Cinerama Dome to Install "The Whole Shebang" for 'Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk'

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk - Still - H - 2016
Courtesy of New York Film Festival

Next week, efforts begin to install cutting-edge projection technology at ArcLight Cinemas’ Cinerama Dome for screenings of Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk in an unprecedented 4K, 3D, at 120 frames per second per eye. The film is set to bow at the theater on Nov. 10.

This Sony Pictures production has received wide attention as the first movie to be made in this format, which Lee selected to explore the potential of digital cinema to improve 3D (which he first used on 2012's Life of Pi) and provide a wider range of tools that may be used in the service of storytelling. In the case of Billy Lynn, Lee chose to apply this technology to an emotional drama, based on Ben's Fountain's novel about a soldier who fought in the Iraq War.

To install this unique system at the Dome — the only Los Angeles theater capable of showing the film in this format — ArcLight teamed with projector maker Christie, which will provide two of its Mirage 4K laser projectors (which are not yet used in cinemas). The Dome also will use the Dolby 3D system and 7th Sense media server.

A year ago, the Dome was upgraded with Christie 6P laser projection. “Now, we’ve upped the ante with the addition of the unique Christie Mirage system to be the only West Coast theater to show Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk exactly as Lee shot and cut the film, remaining faithful to his storytelling vision,” ArcLight executive vp Gretchen McCourt said Thursday in a statement.

Only a half-dozen theaters in the world will be capable of displaying the film in this format, and Christie Mirage projectors will be used for all the venues. That includes the AMC Lincoln Square in New York, which hosted the film’s world premiere last month during the New York Film Festival. It also will be offered in Taiwan’s Vieshow Cinemas in Taipei, where the film had its Taiwan premiere on Wednesday. China’s Shanghai Film Group and Bona Film Group will showcase Billy Lynn in the format at the Beijing Bona Youtang International Cineplex and Shanghai Film Art Center, starting on Sunday and Tuesday, respectively.

Multiple versions of Billy Lynn have been carefully created from the master for audiences in traditional cinemas and in various formats including today’s commonly used 24 fps. Dolby Cinema theaters will be offering the film in 2K, 3D at 120 fps with high dynamic range (the format used for last week's Los Angeles press screenings).