbing the viewer, because they don’t generate any kind of distortion. Furthermore, they offer absolutely uniform coverage across the whole theatre, meaning that spectators can hear even the tiniest details, ensuring a superior immersive sound experience.”

Yet another outstanding feature of the new multiplex: all 12 theatres are equipped with Harkness Clarus XC 170 silver screens. These screens are 3D ready, ensuring that all screens at Odeon Sambil can project 3D movies, another first in Spain. The multiplex uses Get-3D’s passive 3D system.

Likewise, all the 12 auditoriums have premium leather upholstered seats designed specifically for the multiplex by the Spanish company Josper. “These truly high-end seats are designed to afford spectators unparalleled comfort, something no other multiplex in Spain can match,” Millán emphasized.

The engineering and integration of the new multiplex was commissioned to the Christie partner Ingevideo, working hand in hand with Equipo de Cine, the company that supervised the installation of the equipment. These companies introduced technological developments unheard of in most multiplexes: They installed a Crestron automated control system to run the lights and doors of all 12 theatres. They also integrated dimmer LED lighting in the Vive Audio speakers to underscore the design, lending the theatres a unique cutting-edge touch by changing the color and intensity of the speaker lights while screening advertisements.

“Honestly, we are proud to have designed Spain’s most outstanding cinema complex to date,” said Miguel Ángel Piqueras, director general of Ingevideo. “It was a genuine challenge given the complexity of integrating so many groundbreaking new systems in record time, but the end result is a world-standard multiplex where spectators can watch movies with unbeatable image and sound quality.”

Added Marcos Fernández, Christie director for Spain and Portugal, who helmed the project for Christie alongside Chris Connett and Adil Zerouali, cinema director for Christie Europe: “We ought to underline just how exceptionally good this multiplex is, completely unique at the current moment, when it is not a common practice among many suppliers to seek excellence and offer spectators maximum quality. In this case, I believe we have achieved our goal, not only for the projectors and the speakers, but for the multiplex as a whole. The experience the audience is going to have is only available to a few, and having a cinema complex like this in Spain is something we are proud of.”

Adil Zerouali concluded: “We are convinced that, thanks to the EWD RGB laser, Vive Audio and Dolby Atmos in this new complex, people will rediscover the experience of ‘going to the movies,’ being immersed in the vivid images and clarity of sound, completely caught up in the story.”