WTW Cinemas, who operate 10 screens across three sites in Cornwall, UK won the prestigious RAAM Award for Independent Cinema of the Year 2011, which was presented in February at the Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square, London.
The independent, family-owned cinema company has been in the cinema business for over 65 years and continues to grow, with a new four screen cinema opening in Newquay, Cornwall in the spring. The award went to WTW's four-screen state-of-the-art White River cinema in St Austell, beating off tough competition from Zeffirellis in Cumbria and The Lexi in London. Mark Williams, General Manager of White River cinema collected the award.
WTW Cinemas were an early adopter of 3D and have experience of three different 3D cinema systems over recent years. At the UK Cinema Exhibitors Association 3D conference in 2010 WTW cinemas compared their experiences using the different systems, and it was interesting then to hear about the practical problems of dealing with 'active' glasses and of the relative costs of operating the different 3D systems.
During 2010, Screen 1 at St Austell, which had used XpanD 3D for more than a year, changed to MasterImage 3D, and WTW have decided that their new all digital cinema in Newquay will use MasterImage 3D exclusively. They have found that the MasterImage technology is simple for the technical team at the cinema to operate, and the projection box preparation required was minimal - UK cinema installation and service company Sound Associates installed and support the MasterImage 3D systems at the WTW cinemas.
Since the change, feedback from audiences has been very positive, with people preferring the lightweight glasses. Brian Kercher of MasterImage 3D said that they are coming across more and more situations where cinemas are replacing previously installed systems with MasterImage 3D, once cinemas realise the true cost of ownership over time of the various alternative solutions.