Kortrijk, Belgium, 25 March 2014 – Barco and Kinepolis Group, two cinema pioneers, are truly committed to providing Europe’s cinema-goers with a unique cinema experience. That commitment has now been formalized in a strategic partnership agreement. Under the agreement, Kinepolis will equip its cinemas with a premium technology package from Barco, including laser-illuminated projectors, Audience Entertainment interactivity and immersive visualization. Both partners will also jointly create concepts to bring the cinema experience to a whole new level. To kick off the partnership, Kinepolis will install four 60,000 lumen laser projectors at its flagship cinemas in Antwerp and Brussels (Belgium), Madrid (ES) and Lomme (France) - a European première.
The cooperation between Barco and Kinepolis goes back many years. As an early technology adopter, the Kinepolis group was experimenting with digital technology as early as 1999. It launched 3D digital cinema in 2007 and introduced 4K projection back in 2011. Barco has been its trusted technology provider along the way. In its constant search for ways to reinforce its innovative reputation in the cinema industry, Kinepolis Group now again decided to join forces with Barco, on account of its innovative technology offering and its clear vision on the cinema of the future.
Much more light at lower TCO
Barco’s laser-illuminated projectors will play a key role in Kinepolis’ endeavors to bring the cinema experience to new levels. First demoed at the Moody Gardens Digital Cinema Symposium in 2012, Barco’s laser technology has been fine-tuned to be ready for launch at this week’s CinemaCon. “The Barco laser projector is the first of its type capable of showing 4K content at 60 fps and 3D movies in 4K resolution at such high brightness levels. In this way, it truly meets the needs of cinema exhibitors, who are always looking for more light output,” explained Wim Buyens, VP Digital Cinema at Barco. Moreover, while brightness and light levels go up, the operational cost of laser projectors is lower as no lamp replacements are needed and laser light sources have a longer life span than traditional xenon lamps. A Barco laser light source can reach a lifetime of up to 30,000 hours at 80% of the initial brightness.
Interactive and immersive
Kinepolis group will first install four laser projectors at its flagship cinemas, which boast the theaters with the biggest screens. In addition, these four theaters will also feature Barco’s interactive content leveraging technologies such as QuickSensor, CiniMe and Audience Entertainment. Barco will draw on existing advertising and gaming relationships to develop a pipeline for interactive content and build a software development kit for content creators. Last but not least, the Antwerp flagship cinema will also feature Barco’s ‘escape’ technology—a next-generation solution that will foster immersive storytelling, advertising and new content. Both partners further agreed to jointly build, drive and establish an interactive solution for the worldwide cinema market.
Ultimate Customer Experience
“To retain our position as a frontrunner in cinema, we are constantly investigating ways to offer new experiences to our audience,” says Eddy Duquenne, CEO of Kinepolis Group. “Barco has always supported us greatly in these efforts. Today, again, they’re leading the market with their laser technology and their vision of an immersive, interactive cinema experience. We believe the strategic partnership will truly help us create the Ultimate Customer Experience, thus attracting additional visitors to our theaters.”
“The introduction of laser is another great milestone in our history as cinema innovator and we’re delighted to share this première with Kinepolis Group, our long-term customer, partner even,” adds Wim Buyens. “Signing this partnership is a great start, not an ending. We have groundbreaking technologies and are full of exciting ideas to turn cinemas into true entertainment destinations.
About Kinepolis Kinepolis aims to offer movie and culture lovers 'the ultimate movie experience'. To this end, Kinepolis provides an innovative cinema concept that is considered to be the showcase within the sector. Its strategic model is based on three pillars: Best Marketer, Best Cinema Operator and Best Real Estate Manager. Since its inception in 1997 and the subsequent listing on the stock exchange in 1998, Kinepolis has developed into a leading player within Europe, and has 23 cinemas across Belgium, France, Spain, Switzerland and Poland. Besides its movie theatre activities, Kinepolis is also active in film distribution, event organization, screen advertising and cinema real estate management. About 21 million moviegoers visit the Group every year, and Kinepolis employs almost 1,900 staff members.
About Barco Barco, a global technology company, designs and develops visualization products for a variety of selected professional markets. Barco has its own facilities for Sales & Marketing, Customer Support, R&D and Manufacturing in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Barco (NYSE Euronext Brussels: BAR) is active in more than 90 countries with 4,000 employees worldwide. The company posted sales of 1.158 billion euro in 2013.