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Kinepolis invests in Barco digital cinema set-up

Belgium's largest cinema operator is using the new kit to embrace alternative content, such as music concerts, sports and gaming.

Over the past few years, Kinepolis Group – which has theatres in France, Spain and Switzerland, as well as Belgium – has increasingly leveraged its investment in digital cinema to encompass alternative content. Kinepolis was one of the first cinema chains to see the potential of digital technology, installing its first Barco digital cinema projector several years ago. The group now has more than 70 Barco projectors. Every Kinepolis multiplex is equipped with Barco’s latest ACS-2048 switcher and a hi-def satellite receiver system for the presentation of alternative content. The number of live satellite events, such as concerts, sports, B2B events and so on increases every year.

Events have ranged from expert surgeons watching a live eye operation in an auditorium, through mega-gaming events, to concerts by the likes of Iron Maiden and Robbie Williams. A very successful initiative is Opera at the Cinema, which attracted over 70,000 opera lovers to Kinepolis theatres in 2009-2010. Another first was the finals of the FIFA World Cup 2010, transmitted in 3D through Eutelsat satellites in all Kinepolis countries. At the end of 2009, 80% of Kinepolis’s Belgian screens, 74% of its French screens and 38% of its Spanish screens were digital.