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Christie projectors chosen for historic cinemas in Paris and Switzerland

Christie CP2415-RGB pure laser projector installed in the INFINITE room at Le Grand Rex, Paris. At the Kiwi Centre, Winterthur, a Christie CP4435-RGB was specified

Christie projectors have recently been installed at two of Europe’s most historic movie theatres, Le Grand Rex, which first opened its doors in Paris, France, in 1932, and the Kiwi Centre, which has been showing films for 100 years in Winterthur’s old town, in Switzerland.

A Christie CP2415-RGB pure laser projector was the choice for the new INFINITE room at Le Grand Rex. The Parisian institution’s most recently refurbished space is a 296-seat screen featuring Dolby ATMOS, a RealD Ultimate screen, luxury reclining leather seats, and 2km of LED lighting throughout. CineDigital provided the projector to CINEMECCANICA France, who carried out the technical studies, sale, and installation of the projection equipment for the new 9.5-metre-wide (31-foot) screen at Le Grand Rex.

Le Grand Rex cinema, in Paris, France

“We wanted to create something special, with no expense spared – I wanted people to say ‘wow’ when going in,” said Alexandre Hellmann, deputy general manager, Le Grand Rex. “My father built the room 50 years ago, and it was time to upgrade. The room has unusually low, angled ceilings, which created a challenge for us, and the Christie CP2415-RGB pure laser projector was the only model that would fit into the space. With its low lens position, the projector was able to project without hitting any part of the ceiling.”

With the projector now housed in an enclosure in the ceiling, the former projection room at the back of the screen has been replaced by a stylish bar area, allowing guests to purchase refreshments without having to leave the new space. ABP was the architect responsible for the redesign of the INFINITE room, which is located underneath Le Grand Rex’s ‘Le Grand Large’ auditorium.

The customisable LED lighting system allows the cinema to colour-match the film being screened. Brown was chosen as the colour for the seats and the walls to absorb optimum light and enhance the lighting effects. Le Grand Rex now offers seven screens throughout its Art Deco building.

“Our customers have been very happy,” added Alexandre. “You don’t necessarily need to have a 25-metre (82-foot) screen to please people. You need to have a great room that people enjoy being in, comfortable seating, and excellent projection and sound, and people are happy.”

Featuring CineLife+ electronics and Real|Laser illumination technology, the CP2415-RGB is designed for screens up to 16 metres (52 feet). Its compact, all-in-one form factor doesn’t require external chillers or parts for installation.

“We’re delighted that Le Grand Rex chose to integrate Christie into its beautiful INFINITE room. The Christie CP2415-RGB will deliver outstanding visual performance to nicely align with the interior LEDs and other impressive features to deliver an outstanding experience to customers,” said Adil Zerouali, senior director of sales, EMEA Cinema, at Christie. “Le Grand Rex has created a unique space, and I’m sure its customers will be thrilled by what they see.”

Meanwhile, Switzerland’s Kiwi Center has 10 auditoriums equipped with modern projection and sound technology. Screen 1 and 2 recently underwent a general overhaul. Christie partner ECCO Cine Supply & Service installed a Christie CP4435-RGB laser projector for the CINITY Cinema System in screen 1, the largest screen in the building, with 220 seats, also featuring Dolby Atmos and D-Box motion seats.

The Christie CP4435-RGB features CineLife+ electronics and RealLaser illumination technology and is capable of playing back content up to 4K at 120 frames per second. Together with the projection screen installed by ErCO Cine Supply & Service with a gain factor of 2.9, 20-feet-long is achieved for 3D films and up to 36-feet-long for 2D films.

CINITY is designed for the PLF sector, and combines a 4K resolution, 3D, high brightness, HFR, HDR, wide colour gamut display capabilities, and immersive sound.

“Technology is developing rapidly and a lot has happened in the premium large format sector in particular, and we can see that the CINITY Cinema System is very much on the rise. One of the reasons we opted for the system is that it gives us more freedom in scheduling our program,” said Leonardo Tavano, cinema manager.

He added: “We believe that with CINITY and RGB laser projection, we have made the right decision. When you watch a film in CINITY, the difference is crystal clear, even to non-experts. Even if someone doesn’t know much about the technology, they can see the increased brightness and the vivid colours. It is important to us that moviegoers go home with a good feeling because they enjoyed a combination of a good movie, comfort, and service from us.”

Before the audience could enjoy films in PLF format, detailed advance planning was required, which took more than 12 months. Due to the structure of the building, which had previously been an old theatre hall with a balcony, things such as load-bearing walls, a new seating concept and much more had to be considered.

In addition, the projection booth was no longer available in the auditorium, so a suitable solution had to be found to integrate the projector. “We had a lot of discussions on the subject of light/lighting alone in order to plan every detail precisely,” recalled Thomas Rüttgers, managing director, ECCO Cine Supply & Service. “However, we were very pleased to be able to accompany the Kiwi Centre on its gradual path towards modernity and believe that together we have achieved a successful result.”