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Naval Aviation Museum Foundation in Florida takes ‘The Magic of Flight’ to new heights with Christie and D3D Cinema

Naval Aviation Museum Foundation in Florida takes ‘The Magic of Flight’ to new heights with Christie and D3D Cinema

USA – The riveting colours and shimmering brightness of the Christie 3P laser system is enthralling audiences at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida. The museum’s 325-seat Naval Aviation Memorial Giant Screen Theatre, home to ‘The Magic of Flight’ – a film tracing the history of aviation – recently upgraded to a Christie CP42LH projector head that is not only saving the Foundation over $200,000 annually, it has increased attendance by 20%. Installed by D3D Cinema, the projection upgrade was part of the museum’s renovation that includes a stage and presentation area at the front of the theatre.

“I knew about D3D Cinema and the great work they did using Christie laser at the National Infantry Museum, so I went to Derek Threinen at D3D and told him what we wanted, which was a 2D projection system with the latest technology,” said Phillip Crabtree, operations manager for visitor attractions, Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. “We wanted 2D because our signature film, ‘The Magic of Flight,’ was shot in 2D. The timing hit right with laser coming out and Derek’s answer was, ‘I am going to talk with Christie and if we can make this happen we will do it with RGB laser for the light source and in 4K resolution’.”

“The museum wanted a technology that would have their audiences blown away by the new experience, but were mindful that they needed to stay on budget,” added Derek Threinen, vice president, film distribution and business development, giant screen films / D3D cinema. “We designed a system that allows the museum to put an incredibly bright image on the screen with the Christie CP42LH laser projector.”

Threinen said the Foundation was particularly impressed that D3D Cinema could design a laser-illuminated system at a much lower cost than anticipated and Christie’s modular design – with its built-in redundancy – was important to the museum.

Laser modules can be easily added, removed, activated or disabled using the Christie modular laser system and each laser module is independently cooled, providing built-in fault protection, improved efficiency and the ultimate in reliability.

“With this Christie 3P laser system, we are saving well over $200,000 a year in overall costs including the cost of buying new film prints, replacing lamps – which were very expensive with our previous system – paying royalties, and the maintenance costs. This is net revenue for us and is money we’re not spending – that is a big deal for us,” Crabtree said. “With D3D and Christie, we were buying this equipment outright and we have optional service plans to cover us down the road. We aren’t paying a per-head or per-year royalty to the projector manufacturer. For us in 2016, that does not fit our business model.”

Crabtree and his team pay close attention to visitor feedback and read online reviews of the new theatre.

“The reviews are very positive and audiences love the experience. I read one that talked about the new projection technology and how spectacular it looks. The reviewer said he definitely recommends a visit to the theatre,” said Crabtree. “That is a very typical comment and I take it as proof positive that the system is meeting and exceeding expectations. Everyone is blown away by the colour and light on the screen. I like to say it is clean because you can sit down and look at the screen from corner to corner and it is focused and bright wherever you look. We are thrilled with the technology and result.”

“We live in a new world now and Christie has really stepped up and is producing a product that is spectacular. The programming is wonderful; we are doing things like programming the entire days’ worth of content, which includes trailers, light triggers, built-in pauses, etc. so it is all there and every morning this kicks off,” Crabtree continued. “I am very happy we went with laser not only because of the quality but that there is redundancy built in. It is a real nice luxury to have that we didn’t have before.”

Threinen commended the Christie technology and team. “Our experience working with Christie was phenomenal; they are supportive throughout the process – whether it is engineering, the installation itself or on-going support,” he said. “We know we can rely on Christie and its laser system.”

7th October 2016

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