The time has finally come! History now has been re-scripted!! We won the Oscars!!!! This has been the roar of every Indian patron swarming up the internet! The Magnum Opus ‘RRR’ rewrites history at the 95th Academy Awards as ‘Naatu Naatu’, the song from SS Rajamouli directed movie has won the Oscars in the Best Original Song. ‘Naatu Naatu’, composed by MM Keeravani and written by Chandrabose winning the largest and most-prestigious awards globally, not only serves as a warm embrace to the musical legacy of Indian cinema while it opens the doors to better prospects for future Indian films in other categories in the prestigious yearly ceremony.
Meanwhile, the undersupply for projectors seem to be keeping exhibitors up with a constant thirst. The scarcity in the chip production for these projectors have certainly created a stir for demand. But a fear also resides amongst exhibitors on the future coming by. The theatrical exhibition business depends on a consistent supply of good content; more than just that – Quality Content. And Exhibition doesn’t succeed simply because of the movies, of course. Great movies must be experienced in extraordinary environment. And nothing could do justice to that but the ‘Big Screens’.
Speaking of which, The Box Office sees ‘Break the Ceiling’ records with the James Cameron’s ‘Avatar: The Way of The Water’ . Beating the lifetime of ‘The Avengers’ and the second highest grossing movies in the global charts, ‘Avatar 2’ continues to rake in good numbers at the worldwide box office. Topping the charts with a whopping of US$ 2.24 billion, most recently, the ‘Avatar’ sequel crossed ‘Top Gun Maverick’ to become the no. 1 film of 2022 and now, another feat has been achieved - ‘The Way of Water’ now ranks third all-time behind ‘Avatar’ (US$ 2.92 billion) and ‘Avengers: Endgame’ (US$ 2.7 billion). And so does YRF’s latest addition to the house – the Shahrukh Khan starrer ‘Pathaan’. As of March 2023 reports, the film has grossed INR 653.77 crore (US$ 82 million) in India and INR 394.53 crore (US$ 49 million) overseas for a worldwide gross collection of INR 1,048.30 crore (US$ 130 million). Pathaan is your true-blue commercial, masala entertainer that’s not trying to send across any message or be a social commentary on the current state of affairs in the country. It’s fun, non-fussy and fantastic at the same time.
Whats cooking more in the industry is the advent of LED screens into the market. More the hype, merrier the buy! Flying straight into this magazine issue, we have Switzerland’s Blue Cinemas, the luxurious BFI IMAX, the mega Roxy Cinemas, the picturesque Curzon and other extremely prestigious properties from Belarus, Washington D. C, Auckland, Tokyo. We have loved reaching out to every part of the world to get our cinephiles loads of exciting info and hope to add many more into the list. With massive product launches and screenings, CinemaCon 2023 is sure to be an the most happening event for the next-generation technology. This year, CinemaCon, at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, USA held from 24 – 27 April, is poised to get bigger and better than ever before.
See you all soon! Do not forget to pick our TheatreWorld magazine copy at CinemaCon Publication Bin!!!
Raghavendra T (Raghav) Editor-Publisher
DISCLAIMER - TheatreWorld Magazine does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the quality, accuracy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of any information, product or service represented within our magazine or web site. The information provided is for knowledge or entertainment purposes only. TheatreWorld Magazine does not endorse or recommend any article, product, service or information found within said articles or advertisements. The views and opinions of the authors who have submitted articles to TheatreWorld Magazine belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of TheatreWorld Magazine or its staff.
Issue # 95
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TheatreWorld TheatreWorld TheatreWorld TheatreWorld is a quarterly publication, on the motion picture exhibition industry, for private circulation. It reaches out to subscribers, mainly theatre owners and trade professionals around the world. Additional copies are being promoted at major international industry tradeshows. TheatreWorld seeks the healthy promotion of the theatre industry through dissemination of useful information. Some of the information is compiled from industry sources, trade journals, company brochures for the benefit of readers, especially, theatre owners. TheatreWorld acknowledges with thanks the authors and publishers of these printed materials. Views expressed in the articles are those of the authors and not necessarily of TheatreWorld. TheatreWorld is a trademark under registration. The contents of TheatreWorld are under copyright registration. All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Unsolicited printed material is welcome but no responsibility is undertaken for the same and will not be returned. TheatreWorld does not take responsibility for the absolute accuracy of information published.
March-May 2023 TW-4
This issue of TW has two sets of page numbers - International pages TW-1 to TW-60 for TW, and India pages TM-1 to TM-42 for TM TM is inserted between pages TW-54 and TW-55 of TW
TW-18 Silver Screen Cinemas: Largest Cinema in Belarus
TW-20 Blue Cinema: The Most Cinematic Marvel in Chur
TW-23 Silky Otter Ponsonby: Auckland's Most Anticipated Cinema
TW-24 RRR: The One Song that Rocked Cinemas
TW-26 BFI IMAX: Relaunches UK's Biggest Screen
TW-28 Roxy Xtreme: Biggest in the Middle East and North Africa!!!
TW-33 Alamo Drafthouse: A Trendsetter in Washington D.C
TW-36 United Cinemas: Tokyo's Latest Cinematic Attraction
TW-38 HeyLED Innovation Centre: Absolute Visual Demonstration
TW-39 HARMAN: Spearheading Technological Sol...
TM-10 PVR: The Luxury Collections
TM-18 PSS Multiplex: Boosted with Matchless Audio Systems
TM-22 Bansal Movieplex: The Most Iconic Cinema in Vadodara
TM-24 NY Cinemas: Brings Cinematic Luxury to Ahmedabad
TM-27 EVP Cinemas: India's First Pre - Engineered Theatre
Curzon Cinemas: Tribute to the Legacies!
TM-29 Rajhans Cinemas: Ventures into the Heart of Varachha
TM-32 INOX: Adds New Waves of Entertainment
TM-35 Mahalaxmi Cinema: Enhancing the 84-Year-Old Legacy
TM-36 Sky Multiplex: Redefining Moviegoing in Morbi
TM-37 PVR Cinemas: Setting Milestones Beyond Par!!!
TM-40 MovieTime Cinemas: Scales New Altitudes
F U T U RE R E L E S E S A
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Qube Cinema Introduces Virtual Wiretap
Qube Wire has expanded the ways that theatres can connect to their network with the Virtual WireTAP. The Virtual WireTAP is a software solution that can be installed on a theatre's existing hardware to connect the theatre to Qube Wire's global cloud delivery platform directly. It delivers on Qube's commitment to supporting theatre's requirements - clients can leverage their existing infrastructure to connect to Qube Wire. Like the WireTAP and the WireTAP Air before, the Virtual WireTAP is easy to install and operate. Mark Waterston, Senior Vice President, Qube Wire, had this to say about Virtual WireTAP's unique features, "Some theatres wanted the quick and easy delivery of content via Qube Wire, but they didn't want to install another box in their booth. The Virtual WireTAP allows theatres to use the extra storage that they already have to connect to Qube Wire."
Qube has always worked to identify specific market needs and craft effective solutions that are easy to deploy. The Virtual WireTAP can be installed on the theatre's existing hardware and includes all the features and convenience of the current WireTAP. This includes fully automated storage management, intelligent KDM routing and delivery, real-time delivery status monitoring via the Qube Wire portal and fail- safe automatic firmware updates. The Virtual WireTAP is already deployed across four theatre chains in three countries - USA, Brazil, and India.
Nigel Dennis, Senior Vice President,
Global Sales added "We've listened to the feedback from exhibitors, and this certainly opens up more opportunity. Our market coverage is growing day by day; Qube's electronic delivery now counts for thousands of sites worldwide including our recent expansion across Southeast Asia."
HOYTS Commissions Seven Additional Cinemas with D-Box
D-BOX Technologies and HOYTS, the largest single-brand movie exhibitor in Australia and one of the country's leading entertainment companies, have announced the commission of D-BOX haptic recliner seats in 7 additional Hoyts locations, to be installed by the end of 2023. This will raise the total number of Hoyts theatres equipped with D-BOX technology over the last four years to 22, many of them fullfledged D BOX auditoriums. D-BOX now has more than 850 auditoriums installed or committed around the world based on these additional locations. "The Box Office has shown that moviegoers, now more than ever, have a strong appetite for
premium experiences. This is true not only in the Americas but also Down Under. Hoyts' occupancy rate is very good, and they have decided to capitalise on that market trend by providing their moviegoers with an unparalleled premium entertainment experience," declared Sébastien Mailhot, President and CEO of D-BOX. "Hoyts has proven to be a great partner and I want to take this opportunity to thank them for their commitment in growing our respective businesses and their confidence in our immersive haptic technology."
"Whether they're watching the latest horror movie, a blockbuster or even a musical comedy, our guests immerse themselves much further into the moviegoing experience through the D-BOX haptic seats. We are thrilled to bring this premium technology to even more movie lovers across the country, providing them with a truly immersive way to view exciting films," said Damian Keogh, President and CEO of The HOYTS Group. "In today's competitive environment, where everyone is competing for the attention of consumers, D-BOX gives us a definite edge in our market and has already had an amazing effect on our brand awareness, customer satisfaction and, most importantly, ticket sales."
Major Cineplex Invests in Live Hologram Technology
ARHT Media, the global leader in the development, production and distribution of high-quality and lowlatency hologram and digital content, announced that Thailand's largest operator of movie theatres, Major Cineplex, has purchased ARHT's CAPSULE hologram display technology in a move that is set to
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revolutionise the cinemagoing experience. Major Cineplex becomes the first cinema operator in the world to purchase CAPSULE technology, with the announcement also marking the first sale of CAPSULE in the wider APAC region building on the successful rollout of the hologram display system across North America and Europe throughout 2022. The announcement follows ARHT Media's recent reporting of record Q3 revenues of $2.02M vs $1.05M in Q3 2021, an increase of 92 per cent, showcasing the continued growth of the hologram technology sector. CAPSULE is a plug-and-play, fully interactive 4K hologram display, enabling the merging of the physical world with the metaverse like never before. The technology has attracted great interest across the cinema sector following its unveiling at CinemaCon Las Vegas, and the purchase of CAPSULE will now enable Major Cineplex to deliver unique experiences blending real world and metaverse both in cinema and at special events. Audiences will be able to meet and greet with lifesized 3D holograms in real-time, enabling talent to be beamed live to the screen from anywhere in the world. CAPSULE also provides fully interactive functionality, including a touch screen and two-way cameras, providing immersive ways to gamify the lobby experience, giving cinema audiences a wealth of new ways to engage with content from advertisers and studios. "We are delighted to be the first cinema operator in the world to bring this exciting new technology to our customers," said Vicha Poolvaraluk, CEO of Major Cineplex. "Hologram technology was once the realm of science fiction, but with CAPSULE, we will be able to make this a reality for our audiences and look forward to creating some truly unforgettable cinema
experiences." Larry O'Reilly, CEO of ARHT Media, added, "Now more than ever we are seeing bricks and mortar cinemas needing to come up with new and innovative ways to attract audiences through their doors. We cannot wait to begin working with Major Cineplex to give their audiences amazing experiences that they just cannot get at home."
Mega FilemQube Wire Partner on E-Content Delivery
Qube Cinema announced a partnership with Mega Filem Enterprise, Malaysia's leading digital cinema service provider and Qube Wire, the world's leading electronic delivery platform. Mega Filem Enterprise and Qube Wire will operate a content delivery network serving all cinemas in Malaysia and Brunei. Qube Wire's global cloud delivery platform is known for its ease of installation and operation. It provides a secure, efficient way to deliver content and keys for less money. Already the two companies have connected more than 80 theatres with a fast and robust electronic connection. Another 40 theatres are scheduled for installation. "This partnership is at the frontier of knowledge and with Qube Wire's vast global network delivering innovation to the industry, we remain committed to our growth initiatives and continue to build long-term value for our respective customers," says Yap Mun Yue, CEO of Mega Filem Enterprise. Qube Wire is a market-leading electronic content delivery platform that is unsurpassed in its security features. All major studios have assessed and ratified this delivery system, and they all use the network in some way around the world. Qube Wire's simple but comprehensive user
interface helps distributors manage their digital cinema assets, assign territorial rights for their content, and deliver their Digital Cinema Packages (DCPs) to movie theatres. Additionally, theatres can manage their own digital cinema device details, download KDMs, and access details about all of the movies they are showing via their individualised web portal, all for free. Commenting on this partnership Mark Waterston, Senior Vice President - Qube Wire, said "We have been so impressed with the knowledge and skill of the Mega Filem team. We are honoured that they would choose us as their partner for this important region."
STS Launches New Content Management Service
Strong Technical Services (STS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Ballantyne Strong, announced the launch of its new content management service, designed to streamline booth operations for its cinema partners. The STS content management service offers a dedicated team of content specialists that handle all theatre management system (TMS) operations, including content ingestion and transfers of content such as features, trailers, and advertisements. Additionally, the team monitors show status and equipment operation for each customer. "STS is well known for our capabilities related to installation, repair, and remote support so it was a natural progression to expand our service model to assist with the real-time, day-to-day booth operations of our theatre partners," stated Blake Titman, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Strong Technical Services. "Cinemas are
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multifaceted operations, which often run more than one screen at a time, while also selling tickets and running concessions. Our innovative content management service streamlines the process associated with playing features and the ancillary entertainment and advertisements, enabling operators to dedicate less resources to booth logistics so that they may focus on enhancing the customers' onsite experience," stated
President of Strong Entertainment at Ballantyne Strong.
Showcase Cinemas Sets Opening for Boston South Shore Location
Showcase Cinemas recently announced the opening of its newest theatre, the Showcase Cinema de Lux Hanover Crossing, located in Hanover, Massachusetts. Serving the Boston South Shore community, the new theatre features eight auditoriums, including an XPlus Laser Premium Large Format auditorium, along with a lobby bar and lounge. The lobby bar features Starbucks Coffee and espresso beverages, hand-crafted cocktails on tap, premium spirits and a selection of local craft beers. Burke's Aleworks, located in Hanover, has partnered with Showcase Cinema de Lux Hanover Crossing to create a custom beer that will be available on tap exclusively at the cinema. The theatre also offers gourmet popcorn and
hand-rolled pretzels. Guests may preorder concessions via the Showcase app and retrieve them upon arrival at the XPress Pick-Up station. The new Showcase Cinema de Lux Hanover Crossing was initially announced as part of Showcase Cinemas' sponsorship of the Hingham Harborworks, a longstanding South Shore tradition. Showcase Cinemas provided the funding needed to bring the fireworks back following a threeyear hiatus and had an extensive presence at the Harborworks celebration in September. "We are truly thrilled to open the new Showcase Cinema de Lux Hanover Crossing to give moviegoers on the South Shore the best possible moviegoing experience. We look forward to inviting customers and guests to experience all of the features of this brand-new cinema themselves this holiday season," said Mark Malinowski, the vice president of global marketing for Showcase Cinemas. "Community involvement and support is extremely important to us at Showcase Cinemas, and we are proud to be part of the fabric of the Hanover and South Shore communities as a whole."
Legendary EntertainmentSony Pictures Announce Worldwide Film Distribution Partnership
Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group and Legendary Entertainment announced a new multi-year worldwide film distribution partnership, in which Sony Pictures will market and distribute most of Legendary's new upcoming theatrical motion picture titles.
Legendary will continue to remain in business with Warner Bros. Pictures on select existing titles, including the
upcoming Dune: Part Two, slated for release on November 2023.
As part of the pact, Sony Pictures will market and distribute new Legendary theatrical releases worldwide excluding China, where Legendary East will handle all marketing and distribution activities. Legendary retains the option to produce and distribute feature film content for streaming platforms.
Legendary's biggest theatrical releases distributed by Warner Bros. through the years have included The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Inception, Man of Steel, The Hangover and The Hangover Part II, 300, Dune, Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island, and Godzilla vs. Kong."It's a rare opportunity to partner in this mutually beneficial way with true pros, who are completely aligned in our theatrical commitment and vision for this business,"
Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group Presidents Josh Greenstein and Sanford Panitch said in a press release. "The creative brilliance and power of Legendary is huge and we look forward to bringing their work to theatres across the world." "As we continue to grow our content offerings, we are excited to forge this relationship with Tony, Tom, Sanford, Josh and the rest of the exceptional Sony team," Legendary CEO Joshua Grode said in the same press release.
"Sony's commitment to theatrical distribution aligns with our vision of how to best derive the most value for Legendary's movies. The incredible slate of movies that Mary Parent has amassed are built for the theatrical experience and we are excited about our partnership with Sony for this next phase of Legendary's growth."
"Legendary is, well, legendary and we are excited and fortunate to add Josh and Mary's strong slate to our ongoing commitment to big movies on the big screen," Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group Chair and CEO Tom Rothman added.
March-May 2023 TW-10
GDC SR-1000 Sales Touch Skies Despite Supply Chain Issue
GDC Technology, a leading global provider of digital cinema solutions, announced that cumulative global shipments for its SR-1000 Standalone Integrated Media Block are on track to exceed its 2022 forecast despite the supply chain issue. With the introduction of an optional built-in cinema audio processor and the highest frame rate technology, GDC is forecasting continued sales growth generated by theatre owners continuing to replace legacy digital cinema media servers in 2023. Additionally, GDC attributes the growth to launching new audio products, such as 5.1/7.1/15.1 cinema audio processor and DTS:X for IAB (Immersive Audio Bitstream) immersive audio rendering available in 16-/24-/32-channel with AES67 networked audio features. 32-channel AES67 feature is targeted to release in Q1 2023. GDC also launched more audio cinema products at CineAsiaEspedeo DAC Series (Digital-toAnalog Audio Converter) and AES67/ AES3 32+32-channel Bidirectional Converter. "We achieved these results by listening to customers," said Dr Man-Nang Chong, founder, chairman and CEO of GDC Technology Limited. "Our focus on execution, combined with our continued R&D allowed us to exceed expectations and deliver strong sales growth. We are very bullish on the future of the cinema industry. We plan to continue adding features to our SR Series product line based on the needs of our customers, which include the Hollywood creative community."
During the last two years, the focus of the company has been on product innovation to improve the moviegoing experience. In addition, GDC launched a redesigned website and focused on social media to deliver a consistent sales and marketing strategy. Working in this way paid off, as the SR Series media server sales grew by 28 percent compared with the same period in 2021, shipping over 20,000 units since its introduction in 2018. With the supply chain issue loosening up, GDC expects sales growth to continue in 2023 and beyond as exhibitors replace legacy equipment with the company's latest SR-1000 media server technology designed with enhanced features to attract audiences to movie theatres, such as 4K resolution at 240fps in 3D.
Award Winning Cinity System at CineAsia 2022, Christie
Christie, a global leader in digital cinema presentation technologies, conducted demonstrations of the award-winning CINITY Cinema System at CineAsia 2022. These special demonstrations served to showcase the full capabilities of the CINITY Cinema System - a creative blending of 4K, 3D, high brightness, high frame rate, high dynamic range, and wide colour gamut display capabilities, and pairs it with immersive sound. It improves the overall sound quality, and yields clearer images, brighter colours, and smoother motion to greatly improve the quality of cinema screenings. Christie provides high performance digital projection technology and services to CINITY Cinema Systems as a CINITY projection system partner. Brian Claypool, executive vice president, Cinema, Christie, said,
"We are delighted to have been able to conduct demonstrations of CINITY at CineAsia to promote this innovative and exhilarating moviegoing experience. This is an affirmation of our strong partnership with CINITY, as well as our commitment to develop state-of-the-art technologies which continue to push the boundaries of theatrical presentation unlike any other in the industry. CINITY can enhance the overall cinematic experience and immerse audiences into every detail of the presentation."
The CINITY Cinema System has earned global recognition by winning the Technical Achievement Award at CineEurope 2022 and screening new scenes of James Cameron's epic sequel Avatar: The Way of Water during Disney's presentation. During that presentation, director James Cameron noted that every shot of Avatar 2 "was designed for the biggest screen and highest resolution possible," as the film pushes the boundaries of cinematic storytelling. Additionally, Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment have used Christie projectors in post-production environments for the upcoming film. Since its launch in 2019, CINITY has gained considerable market share in China, achieved its first international locations in 2022 and has the backing of global filmmakers and distributors.
March-May 2023 TW-11
AAM Guarantees 24/7 Support Worldwide
Arts Alliance Media (AAM), the global leader in digital cinema software and services, confirmed their international customer base will now receive 24/7 technical support to maintain effective, fault-free operations and complete peace of mind.
Now serving exhibitors from three continents after opening AAM US Incorporated, customers from around the globe can access round the clock support, receiving first-class customer service and knowledge from years of industry experience, to help resolve unexpected issues quickly and effectively. "As we continue to grow the business, expand our footprint, and add new solutions to our portfolio, it's essential that we offer all customers access to instant support", said Alan Bowen, CFO and GM at Arts Alliance Media.
"Significant investment into human resource and thorough training will ensure all customers can expect the same high level of service that's embedded within our reputation." While aiming to build the confidence of cinema operators worldwide, the introduction of uninterrupted support access will help to create a knowledge base that's tailored per territory, refining AAM's global customer experience. With a multitude of solutions in their portfolio, including the recently launched Screenlighter, a theatre management system designed exclusively for small and independent cinemas, AAM will ensure each offering retains the required support infrastructure for sustained business growth. Dale Miller, CCO at Arts Alliance Media, added "supporting all customers is our primary objective. By enabling comprehensive technical assistance at any hour around the world, we reinforce confidence in our solutions to help exhibitors provide an outstanding cinematic experience."
Toho-Cinionic Advances Sustainable Cinema with Expansion of Laser Projection
TOHO Cinemas, one of Japan's largest exhibitors, and Cinionic, the leader in laser-powered cinema solutions, announced the rollout of laser projection in 159 of the esteemed circuit's theatres. Following an initial laser installation in late 2020 at TOHO Cinemas' Tachikawa Tachihi location, Laser Projection by Cinionic was selected for the chain's presentation technology renewal. Work is now underway to complete the project in the coming months, offering Japanese moviegoers an environmentally friendly and elevated cinematic experience. TOHO Cinemas has 686 screens across 73 locations in Japan, including five jointly operated cinemas with 56 screens, one of the largest and most important global film markets. With the upgrade to laser projection, TOHO Cinemas delivers an enhanced movie presentation, more contrast, greater brightness, and improved clarity while achieving a more sustainable way to go to the movies for many years to come.
"Cinionic is honoured to be selected by TOHO Cinemas to power the next era of cinema for moviegoers in Japan with laser projection," says Wim Buyens, CEO, Cinionic. "We are proud to work in a market with such a
long and respected history in film and cinema. Together with TOHO Cinemas, we look forward to delighting audiences across Japan with exceptional, laser-powered entertainment." The majority of TOHO Cinema's new laser deployments feature the award-winning Barco Series 4 laser projection family from Cinionic. Barco Series 4 delivers consistently brilliant images on-screen and carries industry-leading sustainability credentials to reduce the environmental footprint of cinema operations. The projection range features Barco EcoPure, providing energy savings of as much as 70 per cent vs. traditional Xenon-based illumination, operational efficiency, and the elimination of waste from consumables. TOHO Cinemas selected Barco solutions from Cinionic to power their transition to laser for the companies' long heritage in cinema and expertise as the leader in laser technology. Cinionic's commitment to sustainability was also an important factor. In addition to offering an eco-friendly laser solution portfolio, Cinionic has clear environmental goals for 2023 and beyond to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
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Major Cineplex Chooses Christie for Outstanding Visuals on Smaller Screens
consumption, the CP2306-RGBe, CP2308-RGBe and CP2310-RGBe are capable of 30,000 hours of stable DCI brightness with low-maintenance operation. Perfect for use in small VIP auditoriums, post-production rooms, and small screen cinemas, Christie RGBe Series projectors provide 2000:1 contrast ratio, greater than 90% Rec. 2020 color gamut, and enhanced wavelength diversity to improve image performance on high gain screens - all in a small form factor.
VOX Cinemas Mall of the Emirates Now Certified Under LEED
Christie is pleased to announce that Major Cineplex, the largest movie theatre operator in Thailand, has chosen its high-value RGBe Series laser projection system for deployment in smaller auditoriums across its circuit. This DCI-compliant projector series features RGB laser illumination and CineLife electronics that deliver outstanding visuals with improved colour gamut, brightness, contrast and operational life in an affordable platform. Major Cineplex has acquired the CP2310-RGBe model, which offers 10,000 lumens in brightness and is ideal for screens up to 14 metres (47 feet) wide. More than a dozen CP2310-RGBe projectors have so far been fitted in seven multiplexes located nationwide. With these installations, Major Cineplex currently operates the largest fleet of Christie RGB laser projection systems in Thailand. Equipped with leading edge CineLife and CineLife+ electronics, as well as Real|Laser illumination technology that reveal a world of colour never before seen on screen, these state-of-the-art projectors outperform any other cinema illumination platform and set the stage for the most spectacular cinematic experiences.
"With Christie's RGBe Series projectors, our smaller auditoriums can reap the benefits of RGB laser technology to provide superior cinematic visuals to our patrons," says Apichart Kongchai, Chief Cinema Officer, Major Cineplex. "These projectors are well-suited for deployment in new sites as well as replacing aging systems at existing venues. This enables us to maintain our market leadership position and fulfils our goal of delivering high quality moviegoing experiences."
Vivian Lim, regional sales manager for Southeast Asia, Cinema, Christie, adds, "We are delighted that Major Cineplex has embraced our RGBe Series projectors designed for smaller auditoriums as it seeks to rejuvenate older cinemas and further expand its footprint domestically. This is a clear demonstration of Major's confidence in our direct-coupled RGB laser projection system that delivers amazing visual experiences for moviegoers through an affordable platform that performs well into the future." Featuring a highly-efficient laser light source that allows for improved image performance on high gain screens and increased light efficiency for reduced power
VOX Cinemas' Mall of the Emirates location has been awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4.1 O+M (Operations + Maintenance) Existing Interiors. This comes close on the heels of its City Centre Mirdif location's distinction as the world's first cinema to be awarded the same certification. The only cinema in the MENA region to receive this coveted environmental achievement, VOX Cinemas earned a gold certification for both its Mall of the Emirates and City Centre Mirdif locations from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which aligns with Majid Al Futtaim's company-wide sustainability strategy 'Dare Today, Change Tomorrow'. LEED, developed by USGBC, is the most widely used green-building rating system in the world and is a globally recognised symbol of
March-May 2023 TW-13
sustainability achievement and leadership. Deepthy K. B., Regional Director of Market Development at GBCI Middle East, presented the LEED v4.1 O+M Existing Interiors certificate to Francis Anthony Uy, Head of Technical & Sustainability and congratulated Majid Al Futtaim Leisure, Entertainment & Cinemas for its consistent commitment towards the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative, while simultaneously offering a hugely impactful cinema experience for its stakeholders through healthy and high-performing assets.
Peter Stubbs, Director of HSE and Sustainability, Majid Al Futtaim Leisure, Entertainment & Cinemas, "LEED is an international symbol of excellence, and we are incredibly honoured to become the only cinema in the world to earn this coveted accolade, given our common goal to build a healthy and sustainable future. At Majid Al Futtaim, we are continuously implementing environmentally sustainable practices in line with our 'Dare Today, Change Tomorrow' strategy and as part of our commitment to provide a healthy environment for our customers, employees, business partners and the local community. Achieving this important milestone demonstrates how the innovative work of our teams and continued investment in greener technology across our assets can create local solutions that contribute to making a global impact."
Gopalakrishnan P., Managing Director, GBCI India, MENA and SEA markets, said, "The latest in LEED v4.1 personifies Sustainability, Health and Wellness, Resiliency and Social Equity. Majid Al Futtaim Leisure, Entertainment & Cinemas has adopted the LEED v4.1 O+M Existing Interiors version for both VOX Cinemas Mall of the Emirates and City Centre Mirdif in deference to the evolving customer, who apart from enjoying the audiovisual content, also wants to be in a space that is focused on sustainability to add to their health and wellbeing."
European Cinema Trio Screen Avatar with CINITY System
A trio of European cinemas has installed the CINITY Cinema System allowing moviegoers to see Avatar: The Way of Water in superb clarity. The CINITY Cinema System, developed over a three-year period by CINITY, in collaboration with Christie, offers creative blending of 4K, 3D, high brightness, high frame rate, high dynamic range, and wide colour gamut display capabilities, paired with immersive sound. Cineplex Cinema in Aachen, Germany, Arena Cinema in Zurich, Switzerland, and the Arena Cinema in Geneva, Switzerland now all feature a CINITY Cinema System, allowing European audiences the opportunity to experience it for the first time. "It's amazing to see the CINITY Cinema System reach European shores, marking another stage in the progression of this exciting cinema technology," says Adil Zerouali, senior sales director for cinema, Christie. "We are honoured to be involved with CINITY in developing the latest technologies to drive performance ever higher, as we work together to continue to push the boundaries of theatrical presentation and audience engagement. The performance of the CINITY Cinema System is unparalleled, and when paired with a
masterpiece such as Avatar: The Way of Water, the result is spectacular. I'm looking forward to hearing the feedback from European audiences."
The CINITY Cinema System improves the overall sound quality, and yields clearer images, brighter colours, and smoother motion to greatly improve the quality of cinema screenings. Christie provides high-performance digital projection technology and services to CINITY Cinema Systems as a CINITY projection system partner and reseller.
CinionicKinopolis Delivers a Laser-Powered Experience to German Moviegoers
Cinionic, the leader in laser-powered cinema solutions, and Kinopolis, one of the largest cinema groups in Germany, team up to bring audiences Laser Projection by Cinionic in time for the holiday moviegoing season. The installs are the first phase of a new project to bring laser-powered cinema to 48 Kinopolis screens across Germany by 2025, replacing xenon projection with next-generation Barco technology from Cinionic's alllaser portfolio. Working with our local integrator Vandors, laser projection from the award-winning Barco Series 4 line-up now powers the premium auditoriums at Kinopolis' (m)k6 in Munich, Main-Taunus in Sulzbach, and Gießen locations. The upgrade delivers elevated movie presentation with laser-sharp images, exceptional brightness, deeper contrast, and vivid colours. Moviegoers can look forward to experiencing this year's most hotly anticipated movies on laser-powered screens for an experience that is unlike anything available outside of a cinema.
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"With our new Barco laser projectors, we offer our guests a projection quality that leaves nothing to be desired in terms of brightness, contrast and colour. Our new partnership with Cinionic underlines our firm belief in the future of cinema and helps us pursue our declared goal to always offer our guests the best possible cinema experience," explains Gregory Theile, Managing Director of the KINOPOLIS Group. Kinopolis' move to laser delivers more than an enhanced image. Thanks to the ecodriven design of Barco Series 4 and the elimination of Xenon lamps in the projection booth, the result on screen is both better for the viewer and the planet - boosting energy savings of as much as 70 per cent compared to traditional digital projectors. The chain also benefits from greater efficiency in its operations at each site with an ultra-low maintenance schedule and consistent on-screen performance over time. "Moviegoers around the world are seeking elevated cinema experiences, especially during the upcoming holidays," says Wim Buyens, CEO, Cinionic. "By moving to laser projection, Kinopolis offers audiences in Germany a new way to enjoy movies with bright, vivid colours, high-quality presentation which stays consistent over time." Kinopolis' locations join more than 30,000 locations around the world illuminated by Laser Projection by Cinionic. Since launching laser projection to the cinema market in 2014, leading cinemas are selecting Cinionic laser solutions as part of complete projection solutions designed to deliver world-class cinema experience to a new generation of moviegoers.
Cineplex & CJ 4DPLEX Introduce 4DX, British Columbia
Cineplex, a leading entertainment, and media company, in partnership with CJ 4DPLEX, the world's leading producer of premium film formats and cinema technologies, has opened British Columbia's first 4DX auditorium at Cineplex Cinemas Metropolis in Burnaby. The 4DX cinematic experience gives audiences the ability to fully escape into their movie while engaging all their senses, including touch, sight, sound and smell. The enhanced cinematic experience at Cineplex Cinemas Metropolis debuted with Avatar: The Way of Water. Developed by CJ 4DPLEX, 4DX is a state-of-the-art film technology that delivers an immersive multi-sensory cinematic experience incorporating on-screen visuals with synchronised motion seats as well as environmental effects such as water, wind, fog, scent, snow and more, to enhance the action on screen. It is the world's first and leading 4D movie technology brand for feature films including Hollywood blockbusters, local films, and alternative content such as concerts and commercials.
"The state-of-the-art technology that CJ 4DPLEX has masterfully created brings a true and incomparable escape into the magical world of cinema that you have to see, hear, feel and smell to believe. The 4DX experience is another example of our ongoing commitment to innovation in our theatres," said Kevin Watts, Executive Vice President, Exhibition & LBE, Cineplex. "It is a real thrill to bring 4DX to our guests in Burnaby and the surrounding Metro Vancouver area, especially just in time for the busy holiday season when we all look forward to visiting the theatres with family and friends. We are excited to expand 4DX in Canada and continue our partnership with Cineplex. 4DX provides moviegoers with an
experience that can only be appreciated in the theatre," said Duncan Macdonald, Head of Worldwide Marketing and Theatre Development, CJ 4DPLEX America. "The process to enhance content for the 4DX screen requires skilled editors and weeks of work; the end result is magical. Nothing matches the immersive and interactive experience that 4DX provides."
Moving iMage Named Global Cinema Distributor by LEA
Moving iMage Technologies, a leading cinema technology company, and LEA Professional (LEA), a global manufacturer of industry-first, proaudio amplifiers with cloud- and IoTbased technologies, today announced a partnership to distribute LEA's line of ‘smart’ power amplifiers to the global cinema market. "This partnership brings together two leading, entrepreneurial companies to provide LEA's best-in-class audio technology to the cinema market," said Joe Delgado, executive vice president, sales and marketing.
"LEA's line of IoT/Cloud-enabled Professional-grade 'smart' amplifiers and associated technologies are known for reliability, quality and
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product availability. Combined with MiT's experience in cinema, this partnership presents a significant opportunity for both companies to expand their market opportunity. In addition, this relationship is especially timely given that the global cinema market is in a technology refresh cycle."
"We are excited to partner with a leading company like MiT to help expand our business deeper into the global cinema market," said Scott Robbins, vice president of global sales for LEA Professional. "MiT's decades of experience in cinema is a great match for LEA. Our 'smart' amplifier systems are known for easy connectivity, onboard digital signal processing, high output and elevated audio performance that bring highimpact immersive sound experiences to movie audiences and a higher ROI to exhibitors. We believe MiT's experience understanding exhibitors' requirements will help to communicate LEA's value proposition to the cinema market."
MiT will have global distribution rights for the cinema market, including studios, high-end home theatres and post-production facility applications that utilize Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) displays, projectors and servers. Additionally, LEA amplifiers are backed by a US-based worldclass Professional Audio engineering team, online and technical resources, as well as an industry-leading 6-year warranty, providing exhibitors with peace of mind while reinforcing LEA's confidence in their quality and customer satisfaction. Delgado concluded, "This partnership enhances our strategy to enter new markets outside North America. By adding LEA's power amplifiers to our current and future line of products and services that we believe have the potential to penetrate global markets."
IMAX::: Second Biggest Global Opening of Avatar: The Way of Water
IMAX announced that moviegoers returned to Pandora in droves with James Cameron's ground-breaking sci-fi sequel Avatar: The Way of Water delivering a massive $48.8 million global opening weekend in IMAX theatres - the second biggest IMAX global opening of all time. Disney/ Lightstorm's Avatar: The Way of Water also claimed IMAX's biggest December global opening of all time.
IMAX built on its historic legacy with this one-of-a-kind franchise, racking up an outsized 11.2 per cent of the film's worldwide gross on just a fraction of total screens. The original Avatar is the highest grossing film in IMAX of all time. The North American box office led the way, where IMAX delivered $16.5 million in Domestic box office - 12.3 per cent of total receipts. Avatar: The Way of Water also heralded a return to form for IMAX in China, where the Company delivered a $15.8 million opening weekend. IMAX delivered its biggest opening weekend marketing share ever in China, accounting for 27% of the total box office in China on only 1 per cent of total screens in the market.
"Avatar: The Way of Water is a watershed achievement in filmmaking
innovation and technology, and it's clear that global audiences are choosing to see this film through the best technology for blockbuster entertainment in the world: IMAX," said Rich Gelfond, CEO of IMAX. "As excited as we are about these early results, we anticipate a long and successful run for Avatar: The Way of Water as more people around the world book their ticket to Pandora for the epic storytelling and unmissable visual splendour of what James Cameron and his team have created."
International IMAX screens outside of China delivered $16.5 million in box office with Avatar: The Way of Water
The film scored the biggest IMAX opening weekend of all time in diverse collection of 11 global markets, including India, Belgium, Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Vietnam, Chile, Kazakhstan, and New Zealand, where Avatar: The Way of Water was filmed and IMAX recently opened its first theatre in the city of Wellington. In total, 41 international markets posted top five all-time IMAX opening weekends.
Gelfond continued, "From our recordbreaking results with the first Avatar to our outsized market share with its
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recent re-release, we believe there is powerful data to suggest that Avatar: The Way of Water will have strong legs at the global box office for IMAX and that fans will be filling our theatres for this one-of-a-kind cinematic experience well into the new year."Avatar: The Way of Water debuted with the widest IMAX global release of all time across 1,543 screens and is available exclusively in IMAX 3D in IMAX locations worldwide.
STRONG/MDI Signs Exclusive Agreement with Marcus Theatres
STRONG/MDI Screen Systems a wholly owned subsidiary of Ballantyne Strong and a leader in manufacturing of state-of-the-art Cinema Screens announced it has signed an exclusive three-year cinema screen supply agreement with Marcus Theatres. Ray Boegner, President of Strong Entertainment, commented, "We are pleased to continue our long-running partnership with Marcus Theatres, helping them provide a premium cinema experience to their customers in their theatres across the United States. We continue to partner with leading cinemas to provide them with the best in projection screen quality and technology, and we look forward to expanding our partnership network as more and more cinemas throughout the U.S. and globally look to upgrade their offerings." "Marcus Theatres is a well-known and respected cinema circuit with a strong customer base and presence throughout the U.S.," stated Francois Barrette, General Manager of Strong/ MDI. "This exclusive partnership with Marcus Theatres is a testament to their continued belief in Strong/MDI products and their commitment to delivering the best in screen presentation technology to their
customers in all of their cinemas nationwide. We are thrilled to be offering STRONG/MDI screens in our cinemas," said Mark Gramz, president of Marcus Theatres. "Strong/MDI screens represent the highest standard of screen presentation technology available today, and we are pleased to be providing this to customers at our locations across the United States."
Galalite Transforms Cinema Viewing Experience in East and Central Africa
A well-acclaimed brand for upgrading theatres, Galalite is the proud provider of Central Africa's biggest cinema screens for Two Rivers Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Central and East Africa's largest cinema screen ranging up tp 19.5 metres in width and 8.7 metres in height was installed at Two Rivers Mall in the centre of Nairobi. In a revolutionary partnership with Century Cinemax, the complex boasts the biggest cinema screen and includes a Dolby Atmos 4K screen and sound system. To accommodate the large screen, the movie theatre, known as TRX (Two Rivers Extreme), is situated in an opulent auditorium that is the height of a four-story building. The recently opened movie theatre complex also has a VIP kids' theatre built for entertainment, convenience and security. The most immersive, all-encompassing movieviewing experience is made possible by modern 7.1 virtual surround sound technology and Galalite's Prism 3D 3.4 screen. The theatre installed Galalite's Prism 3D 3.4 screen. Given their method of calculating the cumulative gain of a screen, their customers are always aware of the exact features of the screens and can accurately gauge whether it fits their requirements. Galalite has always
prioritised transparency when helping theatre owners upgrade their theatres. The advantages of LENSRAY technology also come to the rescue when it comes to accommodating an audience that only expects the top tier of the cinema viewing experience. LENSRAY Technology reduces visual noise improving viewing angles and scattering light by up to 20% helping reduce hot spotting which enhances the movie viewing experience. LENSRAY Technology is available in Mirage, Prism 3D, and Digilite.
Sharp/NEC Equips Roxy with the Largest PLF
Sharp/NEC Display Solutions Europe has been chosen by Roxy Cinemas and Scrabble Entertainment to deliver the laser projection technology for Roxy’s prestigious new Dubai Hills project, including the largest PLF screen in the Middle East and North Africa. With two NEC NC3541L 4K RB laser projectors, Dubai Hills is taking advantage of RB laser technology delivering compelling benefits in terms of image quality, cost, and operational efficiency. Roxy Cinemas is a leading luxury cinema brand in the United Arab Emirates where guests enjoy international blockbusters, culture events and sports action all in a sophisticated environment.
Dubai Hills is this year’s biggest new opening by Roxy Cinemas in the UAE. The cinema hosts the single largest PLF screen across Middle East and North Africa, measuring 28 meters by 15.1 meters. At 423 square meters, the “Roxy Xtreme” screen is the size of two tennis courts. To power the installation, Roxy Cinemas and Scrabble Entertainment, the leading provider of end-to-end Digital Cinema Solutions in the Middle East, decided on a dual projection system with two NEC NC3541L 4K RB laser projectors.
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Silver Screen Cinemas: Largest
Cinema in Belarus
The cinema project goes above and beyond to establish itself as an entertainment space as it promises to redefine the cinema experience. Equipped with top-notch solutions, this property is on its way to win the hearts of the residents. Bagging extensive experience as one of the biggest players in the market, their newest project sets a new benchmark for entertainment spaces in Belarus.
Mooon by the cinema chain Silver Screen at the Palazzo Mall is the latest opening by the brand wherein they have put in practice a lot of new features that help realise the grand idea of the brand. The brand competes not only with other cinemas but for the leisure time of the audience. With extensive experience as one of the biggest players in the market, their newest project sets a new benchmark for entertainment spaces in Belarus. Backed by the vision of the founder Aleksei Malaichuk.
Mooon at Palazzo sets itself apart from its contemporaries with its remarkable and unique lighting and sound solutions. It boasts a large staircase in the common area and has dedicated spaces for live events. The cinema is soon to become a hub for the little moviegoers as it is equipped with the first ever Kid's Hall in Belarus. As it aims to redefine the moviegoing experience, the cinema hall is fitted out
with beds in partnership with a leading mattress manufacturer. The Mooon+ hall serves as a space for alternative content such as theatre screenings, non-Hollywood films and live sports. The halls differ from each other in terms of design, seating as well as screen technology.
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The technical features of the cinema have been integrated by their preferred partner, CinemaNext. With years of experience and knowledge of the latest technologies, the CinemaNext team have made it possible to achieve technical superiority with this project and among cinemas in Minsk. The latest and most modern technologies in the industry have been installed and equipped at this facility. High-quality visuals are provided by bright 4K projectors with a contrast ratio up to 8000:1. It supports all available formats like 3D, HFR and HDR. Thanks to the speakers of the wellknown Ukrainian manufacturer MAGCINMEAS, the sound in the cinema theatre meets the highest quality standards. Perfect image uniformity, deep colours and a bright picture are made possible with the screens of the latest generation Prism series by the industry leader Galalite.
The concession at Mooon provides its patrons a lot of in-house solutions including a self-service cinema bar, popcorn with their own import of corn seeds and a dine-in experience as well.
"As a company we are growing in both domestic and international markets. We have three more cinemas in the pipeline, with the first one in UAE due to open in 2023. This is a new market for us and we are very excited to expand there. We position ourselves as a cinema space with different entertainment modules and we are confident that this new category will flourish globally," added the team at Mooon.
With their partners from Maverick Cinema Software, Mooon has developed a unique, vertically integrated IT solution, which allows them to run the business in the most effective way.
Catering to the visitors at Palazzo mall, the audience matches the company's consumer profile. With more than 300,000 loyalty program members,
the average age of the consumer is 30 years with higher-than-average income. The dominant language for movies is Russian as the cinema caters to the majority audience. It screens a diverse selection of movies from all over the world including Turkish and Indian films. The cinema project has been appreciated by the audience as it is the first IMAX in Belarus. During the pandemic, the cinema brand launched a drive-in cinema on the top level of
Palazzo car park which facilitated in navigating the pandemic crisis. The newest Mooon at Palazzo illustrates the brand's mission to re-invent cinemas as an entertainment space.
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"We are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this new beginning at Mooon by Silver Screen Cinemas. At Galalite, we believe that the cinema experience is a magical one, and we are proud to have supplied our Prism 3.4 3D screens to enhance the movie-going experience. We look forward to continuing to innovate and bring the latest technology to cinemas around the world, and we are excited to see what the future holds."
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– Yusuf Galabhaiwala Director of Operations at Galalite Projection Screens
Blue Cinema: The Most Cinematic Marvel in Chur
Competing with Switzerland's wonderful and expansive vistas, the eight-screen cinema facility is a sight for sore eyes with the latest cinematic technologies. Fitted out with the most immersive formats, this property is a cinematic marvel has set out to satiate the needs of the Swiss folks.
One of the highlights of blue Cinema Chur is the IMAX cinema with the largest screen in the region. Complementing the IMAX experience, the other highlights include blue Cinema's 'First Lounge' and 'First Suite,' which combine the best of the cinema world with ultimate comfort. Guests at blue Cinema Chur experience films in comfortable reclining armchairs or reclining beds
made of genuine leather and enjoy unlimited free snacks and drinks. The specially reserved 'First Foyer' between the two VIP rooms provides the perfect exclusive setting to relax.
In addition to the cinema halls, blue Cinema Chur has other leisure and gastronomic facilities. These include a 600-metre square sports bar and an airy rooftop area. The game zone with
billiard and air hockey tables, dart and boxing machines and various other games is the perfect venue to pass the time waiting for the film. Guests can help themselves in the shop to whether popcorn, nachos, drinks, beer and wine, coffee or confectionery products - the shop fulfills all wishes. The culinary offer is rounded off by the burger restaurant 'Hans im Glück,' which is known for its creative burgers and cocktails.
"Our concept is to combine cinema and entertainment and thus offer our guests even more possibilities. We already run similar entertainment houses in other Swiss cities - with great success. We firmly believe in the future of cinema, and the new opening
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in Chur is impressive proof of this," added Olivia Willi, Program Communications and PR, Blue Entertainment.
After a total of eight years of planning and construction, the 8000-metre Square Blue Cinema in the west of the city of Chur was inaugurated. The owner of the building is BG Kino Chur West / Domenig Immobilien, which developed the building in close cooperation with Blue Entertainment AG and the architects.
The project was delayed several times due to objections and poor building ground and had to go through various approval procedures. From the beginning, the new cinema was conceived as an extension of the neighbouring City West shopping centre. Visitors to the shopping centre can reach the blue Cinema Chur via the new 27-metre-long walkway. In this way, various synergies could be exploited, such a parking. Shopping and multitainment are now in close proximity to each other in Chur.
In addition to eight cinema halls with IMAX, Dolby Atmos, 4DX and VIP cinema, the imposing architecture is a particular attraction for visitors. From the outside, the mighty glass and metal façade attracts customers into the building. The new leisure location
is entered via a spacious foyer, which extends over the full height of the building and houses a spectacular stainless-steel slide. Escalators take visitors directly to the top floor, where the cinema shop, the cinema bar, the Hans im Glück Burgergrill restaurant and the spacious roof terrace with catering facilities are located. The cinema halls themselves can be entered via the mezzanine floor and offer a high level of visual and acoustic comfort with plenty of legroom and a clear view of the screen from every seat. Before and after the film screenings, an innovative lighting concept surprises film fans. A noble VIP lounge with a self-service kiosk rounds off the offer and provides space for private events.
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"Our concept is to combine cinema and entertainment and thus offer our guests even more possibilities. We already run similar entertainment houses in other Swiss cities - with great success. We firmly believe in the future of cinema, and the new opening in Chur is impressive proof of this."
– Olivia Willi, Program Communications and PR, Blue Entertainment
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From the outside, the building presents itself in a contemporary and consistent design language. It takes its cue from the modern character of the City West district and expands this part of the city with a large range of leisure facilities. The main façade was elaborately designed with a sloping steel construction and forms the face to the city with references to film palaces of the 20th century. The adequately sized forecourt, which is closed off from the street by a new avenue of trees can be used for various events.
The entrance foyer develops over the full height of the building. The route via the escalator along the sloping ceiling of the cinema hall, reinforced by the lighting concept forms a dramaturgical prelude to the cinema visit and lures customers directly to the top floor where the cinema foyer is located.
The attic floor is characterised by the visible beam ceiling, consisting of around 500 coniferous beams, which stands on only a few concrete supports and thus allows maximum flexibility for later conversions by the cinema operators. The attractive, deliberately raw architecture, combined with interior fittings made of warm materials, creates a pleasant atmosphere. The design of the cinema halls, including their entrances, takes
up the dramaturgical themes of the lighting concept and the CI of blue Cinema and reinforces them inside the auditorium with a futuristic design that reminds visitors of science fiction films.
All cinema halls are equipped with laser projection and the latest Dolby audio technology. Part of the cinema are 4DX, Dolby Atmos and lounge cinema halls with the IMAX hall with a 21-metre-wide screen and powerful sound system as the big highlight. The projection of the films is centrally and automatically controlled and requires less staff.
The sports bar on the ground floor is equipped with 85'' screens for live broadcasts. Billiards and many games are also available for customers. To satisfy the tech-savvy target group,
about 140 kilometres of cable were laid throughout the building.
With a length of around 28 metres and a width of 20 metres, the largest of the eight cinema halls seats around 330 people. As an IMAX cinema, it has to meet special requirements with regard to sound and vibration protection. It is also located closest to the adjacent railway line on the site. The foundation was therefore underlaid with appropriate decoupling mats, which cushion possible vibrations from passing trains and thus do not disturb the cinema experience of the visitors.
The cinema is also connected to the neighbouring City West shopping centre by a passage across the railway line. This part of the construction work was also a challenge due to the special protective measures of the railway traffic. A high degree of prefabrication of the steel construction with glazing allowed the 'gangway' to be hoisted into its final place in one piece.
A special crane was used for this purpose, which took over this task overnight in a time window that lasted only a few hours. In addition to the intensive logistical preparations, the weather also had to play along, because strong winds would have made the structure uncontrollable while hanging from the cane.
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Silky Otter Ponsonby:
Auckland's Most Anticipated Cinema
Offering a uniquely curated dining and cinema experience, the locally owner and operated cinema brand sets itself apart from the rest of its contemporaries. With its latest launch in the Ponsonby Central, the cinema brand has revamped its lounge concept as it brings to its patrons an unmatched moviegoing experience.
Silky Otter Ponsonby hooks on its audience from the moment they arrive in the foyer to the moment they walk out the door. It's unique SO Lounge and sun-soaked outdoor space has managed to set it apart from its competitors. Central to the cinematic entertainment it provides, it houses four state-of-the-art auditoriums each with a seating capacity of 28 moviegoers at a time.
The cinemas are fitted with luxury theatre recliners for ultimate comfort with adjustable headrests, cuttingedge 7.1 surround sound technology and best-of-breed laser projection screens. Each seat is engineered for the perfect viewing experience making every spot the best seat in the house.
Apart from the cinema entertainment it provides Silky Otter Ponsonby also boasts a cocktail bar, barista coffee and a full-service kitchen that is led by top chefs to handcraft food that
showcases premium local ingredients. Silky Otter Ponsonby allows its guests to take a seat in the SO Lounge to enjoy a drink and food ahead of the movie in case they are a tad bit early, or for those who want the best of both worlds they can request to have both food and drinks delivered to their seats. Almukhtar says they are "really leaning into the Dine & Drink aspect of the Silky Otter experience in Ponsonby, we've upped the game to a new level with the SO Lounge."
Silky Otter caters to variety of film lovers in their local communities as it offers a mix of films including mainstream blockbusters, family favourites and arthouse films.
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"We are so excited to be part of the Ponsonby Community. It's been a long time coming and getting the doors open in time for a huge summer season is exciting for everyone."
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– Ahmed Almukhtar, Managing Director, Silky Otter
R R R R R R R: R: The One Song that Rocked Cinemas
A charming Indian youth with a beard asks an Englishman looking at him in bewilderment, “No Salsa. Not Flamenco, my brother. Do you know about Naatu?” And, without waiting for the answer from that Englishman, that Indian youth, along with his friend, starts dancing to the tune and lyrics of that song, which has been rocked on several cinema screens, the most energetic ever and makes the feet dance like a top. Where is the song going to be? This song is of the Indian film ‘RRR’ - currently the cult favourite so popular that it created a mere storm on the internet. And now winning the Oscars has just about made every patron around the world dance to it beat by beat...
It took around 19 months to structure all the elements of the superhit musical number ‘Naatu Naatu’ - which recently won a historic Oscar for ‘Best Original Song’ - to fall into place. A track from Indian Telugu blockbuster ‘RRR’, short for ‘Rise Roar Revolt’, Naatu Naatu was the first Indian film song to be nominated for an Oscar. The song became a global sensation - inspiring endless Instagram reels and dance trends on social media - after the film’s release globally last year, where its quick tempo and synchronised choreography were an instant hit with the audiences.
Music composed by MM Keeravani with lyrics penned by Chandrabose and sung by duo Rahul Sipligunj & Kaala Bhairava, Naatu Naatu already made history once in January lately when it won the Golden Globe for best original song, competing with contenders like Rihanna, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga. The same month,
the song also won the Critics’ Choice Award for ‘The Best Song’. “It’s not just because of the music or the dance - the entire story of ‘RRR’ can be summarised within these 10 minutes of Naatu Naatu,” the film’s director, SS Rajamouli, told Vanity Fair.
The story dates back to 2020, when ‘RRR’ was still under production, all Rajamouli told Keeravani was that he needed a song that would showcase the dancing talent of his heroes. Rajamouli and Keeravani credit much of Naatu Naatu’s success to the song’s choreographer, Prem Rakshit,
who composed about 95 dance steps for the track. The song culminates in a marathon dance-off as all the dancers kick up a storm, slowly collapsing one by one in exhaustion until only the heroes remain standing. Ram Charan and NTR Jr then turn to take on each other and a dance competition between the two heroes follows. Rajamouli said he tried to lay down the film’s themes of friendship, rivalry and solidarity through the sequence.
‘RRR’ happens to be the very first movie to be released post the pandemic in the Indian charts. The movie was welcomed with all heart by cinema patrons. Theatres were bang on flooded as moviegoers had a big hit with the onsetting COVID19 breakout. The movie has made a whopping US$ 160 million (INR 1,258 crores) at the worldwide Box Office until date.
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MM Keeravani (right) with Chandrabose (left) at the Oscars
And the rest is history! The noise never seemed to die down. One song from India made history and received a standing ovation at the Oscars.
‘Naatu Naatu’ indeed became a thumping sign of changing times. We are officially in an era where the Indian movie idiom has won worldwide acceptance, appreciation and wide-eyed wonder from our western counterparts.
‘Director, Steven Spielberg said, “I thought your movie was outstanding. I didn’t see it when we met but I saw it last week and it was just amazing. I couldn’t believe my eyes, for me, it was like eye candy.”
SS Rajamouli also met James Cameron at the Critics’ Choice Awards where ‘RRR’ won ‘Best Foreign Language Film’. In an unseen clip shared by the official
handle of ‘RRR’, SS Rajamouli and James Cameron can be seen in a discussion, where Rajamouli says:
“I saw all your movies... Big inspiration. From ‘Terminator’, ‘Avatar’, ‘Titanic’...Everything. Loved your work.” Replying to this the Titanic director said: “Thank you. That’s right. Now watching your characters... It’s just like such a feeling to watch them. And the setup... Your fire, water story. Reveal after reveal. And then you show what happened in the back story. It’s like all of them are a homely setup. Why he’s doing what he’s doing and the twists and turns and the friendship and eventually it gets to a point that where he can’t even kill him when the other reverses... It’s just so, so powerful.” The post was captioned: “If you ever wanna make a movie over here, let’s talk.”
Another Oscars for India This Year...
Documentary ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ brings another Oscar to India. The documentary won the ‘Best Documentary Short’ at the 95th Academy Awards making it a maiden victory for India in the Documentary Short Subject category. The film’s director Kartiki Gonsalves and producer Guneet Monga went up on stage to pick the golden statue.
Since the film’s release last year, fans have been trying to replicate the intricate foot swivels and catchy dance moves. At film screenings in Los Angeles, audiences were often seen rushing to the stage to dance when the song played. Nearly a year after its release, the song is still going strong with the audiences. And with an Oscar win, the excitement shows no signs of dying down. As Charan said, the “song is no longer our song. It belongs to the public. People of different age groups and cultures have embraced it.”
Ahead of the Oscars, film ‘RRR’ has been re-released in the US theatres. Therefore, a video came out that showed the LA fans dancing their hearts out while the song plays in the theatre. They took over the cinema hall by storm and danced wildly on ‘Naatu Naatu’. In its re-release, the film has been witnessing full house shows as 3000+ tickets have sold since the screening.
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BFI IMAX: Relaunches UK's Biggest Screen
London's frontrunner for cinematic entertainment that has been boosted with one of the most successful IMAX screens in the world is now better than ever. The brand new 65-footer screen has been reopened to the patrons with impressive upgrades and state-ofthe-art moviegoing experiences.
The iconic BFI IMAX cinema reopened its doors to film fans following an ambitious refurbishment to create a completely immersive cinema experience. Wide-ranging enhancements include a new 4K IMAX with laser projection system, booming 12-channel sound technology and a brand new 65-foot IMAX screen - still reigning supreme as the nation's biggest - all combining to keep the iconic Waterloo destination a must for movie lovers.
Since launching 23 years ago in 1999, BFI IMAX has become one of the most successful IMAX cinemas in the world, welcoming an average of 300,000 visitors each year and playing host to some of the world's biggest film premieres including Eternals, Mission Impossible: Fallout, Inception, The Batman and X-Men: Apocalypse. A-list talent have attended events at BFI IMAX, with Leonardo Di Caprio, Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, Salma Hayek, Robert Pattinson, Hugh Jackman, Thandiwe
Newton, The Rock, Kevin Hart, Kit Harrington, Gemma Chan, and even Prince William attending for screenings, premieres or to catch the latest releases themselves in the best possible way.
The impressive upgrade offers audiences both a premium technical and first-class customer experience. The cinema giant has introduced
IMAX with Laser, designed exclusively for IMAX screens. The next generation 4K laser projection system features a new optical engine and a suite of proprietary IMAX technologies that deliver increased resolution, sharper and brighter images and deeper contrast as well as the most distinct vivid colours ever available on-screen, and an increased
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contrast, brightness and colours that only IMAX can deliver.
The impressive new screen, which is a staggering 65-feet high - the equivalent of five double decker buses - and 85-feet wide, will now also feature IMAX's new 12-channel sound technology, with new side and overhead channels that deliver greater dynamic range and precision for the ultimate in audio immersion and cinematic experience. The first film to be displaying in this dazzling definition on the new screen was the hugely anticipated Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Other upgrades to the 493-seater auditorium include plush new seats with four wheelchair spaces and new carpeting. With the BFI resuming management of the venue, it has brought its expansive programming expertise to the venue, offering a diverse range of screenings and events that will attract audiences of all ages and backgrounds. The programmer will feature complementary seasons and events with its neighbouring venue, BFI Southbank, creating a film hub destination for the capital that embraces and celebrates a broad range of screen culture.
Alongside the new projection system sits a traditional 70mm IMAX projector - of which less than 60 remain globally - and a standard D-Cinema projection system, plus scope to project from 35mm and standard 70mm. This range of cinematic options, underpinned by BFI's world-class programming, cements BFI IMAX as a destination to experience the art of filmmaking, from cutting edge blockbuster IMAX releases to much loved classics.
Ben Roberts, BFI CEO, said, "We are extremely excited to re-launch BFI IMAX with these upgrades to deliver an even greater cinematic experience. This screen has always been a cultural destination for
What does the new technology mean for cinemagoers?
Sharpness: Experience incredible detail in every image with a sharper, clearer and crisper picture that deliver a heightened level of realism on the biggest screens.
Brightness: Laser brings an increased level of brightness to fill IMAX screens with the most vivid and lifelike images in 2D and 3D.
Contrast: Dramatically greater contrast levels in each frame provides a level of depth that takes you out of your world and draws you into the film.
Colour: The widest range of colours available to filmmakers so they can present more vibrant, deeper and richer colours in IMAX than ever before. Sound: Whether it's a pin drop or feeling the heart-palpating force of a volcano, with IMAX's next-generation 12-channel sound system audiences will experience a new kind of powerful, immersive sound they can feel.
London, and in resuming programming of this iconic landmark our ambition is to grow audiences for a rich diversity of screen culture. We've got a lot of exciting things planned over the coming months, starting with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Avatar: The Way of Water, but also showcasing a catalogue of classic and new films, proving that there is something for everyone here at BFI IMAX. We can't wait for people to experience it!"
Giovanni Dolci, Chief Sales Officer, IMAX, said, "The BFI IMAX theatre is
one of London's great symbols of culture and community, and we're thrilled to bring our audiences an even more cutting-edge and immersive moviegoing experience at this muchloved and internationally recognised destination. This is one of our topperforming screens worldwide and a venue of choice for some of cinema's greatest filmmakers, and we're excited for fans to return to the BFI with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Avatar: The Way of Water and a strong slate of ambitious movies ahead."
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Roxy Xtreme: Biggest in the Middle East and North Africa!!!
Spread across three floors and spanning 101,000 sq ft, is the all-new property which by far is the Middle East and North Africa's biggest cinema screen equipped with state-of-the-art laser projection and sound. With twice the size of a tennis court at 423 square metres, premium recliners, gourmet food and beverage and range of other platinum experiences on offer, Roxy Xtreme is here to win its patron's hearts with a crystal clear laser projection and unbeatable surround sound.
Roxy Xtreme is revered as the biggest movie theatre screen in MENA. It's the first time that the region has seen a premium large format (PLF) screen premium with 418 premium recliners across three tiers: Standard, Premium
and Director's Boxes. The first of its kind Director's Boxes offers luxurious suites perched above the auditorium with spectacular views of the screen, unparalleled comfort, and privacy, as well as in-seat food and beverage
service. The Director's Box is also attached to a dedicated premium lounge featuring a grand piano and pool tables.
The 15-screen multiplex, located on Level 1 of Dubai Hills Mall, is home to Roxy Xtreme, the Middle East and North Africa's biggest cinema screen equipped with state-of-the-art laser projection and Dolby Atmos sound. Spread across three floors and spanning 101,000 sqft, the cinema has a total of 1,183 seats across seven ultra-premium Platinum screens, seven luxurious Silver screens, and Roxy Xtreme. Offering crystal-clear laser projection and heart-pounding surround sound, Roxy Xtreme is twice the size of a tennis court at 423 square metres, with premium recliners, gourmet food and beverage and a range of platinum experiences on offer.
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Guests can experience an unforgettable movie-watching experience with state-of-the-art, multi-dimensional sound of Dolby Atmos and laser projection. When it comes to dining options, the cinema's food and beverage offerings go beyond just popcorn, providing a wide variety of gourmet food options for guests to choose from.
More recently, Roxy Cinemas launched its new Walk of Fame at the Dubai Hills Mall. Inaugurated by multiple Academy Award-winning and highly celebrated German composer, Hans Zimmer in November last year, Roxy guests can take a picture with a Hans Zimmer tile at the venue.
The first Roxy Cinemas location opened in January 2017 at City Walk, followed by locations at The Beach JBR, Boxpark, which has a retro aesthetic, La Mer, Al Khawaneej Walk, Dubai Hills Mall, home to the largest screen in the Middle East, and an outdoor experience at Galleria Mall Al Barsha. Each location offers unique features, such as an outdoor balcony for alfresco dining at City Walk and The Beach JBR.
Design elements from existing Roxy Cinemas that have been patron, notably Box Park, which includes a 1920's style foyer with wooden panelling, mosaic tiled flooring, mosaic tiled counters, decorative curtains surrounding screens and black and white historic movie posters and set scenes to create a cinematic atmosphere.
The cinema is over three levels, having a dedicated level for each experience. The mall level has been designed to
"We wanted to build a cinema that Dubai hadn't seen before; that housed the biggest screen in the MENA region. We have been able to achieve this through the opening of the Dubai Hills cinema and guests have been loving the experience of the relaxed foyer spaces, and comfortable auditoriums.
Using subtle digital signage, along with high ceilings, use of lighting to activate spaces and luxurious washrooms."
– Murray Rea, Director - Operations, Roxy Cinemas, Dubai
look like a hotel lobby, the Silver level is dedicated to silver guests and the Platinum level has an exclusive lounge dedicated to Platinum and Directors Box guests.
The cinema's technical features are an intricate combination of NEC RB Laser Projectors (Xtreme Dual Projection), Dolby IMS, Dolby Multichannel Amplifiers (DMA), flexible and versatile Dolby SLS Speakers, Dolby Line Array Speakers in Xtreme, Dolby Atmos in all auditoriums and Harkness Screens. There were a number of challenges involved in building this cinema, including the need to work within the parameters of an existing design, the three-level layout of the building, and the constraints of the installation space. In addition, the installation had to be completed while the mall was still in operation, which likely added to the complexity of the project. The large size of the Xtreme screen and the need to manually handle six levels of a car park also presented unique challenges. Overall, the project required careful planning and coordination to overcome these obstacles and successfully install the cinema.
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Tribute to the Legacies!
The historic and picturesque towns of Kingston upon Thames and Canterbury have been blessed with two destination cinema venues, where, one has been inspired by the esteemed book The Canterbury Tales and the other paying homage to the lost cinemas of the town. This UK-based cinema brand promises to cater to its patrons with lively entertainment destinations.
Located in the bustling Bentall Centre, Curzon Kingston features four unique screens where each of these screens are named after a local 20th-century cinema in a nod to the waterfront town's cultural past. The venue also hosts Curzon's first standalone restaurant Pizza Kitchen and boasts a sophisticated rooftop cocktail bar.
The cinema hall 'Palace' pays tribute to Kingston's first cinema from 1909;
the 'Century', to the cinema which opened in the 1920s and showed Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times as its final film; the church-hall conversion the 'Electric'; and the 'Coliseum,' a homage to the town's 1913 cinema.
The venue boasts Dolby Atmos and the latest in Laser projection, recliner seats for ultimate comfort and a wide-ranging film programme that encompasses the very best
independent movies, blockbusters, world cinema and more.
Curzon Kingston has calming, deepblue interiors that are dotted with gold accents and sumptuous furnishings and also displays several giant images by Kingston-born photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904), the father of motion pictures whose work was recently championed in Jordan Peele's film Nope.
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The cinema theatre boasts recliner seats for ultimate comfort, and its wide-ranging film programmer encompasses the very best independent movies along with blockbusters, world cinema and more. The Coliseum is a Dolby Atmos screen with a seating capacity of 110 seats with four wheelchair spaces. The Palace, Electric and Century each have two wheelchair spaces along with a seating capacity of 60, 55 and 58 seats respectively. With ten wheelchair spaces, the screen's accessible toilets are situated on the third floor with a lift access between each floor.
The Pizza Kitchen sits on the entrance floor to Curzon Kingston serving up an enticing menu of sourdough pizzas as well as a selection of cocktails, beers, wines and soft drinks. With its toppings ranging from goat's cheese and caramelised onion; prosciutto, rocket and parmesan; to mushroom and truffle oil; the Pizza Kitchen has
offering that satiates the salivating desires of all its patrons. The rooftop cocktail bar will also host screenings
and events and offer stunning panoramic views of the town and Surrey hills beyond.
"Curzon Kingston is one of our most ambitious projects to date. The venue has a grandeur and scale that is truly breathtaking, and I hope the local community will be impressed with what we have done. We look forward to welcoming members and customers over the coming weeks with an incredible line-up of films in prospect."
– Philip Knatchbull, CEO, Curzon Cinemas
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Curzon Canterbury Riverside
Boasting five spacious screens with names inspired by The Canterbury Tales, the venue supplements Curzon's already thriving Canterbury Westgate as it extends the cinema chain's presence in the cathedral city. With its striking exterior, modern décor and deep-orange colour palette, Canterbury Riverside is a luxurious place to spend an evening, whether watching a film, sipping on a cocktail at Happy Hour or tucking into a pizza.
With the five screens paying tribute to The Canterbury Tales, 'The Chaucer' is a dedicated Dolby Atmos screen with peerless surround sound seating up to 99 moviegoers along with four wheelchair spaces. The 'Knight,' 'Miller,' 'Friar' and the 'Merchant' each boast four wheelchair spaces with 92, 59, 59 and 92 seats respectively.
"We are thrilled to be expanding our presence in Canterbury with this stunning new destination venue. Canterbury Riverside is a sophisticated, contemporary cinema that will showcase our cutting-edge technology, always consistent customer service, and excellent food and drink offering," commented Philip Knatchbull.
The cinema is entirely wheelchair accessible as all of the screens are located on the ground floor with an accessible restroom for the convenience of the patrons. Audio description and hearing-assist headsets have also been made available on request.
Alongside the cinema, it also boasts a bar and pizzeria with an eclectic menu of cocktails, stone-baked sourdough pizzas and small plates as well as a great list of wine and craft beer. To entice its patrons further, Curzon Canterbury Riverside hosts a 'Happy Hour' every night and stays open late on the weekends. As an added bonus it offers free parking to all of its guests at Canterbury Riverside.
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A Trendsetter in Washington D.C
The D.C Metro Area has gained another monumental entertainment spot. This newest location by the cinema giant features its Premium Large Format (PLF) theatre with state-of-the-art immersive audio and projection technology. Drawing inspiration from its surroundings, the cinema project is designed and styled in an Art Deco fashion as it caters to the demands of its patrons.
The acclaimed cinema-eatery Alamo Drafthouse has welcomed film lovers to the movies in a big way at the company's newest location in Washington, D.C metro area, Alamo Drafthouse Crystal City. Occupying over 49000 square feet, the 9-screen and 915-seat theatre marks the cinema brand's fourth Alamo
Drafthouse theatre to open in the greater Washington, D.C area.
Alamo Drafthousse Crystal City features the company's nextgeneration Premium Large Format standard, 'The Big Show.' The 100 per cent recliner, 237-seat auditorium features a state-of-the-art 4K laser
projection system, optimised for the enormous 66-inch-wide and 28-inchtall screen, and transformative Dolby Atmos audio technology capable of producing 76000 watts of amplification distributed through 52 speakers for a truly immersive, three-dimensional audio experience.
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The guests at Crystal City can partake and enjoy Alamo Drafthouse's curated, ad-free pre-show entertainment along with a signature mix of first-run films and curated specialty programming, an extensive made-from-scratch food and beverage menu, and luxury recliner seating throughout every auditorium. Alamo Drafthouse Crystal City is conveniently located near the Crystal City metro station with the availability of free validated garage parking. Each Alamo Drafthouse location has a unique interior theme and the D.C. theme has been inspired by the theatre's proximity to the historic Washington National Airport. From aviation design elements through the
lobby and hallways, to a horde of snakes attacking a plane at the
entrance to The Big Show, the theme continues throughout the building and completely takes flight in the theatre's specialty bar, Departures.
The design of Departures draws inspiration from both the cinema's theme and the art deco style of the building's exterior, a style which enjoyed its peak during the Golden Age of Flight in the 1920's. The terrazzo flooring spilling from the open lobby into the 25-person oval-shaped bar evokes the feeling of a vintage lounge found within an airport gate. The blue and white palette of the space was inspired by the branding of the old airlines like Pan-Am and bold graphic wallpapers along with columns wrapped in polished metals aim to transport guests back to the heyday of air travel. Flight inspired movie posters and props can be found throughout and pay homage to the iconic moments of airplanes in the movies. The round booths adjacent to the bar feel like those once boasted by commercial flights only seen nowadays in classic movies and each booth feature mementos from famous films taking place in each of the domestic destination themes. Crystal City has been a long-time home of aviation companies and air travel innovation and an elevated outdoor patio provides views up and down Crystal Drive with the sights and
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sounds of nearby airplanes departing in the distance.
Located on the second floor and featuring an outdoor patio, Departures offer a curated mix of local and nation craft beer, wine, and a special drink menu of signature aviation-themed cocktails. It's the
perfect spot for guests to enjoy a pre and/or post-show drink, catch live music, play weekly trivia, and more.
Alamo Drafthouse Crystal City opened in time for patrons to enjoy Halloween frights and delights on the big screen. Movie lovers can also look forward to being introduced to Alamo
Drafthouse's famous Signature Programming. Movie Party screenings celebrate film favourites with fun, interactive props, themed drinks, and more. Brunch Screenings feature a special menu that pairs perfectly with everyone's favourite late morning weekend ritual. Terror Tuesday uncovers an eclectic mix of horror and strange discoveries from the genre fringes and EPIC Sunday showcases sweeping classics and visually spectacular recent favourites in the Premium Large Format 'The Big Show' auditorium.
"After more than five plus years of looking for the right location and another five plus years of development, we are happy be opening the doors to our part of the transformation of Crystal City and National Landing as a whole," said Anthony Coco and Joseph Edwards, co-owners of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Crystal City. "The theatre's theme, lobby bar Departures, and The Big Show spaces have come together to create something special and unique to this location. Add on the Alamo Drafthouse's top-of-the-line audio/visual presentation, unique programming, and unparalleled food and beverage service, and the Crystal City theatre will provide an unrivalled out-of-home experience that we can't wait to deliver to our guests."
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Tokyo's Latest Cinematic Attraction
Located in the large-scale commercial facility in Odaiba, this cinema property has begun attracting the young audience, families and overseas visitors from the bay area of Tokyo. Opened in the 2000, the property has upgraded and updated itself with moving times to keep up with the competition and the demands of its patrons.
Occupying the first and second floors of Aqua City Odaiba, the latest United Cinemas property occupies an extensive space of 8359 square metres of the large-scale commercial facility in Odaiba. It houses thirteen screens offering a variety of formats including 4DX and ScreenX with a seating capacity of 2838 seats. With the variety of formats, it offers an experience that can be witnessed only in a movie theatre. In addition to movies, the cinema also offers alternative content such as live viewing and live performances.
Kunihisa Akiyama, Chief of Construction Facility, United Cinemas discusses the brand's approach to uniqueness; he adds, "We decide on the best design and specifications for each location, taking into account the times, local characteristics, and the commercial facility. We do not make the same products as chain stores. This is partly because our goal is to constantly evolve, and partly because we believe that providing our
customers with the newest and most appropriate products at the time is the best way to advance not only the industry, but also the lives of people living today."
The Tokyo Bay side area is an information transmission area with Tokyo Big Sight, one of the largest convention centres in Japan and a TV station in the neighbourhood. United Cinemas introduced ScreenX for the first time in Japan, and now with its Aqua City Odaiba facility, it has brought FLEXOUND to Japan
positioning itself as a cutting-edge movie theatre where highly sensitive customers can enjoy the latest equipment.
Two years after its opening by Sony in early 2000, the cinema was taken over by other cinema operators and then later developed, renovated and upgraded by United Cinemas. In 2017 it introduced 4DX and ScreenX to the operation. At the time of opening, the cinema was buried in the Japanese bubble economy due to its design and over-integration with the environment.
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"We drew a line in the sand with the common spaces and changed them to a causal, contemporary space based on black and wood grain. In December 2022, after the pandemic, we decided to install the latest technology, FLEXOUND," added Akiyama.
The second floor is the main floor of the commercial complex because it is connected to several commercial facilities and the station by a pedestrian deck. The cinema can be approached from the second-floor common area through a large fivestory atrium overlooking the cinema lobby on the first floor. The design appeal of the cinema is encrusted on the walls that are 8 metres above ground level. Ideally, designs are conceptualised with eye level in mind, but here, they have considered the area to be designed with the premise of looking down.
The space resembles a café in Brooklyn, and the photographs of people and typography that create a sense of the world of cinema give the design a human touch and a cool composition that has been accepted by the younger generation. LED lamps that resemble tungsten lamps add a vintage feel and ambience to the space.
With its inception in 2000, the facility was opened in the era of film projectors planned to be operated by specialists. Digital projectors and computerised management systems
"We decide on the best design and specifications for each location, taking into account the times, local characteristics, and the commercial facility. We do not make the same products as chain stores. This is partly because our goal is to constantly evolve, and partly because we believe that providing our customers with the newest and most appropriate products at the time is the best way to advance not only the industry, but also the lives of people living today."
– Kunihisa Akiyama Chief of Construction Facility, United Cinemas
have now made operations more efficient. Ticket counter ATMs were placed in the centre of the building as the majority of payments are now made via smartphones. By connecting
the building energy management system to the cinema's management system, all air conditioning is programmed to come on and off according to show times.
The challenge was to make a drastic change from the bubble-era design of Japan and a design that was too integrated with the commercial environment to a design that was new, cinemalike and acceptable to young people. Architecturally, the space already had a large atrium, so graphics and typography were placed around the entire perimeter of the space to express the presence of a movie theatre.
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HeyLED Innovation Centre: Absolute Visual Demonstration
Opened in mid-2022, the never-seen-before centre was a temporary pop-up location that allows exhibitors, studios, industry personnel and engineers to experience and demo the technology for themselves. The scope of the technology emphasised on 'Colour as You've Never Seen it Before,' as it demonstrated a cinema screen fit for the next generation.
HeyLED Innovation Centre opened in June 2022 followed a structured demo where a series of Hollywood movie trailers, showing both flat and scope and 2D and 3D. A series of Timewaying-made animation trailers, including one of an astronaut in outer space, a solar system depiction and space ship was showcased. The demonstrations were accompanied by a team of experts, including an engineer, a member of the marketing team and Kenny Chow, Chief Technology Officer at Timewaying.
The 'outer space' theme has not only been widely used in the promotion of LED/screens in and outside of cinema, but best represent HeyLED as it could beautifully contrast and the pitch black darkness and vivid colours on-screen. The trailer demo averaged between 30 to 45 minutes.
The demos were often followed up by requests to show customers the lowest brightness point HeyLED could offer, therefore they would display DCI test grayscale material.
For the 3D demo, Timewaying made use of their own 3D technology, 3D glasses and an active 3D sync system.
The screen utilised for the demonstration was the HeyLED LA2K-10, a 2K screen standing at 10m in width giving the viewers the impression of a higher resolution using Timewaying's >75% patented high pixel fill rate technology.
HeyLED opens the door to a range of new opportunities in terms of
entertainment and auditorium design. It is adaptable for creating a safe 'Kids' Theatre' because unlike a standard auditorium where lights are switched off, HeyLED's high brightness and low reflectivity allows ambient lighting to be on throughout the movie.
HeyLED is a cinema screen for the next generation which has a precise DCI-P3 colour gamut with 16-bits precision grayscale. It features an ultra-wide brightness range at a maximum of 300 nits for amplified viewing performance. HeyLED is highly uniform with infinite contrast ratio, enhanced brightness and ultra-high frame at 120fps.
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HARMAN: Spearheading Technological Solutions
The world-renowned establishment is known to engineer and manufacture audio, video, lighting and control products for entertainment and enterprise markets. With leading brands under its umbrella, it delivers powerful, innovative and reliable solutions. TheatreWorld brings to you an exclusive interaction with Amar G Subash, Vice President and General Manager, Asia Pacific for Harman Professional Solutions.
In early 2022, HARMAN Professional Solutions announced the appointment of Amar G Subash to lead the India’s business for the brand. In his expanded role, Amar has led the India team in serving the region's customers with comprehensive integrated systems, including solutions for corporate, education, government, hospitality, large venues, tour sound and lighting, cinema, broadcast, retail and ecommerce. Amar has been tasked with leveraging the strength of HARMAN's iconic brands including JBL Professional, AKG, AMX, Martin lighting, Crown, Soundcraft, BSS and dbx, to drive growth throughout the APAC region. TheatreWorld takes this opportunity at CineAsia, and brings to readers an exclusive interaction with Amar G Subash on HARMAN's approach and brand ideologies as well as its plans for the future in cinema technology and otherwise. What is the business sense or approach that drives HARMAN according to you?
Amar: Amar: Amar: Amar: HAR MAN looks at the business from two angles, one is
country specific growth, country specific strategies that we need to drive; the other angle is the product and portfolio angle. We try to maximise the potential in every single market, and we also try to maximise the potential of the HARMAN portfolio in all the segments that we work in.
The HARMAN portfolio can be broadly classified within audio, video and lighting. Within audio we have installs, cinema, tour, retail and then we have JBL entertainment. We have sub-verticals within the audio segment. In the video we have AMX
brand and lighting we have Martin. We try to look at every market from that lens.
How has the brand managed to stand out bright amongst its competitors?
Amar: Amar: Amar: Amar: For us, covid was a very tough period. HARMAN continued to invest in R&D and bring out new products. The last three years we probably had the most launches in our history. We refreshed the complete retail range, portable range, tour range and launched a number of products in this category. Now we are working to
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Amar G Subhash G G Vice President & General Manager, Asia-Pacific, Harman Professional Solutions
March-May 2023 TW-39
Amar G Subhash with Raghav, Editor-Publisher, TheatreWorld
refresh our install range. As HARMAN, we have solidified our position during the pandemic and as we come out of the pandemic, we have come out in a very strong way.
How are cinema theatre accepting HARMAN as a brand and its new installs in this post pandemic period?
Amar: Amar: Amar: The cinema market generally is picking up; countries which have stronger local content are in a way coming up faster. Overall, I would say, the sentiment altered. The trends are definitely looking up.
What is your mission and vision for HARMAN as its Vice President and General Manager? How has your leadership role announced earlier this year facilitated in the same?
Amar: Amar: It has been a great journey and experience leading the business; I have been with HARMAN for 6 years started with finance and then sales and now moving on to the leadership role for the region. For me the role has been quite a natural progression because I was always very familiar with the business. Now its about focusing on the complete HARMAN portfolio, focus on all of our markets in the region.
How has the ratio of HARMAN's business in cinema and noncinema segments changed in India over a period of years?
How importance is cinema in its overall business today?
Amar: Amar: Cinema in India for HARMAN is a nexus of 10 per cent of our total business. It is a very important segment for us, firstly because we've historically been a cinema brand. We are innovating on the product side and continue to have it at our core strategy. In the cinema space we have installs where HARMAN is installed in more than 60 per cent of cinemas. It gives us a strong credibility in the rest of the business as well. If we look at installs, I think it is a very strong reference for us as to the HARMAN strength in the audio, video and lighting portfolio, for us it is a very important vertical. As we are participating here in Bangkok, we have produced a strong roadmap for the future in terms of new products. We are quite committed to the cinema vertical and it is very important for us in India for sure.
Can you throw some light on HARMAN's latest offerings in India and the APAC region?
Amar: Amar: Amar: Amar: Amar: As I said, we have launched a number of new products on the retail side and on the tour side. Specifically for cinema, we don't have a new offering as of 2022, but in 2023 we hope to launch some new products especially around the DSP side. We expect 2023 to be a strong year for the DSP side. But our core portfolio
in cinema is very strong as we've got the speakers, amplifiers, CPi2000 processor, all of them are well established and are doing very well in the market.
What is HARMAN's and particularly your approach towards innovation?
Amar: Amar: Amar: Amar: HAR MAN's approach to innovation is to look at standardisation, more and more common platforms as we look at the future. We are investing in network audio; we are using a standard base approach. We are also looking at unifying some of video and audio platforms, from a DSP control standpoint. You see that the overall architecture as it is emerging it looks more and more unified and you'll be able to control and manage a number of HARMAN products, whether it be in the video or audio space, all under a similar architecture. It is a very exciting direction we are taking.
Could you shed light on the Samsung LED market.
Amar: Amar: Amar: Amar: The S amsung LED market' launch was quite healthy. We have our HARMAN Sound Solutions which are complimentary to them and they are very much part of our active portfolio. After that we had covid, and things have since been dull. Now we have to see how the market comes back around the LED screens.
How do you perceive the Indian market against the other markets?
Amar: Amar: Amar: Amar: The biggest strength and the difference is the strong regional content we (India) have; India is not just limited to Hindi movies, it's also the regional movies now and all of them are producing blockbusters now. The variety is where we see the strength and I also believe that the growth of Indian cinema market is going to be driven by this variety in the content and production that we have. I am very excited and positive about it.
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Raghav with Henry Noel, Director, Business Development - Cinema, APAC Region and Mark Collins, Sr. Manager, Global Cinema Sales, Asia-Pacific, Harman Professional Solutions at CineAsia 2022
CinemaCon, the largest and most important gathering of movie theatre owners from around the world is set to return to Las Vegas' frontrunner - Caesars Palace. Scheduled from the 24th to the 27th of April, CinemaCon 2023: Eleven Years of Celebrating the moviegoing experience has returned with health and welfare of its attendees as the top priority. While debuting a slate of upcoming films alongside exclusive Hollywood product presentations to producers and directors and to the biggest stars, CinemaCon 2023 will jumpstart the excitement and buzz that surrounds the fall and holiday season at the box office.
As it begins its eleventh year, it is delighted to be back again at Caesars Palace the home of CinemaCon with Coca Cola once again as its Official Presenting Sponsor.
Today's moviegoers are extremely aware of the content they prefer and choose to consume. They are looking for the optimum picture and sound quality and also the most comfortable seats.
The CinemaCon Trade Show serves as a platform where cinema owners from all over the world are given the opportunity to experience the latest and most important advances in theatre equipment and concession products.
CinemaCon is delighted to have two of the motion picture theatre industry's leading trade associations, ICTA (International Cinema Technology Association) and NAC (National Association of Concessionaires) as its Trade Show Partners.
CinemaCon allows attendees and
exhibitors to interact in private demonstration suites and meeting rooms that can be rented. Varying in size, location and pricing, these rooms are located throughout the Caesars Conference Center.
Whether you are into Cinema Exhibition, Film Distribution or Production, or in the Equipmentor Concession fields, CinemaCon is where you should be. If you're involved in Marketing, Advertising or the burgeoning field of Social Media Networking, CinemaCon is where you should be. And should your field of expertise be in the design, construction or financing of movie theatres or the exciting world of digital cinema, then CinemaCon is where you should come. So, if it's networking with peers old and new, being a part of exclusive studio presentations and screenings high lighting the upcoming summer slate of releases, catching up on what it takes to outfit and run a state-of
24 - 27 April 2023
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Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
EVENT CALENDER 2023
24-27 APRIL CINEMACON LAS VEGAS, USA www.cinemacon.com
19-22 JUNE CINEEUROPE BARCELONA, SPAIN www.cineeurope.net
8-9 AUGUST BIG CINE EXPO CHENNAI, INDIA www.bigcineexpo.com
26-28 SEPTEMBER KINO EXPO ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA www.kinoexpo.ru
4-6 OCTOBER EXPOCINE SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL www.expocine.com.br
24-25 OCTOBER META CINEMA FORUM DUBAI, UAE www.menacinema.com
23-26 OCTOBER SHOWEAST FLORIDA, USA www.showeast.com
31 OCT - 2 NOV
AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL MOVIE CONVENTION GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA www.movieconvention.com.au
4-7 DECEMBER CINEASIA BANGKOK, THAILAND www.cineasia.com
the art motion picture theatre, sitting down and talking with the key executives and decision makers from the nation's theatres, or, listening to some of today's top stars and film makers, then you can't miss out on CinemaCon 2019. Today's moviegoer is savvy, discriminating and extremely knowledgeable. When it comes to selecting a theatre to see a film, that same moviegoer would rather drive the extra distance to ensure they are getting the ultimate, stateof-the-art presentation and theatrical experience possible.
Today's demanding moviegoer is looking for optimum picture and sound quality, theatre seats that provide great comfort, a ticketing system that is quick and efficient, a concession stand that offers a diverse array of food and beverage items and a theatre setting that provides the best amenities imaginable- all of which makes that moviegoing experience worth driving the extra distance. Today's cinema owner is just as demanding and discriminating when it comes to the building of new theatres or the remodelling and maintenance of existing theatres. The theatre market is competitive and the
stakes are high. CinemaCon serves those competitive, high-stakes market, giving cinema owners from all over the world the opportunity to experience the latest and most important advances in the world of theatre equipment and concession products.
CinemaCon offers the world's largest platform geared specifically for the motion picture theatre owner. It is here that decisionmaking cinema owners and executives walk the aisles, keeping an eye out for new equipment, products and services that will help make theirs the 'go-to' theatres.
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CineAsia 2022 had a successful run at TRUE ICON HALL from the 5th to the 8th of December 2022. Gracing its attendees with a variety of screenings and presentations, CineAsia 2022 also headed to Major Cineplex's Icon Cineconic.
The convention featured a number of product presentations and screenings of major upcoming films and films that were worshipped at the box-office. It was a host to exclusive sponsored events and seminars relating to current and future trends.
The tradeshow and convention were kickstarted with a Keynote Address by Kurt Rieder, Senior Vice President, Theatrical Distribution (APAC), Warner Bros. Pictures International followed by an overview of the Asian Box Office.
PANEL DISCUSSIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
• • Focus on Thailand Focus on Thailand Focus on Thailand Focus on Thailand Focus on Thailand
-A special preview of upcoming feature releases from local Thai distributors.
• • Sony Pictures Releasing Sony Sony Pictures Releasing Sony International Presentation International International Presentation International
5 - 8 December 2022
True Icon Hall, Bangkok
-A panel discussion between industry leading heads
• • Executive Roundtable - Special Executive - Special Executive Roundtable - Special Executive - Special F F ocus on the AP ocus on the ocus APA A C Region Region C Region Region Region
• • W W W W Warner Bros. Pictures arner Bros. Pictures arner Bros. Pictures arner Bros. Pictures
International Presentation Presentation
• Premium Large Cinema Premium Cinema Premium Large Cinema Premium Cinema Cinema Experiences Experiences Experiences Experiences
• Paramount Pictures
Paramount Paramount Pictures
Paramount Paramount Pictures Presentation
• Delivering Great Movie Great Movie Experiences for the Next the Next the Generation of Cinema Lovers of Cinema Lovers Generation of Cinema Lovers of Cinema Lovers
-Presentation on how to maximise opportunity to entice the new generation of moviegoers
-An emphasis on creativity and innovation as key elements in this era
• • Go Big and T Big and Go Big and T Big and Take it Home ake it Home ake it Home ake it Home it
-A panel discussion on returning to the cinema
-Discussion on consumer attitudes
-Changes in the landscape of concessions at AMC
TheatreWorld - The only magazine at CineAsia 2022 Raghav, Editor-Publisher, TheatreWorld at CineAsia
Comscore's 2022 Breakout Comscore's 2022 Breakout Comscore's 2022
Local Film Award Local Award - Skop Productions for Mat Kilau: Kebangkitan Pahlawan
CineAsia Career Achievement CineAsia Career CineAsia Career Achievement CineAsia Career Career Award Award Award Award Award - Bill Neighbors, DTS/Xperi
Exhibitor of the Y Exhibitor the Y Year ear ear ear ear - Lumiére Pavilions
• Universal Pictures International Universal International Universal Pictures International Universal International Universal Pictures International Presentation and Screening and Screening Presentation and Screening and Screening Presentation and Screening
• • W W Walt Disney Studios Motion alt Disney Studios Motion alt alt Disney Studios
Pictures International International Presentation
Motion Picture Association Asia- Motion AsiaAsiaPacific Copyright Educator Pacific Copyright Pacific - Dr Ngo Phuong Lan, Chair, Vietnam Film Development Association
Distributor of the Y Distributor of the Y the Year ear ear ear ear - Dinh Thi Thanh Huong, Executive Chair
Woman, Galaxy Studio
CineAsia Icon Award CineAsia Award CineAsia Icon Award CineAsia Award Award - Hiro Matsuoka, Toho Co., Ltd.
Cinionic Innovator Award
Cinionic Innovator Award
Cinionic Innovator Award Cinionic - Jane Hastings, CEO, EVT Limited and Takayuki Ikeda, President, TOHO Cinemas
Cinionic Innovator Award
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Bridging the Gap Together and Building a Sustainable Ecosystem
Devang Sampat - Chief Executive Officer, Cinépolis India
Rajesh Mishra - Executive Director and Group CEO, UFO Moviez
Shobha Sant - Head - Content Alliances, JIO Studios
Aashish Singh - Chief Executive Officer, Lyca Productions
Amit Praveen Sharma - Managing Director, Miraj Entertainment
P V Sunil - Founder, The BIG Pictures
Sandeep Mittal - Founder, TheatreWorld
As we gear up for a slate of upcoming releases, the debates between theatres and OTTs continue to grow. In the face of the pandemic, one was pitted against the other, however, as we get back to a semblance of normalcy, theatres are gaining speed once again. The discussion follows the need to create an equitable and healthy ecosystem where both of these platforms can survive and thrive
OTT VS. THEATRICALS??
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at the same time. Starting off the discussion on the much-debated topic of OTT versus Theatricals, Sandeep Mittal, addresses the aspect that has affected this debate, being the 'window' between the theatrical release and the OTT release.
The Ideal Release 'Window'
As they discuss the ideal release window, Devang Sampat says, "What we have seen is, movies are all about perception. If we are talking about perception and we want to tell the audience that the movie is an experience and it is not just about content, then there is no right answer. We always talk about percentage, and the fact is that because of OTT, the overall pie has increased. Hence, the subject should not have been OTT versus Theatricals, but OTT and Theatricals put together which brings the window for the producer. It is absolutely necessary for a producer to open up another medium of revenue. And we are very happy that our patrons are consuming content at home and then getting themselves educated with what is happening with the director." He points that, unlike previous years where audiences focused on the actors in the movie, they are now basing their decisions on directors and production houses. While audiences can enjoy the movies in the comfort of their homes post the 90-day window, they also have the fear of missing out on the experience.
Further he adds that, "Theatricals contribute to 70 per cent of the revenue and will continue to contribute like that if we respect the window."
Agreeing with Devang, Rajesh Mishra adds, "There has to be a window; if so close to a release, films start coming on OTT, the film will be a disaster. Whether it is 45 or 60 or 90 days, the window needs to be significant. Corrective action has already been taken on this and the 8-week window has been restored. The way to see it is that, OTT is going to be complimentary to the film industry." Contemplating that audience for OTT mainly enjoy long form formats such as web series, he states that films as a format are not built for these platforms as they have different sensibilities. He makes comparisons between OTT created content and films, as he concludes his arguments with a definite 12-week window.
Furthering the discussion, Shobha Sant adds, "It's not OTT versus Theatricals, we both have to coexist, we have to find a way to coexist in a manner that we don't eat into each other. Both of us have our own audiences, we cannot take one away from the other. As far as what is the right time window, I don't think you can put one standard number there. There are some films that don't last in theatres and they can come earlier, it
doesn't eat into the theatrical revenue. And there are some films that can last much longer." She gives an example of a Marathi film that stayed much longer in theatre, and was then released digitally and on satellite. She continues further, "When we see OTT versus Theatricals, theatricals will always have a second release which is satellite. I don't understand this competition conversation, I genuinely think cinema has its own lovers, people who can't come to the cinema for whatever reason - they can't physically reach out or the timings are not suitable, for those people it's convenient to watch it at home despite the windows. I don't think it's either or, both of us have to manage together."
Adding to Shobha's argument, Aashish Singh continues, "First thing is clear, it is OTT and Theatricals, there's no question about it, so this versus should never exist. The ecosystem is such that when a studio or a producer makes it excel sheet to say that how is he going to recover, both the aspects are equally important. And more so in today's time, the first thing that gets sold is the digital right and that makes you greenlight the films." The first question that arises is pertaining to the digital right and the cost of the same, moving on to the satellite and music rights. Once this has covered around 70 per cent of the budget, the makers can greenlight the film and it can come to the theatres. This is where OTTs play a role in bringing films to the theatre.
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"Coming back to the windowing, I personally feel that an eight-week window is a fair window, because it also gives OTT a chance to perform. One aspect that we are not discussing here is piracy, people are not just watching on OTTs and theatres, a bulk of them are actually watching it via piracy. If you can't control piracy, you need to bring to OTT after a certain time otherwise you'll have no value for the film. Again, with Shobha's point of view, there are certain films that actually get exhausted within three-four weeks, but from an audience perspective if I know that potentially this film can come after three-four weeks, I may tend to hold myself back and watch it at my convenience at home. It's a question where you don't have a definite answer for each kind of film but to put a certain number, I would say eight weeks."
Moving on, Sandeep probes the same question to Amit Sharma, he responds by adding to the arguments raised by Devang and Rajesh. Taking the example that Devang provided, Amit points out that OTT has widened the scope of the pie as both theatricals and OTT platforms come together and facilitate the content maker to recuperate their investment faster and at the same time the habits of the consumer are developing. He continues, "We are looking at this from India's perspective. In the last six months we have talked about how certain southern films have actually
done phenomenal business in the northern part of the country. We also need to look at that OTT is helping us to increase the pie not only with India but across the world." He states that as much as Indians are consuming content from other parts of the world, Indian content is also being showcased widely with the help of these OTT platforms. This enables the breaking of geopolitical barriers that hinder the widespread growth of entertainment. "This is not a one-way flow. Our films are also going to other parts of the world and once the pie increases content makers would also desire a longer window," Amit adds. Advocating for the release window, he believes them to be viable when they are 90-days to three-month long windows.
Winding up this argument, P V Sunil states, "I don't think there's a particular number which can solve the problems for all of us. Once upon a time it used to be TV versus theatres, today it is OTT versus theatres. After a few years it could be metaverse versus theatres. OTT is definitely logically and economically convenient for anybody to watch. I don't know what we are competing with, because for the audience there is a big difference between the two. Amongst us, let's say a metaverse was to come, how can the theatres compete? There are a lot things coming up along the way, whatever happens, be it TV or OTT or Metaverse, you can see the constant
thing is theatres. That is going to be there and it is good news for all of us."
He continues, "It is eventually an economic ecosystem, in that it is all about producing content and showing it to people. If we cooperate or if we coexist, we don't damage or disturb each other and the system can continue. It is not just coexistence but stepping out and supporting each other. Today's situation is slightly different, it's not just the content versus content, there are too many angles for a movie. So, it's a time for stepping out and supporting each. But if you want me to give a number, let it be 180 days."
Sandeep points out that despite the differences in opinions, the consensus is that OTT and Theatricals have to coexist with each other. Continuing the discussion, he says that out of India's total population only 10 per cent are interested in cinema going and the rest are either turning to OTT platforms or satellite.
In response to the probing statistics, Devang adds from his experience that ideally even the 10 per cent as stated is merely for two to three movies and not a permanent statistic. Even with club Cinépolis, which is a loyalty program, it tracks the frequency of visits chalking it down to 3 visits annually. He furthers his argument by talking about how the cinema industry
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has adapted with creating pan India content instead of regional content. Adding to this, he says, "We need infrastructure, we need to build more and more screens. We need to find a balance on how to keep the moviegoing habit active. If we are talking about small budget films or films that have finished their life at the box office and if they come to OTT what we have seen in behaviour is the effect of that action comes to the next film." He points out that audiences are convinced that since one movie was released on OTT, the next movies to come will also follow suit. "It is a perception game, today the window has been increased to eight weeks. But to communicate this to an end consumer it takes probably about eight months. We are far off from talking about what percentage of India's population will go for the movie, because we don't have the necessary infrastructure," Devang continues. In response to increasing the percentage, he says that we need to harness better supply. As exhibitors the industry needs to find a right balance. Audiences don't like the hassle of having to commute farther to enjoy a moviegoing experience, hence, the accessibility factor also becomes essential to increase this percentage.
In response, Rajesh continues, "For cinemas when you are making a film, it has to draw the audience, there has to be a pull factor. We are now hearing, at least in Northern India that we are emulating and making films for the classes rather than for the masses. That is the difference with South films, they have always focused on the mass audience. So, if you make a film for the masses and show it to the classes it doesn't work. OTT is not going to go anywhere; they will have to learn to live with it. They have to learn to make films which draw people to cinemas. Earlier each and every film was drawing people to the cinema because there was no other
medium. Now, the mind space is getting divided, people will need to structure their thinking and start making films according to the cinemas and classes and masses. They have to differentiate their audiences."
Building on the argument, Shobha begins by stating that India as a country lacks screens in comparison to China or North America where the number of screens per person are much larger than here. "This is a transient phase of worrying about theatricals, I also strongly believe if a story resonates, if an RRR resonates, is because we wanted to see that all across the country, that language is not a barrier. OTT, we have seen Spanish shows that didn't make a difference maybe you were watching subtitles and it's worked. I think we've crossed the language barrier; we need to cross the content barrier now. To make people come to theatre, it is about accessibility after that. How are we going to increase that - firstly is increasing the number of screens, second, the accessibility to the screens. We don't have the greatest transport systems across the country, so it is limited to people who have vehicles." She ends her argument by saying that as the industry we need to stop cannabalising each other and focus on how to segregate between multiple
releases at a time to understand how to bring in the audiences.
Increasing the Percentage
Adding to this, Aashish states, "We have not really touched upon the ticket price, because in India we are all price conscious; the exhibitors have their own challenges, but if you want to increase the volume of people wanting to watch the film then may be the theatre experience could be very different for each pair of the audience. Say we are talking about bigger cinemas, where the ticket pricing is high and people are going and watching it, and similarly some people have proposed a village theatre which is like the old-school video parlour, so that people across the country can watch your films and the money and revenue can reach the distributor and producer." He continues, "Secondly, when we talk about OTT and how OTT is impacting, let's take the example of KGF: Chapter 2, in Hindi when KGF released it did a business of about 35 crores, the second part has done a business of more than 400 crores in Hindi. Now, where did the audience come from? It wasn't a clear-cut sequel, only that many people saw it in the theatres, then where did the balance audience build
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a fandom for the film - they saw it on satellite and on OTT or probably on pirated sites. In a way these mediums have contributed to the next part to grow the business. We cannot ignore OTT, or satellite or any other platform, but we have to find ways of building our own theatrical business."
Amit adds to the discussion by saying, "I think when it comes to increasing the pie for theatrical, unfortunately for exhibitors we are relying on both the number of screens and content from outside. We don't create the content; the content makers are responsible for it. On the other hand, we rely on the real estate supply. The concern is not just about increasing the number of screens, it is about increasing the number of screens where screens are not there."
Agreeing with Amit, Sandeep continues the discussion by stating that it is not about paving the way in over-saturated markets, but in those that are underserved. Winding up the panel, P V Sunil adds, "We used to be
under-screened even before the pandemic. There is great scope, but the location matters, there's no point putting up many screens in the same place. At the same time the numbers we are talking about, if a movie collects 500 crores, that only means that five crore people have watched it in theatres. The first thing to is the penetration of screens to get more
people and increase this in the best way possible."
Bringing the discussion to a conclusion, Sandeep adds that when it comes to being an Indian exhibitor, we must look into foraying into the overseas markets as well, both in terms of content and exhibition.
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Building the Future Multiplex for Cinegoers
Andrew Emmott - Vice President Sales, Harkness Screens
Vaishali Hanumanthe - Managing Partner, DRC Cinemas
Satwik Lele - Chief Operating Officer, Mukta A2 Cinemas
Vikas Lokhande - Chief General Manager, Marketing & Strategy, Khushi Advertising
Sanjay Dalia - Multiplex Leasing & Project Consultant, Thrive Consulting
Akshaye Rathi - Director, Aashirwad Theatres
Venturing into the discussion on how to cater to the up-and-coming moviegoers and the diversity they bring with them, the panel ponders on the various elements that make up a successful multiplex/cinema. As
Akshaye Rathi kicks of the discussion on building future moviegoing experiences, he points out the importance of this topic at this point in time. He states that as an industry we are at the cusp of reforms because the pandemic has changed a lot of consumption habits as witnessed. In order to stay ahead of the curve, the cinema exhibition
industry has to change and adapt its ways in which it offers movies to its consumers.
Audiences is Back!!!
Commencing he discussion, Sanjay Dalia provides his insights and states that it's not singularly about movies today, but it is also about the moviegoing experience. He adds, "You require a 360-degree experience of cinemas; not only the sound and project but even the seating, ambience, concession counters. Everything depends on how you can bring more and more people to the cinemas." While discussing the need
to provide interesting moviegoing experiences, Sanjay points out that single screens dominated the industry in the past. However, with their lack of ability and drive to upgrade their offerings, they are now diminishing from the moviegoing scene.
Audiences are not focused on content alone; they want to experience the cinema as well. If the cinemas are appropriately located then they are bound to attract a crowd. Sanjay adds that cinemas have to be upgraded every now and then because these upgrades and technological changes bring more and more people to the cinemas.
Advancing Advertising Prowess
While cinemas are the driving force for audiences, it is also essential to recuperate the investment going into them. With the advertisements flying into theatres, they have become a part and parcel of the cinemagoing experience. Akshaye questions whether cinema advertising is an ancillary revenue that cinemas depend on when revenues from movies are not sufficient to fall back on. Conferring
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about the advancements in in-cinema advertising, Vikas Lokhande adds, "Thanks to the global technology coming to India, the advertisements are looking much better on the big screen. We pitch long-term advertising investments between cinemas and marketeers so that you can typically have ads throughout the year. This is the onscreen element of advertising. With offscreen elements, we have brought in different technologies, and ventured into different brands bringing new possibilities to cinemas." He continues to point out that apart from the screens in the auditorium, cinemas across are equipped with digital screens that are perfect for carrying advertisements. Advertising is not restricted to the showcases, but it also helps to gauge the audience' reactions and an opportunity for marketeers to pilot their products. Advertising is a beautiful force of communication and with the technological advancements it continues to get better.
Digressing from the topic of in-cinema advertising, Akshaye addresses the inconsistency in the consumption of content today. As much as we focus on the property, he ponders on the question of pricing these experiences.
Pricing Moviegoing Experiences
In response to Akshaye's probing query, Satwik Lele says, "We have
several formats coming up, you have ScreenX, IMAX, and you have the allrecliner screens; along with that, it also depends on the films that are releasing. We generally have a cookie cutter concept with pricing that is fixed for a cinema irrespective of the genre or the star cast of the film is. At MuktaA2 Cinemas, we price a particular film looking at the genre and the star cast and at the same time what kind of crowd the film is going to attract. Thankfully, we have been successful in doing so and we would definitely continue with the same. To give you an example, way back in 2014, we started our first miniplex in Vadodara. Nobody would have thought of a miniplex with an allrecliner screen. The recliner screen was priced only INR 50 more than the regular ticket pricing. Till date that particular screen is doing phenomenal occupancy because it is rightly priced."
Furthering the discussion from costing, Akshaye emphasises on the demands and expectation of the audience themselves. He questions on how as an industry we can gauge and understand what the audience wants in terms of the cinema's offerings including the amenities, technology and also the food and beverages.
Commenting on the same, Vaishali Hanumanthe adds, "It's very crucial to know who our audience is. In a city like Mysore, high prices will not work; we need to study the people's consumption habits and pricing that
they need. We have to cater to that particular sector. Food is a very important for us, if you overly price it, your concession sales will dip. We need to manage that price point and continue to upgrade our offerings. We have been successful in catering to the audience because our prices are very reasonable. Our F&B costing is inexpensive and that's why we are getting good occupancy. Therefore, pricing is everything."
While pricing moviegoing experiences is an essential task, as Akshaye points out, for many independent exhibitors employing the best in cinema technology is merely not feasible. He questions how does one bridge the gap between quality and costing.
In response to him, Andrew Emmott says, "We owe it to the paying customer to offer a premium experience. We spend quite a lot of money investing in building a cinema. Premium Screens are a model major multiplexes have used worldwide. It's a model that is proven and one that works. Despite the demographic or the business model, the key element is to provide the experience to the customer. The benefits of using a premium screen is that the specifications work well with the 3D systems, the projector, and if you get the balance right you can really provide the 'wow' factor to the audience. You really have to consider the technology that you are deploying, and the screen is certainly part of that."
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As we emerge from the pandemic having experienced a harsh reality, Akshaye states that the revenue channels for exhibitors are limited. Barring the gains from the box office, he probes the question of alternatively insulating oneself as an exhibitor from the losses or lack of revenue generated at the box office.
In response to him, Sanjay firstly distinguishes between the properties that are owned and those that are leased, wherein, properties owned by exhibitors allow them to channel their space to maximise their profits. However, in the case of leases the sources are limited with the main focus being on concessions and advertising. Besides these, occupancy is an essential factor. He compares the percentages of occupancy in the Southern states to the North, where South boasts at least 60 per cent occupancy. As OTTs continue to become convenient, ticket prices have to be modestly priced to gain the
attention of the audience because, as Sanjay adds despite the rate of occupancy, the cost of operations will not change. He continues to point out that, the essential factor to bring in advertising is the rate of occupancy which is correlated to ticket pricing and better concession offerings. "Eventually the advertisement income will rise because advertising is only useful when the occupancy is good."
Advertising Through Exhibition
With advertisements in the focus, the panellists acknowledge India as a country is under-screened despite the magnanimous presence of multiplexes across. The lack of screens in the country can be chalked down to the lack of cinema presence in tier two and tier three cities and towns. The under-screening aspect, therefore, stems from these regions. Akshaye navigates the discussion and probes the question on how exhibitors can channel these untapped markets in terms on incinema advertising.
Vikas says, "The great thing is that we have opportunities in these markets. It's tier two and tier three cities where the growth is happening.
Visibility is important to brands. Television is one traditional medium that actually reaches out. But does a brand know how many people have actually watched it? No. But in cinemas, it is possible for the brands to test and trial advertising in these cities." Cinemas allow brands to pilot and launch their products while working through a hyperlocal approach. Billboards and cinema advertising alongside digital advertising is a working combination. Advertisements are as effective and dominant as movie teasers. "Delivering the message to the captive audience is a great element that cinemas offer to brands," add Vikas. Brands are already aware of these possibilities; however, it is the lack of channels that limit them. It is the dearth of cinemas because of which brands are not able to gain the reach they desire in terms of advertising.
Tailormade Moviegoing Experiences
Moving on the discussing the data received at cinemas through end number of ways, Akshaye probes a question on how data collected from cinemas can benefit cinemas in create better experiences for the audience and work in advertising and marketing to them.
Taking the example of MuktaA2 Cinemas, Satwik adds, "We are there to build the void between a premium multiplex and single screens, and
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we've been successful in that. To work on anything, you need to depend on data. We have our own systems of understanding and analysing the kind of audience that comes and watches films with us." The data collected is then categorised to determine the frequency of visits and to create tailormade opportunities to bring the audience back. "We reach out to them through social media, direct messages and through phone calls, which is one medium people are not using today, it is a one-to-one communication with the guests," declares Satwik. Once they connect with their guests, they give them an offer that entices them to come back to cinema. While they haven't been entirely successful in this endeavour, they continue to harness data to bring back audiences.
Localisation: A Tactic!
Akshaye points out that a word very relevant in any business in India, is localisation. India is virtually like a continent with many sub cultures, languages and diversity in the disposable income available to people. Catering to a vast diversity even in a small geographical area, he
probes the question on how unique do cinemas have to be from each other.
Vaishali responds, "As far as, Charlie 777 goes, it was a Kannada movie that did really well for us. This was the movie that brought the kids back to the theatres. Kids that missed out convinced their parents to watch the movie. This kind of advertising is fantastic for us." Giving another example of Rocketry, she states that, given their personal connections with engineering associations, they convinced the distributor to give them a slot at a subsidised rate bringing in a multitude of engineering students for these shows. The attempt was successful as 1800 students enjoyed the movie. Emphasising on the concept of localisation, she states that once you have watched and identified the movie, you can bring in the audience for the movie.
Venturing further into the discussion, she adds that the audiences in Mysore are particular about the food, ambience and acoustics. If the experience is not up to the mark, they ensure the cinema authorities are informed and the feedback acknowledged.
Relevance of Technology
Andrew says in response, "We have seen over the last few years few different manufacturers produce these screens and it's a definite advancement in technology. When talking about LED screens specifically, there are a few hurdles technology wise yet to be overcome. The beauty for me of going to the theatre is actually seeing a screen which is wall to wall, floor to ceiling; it is the impact that it gives. For a new build you could work with a fixed size whereas if you are trying to replace screens there's going to be a challenge with the other issues. The audio is quite difficult to manage because traditional cinemas have speakers behind the screens. Companies are progressing with this, but it's not where it needs to be yet. There's also energy consumption, if you're taking a 15m wide screen it is going to consume quite a lot of energy, and more so than the projector. It does trick out a quite a good amount of heat. It is a new technology and is quite interesting. The other obvious factor is the cost and as with all new technology it's going to be available only to mainstream cinemas once the cost is achievable."
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F U T U R E R E L E S E S A
A glimpse of movies coming soon…
A Good Person
Killer Films Director
Florence Pugh, Morgan Freeman
IFC Films Director
Owen Wilson, Michaela Watkins
The Pope’s Exorcist
Skydance Media Director
Ben Affleck, Matt Damon
Illumination Entert. Director
Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy
2.0 Entertainment Director
Russell Crowe, Laurel Marsden
Universal Pictures Director
Chris McKay, Robert Kirkman
Super Mario Bros. Movie
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Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant
Jake Gyllenhaal, Dar Salim
Action, Thriller, War
Evil Dead Rise
Ghost House Pic.
Alyssa Sutherland, Lily Sullivan
Samara Weaving, Kelvin Harrison Jr.
Are You There God?
It’s Me, Margaret
Gracie Films Director
Kelly Fremon Craig
Rachel McAdams, Abby Ryder Fortson
Working Title Films
Priya Kansara, Ritu Arya
Affirm Films Director
George Tillman Jr.
Forest Whitaker, Sullivan Jones
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Marvel Studios Director
Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista
Book Club: The Next Chapter
Focus Features Director
Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda
Big George Foreman
F U T U R E R E L E S E S A
March-May 2023 TW-56
Thunder Road Pic.
Jason Momoa, Nathalie Emmanuel
About My Father
Maniscalco, Robert De Niro
The Little Mermaid
Walt Disney Director
Halle Bailey, Melissa McCarthy
Bert Kreischer, Mark Hamill
Open Road Films
Ric Roman Waugh
Gerard Butler, Ali
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Marvel Studios Director
Shameik Moore, Issa Rae
21 Laps Entert.
Vivien Lyra Blair, Marin Ireland
F U T U R E R E L E S E S A March-May 2023 TW-57
Universal Pictures Director
Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts
Bay Films Director
Steven Caple Jr.
Anthony Ramos, Luna Lauren Velez
Genre Action, Sci-Fi
Zee Studios Director
Ajay Devgn, Priyamani
Akhil Akkineni, Mammootty
Kisi Ka Bhai… Kisi Ki Jaan
Salman Khan Films Director
Salman Khan, Pooja Hegde
Genre Action, Drama
Ponniyin Selvan: Part-2
Lyca Productions Director
Chiyaan Vikram, Aishwarya Rai
RSVP Movies Director
Kangana Ranaut, Anshul Chauhan
Prabhas, Kriti Sanon
F U T U R E R E L E S E S A
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