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Wanda Film Holdings and Christie — one of the leading digital cinema projector makers — are opening a research and development venue that will include work on custom laser projectors for Wanda’s theaters, as well as cutting-edge LED cinema screens.
The Wanda-Christie Cinema Technology Center of Excellence — set to open Friday at the Wanda Studios’ site in Qingdao, China — will serve as a guide for Christie’s product development, especially for customized products to be supplied exclusively to Wanda or any of its affiliates. It also will be Christie’s primary test site for new cinema products.
R&D efforts will include customized laser projection for Wanda and its affiliates, as well as cinema systems for Wanda’s premium large format auditoriums, in the areas of projection, audio, screen, 3D and 4D technology.
The companies are also researching LED cinema screens, a radical idea for using what is effectively a large video wall, compared with traditional projection. The potential of LED cinema screens will be a big topic this week at CinemaCon.
Additional initiatives include work on RGB laser retrofit technology for older Xenon projection systems, testing of Xenon lamps versus competitive illumination technology, and services for network operation centers.
Prior to this deal, Wanda Film Holdings had signed an exclusive strategic partnership agreement with Christie to install several thousand Christie Solaria Series 2K and 4K digital cinema projectors, as well as Christie Vive Audio in selected theaters. Wanda and Christie also have been promoting Wanda’s “Hall 9” auditoriums, some of which are equipped with Christie laser projection and Vive Audio.
As of the end of 2017, Wanda operates 463 theaters and 4,134 screens in China. It also separately owns Hoyts Group, Australia’s second-largest cinema operator.