Digital Cinema

Today I had my first encounter with Digital Cinema.

I ventured down to my local multiplex to see “The Bourne Ultimatum” – expecting to see a regular 35mm print, projected in the traditional way (which for my local multiplex means slightly out of focus and with a fair amount of dirt on the film) – as the advert and trailer reel passed by (still projected from the normal 35mm print – the cinemas own “ident” clips being very worn out) the first indication that something new was happening was at the start of the main feature.

Here in the UK, as most of my readers will know, a static card is displayed prior to the film, detailing it’s “rating”. As soon as this appeared, it was clear something had changed. It looked “better” than normal. The edges of the text were razor-sharp, and the whites were much “whiter” (if that makes sense).

This sharp, clear, crisp picture quality carried on right through the film – the picture was so much better than my recent experiences of 35mm projection, plus the big advantage of the system – no dirt on the print – even after being shown many times, this digital print will look as good as it did the first time.

This is clearly the future of cinema – and it needs to be if it is to compete with Hi-Definition formats in the home. Now if only they could find a way to not charge £3 for a coke (cinema managers note this – selling lots of things at a small profit is generally better than driving your customers to the supermarket on the other side of the retail park), cinema might be due a resurgence.