Talk of the new IMAX laser projection system has been going on for some time now and it was confirmed in early 2015 that it would be The Empire that would be the first cinema in the country to be fitted with the new technology.
Screen 1 at the West End cinema is one of the widest in the country and so it has always required some more advanced projection setups than the standard bulb projectors that work fine in smaller screens. Now, however, IMAX are not just delivering the full 15.6 metre by 26.5 metre picture, but they will be doing so with far greater brightness, contrast and colour.
All this will be achieved by using a new optical engine and a whole suite of proprietary IMAX technologies. DLP chips that enable the display of 'blacker' blacks and a sharper overall image will transform the viewing experience for visitors. The changes are thought to be even more significant given the increasing popularity of 3D cinema as the glasses required to view the 3D imagery inevitably dull the picture, making it particularly important to have as bright and crisp an image as possible to start with.
Reports from The Inquirer confirmed that the cinema's CEO believes this will be “the future of cinema”.
Speaking at the launch, IMAX chief technology officer, Brian Bonnick, commented: “At IMAX we have a long history of innovation, we are constantly looking at ways we can do things better, [so] when it came to the development of our laser system, we chose a radically different approach than everyone else in the industry.”
He added: “IMAX's laser system is more than just a handful of innovations, it's the reimagination of the filmgoing experience.”