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Christie technology helps Aquarium of the Pacific to showcase new films

RGB pure laser projection technology supports cinematic content at the Honda Pacific Visions Theater

Honda Pacific Visions Theatre Christie

Christie, the global visual and audio technology company, has provided RGB pure laser projection technology to the Honda Pacific Visions Theater at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California. Thanks to the addition of a Christie CP4330-RGB projector, the Aquarium is now able to show a range of content, such as DCI-compliant films as well as media developed in-house.

The popular aquarium, which is home to 12,000 animals and more than 100 exhibits, opened Pacific Visions in 2019, a two-storey expansion featuring an art gallery, orientation gallery, culmination gallery, and the Honda Pacific Visions Theater.

Aquarium of the Pacific

Honda Pacific Visions Theater

Visitors to the 300-seat theatre can enjoy immersive content, displayed on a 180-degree curved, 130-foot-wide by 32-foot-tall screen. A 30-foot-diameter disc tilts up from the floor to extend the projection surface.

“The goal in designing the theatre was to create a unique platform with high-resolution imagery and effects that explores the most pressing environmental issues of our time through films. To expand the uses of the theatre, we wanted to be able to showcase cinematic film content, as we have done in the past but in a smaller theatre,” says Fahria Qader, director of Pacific Visions and architecture, Aquarium of the Pacific.

Honda Pacific Visions Theatre Christie

Last year, the attraction worked with Associates in Media Engineering (AME) to come up with a cinema projection solution to meet its needs, one which was able to use as much of the immersive screen as possible while also being quiet and discreet.

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen an increased interest in venues looking to integrate distributed cinema content in spaces not traditionally intended for cinematic presentation, including museums, presentation spaces and theatres,” says Benjamin Kidwell Lein, principal, AME.

In order to meet the aquarium’s requirements, AME opted for a Christie CP4330-RGB pure laser cinema projector, featuring CineLife electronics and Real|Laser illumination. This is a compact, all-in-one 28,000-lumen projector that is reliable, DCI-compliant and provides quality images at a low cost.

First-rate performance

Having a projector based in a booth was not a good option for the theatre. Therefore, AME chose to integrate the projector in the audience which meant adapting to a few challenges, as Lein explains:

“Because the projector was to be located in the audience plenum, we knew we had to enclose the projector to attenuate its operational noise. We specified a “hush” enclosure manufactured by Tempest enclosures.

“It soon became clear that this assembly would not easily be integrated within the clean lines of the theatre space. It was then that it was decided that the projector and enclosure assembly would need to be suspended from the facility ceiling and brought into position using an articulated projector lift.”

Post-installation, AME worked with Christie to ensure DCI compliance with the correct projection gamut.  “We have a long relationship with Christie, and this was the right product for the theatre. Its performance is first-rate, and the content looks stunning,” says Lein.

“Additional 4-D effects and seat vibration along with seats at a steep rake create an enhanced, immersive viewing experience,” says Qader. “We look forward to when we can debut the new projection system to the public. Having this system will enable us to go beyond sharing films created for our specific theatre to being able to screen other films in the space.”

“AME and Christie have enjoyed a long partnership, and this installation is another great example of AME’s expertise with unique and noteworthy projects,” says Doug Boyer, senior account manager, Christie. “We’re thrilled that visitors will soon be able to enjoy a range of on-screen content in the Honda Pacific Visions Theater.”

Last month, Christie released a new version of its Pandoras Box software.

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charlotte coates

Charlotte Coates

Charlotte Coates is blooloop's editor. She is from Brighton, UK and previously worked as a librarian. She has a strong interest in arts, culture and information and graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in English Literature. Charlotte can usually be found either with her head in a book or planning her next travel adventure.

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