ArcLight’s Cinerama Dome Debuts 3D Laser Projection for New 'Star Wars'

New system includes Christie 6P laser projection system and Dolby 3D.
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

Just in time for the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, ArcLight Cinemas’ Cinerama Dome in Hollywood has installed its dazzling new Christie 6P dual-head laser projection system and Dolby 3D color separation technology.

With a 65-foot curved screen, The Dome — which opened in 1963 for three-strip Cinerama films — now offers a cutting-edge digital projection system that represents an investment of “several hundreds of thousands of dollars,” according to Joe Miraglia, director of design, construction and facilities at ArcLight. 

Christie’s senior director of product management Don Shaw says it's just the third such installation in the country, which includes the Seattle Cinerama Theatre. (Christie laser projectors are additionally used at part of Dolby Vision projection systems).

The installation came about fast, as the decision was made just three weeks ago, Miraglia says. Laser projection is more expensive than today’s more commonly used digital cinema projectors, but interest in these systems is driven by reasons including the ability to produce brighter images, particularly for 3D presentations. Miraglia says the projection system could produce images at 8 footlamberts (a measure of light) in 3D and 14 fL in 2D. Generally, today’s 3D systems are estimated to be closer to 3-5fL.