Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Invests in HDR Projection

Just prior to the start of CinemaCon, the theater chain said it would install EclairColor HDR projection in 10 of its U.S. locations.
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Underscoring Hollywood's growing interest in high dynamic range projection — what many tech leaders see an a notable advancement with whiter whites and blacker blacks — Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has inked a deal with cinema services firm CinemaNext, through which the Texas-based theater chain will install EclairColor HDR projection at 10 Alamo locations in Texas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, New York and Virginia.

CinemaNext is the exhibitor services unit of France-based Ymagis, and EclairColor Is Ymagis' HDR projection system, which began to roll out in 2016.

“We’re excited to become part of this HDR adventure with EclairColor,” Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League said in a statement. “It’s part of our strategy to keep our investment high when it comes to elevating the image quality of our projections."

The system went through an initial test period at Alamo Drafthouse Mueller in Austin, Texas. CinemaNext expects to have its first installations before summer in Dallas; Corpus Christi, Texas; Chandler-Phoenix, Arizona; San Francisco; Denver; La Vista/Omaha, Nebraska; Brooklyn, New York; Yonkers, New York; Ashburn, Virginia; and Springfield, Missouri.

EclairColor is a HDR system that combines a mastering process and specialized projection system incorporating technologies from Sony Digital Cinema 4K and Barco. Ymagis' strategy with EclairColor is to offer an HDR projection system that is more affordable to a greater number of exhibitors, compared with high-end HDR systems.

To date, 126 cinema auditoriums have been equipped with EclairColor including 59 in Germany, 54 in France and three in the U.K.