Going Live: Barco, Regal and AEG team on L.A. Innovation Center
Barco, the Belgian-based technology company and leading global supplier of cinema-grade projectors, launched and celebrated their new multi-year, three-way partnership with leading sports and entertainment presenter AEG and Regal Cinemas at their ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 31. In what appears to be a complete win-win-win for all three companies, Regal’s flagship theatre, one of the crown jewels of the Los Angeles cinemagoing scene, has been renamed and transformed into the “Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center.”
During the ceremony, representatives from the companies highlighted the increased significance this addition would bring to the L.A. LIVE venue, arguably the leading Los Angeles primary cinema destination. Opened in 2009 and centered in downtown Los Angeles next to AEG’s famous Staples Center, Regal L.A. LIVE boasts annual attendance of over 20 million and hosts an average of 20 or more Hollywood premieres yearly. Speaking at the event were Todd Goldstein, chief revenue officer at AEG; Lee Zeidman, president of Staples Center, Microsoft Theatre and L.A. LIVE; Rob Del Moro, Regal’s chief purchasing officer, and Wim Buyens, chief executive officer at Barco Entertainment.
In the deal, Barco gets highly visible naming rights along with an industry showroom for all its latest cinema products and technologies under the CinemaBarco brand. The presentation starts in the lobby with Barco Lobby Experience and moves into the main auditoriums featuring the latest in Barco laser-illuminated cinema projectors, along with Barco’s AuroMax® immersive sound system. In addition, one auditorium has been equipped with Barco Escape, an exciting new multi-screen format.
The Barco Lobby Experience turns the cinema lobby into an immersive storytelling environment, utilizing a combination of animated box-office, concession and menu boards, dynamic movie posters, and multi-screen, synchronized feature film promotional content. The Barco Lobby Experience is essentially a show-before-the-show presented on up to 60 flat-screen monitors divided into four primary zones, with synchronized trailers, advertising and videos all choreographed into a unique and engaging lobby experience.
Barco is sourcing movie trailers and upcoming attractions from the studios and other content providers. The Barco Lobby Experience also includes potential revenue-generating possibilities for exhibitors. By leveraging its strong relationships with studios and other equipment providers, Barco offers a complete cinema lobby solution, including all hardware and software, content creation and management services to customize each lobby with full integration with ticketing, concessions and other corporate platforms.
The core product of the Barco Lobby Experience is Barco’s new X2O real-time visual-communications platform. Everything from basic content packages featuring digital posters, box-office and concession templates, to synchronized screen arrays for a full “Lobby Domination” sequence are managed by the X2O platform. Back-end analytics provide customer interactivity data, enabling owners to adapt content to deliver the most effective messages. Greg Patrick, Barco’s VP, digital cinema-lobby, commented, “We are thrilled to create a home for our Barco Lobby Experience at the new Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center, where visitors can truly immerse themselves in a real-life cinema lobby. Exhibitors can now enjoy the convenience, weekly content updates and cost-efficiency of working with a turnkey solution provider to create an interactive and engaging cinema lobby for a new generation.”
Two of the largest auditoriums in the L.A. LIVE complex have been equipped with Barco’s latest Flagship Laser illuminated projector. Regal is among more than 40 exhibitors in over 20 countries to have installed Barco’s DP4K-60L Flagship Laser projector in their Premium Large Format (PLF) auditoriums. With twice the brightness of any xenon projector, the DP4K-60L offers outstanding image quality with an exceptional brightness level, increased contrast ratio and vivid colors for a radically improved 3D movie experience. Installed with the unique Barco Alchemy Integrated Cinema Media Processor (ICMP), it's capable of showing 4K content at 60 frames per second and 3D movies in 4K. Fully integrated, the DP4K-60L greatly reduces installation and operational complexity. The rest of the L.A. LIVE auditoriums are scheduled to receive the newly announced Barco Laser phosphor projectors later this year, turning L.A. Live into one of the first all-laser-illuminated multiplexes in the U.S.
Of course, the larger auditoriums at L.A. LIVE, are also equipped with newly enhanced Barco AuroMax® immersive sound. Barco Auro, introduced in 2010, features a unique 11.1-channel sound format that adds two additional layers of sound to the existing 5.1 surround sound layer. The newly enhanced Barco AuroMax format combines with the Barco Auro 11.1 object-based techniques from Barco Audio Technologies (formerly IOSONO). The results are natural, acoustically perfect representations of standardized immersive sound—at up to half the cost of a typical object-based sound system.
One auditorium at L.A. LIVE has been equipped with Barco Escape, the three-screen, panoramic movie format that offers a truly immersive visual experience. Barco Escape debuted to the public in 2014 with scenes in The Maze Runner and later in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. So far, Barco has approximately 20 Escape installations around the world. Barco and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions recently announced that Star Trek Beyond, one of this year’s most anticipated films, will be released in Barco Escape by Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions on July 22. Additionally, director Scott Waugh is currently in preproduction on the first feature-length Barco Escape film, tentatively scheduled for a late 2016 release.
Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center is an industry showplace, where Los Angeles cinemagoers and industry insiders can come together to see, hear and experience the latest in Barco’s presentations technologies, all under the CinemaBarco name. The ongoing arrangement between AEG, Regal Cinemas and Barco puts Barco’s cinema efforts on the fast track in terms of gaining valuable brand-name recognition and exposure of its technologies to the sophisticated and often technically savvy audiences at the center of the Los Angeles market.