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Archive by Mario Almonte

Megaplex Theatres Launches VIP Experience with Christie Projectors

Christie, a global leader in visual display technology, is providing the 4K DLP Cinema projection solution at a new screen at the Megaplex Theatres at Jordan Commons, which debuts March 15 with VIP seating, table service and full reclining chairs as part of Megaplex’s transition to complete digital projection throughout its chain. Megaplex, a leading independent cinema chain in Utah, is converting all of its screens to digital projection, drawing from the Christie Solaria Series. The new projectors, including the Christie CP4230 driving the VIP experience at Megaplex Jordan Commons, are being installed by CLACO Equipment and Service.

Specific to Megaplex Theatres at Jordan Commons, Christie’s CP4230 was chosen to deliver massive, crisp resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels, with 34,000 lumens brightness, to make 3D movies come alive. This is in keeping with Megaplex’s emphasis on providing an industry-leading viewing experience for its guests. It is this commitment that led the chain to evaluate various suppliers for digital projection in 2011, and then chose Christie equipment and CLACO to deliver it.

“We know that moving to digital projection provides our guests with the best image quality, and helps us keep filling the seats for blockbuster titles as studios release them. After looking at the available choices and with the advice of CLACO, we decided that Christie had the best product, both technically and in terms of energy savings, service and support,” said Blake Andersen, senior vice president and general manager of Megaplex Theatres. “These new projectors let us offer more options to our advertisers and partners as well.”

Noted Eric Butterworth, sales manager at CLACO, “Christie was easily our recommended choice for Megaplex. The combination of Christie Digital Cinema projectors, Christie’s excellent customer service and 24-hour tech support, and their Christie Digital Xenolite Lamp (CDXL) technology were just some of the reasons why we went with Christie.

“CDXL lamps give us more options in terms of the brightness delivered on the screen, to achieve best image quality. This flexibility means that I could go with a lower lamp size, and still maintain the necessary brightness that the customer required, which provided greater savings,” said Butterworth. “For example, rather than be forced to run a 6,000 watt lamp in a non-Christie projector, I opted to install a Christie DCP with a 4,500 watt lamp, delivering the same or better brightness, with the attendant cost savings.”

Christie’s warranty and service plus packages provide Megaplex with peace of mind across its theatre chain. These services range from quick access to spare parts, on-site preventative maintenance/emergency service, 24/7/365 remote monitoring and technical phone support from Christie’s Network Operations Center.

Christie solutions installed or to be installed by CLACO at Megaplex Theatres include the CP2220, CP2230, Christie ACT (automation controller) and CP4230, as well as the Gefen Scaler scaling and switching unit.

“When our customers make the transition to digital projection, they’re looking for the terrific image quality and technical capabilities that digital offers,” said Craig Sholder, Christie’s vice president, Entertainment Solutions. “We work with local partners to develop a solution that meets the customer’s unique needs, and provide ongoing service and support, to make the transition smooth and rewarding.”

Megaplex Chain Stands Out Among Independent Exhibitors
The Megaplex Theatre chain (www.megaplextheatres.com) is known for innovative architecture and commitment to the community. The flagship Megaplex 17 at Jordan Commons in Sandy, Utah, was built on the former site of Jordan High School and the lobby was designed to look like downtown Salt Lake City in 1870. In 2002, it was North America’s highest grossing theater for the opening weekend of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” Less than a year later, the theater sold over 120,000 tickets for “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” making this location the top-grossing movie theater in the world for this film.

With six multi-screen complexes in Utah, Megaplex Theatres was founded in 1999 by the former owner of the Utah Jazz, Larry H. Miller, and is now operated by his son Greg Miller, CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. Two of the locations share screens with nearby museums where museum content is viewed during the day and Megaplex offers first-run movies in the evenings. Many locations offer reserved seating, lots of additional food options and D-box (moveable) seating.

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Christie Partners Honored With DSE 2012 Apex and Content Awards

Christie® winds down a triumphant appearance at Digital Signage Expo® (DSE), March 6 – 9, with several of its products featured in partners’ winning entries at last night’s prestigious Annual Digital Signage Expo Awards celebration in Las Vegas. Christie and partners walked away with gold, silver and bronze awards in four categories, with the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery installation, featuring Christie® MicroTiles® and content by Zebradog, selected as DSE’s first Apex of the Year award recipient.

The Apex awards honor innovation in the development and deployment of technology in the global digital out-of-home networks (DOOH) industry, while the Content Awards honor innovative and compelling content created for digital signage in the DOOH networks.

Chosen by an independent panel of five industry journalists, many of the following award recipients had one thing in common − they featured high quality Christie products and or Christie Managed Services for their integration or deployment support. Following last night’s award presentations, Christie’s partners took home seven awards in four categories on top of the Apex of the Year award. The categories included: Business, Industry & Government, Retail, Event Venues, Hospitality and Education & Healthcare.

GOLD
Under the Education and Healthcare category Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery was honored with a Gold Apex Award, with content partner Zebradog.

Sun Life Financial won Apex Gold Award for Sun Life Financial BuzzWall™, installed at the Hollywood and Highland Centre (formerly the Kodak Theatre). The BuzzWall features Christie MicroTiles, with content created by partner Arsenal Media and installation by Christie Managed Services.

Arsenal Media also received a Gold Content Award for the Miami Dolphins BuzzWall, featuring Christie MicroTiles.

SILVER
Fresh (a Louis Vuitton Company) was recognized for the renovation of its flagship store in New York City featuring Christie MicroTiles, with expert technical installation and consultation by Christie Managed Services, integration partner Materials and Methods and architectural firm Mapos LLC.

Under the Education and Healthcare category, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics received a Silver Apex Award, with design and integration partner Westbury National Show Systems.

BRONZE
Christie and partner Arsenal Media received a Bronze Apex Award for the digital technology installation at the Christie Network Operations Center (NOC). Arsenal Media also took home a Bronze Content Award for this same installation.

Sean James, vice president, Christie Managed Services, says that each project was a significant accomplishment demonstrating continuous innovation in content creation of digital signage specialty visualization. He adds, “With the collaborative efforts of multi-disciplined teams of experts, the installations delivered incredibly engaging visual experiences. We congratulate all of our integration, installation, content and architectural design partners on these awards.”

Christie Sponsors Global Assembly of IEEE Virtual Reality/3D Experts

Christie® is proud to be the platinum sponsor for IEEE Virtual Reality (VR) 2012, the world’s premier international technical conference and exhibition on all aspects of virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. The event has been held annually since 1993 and this year’s program of workshops, tutorials, conference and exhibits at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California is co-located with the IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces (3DUI).

As well as its platinum sponsorship, Christie will be supporting the four days of conference keynote addresses in the Westin’s Plaza Ballroom with four projectors: two Christie Mirage WU7K-M (3-chip WUXGA 3D DLP® 6,300 lumen) and two Christie DHD800 digital projector (1-chip, 1080 HD DLP 8000 lumen) units. Key displays for three Christie partners – Advanced RealTime Tracking (ART – www.ar-tracking.de), TechViz (www.techviz.net) and WorldViz (www.worldviz.com) – will also feature Christie projectors and related technologies.

“Christie, with its well-earned reputation for accelerating innovation in advanced visualization/3D and simulation, has a significant presence at this world-leading event, as we continue to partner with other VR experts to bring integrated solutions to market,” said Zoran Veselic, vice president of Christie’s Visual Environments. “Many Christie customers are among the 700 decision makers that have assembled for IEEE Virtual Reality 2012 and the IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces, and on behalf of the company, I thank them for their loyalty and continuing use of Christie solutions.”

WorldViz (Booths #6 and #7)
Christie Personal Immersive Environment (PIE)
Comprised of Christie FHD551-X HD LCD flat panels, the Christie PIE concept features a five-panel arrangement in portrait mode for an innovative, way to create an immersive environment with a roughly 180 degree Field of View (FOV). WorldViz will provide 3D content that enables participants using a Kinect for Xbox 360 controller to virtually “fly” through a piazza for full body gaming. It uses groundbreaking technology to deliver smooth, continuous graphics that respond to an intuitive 3D hand control. WorldViz will also showcase a driving simulator with a virtual steering wheel using PIE. Additional flat panels can be added to increase the FOV to as much as 270 degrees. Easily flipped into landscape to suit the user’s needs, it is a low-cost faceted visualization display system that creates an immersive visual experience with high performance and flexibility.

Advanced RealTime Tracking (Booths #10 and #11)
ART will demonstrate a TRACKPACK4 system. Utilizing this system, this optical-tracking system pioneer will show Virtual Reality interaction (Flystick, Fingertracking) with software ported into immersive VR through TechViz middleware. Users will be immersed with ARTs tracking solution and a Sensics HMD display for visual stimulus. Visuals provided will be mirrored onto a Christie Mirage-WU L LED-based 1-chip WUXGA DLP® 600 lumen 3D projector in a 72″ rear projection enclosure for high fidelity stereoscopic display.

TechViz (Booth #3)
TechViz will be demonstrating at IEEE VR real time maintenance operations with full body tracking directly in a CAD application (CATIA Siemens-PLM Jack), using a Christie Mirage WU-L LED-based 1-chip WUXGA DLP® 600 lumen 3D projector in a 72″ rear projection enclosure for high fidelity stereoscopic display.

Christie’s Award Winning Digital Signage and Service Solutions Put Customers at Ease at DSE 2012

Christie brings three zones of innovation to Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas, March 6 – 9, that illustrate the company’s comprehensive, award-winning digital signage solutions to help engage customers, increase advertising and promotional sales, and deliver corporate brand messages. As a world-leading display technology provider with more than 80 years of experience, Christie designs, builds, deploys and provides technical support and ongoing remote management of the widest range of high-resolution, highly interactive digital signage for designers, architects, builders and brand managers.

On Display at DSE, Christie Booth #1051
The Christie booth at DSE includes Christie MicroTiles with The BuzzWall™ concept of Arsenal Media, a leading content marketing agency specializing in the digital out-of-home industry; a two-panel Quick Serve Restaurant digital menu board; and customer videos highlighting Christie’s accomplishments as the single-source provider of customers’ digital signage networks.

Zone 1 – The BuzzWall
Christie teams up with Arsenal Media to showcase The BuzzWall in action. Composed of 24 MicroTiles and three content zones, it is a version of the Apex Award and Content Award-nominated BuzzWall installed in the lobby of the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The interactive display helps Sun Life Financial, as a show sponsor, maintain brand integrity and create impact in a meaningful, cost-effective way.

“The BuzzWall allows people to ‘play’ with the interactive tiles and manipulate the content being shown. It allows display venues to easily change the branding of their content to fit with audience needs while staying within budget,” noted Sean James, vice president, Managed Services for Christie.

Zone 2 – Digital Menu Boards
Christie and partner Allure Global Solutions, an enterprise software development company, showcase an example of the latest dining experience in the digital age, a Quick Serve Restaurant menu. Two flat panel monitors demonstrate how menus can be visually engaging and easily adjusted with unlimited content – while helping proprietors stay within budget.

Zone 3 – Christie Monitoring and Managed Services for Digital Networks
Booth visitors will learn more about how Christie designs, builds, deploys and supports digital networks through managed services and a state-of-the-art Network Operations Center (NOC), a 24/7/365 facility where experienced technicians monitor customers’ digital investments – managing more 50,000 devices in over 1800 locations across North America. As a single source solutions provider, Christie can be the cost-conscious provider of digital networks by working with customers every step of their digital signage rollout.

Multimedia presentations at the booth will demonstrate how Rave Cinemas, Fresh, and Sun Life Financial have invested in Christie’s solutions to create dynamic digital signage to promote their brands.

“Video Wall Technologies: Understanding the Choices”
For show attendees who want to learn more about video wall technologies, Christie’s U.S. Director of Sales for MicroTiles, Mitch Rosenberg, will take part in a panel discussion “Understanding the Choices,” which will provide insights into different video wall technologies and what makes them tick, on March 7 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Refer to registration details at http://www.digitalsignageexpo.net/seminars.
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Christie with Rave Cinemas
Christie will join Rave Cinemas at the last stop of the DSE Digital Signage Guided Installation Tour, Tuesday March 6, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Rave Cinema 18 at Town Square. Rave Cinemas is dedicated to enriching the movie-going experience for audiences across the United States.
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Christie Products Around the DSE Show Floor
Christie products can also be found at partner booths throughout DSE, including Almo Professional A/V, Booth #631, with a uniquely shaped configuration of 14 Christie MicroTiles, with content driven by Christie’s recently launched Christie JumpStart. JumpStart is a straightforward and robust content management solution that works with digital displays requiring up to four video inputs like MicroTiles, Christie FHD551-X flat panels or other large-format digital displays. Arrow Electronics, Booth #645, will showcase a 6 wide by 2 high Christie MicroTiles table array and Scala, Booth #601 will display an irregular 35-tile video wall using Christie MicroTiles.

Finalists in DSE Apex Awards on March 7
In collaboration with its partners, Christie products and installations dominate the DSE Apex Awards with nominations in four categories. The annual awards honor innovation in the development and deployment of technology in the global digital out-of-home industry, and this year these include, for Retail, Fresh® (a Louis Vuitton Company), with integration partner Materials & Methods, for Event Venues, Sun Life Financial BuzzWall at Kodak Theatre, with content partner Arsenal Media, and for Business, Industry & Government, the Christie Network Operations Center (NOC), again with Arsenal Media. Both Fresh and the Sun Life Financial interactive BuzzWall installations feature the renowned Christie MicroTiles −winner of 18 industry awards worldwide. To create captivating visual displays, two additional Apex Award finalist projects used Christie MicroTiles: Christie partner, Westbury National Show Systems, for Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, and Christie partner Zebradog, for the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, both in the Education and Healthcare category.

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The Future of Premium Theater Experiences to Be Powered By New Christie Duo Solution

Christie® today announced Christie Duo™, a new dual–projection integration kit as a solution intended to give exhibitors the ability to create and deliver their own, branded premium theater experience.

“Exhibitors have invested heavily in building their own brand in their respective markets. With Christie Duo, we’re providing an opportunity for our exhibitors and our business partners to enhance their offerings with a premium experience,” said Don Shaw, director, Product Management, Christie Entertainment Solutions. “Now any exhibitor can deliver the brightest 2K or 4K movie experience in 2D or 3D on the largest screens. We’re excited to give exhibitors a solution to help them further leverage and market their own premium brand to today’s sophisticated movie-going audiences.”

The Christie Duo™ integration kit can be purchased with either 2K or 4K Christie Solaria™ Series digital cinema projectors or as a standalone integration kit for Christie customers who already have Christie projectors — the world’s best-selling DCI-compliant digital cinema projectors with more than 28,000 shipped and installed to date.

The integration kit features the choice of two configurations: a compact and convenient stacking system for 3D installations, or a new, innovative physical configuration that perfectly aligns every pixel on the screen for optimal 2D and 3D presentations. Coupled with automated features that easily calibrate, align and optimize the images from both Christie Solaria™ Series 2K or 4K digital cinema projectors, Christie Duo delivers a completely seamless, premium movie experience for the world’s largest screens. When combined with world-leading 3D systems, exhibitors can achieve 3D image brightness levels up to twice as high as what can be achieved using the current large-format market leader — at a significant overall cost saving.

One-time Investment Puts Customers First
Building on its history of delivering industry-first solutions for exhibitors, Christie has responded to the global market demand for a solution that delivers a cost effective and financially accessible premium movie experience, one that is affordable today and tomorrow.

“We pride ourselves on responding to customer needs and our customers approached us for a flexible and economical solution to deliver a premium cinema experience. They wanted a low initial investment in equipment and not to be constrained by business models that may require them to share ongoing box office revenues with the equipment supplier. With Christie Duo, we’re delivering high value at a price point that provides immersive cinema experiences to all,” Shaw added.

Early Demonstrations and Installations Confirm Market Acceptance
In December 2011 Christie successfully demonstrated a dual-stacked 4K digital cinema projection solution, displaying true DLP Cinema® 4K resolution in 3D with incomparable brightness levels of 68,000 ANSI lumens, using two Christie CP4230 digital cinema projectors. Using Christie Duo technology, the demonstration was conducted in a theater in Shanghai to leading cinema owners and exhibitors in China (http://www.christiedigital.com/stacked-4k-demo). Attendees experienced a presentation featuring unmatched brightness, sharpness and superior 3D images — generating an enthusiastic and welcoming response from industry attendees.

Early adopters of Christie Duo include Grupo Araújo de Cinemas in Brazil and ArcLight Cinemas in the United States, which recently installed the solution at several ArcLight Cinemas, including the historic Cinerama Dome in Hollywood.

Christie Premium Theater Featured at ArcLight Cinemas

“We’ve put our trust in a Christie Duo system to dazzle audiences in our world-famous ArcLight Hollywood theater,” commented Joe Miraglia, director of design, construction and facilities at ArcLight. “We look forward to receiving and installing the next components in this system – an automated alignment and calibration solution – to ensure optimal image quality and brightness, at 4K resolutions for our most discerning audiences.”

Marcos Araújo, director, Grupo Araújo de Cinemas, Brazil, concurred. “Affordability, without sacrificing quality, is paramount for us and we are pleased to be partnering with Christie to bring the premium theater experience to our customers throughout Brazil.”

Christie dealer Kelonik Transisom installed Christie Duo at Grupo Araújo de Cinemas. Noted Isaac Besso, director, Kelonik Transisom, “We pride ourselves on introducing the newest and most innovative products to our clientele, reflecting our desire to provide maximum customer service to them, and certainly the Christie Duo solution fits perfectly with this strategy.”

Product Availability
Demonstrations of Christie Duo are scheduled for CinemaCon 2012, with wide product availability in the summer of 2012. The combination of two Christie Solaria projectors and the Christie Duo Integration Kit is expected to deliver significant cost savings compared to other branded ‘big screen’ solutions. The solution will be fully compatible with recently announced Christie® Previsto™ High Frame Rate (HFR) technology.

Christie’s Commitment to HFR
The two main goals of Christie’s HFR activities are to help the industry develop the best HFR content and the best delivery system for HFR content. The first goal involves assisting leading-edge filmmakers and post-production companies in perfecting HFR movie creation, so the industry has the most engaging, entertaining content possible. The second goal is to assist exhibitors in showing these 3D HFR movies in all their glory. To these ends, Christie is helping create the standards for 3D HFR movies through formal and informal technology-development alliances with major producers and directors, post production facilities, studios and technology partners. On the exhibitor’s front, Christie provides one-stop shopping for all the hardware, software and services that enable exhibitors to deliver a filmmaker’s vision in stunning 3D HFR quality.

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Christie MicroTiles “Speak” As Creative Medium At Perimeter Institute

World-class technology converges with world-class facilities at the are visually communicating a range of scientific research, training and outreach messages for a variety of audiences – including some of the world’s brightest minds. Located in the lobby, itself a mix of angles and multiple perspectives, the Christie MicroTiles array is assembled as an irregular hexagon, creating a dynamic media wall to welcome and inform all visitors.

“The video wall’s shape is arranged in a ‘V’ with a narrow base of three MicroTiles wide and works its way up to eight wide at the top of the array,” said Randy Pagnan, President, RP Visual Solutions (RPV). “Any MicroTiles array greater than five tiles high benefit greatly from a consolidated back frame, which is what RPV constructed; our adjustability and capability to align each MicroTile guarantees the tight seams of the video wall. MicroTiles allow the flexibility to provide that ‘architectural’ look Perimeter was seeking to achieve.”

The scale, diversity, and modular design of Christie MicroTiles in architectural spaces allow a building’s design and the organization occupying it to ‘speak’ with the Christie MicroTiles as the creative medium.

“The wall’s design is a fusion of messaging, mission and architecture – and it all came together because of the Christie MicroTiles technology,” said John Matlock, Director of External Relations and Public Affairs at Perimeter Institute. “The flexibility of MicroTiles allowed for the whole space to come together in a very exciting way. The unique shape of the media wall – including a functioning passageway – is in line with the architect’s vision of the main entrance to Perimeter Institute.”

Matlock explained that Perimeter’s small in-house graphics and audiovisual team needed a visual display technology that would enable them to manipulate and update zones, backgrounds and the overall display with ease. With the use of vibrant color, the MicroTiles’ digital canvas enables the Institute’s graphic artist to create, import, and display high-resolution and highly detailed scientific animations to help share abstract concepts in theoretical physics. In addition, the MicroTiles display will share daily news about the many research, training and outreach activities taking place throughout the facility.

“In the past we had plasma displays to impart basic information – times, dates, names. However, in expanding the research center, the Christie MicroTiles’ high-resolution capabilities, color and clarity really took us to that next level where we could bring information to life in all new ways, including the display of highly detailed scientific images and computer-generated animations,” Matlock continued.

“Many different communities – researchers, trainees, students, teachers, members of the public and even our many stakeholders – pass by and speak in overwhelmingly positive tones about the media wall. The Christie MicroTiles provide a ‘wow’ factor when we share information about Perimeter’s purposes and other messaging. I think we are in an ideal position with Christie MicroTiles to keep the communications as fresh, impactful and awe-inspiring as the Stephen Hawking Centre itself.”

“Christie MicroTiles allow for the creativity of architects to realize their vision and do things they couldn’t do only a few years ago,” Pagnan concluded.

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Christie Helps Texas Drive-Ins Light Up ‘The Big Picture’

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and with the installation of award-winning Christie® digital cinema projectors at two of the Lone Star State’s most popular drive-in theaters, they are now also the brightest. The Big Sky Drive-In in Midland and the Stars and Stripes in Lubbock, both featuring outdoor screens up to 90 ft wide, now offer a superior movie viewing experience thanks to Christie’s DLP Cinema® projectors, which are recognized as the brightest and most powerful in the industry.

“Drive-in theaters have always been a romantic business venture that faced many technical challenges,” noted Craig Sholder, vice president, Entertainment Solutions at Christie. “The limited amount of light that can be projected on the screen from even the most powerful film projectors is not always sufficient to compete with the ambient light of the outdoors. This has often seriously affected the quality of the projected image and undermined the movie-viewing experience for many patrons. Christie projectors are ideally suited for the outdoor environment where ease of operation – especially to focus and scale images – and high brightness levels are critical.”

Thinking Big
As a major sponsor of the 12th annual convention for the United Drive-In Theatre Owners Association (UDITOA), February 6 – 9, in Kissimmee, Florida, Christie is partnering with dealers such as Sonic Equipment Company to help lead America’s drive-in theaters into the digital age. Backed by more than 80 years in the exhibition industry, Christie is offering complete, turn-key solutions that include design, consultation, installation and support services. As well, Christie can provide interested customers with 24/7 support and maintenance through its Network Operations Center (NOC), located in Cypress, California.

Among the first drive-ins in the country to “see the light” of digital technology were the
Stars & Stripes and the Big Sky drive-ins – the first multi-screen drive-ins in the country. Christie projectors, rated at 30,000 ANSI lumens of brightness, covered their entire screen surfaces with the sharpest digital images ever seen in a drive-in theater.

A Big Improvement at The Big Sky
Big Sky owner Sam Kirkland opened in October 2005 with two screens, both using 35mm projectors. He added a third screen in 2007. Two of Big Sky’s three screens are 45 ft by 90ft, with parking spaces for 436 cars and 382 cars; the third screen, at 35 ft by 70 ft, can handle 198 cars. The conversion to Christie digital projectors was done by Sonic Equipment Company, of Iola, Kansas.

“When a drive-in goes to digital movies, it’s a big difference from film, and audiences see the difference immediately,” said Sam Kirkland, owner of The Big Sky. “Our Christie projector gives us a gorgeous picture and our customers love it!”

Lamont Furlow, the 60-year old general manager of Big Sky, whose parents managed a local drive-in theater, recalled that he was virtually born into the movie theater business.

“Directly or indirectly, I’ve been in the exhibition business all my life, and have a special passion for the drive-in,” he said. “I’m not real computer literate, but when we had some initial challenges the first week, we called our Christie representative and he talked us through the situation right over the phone. The show started on time and the entire system has worked beautifully every since!”

Most importantly, Furlow noted, “Now that we’re digital, lighting the screen is no longer an issue. Our patrons enjoy even the darkest scenes in a movie.”

In the past, Big Sky also had serious problems getting the picture focused when running 35mm projectors. “With Christie digital projectors, it’s now in perfect focus,” he said. “My immediate reaction when we showed our first movie in digital was, ‘That can’t be my screen!”

He added: “We couldn’t be more pleased with our new Christie projectors.”

A Bright Idea at the Stars & Stripes
Ryan Smith had fond childhood memories of working in his grandparents’ indoor theater, as well as nights spent at the local drive-in. In 2003, at the age of 24, he opened the Stars & Stripes Drive-In Theatre with two screens and two used 35mm projectors, assisted by his parents.

Today, with two screens that measured 35 ft by 70 ft, and one measuring 45 ft by 90ft, the earliest lesson he learned about drive-in theaters, said Smith, was that, “you just can’t get enough light on those big screens.”

Smith selected Christie projectors, financing the cost of the digital conversion himself. Sonic Equipment Company of Iola, Kansas, supervised the installation and helped to train Smith and his staff.

The impact was instantaneous. According to Smith, in the first week they opened, “People noticed that something was different. They realized the picture was brighter. And I was thrilled to provide my customers with ‘indoor-movie’ picture quality.”

Smith is now eager to explore the expansion of his business with new kinds of content, such as sporting events, concerts, and cultural performances. “We were always constrained by film,” he said. “With digital, there are no limitations. We are very pleased with our Christie projectors.”

“Our customers have all praised the outstanding image quality of Christie digital projectors and we love their ease of use, and their low cost of operation,” said Steve Zimmerman, director of business development at Sonic. “As a Christie certified partner, we look forward to helping America’s drive-ins enter the digital age and bring a new level of entertainment to the next generation of moviegoers and beyond.”

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Christie and Partners Lead America’s Drive-In Theaters Into the Digital Age

As part of its national initiative to usher America’s drive-in theaters into the digital age, Christie is a sponsor of the 12th annual convention for the United Drive-In Theatre Owners Association (UDITOA), February 6 – 9, in Kissimmee, Florida, and has partnered with leading dealers across the United States to bring the benefits of digital cinema technology to a sector characterized by traditional 35mm projection.

“No single institution in American cinema history offers the sense of nostalgia, romance and freedom that drive-in theaters convey,” said Craig Sholder, vice president of Christie’s Entertainment Solutions. “With more than 80 years serving the exhibition community, Christie understands first-hand the challenges of running drive-ins and we are eager to bring them into the modern age, preserving this important legacy of cinema history.”

Christie offers the world’s best-selling and most powerful digital projection system, the Christie Solaria™ Series of 2D and 3D projectors, to light up the largest drive-in screens under the most challenging twilight conditions. In the southern and Midwest states specifically, Christie has joined forces with two of the country’s most renowned dealers – Sonic Equipment Company and Entertainment Supply and Technologies (ES&T) – to offer complete, single-source digital cinema solutions. Design, consultation, installation, and ongoing support are available from Christie and its partners. As well, Christie’s Network Operating Center (NOC) can provide 24/7 technical support and ongoing maintenance.

A Storied Past and Confident Future
At the height of their popularity in the 1950s, more than 4,000 drive-in theaters covered the American landscape. Changing movie viewing habits saw their numbers dwindle, but there are now exciting signs that they’re making a comeback, according to UDITOA. The association notes that drive-in theaters not only remain a time honored American institution, but in a battered economy, they still offer one of the best values for family entertainment.

With moviegoers seeking to recapture the magical memories of their youth, digital technology represents for drive-ins a distinctive competitive edge against the “hard tops” (indoor theaters) by offering alternative content such as major sporting events, musical and other cultural performances, in a unique outdoor environment, under the stars. The installation of powerful Christie DLP Cinema projectors allows audiences to experience the brightest and sharpest images on these big outdoor screens at the lowest cost of operation, eclipsing traditional 35mm film projection.

Florida Exhibitor Seizes the Opportunity
For more than 60 years, the Silver Moon Drive-In Theatre has been a landmark in central Florida, where it was the first of its kind to open in Lakeland. Today, the Silver Moon continues to operate successfully, offering a double feature of first-run movies on two screens. “We are the last drive-in theater in Polk County, but we are here to stay,” said owner Harold T. Spears.

Entertainment Supply and Technologies, LLC (ES&T), a full service cinema industry dealer and certified Christie partner from box office to projection booth “and everything in between,” recently completed the digitization of Silver Moon. ES&T chose the Solaria Series Christie CP2230 digital projectors as the most effective for lighting up the two massive screens of 55’ and 70’.

“Audiences have remarked how much brighter and sharper the images on the screen are now,” said Bruce Schneiter, vice-president, Technical Services, at ES&T. “Christie was our first choice, because they have always provided top-level products and service, and they stand behind everything they offer. They are unparalleled for their technical expertise and industry experience.”

Missouri Leads the Charge at B&B Moberly Five and Drive
Recognized by the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) as one of the oldest family-owned circuits in the Midwest, B&B Theatres have seen the coming of sound, color, widescreen, digital, 3D and countless other advances in stereo sound and projection technologies. Currently, B&B Theatres operate in towns of all sizes, opening multiplex theaters in many of the same places that once housed their old-time, single-screen and twin theaters. When B&B Theatres decided to replace its two aging downtown movie houses in Moberly, Missouri with a new, multi-million-dollar multiplex, they built on their drive-in theater lot – vacant since 1985 – and put the drive-in screen back to work as well. The new theater complex, opened in 1997, is called the Moberly Five and Drive.

Sonic Equipment Company, a Kansas-based digital cinema integrator and certified Christie partner, installed a Christie CP2230 DLP Cinema projector with a 4,500 watt bulb for the drive-in’s large, 64’-wide screen. According to Dan VanOrden, circuit general manager of B&B Theatres, “I was extremely impressed with the results. The audience, too, absolutely loved the bright new look. The drive-in is so bright now that Highway 63 is lit up in front of it!”

VanOrden noted that the conversion to digital gave Moberly many more options for alternative content, as well. “We’ve been able to run DVD’s of classic movies, for example, and they actually look much better on that huge screen than their old 35mm prints did.”

Sonic had previously installed Christie digital projectors in six drive-in screens in Texas, including the Stars and Stripes in Lubbock, as well as the Big Sky in Midland.

“Speaking for The Big Sky, our Christie Solaria projector gives us a gorgeous picture and our customers love it!” said Sam Kirkland, owner of The Big Sky. “When a drive-in goes to digital movies, it’s a big difference from film, and people see that difference immediately. The quality at drive-in theaters using Christie projectors is as good as the indoor theaters now.”

Steve Zimmerman, director of business development at Sonic, agreed. “Both Sonic and the theater owners at these locations in Texas were extremely impressed with the end result, allowing us to confidently recommend Christie to B&B Theatres.”

“Christie is committed to ensuring that America’s drive-ins remain competitive for generations to come by providing them with the dazzling images of digital cinema and the expanded revenue streams of alternative content. As we have been for more than 80 years, we are here for the long term to support them with superior customer service,” said Sholder. “Along with exceptional partners such as Sonic and ES&T, we want movie goers everywhere to rediscover the pleasure of watching the big screen under ‘the big sky.’”

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Christie JumpStart Software Solution Launches At ISE 2012

Christie today announced the official launch of its Christie JumpStart content management solution at the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) show in Amsterdam. JumpStart makes it easy to put stunning, high resolution content onto a multi-display or tiled digital canvas.

Christie JumpStart targets architectural markets including museums, universities, stadiums, corporate offices and retail stores needing high resolution, reliable content playback across large video walls. Rental stagers will also benefit from JumpStart’s speed and ease of setup, and support for unique display configurations.

“Christie is leading the way in developing simple, user-friendly solutions for integrated, large-format, digital displays,” said Richard Heslett, senior product manager, Business Products, Christie. “Christie JumpStart can be used with any digital display that has up to four inputs, and is the ideal companion for small and medium-sized Christie MicroTiles video walls – giving customers the ability to get the most out of their MicroTiles displays.”

Combining user-friendly JumpStart software with reliable HP hardware, Christie JumpStart enables users to position and play back a wide range of content including video, graphics, applications, Blu-ray and DVD movies, remote video sources, color swatches and text.

When used with Christie MicroTiles, Christie JumpStart communicates directly with the master External Control Unit (ECU), automatically picking the best resolution for the MicroTiles canvas, regardless of shape or cabling layout, and showing the location of every tile so that snapping content into position is a breeze.

Benefits of Christie JumpStart:

* Multi-windowing capabilities including video files, applications and text

* Seamless integration with Christie MicroTiles, automatically optimizing resolution of the Christie MicroTiles display

* Supports non-standard resolutions and independent resolutions

* Simple user interface allows for quick changes and intuitive user controls

* Integrated solution with single PC/software bundle means no additional hardware and no ongoing software costs or licenses

* Positioning and playback of content can be accomplished by seasoned designers and less technical users

* Plays media locally so no external source PCs or movie players are required

* Scheduling of playlists within each content window (scheduling by date is not supported)

Christie JumpStart is now shipping with a three-year warranty and the hardware bundle is backed by HP, providing peace of mind.

Winner of 18 industry awards since debuting in November 2009, Christie MicroTiles are installed throughout the world including Seoul’s Incheon International Airport, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Bank’s Asia Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong.

Christie’s Stunning Digital Signage Display Captivates Visitors at IDS 2012

Christie sets up StripTease visual display at Entrance to Toronto’s Interior Design Show

Christie® will demonstrate its powerful digital visual display capabilities that are transforming the architectural/design, retail, and corporate branding display industries at Canada’s largest contemporary design fair, the Interior Design Show (IDS), January 26 to 29, at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto. The multi-faceted entrance installation, “StripTease”, designed by RAW Design, will feature the latest in projection and an ingenious, two-sided Christie® MicroTiles® configuration with interactive capabilities provided by GestureTek® and Acid Technologies, for creating a blend of high touch and high tech.

As an integral part of the StripTease entrance display at IDS, the two-sided Christie MicroTiles design evokes a city skyline with 50 Christie MicroTiles and two external control units (ECUs) that drive the interactive content, camera-enabled, gesture-recognition technology from GestureTek, with content developed by Acid Integrations. The projection element consists of 1,300 individual strips of felt that create the 52-foot-by-19-foot “screen” with front-projection using two Christie Roadster S+22K-J 3-chip DLP® digital projectors capable of delivering brightness levels of 20,000 ANSI lumens. Show visitors will experience a live video camera feed of themselves interacting with the content on the Christie MicroTiles. Conceived by Canadian architectural firm RAW Design, it is the first installation of its kind at IDS that integrates visually dynamic content with interactively playful technologies.

“RAW is delighted to be working with Christie using their projection solutions to add an additional layer of enjoyment onto our StripTease felt installation. The incorporation of an interactive component using their MicroTiles adds a particular richness to the experience, with its potential for rotating through digital art across an expansive and malleable canvas,” said Roland Rom Colthoff, principal architect and partner at Raw Design. “We particularly like the fact that the shape of the images on the MicroTiles are not limited to simple rectangles but can take on complex shapes to suit the designer’s vision.”

Coltholff added: “MicroTiles are interesting because they allow for changeable images that can be manipulated individually or in any combination without having to fit discreetly into a screen or one frame. We look forward to engaging visitors by the playful interplay between the projected images and the MicroTiles.”

“The old saying, ‘you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression,’ has never been truer than at IDS,” said Shauna Levy, Vice President of MMPI Canada and Director of the Interior Design Show and IDS Week. “A signage concept must meet the highest standards of innovation and art to dazzle and amaze design professionals, savvy consumers, and media converging at the show. In StripTease, Raw Design, with Christie and other partners, have created a visually compelling installation that fully delivers the ‘wow’ factor and effectively sets the tone for the astounding range of innovative displays to be found inside.”

At IDS, Christie is introducing its Christie MicroTiles technology to the Canadian design community – the architects and designers who imagine solutions to achieve almost any design element installed in virtually any indoor space – whether it be a museum, a condo building or corporate lobby, a fashion show, or retail display. Christie MicroTiles offer spectacular color and image quality, modular flexibility and maximum creativity. They are also a green solution – RoHS compliant, an important consideration when many of today’s builds require LEED certification.

Many of Christie’s award-winning turnkey signage solutions are also 2012 Apex Award Finalists, for Digital Signage Expo 2012 in March. They are found in diverse venues such as Calgary’s Telus Spark, The New Science Centre, Fresh® beauty stores, the London Stock Exchange, the HP Pavilion at San Jose, and Milan Design Week, where Christie partnered with BlackBerry® PlayBook™ to help British lighting and furniture company Tom Dixon realize its highly praised Multiplex exhibition last year.

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