Empire Cinemas Specifies Harkness Screens Clarus XC

Since its launch in 2013, Harkness Screens Clarus XC screen technology has proved to be a massive step forward in terms of presentation quality for exhibitors seeking to show 2D content on a screen suitable for polarised 3D projection, so much so that a number of exhibitors including UK-based exhibitor Empire Cinemas are now mandating Clarus XC as their screen choice for all auditoriums regardless of 2D or 3D.
“It’s not just about improving presentation quality in 3D, it’s about making sure that 2D content looks as good as it can from a polarised screen,” explains Andre Mort, Technical Director of Empire Cinemas.
Widely regarded as early adopters in deploying emerging cinema technology, the roll-out of Clarus XC through Empire Cinemas has gathered pace since initial testing in 2014.
“What Clarus gives us is a way of future proofing the business. As a 3D screen, it’s a big step forward compared to the silver screens that hit the market during the 3D boom and its visual performance is more than comparable to high-gain white screens. In effect the quality of the visual performance from Clarus has created a solution which allows us maximum flexibility on how and where we show all movies. We’re no longer limited to only showing 3D movies on certain screens and 2D movies on others or having to show a 2D movie on a 3D screen with visible hot-spotting.
If there’s a big 3D blockbuster movie, we can run it on the big 3D screen and then switch the movie over to one of our smaller screens repositioning our 3D systems in the booth as it nears the end of its run. That flexibility then allows us to free up the largest and usually highest grossing auditoriums to show the next release be it 3D or 2D with customers getting a great visual experience,” explains Andre.
Clarus XC technology is the result of significant work by Harkness’ Research and Development team and brings together a number of proprietary technologies to create a screen surface for 2D an 3D which has been approved by major Hollywood film studios.
The 4th generation d-smooth coating technology utilised in Clarus technology has specific properties more commonly seen in white screens. This technology enables Clarus XC screens to benefit from significantly improved light distribution compared to traditional 3D silver screens. Through this unique technology, visible hot-spotting is significantly reduced and uniformity is increased, making compliance with 2D industry standards more easily achievable.
“The first site we fully deployed Clarus technology at was our Walthamstow site in North London which opened in 2014. It’s been a big success and the feedback we’ve received from our customers about the viewing experience continues to be extremely positive. It’s all about specifying the right equipment up front to ensure there’s sufficient light on screen and we spend a lot of time working with all of our technology partners getting it right,” explains Andre.
Subsequent to the Walthamstow roll-out, Empire has continued to deploy Clarus technology replacing ageing 2D and 3D screens across their various sites in the UK. However with Empire’s ambitious expansion plans, the Clarus roll-out has not been limited to screen replacements and Clarus technology has been deployed at the recently opened sites in Catterick and Hemel Hempstead.
Andre concludes that “having seen the benefits, we are looking to deploy Clarus technology further. It’s a big step forward in improving presentation quality and it’s part of our commitment to provide our customers with the best viewing experience possible.”

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