Cinema Technology Nov. 30, 2021
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Dolby Laboratories has been a leader in developing many groundbreaking technologies and advancing the science of sight and sound for more than 50 years. Based in San Francisco with offices around the world, Dolby, through industry-leading research and engineering innovation, is expanding creative possibilities and enhancing collaborative relationships spanning musicians, filmmakers, and other artists as well as with businesses and consumers globally. Along with its partners, Dolby creates and delivers incredibly vivid experiences transforming entertainment and communications at the cinema, at home, on the go in mobile devices, and at work. Dolby Laboratories develops and delivers products and technologies that make entertainment experiences more realistic and immersive. By giving everyone the power to see, hear and feel the spectacular, Dolby is ideally positioned to transform the future of audio, voice, and imaging experiences worldwide.

Strong Cinema, a segment of Ballantyne Strong, Inc., consists of:

Strong Technical Services (STS) that offers a comprehensive suite of cinema-focused services, including installation, maintenance, and technical support, to exhibitors throughout the United States.

Strong/MDI Screen Systems Inc. one of the world's leading cinema screen manufacturers that produces and sells specialty screens, screen support structures, and other film exhibition equipment for customers globally.  

welcome to Cinionic
welcome to wow

These days, it’s no longer just about technology, it’s about experiences – WOW experiences. We are a team of cinema and technology experts from around the globe – Barco, ALPD, and CGS – who help you in creating surprising experiences.  We combine innovative cinema technologies with our unique and comprehensive service models to guarantee your peace of mind. So you can focus on new ways to surprise and delight your customers for years to come. Together, we engage to deliver a world-class cinema experience - the one you’ve been waiting for.

Christie is a leader in visual solutions for world-class organizations, offering diverse applications for business, entertainment, and industry. A leading innovator in film projection since 1929 and a pioneer in projection systems since 1979, Christie has established a global reputation as a total service provider and the world's single source manufacturer of a variety of display technologies and solutions. Christie offers comprehensive solutions for cinema, large audience venues, control rooms, business presentations, training facilities, 3D and Virtual Reality, simulation and education as well as industrial and government environments.

USHIO manufactures the highest-quality digital cinema projection bulbs available. USHIO xenon short-arc lamps boast a spectrum that is closer to natural sunlight than that of any other artificial light source. In addition to commercializing products for search and spot lights, which demand precise, powerful white beam lamps, USHIO became the first in the world to develop a xenon short-arc lamp exclusively for large scale, theater-use movie projectors.

DTS:X transports you into a new dimension of sound immersion by delivering truly captivating entertainment experiences. Be prepared -- this improved lifelike immersion and heightened realism makes horror movies scarier, comedies more laugh-out-loud, and car chase scenes even more intense. Movies are being shown with DTS:X sound at an ever-growing number of theaters in the U.S., China and Europe.

GDC Technology is a leading manufacturer and provider of cinema equipment and solutions including cinema automation systems, cinema servers, cinema enterprise software, cinema storage, cinema audio solutions, and cinema projectors that meet the highly demanding performance, security and reliability requirements established by motion picture studios.

QSC is the global leader in cinema signal processing, power amplifiers, and loudspeakers for all applications within today's modern cinema entertainment center. Our “SystemSynergy” design approach ensures that the entire system, from source to sound, delivers an audio experience as intended by the filmmakers. Beyond cinema audio for the movies, QSC also provides complete audio systems with network control and monitoring for other areas in the cinema entertainment complex, such as lobbies, concession, food service, arcades, and bowling centers.

SHARP NEC Display Solutions’ Digital Cinema Projector Series offers the most comprehensive digital cinema solution on the market today. These 3D-capable models enable theaters to deliver stunning digital images regardless of screen size, while simplifying theater management and reducing costs. All of SHARP NEC's digital cinema projectors meet DCI specifications for performance and reliability, meeting the requirements of today’s cinema industry. SHARP NEC also offers full digital signage solutions, highlighted by its award-winning 32”-98” LCD displays, multimedia projectors and desktop monitors for lobbies, concessions and concourses.

Industry Partners

The International Cinema Technology Association is a global network of professionals in the motion picture industry. Members of the ICTA are those companies that manufacture, service and create the equipment that goes into movie theatres. Our members are on the cutting edge of new technologies and have been the driving force in digital, 3D, immersive sound systems, high frame rates and lasers. The ICTA promotes technological advancements in the motion picture industry through educational seminars and programs. The ICTA logo stands for excellence and professionalism and when on a member’s letterhead signifies that the company is reliable, competent and committed.

For more than a century, the people of SMPTE (pronounced “simp-tee”) have sorted out the details of many significant advances in media and entertainment technology, from the introduction of “talkies” and color television to HD and UHD (4K, 8K) TV. Since its founding in 1916, SMPTE has received an Oscar® and multiple Emmy® Awards for its work in advancing moving-imagery engineering across the industry. 

The Union Internationale des Cinémas/International Union of Cinemas (UNIC) represents the interests of cinema trade associations and cinema operators covering 37 countries in Europe and neighboring regions.​ ​

The EDCF is a not-for-profit voluntary organisation that aims to act as a "Forum" to discuss key issues surrounding Digital Cinema in Europe. The purpose of EDCF is to provide a basis of common understanding across all European territories of the business and technical matters of digital cinema. 

The Inter-Society for the Enhancement of Cinema Presentation, Inc. promotes interactive dialogue and information exchange between cinema-related entities with the goal of resolving issues affecting the overall cinema presentation. Founded in 1978 by Eastman Kodak VP Ken Mason, membership is composed of its four charter trade organizations - International Cinema Technology Association (ICTA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) - along with over 40 member companies, made up of trade organizations, motion picture studios, exhibition companies, manufacturers, technical consultants, and other industry stakeholders.

Shows & Events

-- cancelled --  CineAsia 2021 has been scheduled for Dec 6-9th 2021 in Bangkok.  Check links for the latest  information. 

ShowEast 2021 -- cancelled --,  scheduled to be held in Miami from Nov 8-11, 2021 at Loews Miami Beach, features a range of exclusive product presentations and screenings from both Independent and Major Hollywood studios to help you make important programming decisions for the 4th quarter box office.  Powerhouse seminars offer valuable insight from top executives on the latest industry trends and concerns; while our EXPO experience offers delegates a glance at the latest and best technologies, entertainment, services, comforts, and conveniences to make their theatres must-attend destinations.  ShowEast’s International program draws a large contingency of Latin and South American delegates – more than any other convention of its kind. A one and a half day program dedicated to the latest content and concerns and within this rising region.

CineEurope 2021, has been re-scheduled for October 4-7 in Barcelona.  CineEurope promises to bring you another year with the very best in exclusive studio screenings and product presentations, cinematic technologies and innovations and educational seminars to keep your business on top of industry trends.

CinemaCon 2022 has been scheduled for April 25 - 28, 2022 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.  Check the links below for the latest information. 

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Zwaag—Jan 9, 2019

Alcons Gains A New Legion Of Fans At Hollywood’s Post 43

Photo American Legion Post43 ©TaiyoWatanabe frontview
Founded in 1919 by First World War veterans working in the motion picture industry, the American Legion’s Post 43 became a Hollywood icon, with members including Clark Gable, Charlton Heston, Mickey Rooney, Ronald Reagan and more. In recent years membership of both Post 43 and the Legion in general has declined, but a major project to update the post’s auditorium is putting it back at the center of the Los Angeles community. Alcons Audio auditioned and was chosen for the starring role.

Given its location on Highland Avenue, Hollywood, it’s unsurprising that movies have always played a key role in the life of Post 43. As veteran Bill Steele - Post 43 member and the upgrade’s project manager - says, it has always been “that much more showbiz” than any other American Legion post. Built of reinforced concrete in the Art Deco style, the Post’s memorial clubhouse features a central auditorium where various meetings and events take place as well as, in the past, movies being shown.

Several years ago, Post Commander Fernando Rivero not only saw the opportunity to restore the faded grandeur of the auditorium, but to transform it into a state-of-the-art, 500-seat movie theater, which would re-establish Post 43’s role as an important part of the local community.

“Fernando understood how it was a gem that just needed polishing. It had great potential for it to be a rental facility and a cultural venue, to bring the public in to see this amazing theatre we have,” says Bill. “The plan was to modernize it as a technically-advanced cinema, but to retain the ability to host dances, meetings and live music, and with everything done in the context of its history and that honored its architecture.” Ambitiously, on the cinema side the desire was also to make it suitable for digital, 70mm, 35mm and even 16mm film showings.

Demanding audience
One of the first things Bill did was to look into an appropriate audio system. “It’s a very demanding audience in Hollywood, because they've heard it all,” he says. “Early on we decided not to install Dolby Atmos, because we didn't want to destroy the architecture of the room. But we really wanted the best possible sound, a high end system that would go above and beyond all others.

“Before we started, the audio system was a large mono speaker and an old horn PA system, like in a prison yard. It was really antiquated,” Bill smiles. “But everything that had been part of the movie system had all long been stripped out. The room really was just a shell.”

A major challenge was how to deliver high quality sound for every perceived use in a large, very reverberant space, where the plan was to highlight the art deco architecture by taking it back to its original concrete. But, unknown at the time to the Post 43 membership, Bill is an audiophile and a long-term fan of the open, transparent sound of ribbon drivers.

His introduction to Alcons Audio was at the annual International Cinema Technology Association (ICTA) seminar in LA, where Alcons’ David Rahn was giving a talk about the company’s pro-ribbon systems. 

“I didn't know that there was a ribbon system for the cinema market and so I was really intrigued how Alcons had overcome the limitations of past designs,” says Bill. “To be honest I was a little wary, because previous systems hadn’t had the power handling, they didn’t have the required ‘oomph’. I wanted to hear a demonstration, so David brought over some Alcons pro-ribbon nearfield monitors and, without any acoustic treatment in the room, they sounded amazing straight out of the box. I brought people from our cinema committee in and they were really impressed.”

He continues, “The long reverb times in the room have always been a problem, so it needed a system that would minimize unwanted reflections. David’s demo showed that the Alcons pro-ribbon system would really help, because the speakers are so directional. Along with the dynamics, transparency and power handling, frankly it blew everyone away.”

With it needing to also be suitable for live recitals, corporate events, meetings and more, the chosen audio system needed to deliver high end PA functionality as well as exceptional movie sound. Using a mono array as a demonstrator, David proved that Alcons checked that box as well. “I set the bar pretty high for what we wanted and Alcons fulfilled all our criteria, with a fair bit in reserve,” says Bill. “We listened to a lot of systems, but Alcons was the only one that gave me no reason at all not to choose it.”

Taming the acoustics
In the meantime, Peter Grueneisen of LA-based nonzero architecture - a company renowned for its high-end acoustic spaces - was brought in to help the restoration of the architecture, at the same time as taming the acoustics. 

“We worked with Arup at the start to model the space, which helped us to determine the required treatment,” he says. “The first issue was to refine the reverb, but we also had to face the inherent problem of multipurpose spaces - that the acoustic requirements are different for movies and live events. For movies you really want a flat acoustic, but for live events you want that extra ‘liveness’.

“We thought about variable acoustics but, from the Arup model, the results didn't seem sufficient to justify the cost. In the end we chose fixed acoustic treatment, which is tilted towards movies but which has enough liveness for concerts and presentations.”

After 90 years of paint had been stripped back to bare concrete, wall panels and ceiling treatment were added, followed by a new baffle wall on stage for the Alcons system, as well as perforated wood panels around the lower walls, bespoke CNC-machined in acoustic patterns depicting different movies. 

“An entire year was spent building the infrastructure, to make sure we had the best playing field for the speaker system,” adds Peter. “It included completely rebuilding the ancient air conditioning system, installing a new one in the plenum space below the auditorium and sealing it to ensure there was no resonance from it or the banquet space below that. Everything was done to keep the acoustics as neutral as possible.

“The fact that Alcons pro-ribbon systems are so focused was a huge help. We didn't have to worry about sound splatter across the entire space, we knew that all the energy would be focused on the audience. It meant that it all fell into place very well. For a space that is so acoustically challenging, there were no major problems.”

Something special
The chosen Alcons system comprises five CR4 tri-amped large-format screen systems, 16 CRS12 large-format reference surround, 12 LR7 micro line-array modules and four CB362 high-output full-size subwoofers, powered and controlled by six Sentinel10 amplified loudspeaker controllers. Installed by LA-based Stay On Screen, it delivers the best solution for both movie screenings and live events.

Designed to meet the requirements of all current and future (digital) cinema sound formats, the CR4 features three RBN401 pro-ribbon HF driver arrays, quad 6.5” midrange and double 15” woofers.  By implementing line-source technology throughout the system (an industry first), the normal -6dB step reduction of SPL coverage from front to rear is reduced. This ‘proximity’ effect dramatically improves the experience for the audience further away from the screen, while the precise projection pattern also prevents unwanted ceiling reflections.

The HF section has a 2400W peak power input, offering a dynamic range of 1:16 with up to 90% less distortion from 1kHz to beyond 20kHz, delivering the kind of audio quality that Bill knew a pro-ribbon system could provide. Alcons Signal Integrity Sensing™ (SIS) pre-wiring also significantly increases response accuracy, further reducing distortion.

Another industry first is the shallow 13.7” (35cm) enclosure, which means only a minimum of space behind the screen is required, while the patented Real-90 horizontal dispersion widens the stereo experience for the audience seated at the far left and right of the auditorium. 

“The Alcons pro-ribbon solution overcomes so many limitations of other cinema systems. There is something very special about being in a movie theater and being hit with high levels of undistorted sound. Very few systems can do that and I’m really excited about it,” says Bill. “It means no ear fatigue for the listener and we’re also going to have tremendous headroom. The potential is phenomenal.

“In addition, the CR4s give us five channels behind the screen for showing older formats, which most multiplexes won't spend the money to have. We wanted to reinvent the space as a really high end movie theater and performance space. Alcons delivers that without question. Frankly the system was impossible to say no to.”

Levi Joos, proprietor of Stay On Screen, was equally excited about the Alcons solution. “When Bill suggested using Alcons, I was very impressed with the pro-ribbon technology and the awards that it had been winning in Europe,” he says. “From an installation perspective, it was helpful that it didn't need all the power and wiring down by the stage. The support from Alcons was also very good, which we really appreciated.”

Bill agrees, saying, “Alcons customer service was really top notch. It was much more than just a sale to them, they went way above and beyond what was expected, doing a lot of work to make sure everything was exactly right.”

With the first public event at Post 43’s refurbished hall taking place on 29th August - with His Honor Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, in attendance - Bill is absolutely confident about the long term starring role that the Alcons pro-ribbon system will play in putting this once-iconic location back on the map. 

“We have made a huge commitment to the community and I’m absolutely confident that, with Alcons, we made the right decision,” he says. “I don't think I've ever heard a cinema sound system that is as undistorted and non-fatiguing. It is very relaxing to listen to, even at high decibel levels. The vocal intelligibility is superb, with human voices sounding very natural, and I'm able to pick up details, microdynamics, in the soundtrack that I haven't heard before in other systems.

“As a result, with the right soundtrack, you can really become quite immersed in a three-dimensional soundscape. It truly fulfills the promise of 'surround sound' and demonstrates how thrilling and exciting cinema sound can be with the right source material. On top of all that, it is also extremely well made, with tremendous attention to detail. With all of these positive qualities, Alcons offers exceptional value for money.” 

“I’m really happy that we have one of the best-sounding rooms in town. It’s clean, intelligible and it has a lot of headroom,” adds Levi. “I’m proud of the fact that for the next 20 years people will come to Post 43 to enjoy movies with the very best sound.”

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Photo American Legion Post43 ©TaiyoWatanabe frontview
Photo American Legion Post43 ©TaiyoWatanabe Rearview

Alcons Audio B.V. Web Site
About Alcons Audio B.V.:
Alcons Audio is a Dutch manufacturer of professional sound systems for quality-conscious clients in the cinema, installation and rental/touring industry.
The Alcons Audio team continuously strives for obtaining the most natural possible sound reproduction at any SPL with utmost day-to-day consistency and reliability. This is achieved through a tameless curiosity combined with a fearless drive to develop and implement unconventional technologies and techniques. Alcons’ multiple-patented high-power pro-ribbon technology is just one example.
Recent Alcons ambassadors include: Levels Audio studios Hollywood, VUE cinemas, Google/YouTube London, OsloKino Colosseum Norway, Lucasfilm Singapore, NBC Universal Pictures London and Beijing, Walt Disney Germany, Deluxe Digital studios, Factory Post studios UK, Pathé Tuschinski Amsterdam, Norwegian Film Institute, Berlinale Palast Berlin Germany, Savannah Film Festival USA
Alcons Audio B.V. Directory page

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