Christie view on future cinema experiences

Adil Zerouali, a regional director within EMEA for cinema services at Christie, outlines the cinema experience of the future for Tim Kridel.

TK: What are the most recent advances in projector and cinema sound technologies? And are these helping attract and retain audiences, especially now that 4K and 3D are available for home theaters?

AZ: Multi-channel object-based immersive audio formats (i.e. Dolby ATMOS, DTS:X), all of which work with Christie’s Vive Audio solution lineup, provide a better sound experience – very important for best “faint dialogue” reproduction and true-to-life sound effects – and these can’t be had in a home theatre (at least not without the homeowner incurring significant capital cost outlays).

Regarding projection technology, RGB laser projection offerings deliver the widest color gamut available (rec2020), unprecedented brightness, and true HDR capabilities – all superior to television, which in turn also attract and retain audiences. Just as importantly, the communal experience of enjoying good movies with hundreds of others within a cinema-auditorium can never be replicated in one’s living room or den. 

TK: Do augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have roles to play as cinema technologies?

AZ: AR potentially has a strong role to play in cinema lobby displays with consumer mobile devices and things like interactive display walls. Others are making the headsets. Content that leverages AR/VR will come from a variety of sources, including studios, businesses, governments and cinema-industry tech players, such as Christie. 

TK: Any other trends in cinema-facility refurb or new construction, as it relates to their multi-usage? Are more cinema owners going with corporate events and alternative content, in addition to movie delivery?

AZ: A trend that is starting to gain traction is the multi-use lobby area – designed as an entertainment space instead of just concessions and box-office. When theater owners are faced with renovations, they are definitely considering renovations that would potentially monetize multiple areas of the theater. These include dine-in restaurants, pubs and arcades.

And in the cinema auditoriums themselves, larger chairs and adjacent dining tables are becoming commonplace. But the wave of the future might be found with Christie partner CJ CGV, which is making headway with its 4DX concept, which alongside Christie digital projectors, harnesses special effects such as Motion Chair (Pitch, Roll, Heave), Vibration, Ticklers (Leg & Back), Water Spray, Wind, Lightning, Fog, Scents, Rain, Bubbles, Rainstorms and Snow replication within the audience. 

Adil Zerouali will return in a wider article on cinemas, technology and the future for theatres in the June edition of InAVate EMEA. If you aren’t registered to receive the magazine and you would like to read this article click here.

More Q&As in the series: 
Mike Bradbury, head of cinema technology, and Simon Soffe, head of communications at Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group
Tom Bert, senior product manager, Barco

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