Start/Menu > Find Press Releases >
Refresh this page
Cypress, Calif—Feb 6, 2012
Christie Helps Texas Drive-Ins Light Up ‘The Big Picture’
Christie Digital Cinema Projectors Light Up 90-Ft Screens at the “Big Sky” and “The Stars & Stripes”
They say everything is bigger in Texas, and with the installation of award-winning Christie® digital cinema projectors at two of the Lone Star State’s most popular drive-in theaters, they are now also the brightest. The Big Sky Drive-In in Midland and the Stars and Stripes in Lubbock, both featuring outdoor screens up to 90 ft wide, now offer a superior movie viewing experience thanks to Christie’s DLP Cinema® projectors, which are recognized as the brightest and most powerful in the industry.
“Drive-in theaters have always been a romantic business venture that faced many technical challenges,” noted Craig Sholder, vice president, Entertainment Solutions at Christie. “The limited amount of light that can be projected on the screen from even the most powerful film projectors is not always sufficient to compete with the ambient light of the outdoors. This has often seriously affected the quality of the projected image and undermined the movie-viewing experience for many patrons. Christie projectors are ideally suited for the outdoor environment where ease of operation – especially to focus and scale images – and high brightness levels are critical.”
As a major sponsor of the 12th annual convention for the United Drive-In Theatre Owners Association (UDITOA), February 6 – 9, in Kissimmee, Florida, Christie is partnering with dealers such as Sonic Equipment Company to help lead America’s drive-in theaters into the digital age. Backed by more than 80 years in the exhibition industry, Christie is offering complete, turn-key solutions that include design, consultation, installation and support services. As well, Christie can provide interested customers with 24/7 support and maintenance through its Network Operations Center (NOC), located in Cypress, California.
Among the first drive-ins in the country to “see the light” of digital technology were the Stars & Stripes and the Big Sky drive-ins – the first multi-screen drive-ins in the country. Christie projectors, rated at 30,000 ANSI lumens of brightness, covered their entire screen surfaces with the sharpest digital images ever seen in a drive-in theater.
A Big Improvement at The Big Sky
Big Sky owner Sam Kirkland opened in October 2005 with two screens, both using 35mm projectors. He added a third screen in 2007. Two of Big Sky's three screens are 45 ft by 90ft, with parking spaces for 436 cars and 382 cars; the third screen, at 35 ft by 70 ft, can handle 198 cars. The conversion to Christie digital projectors was done by Sonic Equipment Company, of Iola, Kansas.
“When a drive-in goes to digital movies, it’s a big difference from film, and audiences see the difference immediately,” said Sam Kirkland, owner of The Big Sky. “Our Christie projector gives us a gorgeous picture and our customers love it!”
Lamont Furlow, the 60-year old general manager of Big Sky, whose parents managed a local drive-in theater, recalled that he was virtually born into the movie theater business.
"Directly or indirectly, I've been in the exhibition business all my life, and have a special passion for the drive-in," he said. "I'm not real computer literate, but when we had some initial challenges the first week, we called our Christie representative and he talked us through the situation right over the phone. The show started on time and the entire system has worked beautifully every since!”
Most importantly, Furlow noted, "Now that we're digital, lighting the screen is no longer an issue. Our patrons enjoy even the darkest scenes in a movie.”
In the past, Big Sky also had serious problems getting the picture focused when running 35mm projectors. "With Christie digital projectors, it's now in perfect focus," he said. “My immediate reaction when we showed our first movie in digital was, ‘That can't be my screen!”
He added: “We couldn't be more pleased with our new Christie projectors.”
A Bright Idea at the Stars & Stripes
Ryan Smith had fond childhood memories of working in his grandparents’ indoor theater, as well as nights spent at the local drive-in. In 2003, at the age of 24, he opened the Stars & Stripes Drive-In Theatre with two screens and two used 35mm projectors, assisted by his parents.
Today, with two screens that measured 35 ft by 70 ft, and one measuring 45 ft by 90ft, the earliest lesson he learned about drive-in theaters, said Smith, was that, "you just can't get enough light on those big screens."
Smith selected Christie projectors, financing the cost of the digital conversion himself. Sonic Equipment Company of Iola, Kansas, supervised the installation and helped to train Smith and his staff.
The impact was instantaneous. According to Smith, in the first week they opened, "People noticed that something was different. They realized the picture was brighter. And I was thrilled to provide my customers with ‘indoor-movie’ picture quality."
Smith is now eager to explore the expansion of his business with new kinds of content, such as sporting events, concerts, and cultural performances. "We were always constrained by film," he said. "With digital, there are no limitations. We are very pleased with our Christie projectors.”
“Our customers have all praised the outstanding image quality of Christie digital projectors and we love their ease of use, and their low cost of operation,” said Steve Zimmerman, director of business development at Sonic. “As a Christie certified partner, we look forward to helping America’s drive-ins enter the digital age and bring a new level of entertainment to the next generation of moviegoers and beyond.”
Manager, Media and Public Relations
PH: +1 519-749-3127
Christie Digital Systems USA, Inc. is a global visual technologies company and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ushio, Inc., Japan, (JP:6925). Consistently setting the standards by being the first to market some of the world’s most advanced projectors and complete system displays, Christie is recognized as one of the most innovative visual technology companies in the world. From retail displays to Hollywood, mission critical command centers to classrooms and training simulators, Christie display solutions and projectors capture the attention of audiences around the world with dynamic and stunning images.
Christie Directory page
Christie Web Site
About Sonic Equipment Company:
Sonic Equipment Company is a total sales, service, consulting, remodeling and new construction company for motion picture exhibitors as well as a leading source for the installation and service of digital equipment. From building and equipping an entire theatre to diagnosing equipment problems, to finding and installing the replacement parts needed for customers’ projectors, Sonic Equipment Company has the resources, ability and desire to handle it all. The firm has installed systems across the country in more than 35 states. The Company currently services over 1200 screens around the nation.
Sonic Equipment Company Directory page
More Christie Press Releases:
May 23, 2017
Christie 360 Experiential Studios and TCL Chinese Theatre Deliver the World’s First Permanent Projection Mapping Show on A Cinema Façade
May 11, 2017
Christie Strengthens Global Cinema Team with Hire of Industry Veteran
May 3, 2017
Suning Cinema Selects Christie Cinema Projection Solutions for its New Multiplexes in Nanjing and Xuzhou
Apr 13, 2017
Spain’s Biggest Drive-In Entrusts its Giant Screen to Christie
Mar 30, 2017
Christie Wins DSE 2017 APEX Gold Award for Star Wars: The Force Awakens Red Carpet World Premiere
Mar 30, 2017
James Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment Renews Exclusive Technology Collaboration Agreement with Christie to Drive Cinema Innovation
Mar 28, 2017
Sasaki Kogyo Selects Christie RGB Laser Projection System for its Largest-Screen Theatre in Cinema Sunshine Aira Multiplex
Mar 27, 2017
Odeon Sambil Multiplex in Madrid Sets A New Benchmark for Europe with Christie RGB EWD Laser Plus All-Christie Audio and Projection
Mar 27, 2017
Christie Provides Sneak Preview of Direct-Coupled RGB Laser Projector from the Christie Freedom Series at CinemaCon 2017
Mar 24, 2017
Christie Launches the CP2308 Superior-Value, Lamp-Based Projector for Smaller Screens; Includes New Processing and Light-Engine Electronics and A Faster, More Responsive User Interface
More Sonic Equipment Company Press Releases:
Nov 12, 2015
B&B Theatres Selects Christie Solaria Projectors and Christie Vive Audio to Power All Screens at the New Wentzville 12 Missouri Location
Sep 8, 2015
Sonic Equipment Company Announces Ron Hageman as New Executive Director
May 15, 2015
Sonic Equipment Company Hires Former Wehrenberg Chief Engineer Dan Herron as STL District Tech
Apr 1, 2014
Sonic Equipment Company Celebrates Milestone with Installation of 1,000 Christie Digital Cinema Projectors
Apr 11, 2013
Business Day to Feature Sonic Equipment
Aug 8, 2012
NATO of Kansas & Missouri Is Proud to Announce Show A Rama 2013
Apr 24, 2012
Sonic Equipment Company Joins Forces with Arnold Park Digital to Address the Challenges Faced by Art House Theatres and Independent Exhibitors
Apr 19, 2012
The Sunset is Bright in the Digital Conversion Era
Apr 19, 2012
Sonic Equipment Company Completes 100% Digital Conversion of Rogers Cinema Circuit
©Copyright 2003 - 2017
. All rights reserved.