Munich, Germany—May 25, 2005
Digital Star Wars: Episode III Premiere Was Entrusted to Kinoton
The grand German premiere of Star Wars Episode III at the Musical Theater in
Berlin/Germany was really a unique event. Not only because the audience brimmed
over with enthusiasm for the perfectly arranged event, but it also was the first
movie premiere in Germany to be projected digitally. In spite of a very short
lead time and the demand to deliver first-rate projection quality, the digital
presentation proved highly convincing.
On May 17, the long wait had an end: “Revenge of the Sith”, the crowning
completion of the Star Wars series the fans had been longing for, premiered
sensationally in Germany at the Musical Theater in Berlin.
In order to guarantee that this first major digital movie premiere in Germany
ran smoothly, the projection had been entrusted to Kinoton in close cooperation
with the Dolby and Barco companies. The blockbuster of the year was projected
with a Barco D-Cine Premiere DP 100, a 2K digital projector featuring DLP chip
technology filling the almost 20 metres wide screen with pin sharp images. For
storing and replay, two Dolby Digital Cinema systems were provided.
But this movie presentation was not an easy venture. As is generally known,
George Lucas attaches great importance to first-rate sound and picture quality
in order to provide a thrilling cinema experience for his audience – after all,
he has invented the strict THX standards! So Kinoton had to meet many special
specifications concerning projector and server setup. Be-sides, the Musical
Theater’s own sound system had to be modified to handle cinema sound. Extra
attention was given to the effect speakers; they were carefully calibrated one
by one to accentuate the spectacular sound effects as well as John Williams’
bombastic film music.
What is more, the pressure of time for setting up the equipment was enormous.
The Blue Man Group had been performing at the Musical Theater until 11.00 p.m.
the previous day. Not until 0.00 o’clock at the premiere day could Kinoton start
to convert the stage theater into a movie theatre, and at 6.30 p.m. the setup
was scheduled to be complete. It really came in handy that Kinoton already knows
the Musical Theater very well as they had equipped it with 16mm and 35mm
projection technology some time ago.
Kinoton had actually planned every single detail of the preparations for the
Star Wars Episode III premiere beforehand. The setup of the projection equipment
had been played over several times at Kinoton’s premises. At the premiere day
the complete projection equipment had to be installed two times: First in an
adjoining room for a last setup check, then in the projection room of the main
hall so the Twentieth Century Fox executives could assure themselves of the
projection quality before the excited audience was admitted.
Finally some 1,600 invitees could experience a perfectly stage-managed movie
premiere. The leading actors Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman, producer
Rick McCallum and – of course – director George Lucas were received with cheers
on the red carpet. What is more, many of the more exotic characters of the Star
Wars movies attended the premiere as well: Wookies and roboters roamed the
Marlene-Dietrich-Platz in front of the theater. Even Darth Vader himself,
followed by his storm troops, strode through the theater before the space
adventure captivated the audience in impeccable digital quality. The audience
was thrilled and rewarded the cinema show with standing ovations.
Kinoton was very content as well with the outcome of the premiere. The digital
projection had gone off without a hitch, and the quality of picture and sound
had left nothing to be desired. “Our thorough preparations have really been
worthwhile,” Kinoton’s sales director Harald Bergbauer stated merrily. “And of
course we were really pleased that Kinoton is so well-established in Hollywood
that we are entrusted with such prominent events.”