Samsung has announced that it’s bringing its much-hyped LED movie theater screen to Europe and plans to bring it to more markets around the world — including the U.S. — in 2018.
The Korean tech titan unveiled the Samsung Cinema LED in Las Vegas back in March before rolling out the first commercial installation at a cinema in South Korea in July, followed by one in Bangkok, Thailand a few months later. Now Samsung is in the process of building Europe’s first LED screen at Arena Cinemas in Zurich, Switzerland.
The display spans an area of 10.24 x 5.4 meters (33.6 x 17.8 feet) and supports 4K (4,096 x 2,160) resolution and high-dynamic range (HDR) visuals.
While the switch represents a notable evolution for cinemas that have hitherto relied on projectors, Samsung’s LED is markedly smaller than a typical movie theater screen, which usually ranges from about 45 feet all the way up to 72 feet on IMAX. But ditching the projector beam from the back wall of a cinema will also enable movie theater designers to re-think their approach. It should also mean that cinemas will be much darker, given that there will no longer be the aforementioned projector beam.
“Based on elimination of the projector beam and the high luminosity of Samsung Cinema LED screen, there are a host of new possibilities for interior design,” noted Arena Cinemas owner Edi Stöckli. “We are entirely removing the existing furnishings and implementing an innovative seating concept to provide audiences with a totally new kind of cinematic experience.”
Though the movie theater industry has been impacted by the growth of home entertainment setups — which include on-demand video streams, massive TVs, and surround sound audio — global box office receipts hit a record $38.6 billion last year. In the U.S. and Canada, specifically, revenues hit $11.4 billion, a 2 percent increase from 2015, and admissions remained steady at roughly 1.3 billion, which indicates that higher ticket prices did little to deter moviegoers.
Samsung hasn’t provided any specifics on its plans to roll out LED displays in cinemas, though it did confirm that next year would usher in a number of new market launches, including the U.S. The company has also previously stated that it plans to install its Cinema LED screens in 10 percent of movie theaters around the world by 2020.