Imagix: digital technology for film projection and business-to-business events

Is it possible to design a big cinema complex destined to hold thousands of people, whilst having respect for the environment amongst your objectives? The answer seems to come from the Belgian group Carpentier, owner of the Imagix chain, which includes the multiplexes of Mons (14 screens – 3,822 seats) and Tournai (10 screens – 2,259 seats). Here, for example, a solution has been adopted to favour energy saving through the installation of leds that make it possible to light each auditorium with an energy consumption equal to that of a 100-watt light bulb. Ecological sensitivity goes hand in hand with “health awareness”. The Imagix complexes also offer an alternative to classical junk food, in the form of, for instance, fresh fruit salads and fruit juices. And thought is already being given to the possible inclusion of foods such as gluten-free products for celiac sufferers or sugar-free for diabetics. In the Mons cinema it is even possible to do stretching in the fitness centre. An important detail of the Imagix brand is also to be found in the minimalist design. The Tournai cinema, visited by participants at the DigiTraining Plus course on 30 March last, looks from the outside like a brightly coloured box (built in a record time of seven months, based on pre-fabricated modules from Germany), whilst inside there is a vast open space. Here, on different levels, apart from the theatres, the box-office, mini-market and snack bar, there are 450 m² of space for events, and the gallery, visible to all, where the projectors are situated. Amongst these is the digital projector supplied by Cinemeccanica and accompanied by a Dolby server. For Imagix, the choice of digital responds to the need to offer cutting-edge technology, both to its traditional customers (480,000 spectators a year in Tournai, 900,000 in Mons) and to its “business” clients. One of Imagix’s extremely strong points is, in fact, the business-to-business sector. In this perspective, the Tournai multiplex is a venue also designed to be a congress centre, suitable for hosting various types of events. Starting from pre-screenings of films, perhaps in the presence of important stars, accompanied by receptions and parties, to include company presentations, or cultural, sports or music events, both live or recorded. From this point of view, the digital projector proves to be a great resource. The technology, combined with satellite transmission, makes it possible to show images of varying types and origins on the big screen. To sum up, Imagix is trying to find a specific market position. And it is doing this both by using its products (for example, the offer of films is not limited to blockbusters but includes an alternative programme which also offers film weeks, as in Mons, where there is a large Italian community, with “La vita è cinema”, a festival entirely devoted to Italian cinema), and by using technology.

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Some photos of Imagix