Bow Tie Cinemas will use Technicolor’s non-digital 3D projection system

posted by CSWalczak on March 4, 2010 at 7:50 am

LOS ANGELES, CA — Twenty-five of Bow Tie Cinemas 150 current screens will be equipped with Technicolor’s recently announced 3D projection system which uses conventional 35mm projectors fitted with special lenses. The installation cost is said to be significantly less than that for new digital systems. Seven studios have agreed to support the alternative 3D format.

Technicolor says its film 3-D solution costs a fraction of what it would take to install digital projectors, which has enabled modern 3-D movies to be shown at most theater chains.

Technicolor’s solution costs about $4,000 to $6,000 to outfit an auditorium with a silver screen, plus a maximum $12,000 in rental costs per year for a specialized lens. Digital projection systems cost about $75,000 per screen.

“We’ve developed a high-quality solution that addresses the 3-D screen scarcity issue and allows exhibitors an affordable way to bridge the gap to digital,” said Joe Berchtold, president of Technicolor’s creative services business, in a release.

Read more from the Associated Press.

Comments (11)

JodarMovieFan on March 4, 2010 at 10:04 am

I’m near two of BowTie plexes. The Mall one is the better of the two as it has the state-of-the-art sound and projection systems and THX certs in 3 of the 11 auditoriums. The Harbour 9 usually gets the move overs and art house fare. I’m not crazy about the conversion as its still film and is subject to the usual gripes about film in the current state of projection and the scratching and fading from repeated MIS-handling of the format. When they took over from Crown, I was informed they were going all digital at one point. Of course, the economic climate has changed for the worse in the last four years, so a less costly alternative to an upgrade is understandable.

KingBiscuits on March 4, 2010 at 2:33 pm

I can’t see this working due to the silver screen installation. Also, it seems like a step back in terms of technological advances.

It might work for second runs and reissues of older movies but otherwise, it will probably fail.

scorpio1949 on March 4, 2010 at 2:57 pm

I think this sounds like a practical solution for many small theater operators. The new 3D still has the the glasses which many have headaches from (not as bad as the old 3D but an issue). I just cannot see paying to see a regular love story or drama in 3D. Sci Fi is another thing…it can put it to good use. I personally believe that 3D is something that will be around for awhile but never become “the” way to show films contrary to all the hype. Cinemascope and Cinerama were generally accepted projection systems that provided all movie goers a exciting picture and not the side issues…much different than 3D.

JodarMovieFan on March 4, 2010 at 5:29 pm

When BowTie acquired Crown Theaters, what I heard about some of their newer theaters closer to CT was the BIG SCREEN auditoriums among the usual multiplex mix. Those would’ve great for 70mm if they ever wanted to show them for retrospective bookings. I suspect the trend now with the AMCs and Cinemarks are those IMAX-lite conversions, who can play the 3D releases. In a way, its too bad because those new to the market will associate IMAX with the smaller venues as opposed to the true multistory screen IMAX venues.

terrywade on March 4, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Will the public tell the diffence? Probably not 3-D is 3-D to most of them. It will be interesting to see this new Technicolor 3-D system in action soon. If the 35mm image is cut in half It may be like watching 16mm? and on a big screen! Or does It skip a frame? L/R Wait till a scope print runs on this new system. I know a few theatres in the SF Bay Area that have put in a order for the Technicolor 3-D set up. Time will tell.

Taxi on March 5, 2010 at 8:06 am

Will I still see film scratches at the Palace 17, but now in 3-D? Will the upcharge be the same as digital 3-D, or less, because of the lower cost?

KramSacul on March 6, 2010 at 2:40 am

3-D on a budget.

kevinp on March 7, 2010 at 2:44 am

i remember the “ over and under ” system in 1981 : silver screen and polarised/splitter lens being hired from an independent supplier in soho ( central london ) : we used it at Streatham Odeon in screen 3 : film was called “Parasite ” : quite effective and ( to the best of my knowledge ) not owned or invented by Technicolor ! so bar lens resolution improving and finer grain stocks, is it essentially the same process ?

CSWalczak on March 7, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Here’s a link to Technicolor’s 3D projection process website for those who interested in technical details: View link

DennisPierce on March 8, 2010 at 5:51 am

I remember running several single lens polarized 3D films during the early 80’s. One was Spacehunter. The picture ratio was similar to cinemascope at 2.35 to 1. After all these years I still have those polarized 3D glasses.

John Fink
John Fink on March 8, 2010 at 1:07 pm

I’ve read good things about this process at Film Tech. I saw Alice in the Dolby Digital 3-D system this weekend and wasn’t impressed as an improvement over Real D (then again I’m not a Tim Burton fan). Hopefully this puts out more light, which is the problem with non-IMAX 3-D (haven’t seen digital IMAX yet however, that I’m aware of, anyway). Still 2-D is perfectly fine, I think 3-D needs to be perfect. I’m curious enough to give it a shot if its an option as I did the Dolby 3-D, it might be a good fit for the giant screen at the Palace, although many of Bow Tie’s complexes have digital 3-D already, there’s other regional chains and those that function as managing agents for other parties that would be interested in this alternative for sure, if only the studios support this alternative process.

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