Christie has been chosen to supply and install the world’s first commercial digital laser projector at the Seattle Cinerama Theater in Seattle, WA, which is owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. This is big news because FDA approval is required for laser projectors because the devices fall under the same regulations as laser light-shows. Christie recently received the first US FDA approval of variance allowing the sale of laser projectors for use in a cinema.
Christie says the laser-driven projector will put out upwards of 60,000 lumens of brightness. The exact light levels that will deliver in use will depend on the theater’s choice of screen and 3D hardware, but Christie says the system will exceed current standards for brightness. Laser-driven projectors are expected to solve many of the problems of dark and muddy imagery associated with current 3D projection.
Earlier this year, Christie partnered with Paramount Pictures and AMC Theaters in Burbank, CA to screen G.I. Joe: Retaliation — the first commercial exhibition of a 3D movie using laser projection. Imax has also announced that in 2014 three of its theaters will install lasers projectors developed by Kodak.
PMA Research has been covering the Digital Cinema market since it’s inception. As part of this coverage, I have personally seen several demonstrations of the Christie laser projector, as well as laser projectors from the other DCI compliant manufacturers (Barco, NEC and Sony). I am excited to tell the movie-going public what a treat they have in store for them with laser projection. As the developed countries wind down on digital conversion, the next logical step ids to improve on the technology, and laser projection doers just that.