Cinema Tech Community re-launches

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European Update

As we all make plans for doing/being/feeling better, let us kick off the first column of 2018 with one such forward-looking makeover. Best of all, you can be part of that enterprise.

CTC (Cinema Technology Committee) announced a “significant re-launch with a renewed vision of supporting the global cinema industry,” the London, England-based organization announced. Previously a subcommittee of the International Moving Image Society, CTC has become an independent, not-for-profit industry network that is “focused on bringing organizations, professionals and students together from across the world to share knowledge and expertise…with the aim of improving the experience for moviegoers.”

“We believe that there is an inherent need to bring the entire cinema community closer together, from filmmakers through to exhibitors and manufacturers, to address some of the pressing issues relating to technology and presentation of content,” noted Richard Mitchell, president of CTC and VP, global marketing, at Harkness Screens. This past summer, Mitchell was tasked with expanding the committee.

In addition to providing guidance and support to theatre operators “from large multinationals through to small independent operators,” CTC facilitates research projects, white papers, training courses, lectures, technical handbooks, educational visits, seminars and networking events, to name a few. “Technology and innovation continue to drive change not just across the cinema industry but in the way consumers digest and interact with content.” Mitchell hopes that the impartial approach set forth by the group will “enable the cinema industry to understand the opportunities new technology can provide,” and when and how they might be implemented. Ultimately, he says, CTC is about “what makes a better future for cinema.”

CTC is looking to establish an advisory council that can provide “steering and support on key focus areas and future outputs for the organization to ensure these are aligned to the objectives of the industry.” Cinema industry members from across the globe “who share the vision of improving the moviegoing experience” are invited to nominate themselves at info@cinema-technology.com.

Kinepolis Concludes Landmark Deal

After reaching an agreement with the company shareholders to the tune of CAD 122.7 million (US$95.74 mil., € 84.2 mil.) in mid-September, Kinepolis Group was able to officially complete the acquisition of Landmark Cinemas. On Dec. 7, the Minister of Canadian Heritage approved the takeover of 44 movie theatres with 303 screens in Central and Western Canada. With a market share of 10%, Landmark Cinemas welcomed 10.6 million guests in 2016 to its 55,000 seats.

Back in Europe, where the Group operates 48 cinemas in seven countries, a separate set of 125,000 seats has just started shaking. Just in time for The Last Jedi to invade, Kinepolis opened its first 4DX auditoriums in Brussels and Antwerp, Belgium. Also in December, guests to Kinepolis Madrid, Spain, will see all five senses tickled in sync with the onscreen action, followed by the 4DX theatre in Lomme, France, this January.

“Kinepolis has always been a leader in introducing innovative technology that intensifies the movie experience,” said Eddy Duquenne, chief executive officer of Kinepolis Group. “Cinema is all about experiencing emotions together and 4DX will further increase this.” As of October 2017, Seoul, South Korea-based CJ 4DPLEX had installed more than 49,000 4DX seats in 405 auditoriums across 49 countries.

Meanwhile at MediaMation…

Moving right along in the multi-sensory movie word, MediaMation showcased its latest MX4D seating system at CineAsia. Partnering with Europe’s leading 3D provider, Volfoni, MediaMation’s Dan Jamele said, “The result is a fully immersive and interactive experience for the audience.” Thierry Henkinet, chief executive officer of Volfoni, added, “3D plus 4D equal a perfect combination,” after five years of working closely together.

Along with Arts Alliance Media, MediaMation and Volfoni are both members of the Luxin-Rio Group, a provider of turnkey solutions for entertainment equipment.

Berlinale Revives Ancient Law

For its “Berlinale Classics” program, the 68th Berlin International Film Festival selected the 2K restoration of Ewald André Dupont’sDas alte Gesetz (The Ancient Law, 1923). Together with a new score by French composer Philippe Schoeller, this version will have its world premiere on Feb. 16, 2018 in the Friedrichstadt-Palast.

The latest restoration drew upon nitrate prints in five different languages found in Europe and the United States, the archival team at Deutsche Kinemathek noted. When the original censor’s certificate was uncovered, containing the text of the long-lost original title cards, renewed research was initiated worldwide. The result is the first time that a version corresponding to the 1920s German theatrical release will be shown, both in its original length, and with the colorization—as derived from two surviving prints—digitally restored.

EclairGame On!

Ymagis Group announced the launch of EclairGame, their new esports-based entertainment system “fully dedicated to gaming in cinemas.” For Christophe Lacroix, senior VP of Ymagis Group, this is a growing worldwide phenomenon, “whether through fighting, strategy or sports videogames.” Developing EclairGame aligns perfectly with the company mission “to ensure that cinemas remain the entertainment venue of choice, while helping our cinema partners to diversify their revenue stream.”

The first agreement was signed with Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé for France. During so-called CineSessions, gamers and moviegoers come together at the Pathé La Villette in Paris “to enjoy the comfort, conviviality and interactivity of a cinema auditorium,” the company writes. “Powered by the latest, sophisticated digital projection technologies,” professional and amateur gamers engage in in championships, “play today’s most popular videogames and even undertake training sessions in the comfort of a cinema auditorium.”

In another first, CinemaNext, the exhibitor services specialist in Ymagis Group, and Village Cinemas launched the Sphera Premium Cinema at The Mall of Athens, Greece. “The response from moviegoers, national press and social media has been overwhelming,” confirmed George Christodoulou, chief executive officer of Village Cinemas. “With Sphera, we keep our company on the cutting edge of innovation while maximizing our revenues, with a 50 percent increase in average ticket price over a seven-week span.”

Centered by a 25-meter wide (82 feet) wall-to-wall screen for 669 custom seats, the high-contrast 4K projector and Dolby Atmos sound come with “interactive ambient lighting” that is fully automated and compatible, with no specific DCP or programming required. CinemaNext suggest that it makes a perfect match “to all alternative content, pre-shows, youth-oriented features or even advertising programs.”