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Art Theatre of Long Beach Projects a New Image with Epson PowerLite Pro Projector
Posted on Friday, April 2, 2010
LONG BEACH, Calif. - April 5, 2010 - When the Art Theatre of Long Beach (the Art) in California reopened its doors after a $1 million restoration, movie enthusiasts stood in line. Urban developer Jan van Dijs and his partners Mark and Helen Vidor opted to integrate the Epson PowerLite® Pro Z8000WUNL digital projector to deliver state of the art image quality to the Art. Their vision helped transform a 1924 silent movie house into a modern, gleaming art deco masterpiece.

Restoring the Art was a great tribute to the past, but the theater has clearly advanced toward the dawning era of digital cinema projection. When the Epson PowerLite Pro from Epson America, Inc., headquartered in Long Beach, took up residence in the projection room, theater programmer Logan Crow could not believe the quality of projected Blu-ray and DVD images.

Special Screenings
The Epson PowerLite Pro Z8000WUNL, designed for auditoriums and large venues, plays a key role at the Art during special screenings and promotions. The high-definition projector brings the Art a powerful combination of brightness, resolution and color, with a 5000:1 contrast ratio, 6,000 lumens color light output and 6,000 lumens white light output1 (ISO 21118), WUXGA resolution (1920 x 1200), and 3LCD, 3-chip technology.

"On the night we honored director John Hughes, the image quality on our screen was fantastic," said Crow. He had asked MGM for a print of "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off," but the distributor said the film was only available on Blu-ray disk. "Playing that disk on the Epson projector was like showing the actual film print, with rich colors and full dimension, but minus the pops and scratches," he said.

Special Events
The Art uses the PowerLite Pro projector at all special events, including the recent fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House in Long Beach. After the screening of the Coen brothers’ newest film, the projector was used to display a 3D walk-through of the Ronald McDonald House plans for potential donors.

The Epson projector made a big impression on documentary maker Robin D. Williams, who screened his "Biblical Treasures of Turkey" at a fundraiser for the Long Beach-Izmir Sister Cities Association. When Williams and his cinematographer/editor wife Rosetta first came to see how the documentary looked on the equipment, the Art was still using its old digital projector. "Everything looked fine enough, the image filled the screen, so we shook hands and looked forward to the event," said Crow.

In the weeks leading up to the fundraiser, the Art switched to the PowerLite Pro Z8000WUNL. "On the night of the event, they couldn’t believe the change in image quality," said Crow. The couple told him they had screened the film at dozens of venues, including the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC. Their footage of the Turkish city Assos had never looked as brilliant and clear as it did on the Epson projector, especially the aerial shots of the region and the bright blue of the water.

Should an event require it, the projector can be mounted in either horizontal or vertical position to project images on the wall, ceiling or floor, with an additional tilt operation for off-axis positioning. Other features include a centered lens design, durable LCD panels, dual lamps, and an innovative cooling system. The projector can display HDTV content at its native resolution with quality that surpasses even that of 1080p devices.

Single-Screen Theater in a Multiplex World
The Art also uses the Epson projector for on-screen advertising between shows, an important source of revenue for both single-screen and multiplex theaters. "As a single-screen theater, we compete with multiplexes to get first-run movies," said co-founder Mark Vidor. "At times, it’s like a jigsaw puzzle where all the pieces keep changing, so we appreciate the dependable aspects of the business such as our loyal patrons and the Epson projector." Contributing to the projector’s reliability and low cost of ownership is its easy maintenance and monitoring, filter system and long lamp life.

Recently voted the "Best Indie Theater in L.A.," the Art begins another chapter in the business of film. The historic art deco theater continues to reinvent itself as it did after the 1933 earthquake and under the long tenure of former owner Howard Linn. With the revitalization of the neighborhood, the Art Theatre is creating new traditions and keeping up with technology like the Epson PowerLite Pro Z8000WUNL projector.