Have Your Say: Cinemas With Frikkin Lasers?!

Editor, Europe; Rotterdam, The Netherlands (@ardvark23)
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Have Your Say: Cinemas With Frikkin Lasers?!
As of late, one of the cinemas in my hometown has started showing several movies in a new way: with lasers. I only noticed because in their schedule, I saw a logo next to some titles I hadn't seen before. As it was in the same place as similar logos for "IMAX" or "3D" (or "48fps" a few years ago...) it had to mean some sort of technical difference.

A few Googles later I was a bit wiser: it seems new laser projectors exist nowadays, capable of producing much brighter light and stronger colors for the same amount of electricity, and this hometown venue is currently one of only two theatres in the entire Netherlands to sport this equipment.

It isn't even a very new development apparently, but as the old German saying goes: "When the world ends, go to the Netherlands, because there everything happens 50 years later." Heh...

And unlike IMAX, 3D, or 48fps, a "Laser" ticket is not more expensive than a regular one, which may be why this latest technical "revolution" kinda flew under my radar. Still, I guess there should be some sort of easily noticeable difference. I mean, if it's just a more cost-effective projector, why mention this difference to the public?
Using a laser logo in the schedule makes me wonder: are there already people specifically seeking out theatres which use laser projection?

So my question of the week is: what's your experience with laser projection in cinemas? Do you notice the better image? Do you prefer laser venues over regular ones, or haven't you noticed a difference yet?

Chime in, in the comments below, and HAVE YOUR SAY!

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Matt BrownJanuary 10, 2017 10:13 AM

Toronto is all about the lasers but no, I didn't notice a difference. This might be because I have undergone laser eye surgery - it's a zero sum game when it comes to lasers.

SydneyBlue120dJanuary 10, 2017 10:26 AM

Lasers projection as of now do not make the image better, contrast ratio with new machine is just a little better than xenon lamp, if they simply do a retrofit the image show exactly the same quality. One thing to note is that lasers will provide always the same amount of light for a looooong time, so You should never have a "dark" image because the lamp need to be changed, and still Sony R515P and Sony R515DS continue to provide the "best" picture quality even they do not use lasers, and the same apply to the bigger, older brother Sony R320P. The difference instead is in Dolby Cinema screens: They use a completely custom system developed by Christie and Dolby that provide, with all other elements, a contrast ratio around 1.000.000:1 instead of 8.000:1 of the Sony machine. The IMAX laser too provide a very good quality, although they still use a silver screen that can produce hot spot and all other kind of issues.

Ard VijnJanuary 10, 2017 11:55 AM

"Is that a mobile phone in row 8? Charge the projector for amplified emission in 5... 4... 3..."

NiaJanuary 10, 2017 1:07 PM

I think the main benefit of laser projection is 'behind the scenes' rather than front-end, unless you're someone who notices very minor improvements like less light pollution. I've seen a demonstration of the Dolby Cinema system, which was really great, but I think that's only one of many upcoming improved digital cinema systems, so not everyone will benefit from that unless it quickly becomes the norm!

faustidisqJanuary 10, 2017 5:31 PM

Here in DC I noticed it when I saw Force Awakens in 3-D at one of the large Smithsonian IMAX screens. The 3-D seemed much brighter and more stable than in the past. Not sure how 2-D is yet but I was very impressed by the 3-D image.

Count ErpointJanuary 10, 2017 9:42 PM

I LOVE that idea!

Paul MJanuary 12, 2017 1:03 AM

Way to lord your laser projection over us smaller town folk, big city boy, all I have to view in a public venue is ordinary 23fps, 3D or IMAX like some kind of scruffy nerf herder from the spice mines of Kessel. Weren't we supposed to have laser TV's by now? It wasn't long ago that I read about phillips and their revolutionary new laser TV that would change everything, since then, nada.