Ushio-owned Christie to install 'world's first permanent' digital laser-projection installation in Seattle

Aug. 29, 2013
​Cypress, CA--Christie, a developer of digital cinema projectors, will supply and install what it calls the world’s first permanent commercial digital laser-projection installation at the Seattle Cinerama Theatre (Seattle, WA).

​Cypress, CA--Christie, a developer of digital cinema projectors, will supply and install what it calls the world’s first permanent commercial digital laser-projection installation at the Seattle Cinerama Theatre (Seattle, WA). The purchase order is for a 4K projector with light output scalable up to 60,000 lm. Christie, which is owned by illumination specialist Ushio (Tokyo, Japan), recently received the first US FDA approval of variance allowing the sale of laser projectors for use in a cinema.

Site scoping and technical evaluations will begin now (August, 2013), with an anticipated switchover from conventional digital projection to the digital-cinema laser projector planned for early next year.

In 2012 Christie demoed a 72,000 lm prototype laser projector in Beijing, China, as well as a 4K prototype in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. For two weeks beginning March 28, 2013, Christie joined forces with AMC and Paramount Pictures to project "G.I. Joe Retaliation" in what Christie called the first commercial exhibition of a 3D movie at brightness levels of 14 foot-lamberts (ft-L) using laser projection. Christie wants to introduce a range of laser projectors for digital cinema, pro audio-visual (AV), and visualization and simulation markets, starting in 2013.

Christie's competitors include Eastman Kodak (Rochester, NY), which has formed a strategic alliance with Barco (Brussels, Belgium) to combine and sell the two companies' digital-cinema technologies, and which has licensed its laser-projection technology to IMAX; and Laser Light Engines (Salem, NH), which has developed an ultrabright universal red-green-blue (RGB) laser-illumination system that includes a speckle-free green laser.

Seattle Cinerama

In the mid-1990s Paul Allen, who cofounded Microsoft with Bill Gates, bought Seattle's historic Cinerama Theatre to keep it from devolving into a rock-climbing club, dinner theater, or worse (a parking lot). Paul Allen's investment company, Vulcan, renovated the theater, refurbishing the interior and exterior and installing state-of-the-art sound and projector systems. The theater has been open since April 22, 1999.

About the Author

John Wallace | Senior Technical Editor (1998-2022)

John Wallace was with Laser Focus World for nearly 25 years, retiring in late June 2022. He obtained a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and physics at Rutgers University and a master's in optical engineering at the University of Rochester. Before becoming an editor, John worked as an engineer at RCA, Exxon, Eastman Kodak, and GCA Corporation.

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