CYPRESS, CA - Christie, the world's leader in digital cinema projection installations, was a "star attraction" at the recently inaugurated, all-digital Beacon Cinema complex located in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts. One of the most highly anticipated events in Pittsfield, the new $23 million complex, whose six screens are powered exclusively by Christie CP2000-ZX DLP Cinema projectors, is reviving the city's core. Built within a restored century-old historic building, The Beacon Cinema brought the excitement of the movies back to the downtown area after a 15-year absence.
"It took us several years to complete the project, including the planning, design, gutting and rehabilitation of the existing structure. Early on, I saw the direction in which cinema was moving, with studios releasing everything in digital and alternative content emerging. I decided to take the wider view, and go ‘all digital' with Christie DLP Cinema projection systems," said Richard Stanley, managing partner of The Beacon Cinema. "Along with sporting events, live concerts and special events, as well as corporate and business activities increasingly taking place in a theatre environment, I see myself not only in the cinema business but in the entertainment industry."
The mixed-use facility incorporates offices, retail space and the 850-seat Beacon Cinema, which resides over three floors, with auditoriums on the first and third floors and projection booths on the first and third floor mezzanines. It features all-stadium rocking seats, a state-of- the-art data network that includes security, phone, Internet, and digital cinema distribution from two data control rooms. There are two concession areas, which also serve wine and beer. They also boast all digital concession menu boards, digital poster cases and digital box office signage.
Stanley noted that Beacon's opening night was sold out, with the midnight showing of The Twilight Saga: New Moon on all six screens. Their opening celebrations with the 3D showing of A Christmas Carol also attracted full houses, even though the movie had premiered several weeks before at competitive theatres, which drew only a fraction of the audience when it was shown in 2D.
Integrity Entertainment Systems, LLC, an authorized digital cinema reseller for Christie, handled the sales and installations. Gary Engvold, president of Integrity Entertainment Systems, explained that his organization supplied all the components necessary for the complete installation. "We recommended Christie CP2000-ZX digital cinema projection systems for all six auditoriums. Two screens are equipped for 3D presentations and, since 3D is driving market momentum, there is an option for a third 3D projector," he said. "Christie's proven digital expertise, along with the brightest, highest performance projectors and the lowest cost of ownership, make it the projector of choice."
Pittsfield's Mayor James M. Ruberto participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony, which used 35mm film in place of ribbon to signify the theatre's "cutting of the cord" with old technology and embracing digital cinema. He remarked, "The Beacon Cinema complex will become the cultural hub and entertainment center of Berkshire County once again. Pittsfield's downtown is now open for fun, families, and tourists."
"Independent theatres serve an important niche in the cinema industry, since they cater to local audiences and provide a connection to their communities," observed Craig Sholder, vice-president, Entertainment Solutions, Christie. "By working closely with certified Christie dealers who sell, install and service the independent theatres, Christie can offer a broad range of support and the most advanced and cost-effective digital projection solutions available."