When I was a kid and went to the movie theater, I was always fascinated by how big the images on the screen were.
After repeatedly asking the same question, my dad introduced me to projectors.
Then the next question I asked my dad was, “what kind of projectors do movie theaters use” to produce bigger images on the wall.
At that time, my dad smiled at me and told me, “carry, you are too small to know all about projectors at this little age,” so when you grow up, do the research.”
From that moment, my love for the projector started. At 19, I learned what type of projector is used in movie theaters.
What Kind Of Projectors Do Movie Theaters Use?
In the early 90, movie theaters used two-reel projectors where most of the time, images get flickered on the screen.
Now in the current era, the projectors are more advanced and cost-effective. Most commercial cinemas now uses digital projectors according to current digital formats.
These movies are stored on a hard drive, optical disc, or solid-state memory.
DLP projector, which is integrated with DCP developed by Texas Instruments (TI) used in almost all theaters for movies.
Some popular projector models which are used in the theater are Barco (Based in Belgium), Christie Digital (Canada), NEC, Sony, and JVC (All from Japan).
Features Of Movie Theater Projector
Cinema projectors must be much brighter than any other projectors used at home or for business meetings.
Now the reason behind having more brighter lamps is the people sitting, whether in the front row or at last, needs to see what’s going on on the screen.
That’s why most cinema projectors have a brightness of more than 40,000 lumens or more to fill a room of 3,800 square feet.
The contrast ratio is the difference between the darker black with a detailed effect and the brightest white.
A higher contrast ratio is vital for a theater projector because it creates a more realistic image.
Most cinema projectors have a contrast ratio of at least 6000:1 sequential with a UHC lens and 2000:1 with a standard HB lens system.
Most theater projectors are getting replaced from 2k resolution to 4k for better image quality and more realistic pictures to serve in front of a large audience.
Weight and Size
If the size of the cinema projector is much larger than the standard projection system, it will also be much heavier.
This is because they need to be able to project a large image onto a large screen, so these units carry an average weight of more than 100 pounds.
The price is much higher for these bigger model projectors as they are much more powerful and have more features than a traditional projection system.
Also, other accessories need to be connected, like a data server, sound system, and cooling system, which increases the price.
A good cinema projection can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $150,000, depending on the size and resolution.
Before, the cinema gets stored all their data in the HDD, which used to be sent directly from the media rights like Warner Bros, Disney, and FOX, directly to theaters.
Due to increased piracy and increased storage size of movies, movies come in digital form, typically via a network.
Some small movies, which are generally less than 1 hour, still come in SSD or NVME, which runs the movie smoothly without sacrificing its quality.
High Frame Rate
When we see any low-cost projector, it comes with a lower frame rate where it has some limitations in providing higher resolution content on the screen.
Also, if we try to play any 4k content in a native 720p projection model, the picture will not play smoothly.
On the other hand, the movie played in a theater with a higher frame rate will be played smoothly with a bigger screen size.
Why Does Movie Theater Use Digital Projectors Now?
They are using it because higher-resolution movies are shot with 4k resolution. Also, the films are now stored digitally to stop any piracy.
What’s the difference between a Home vs. Theater Projection System?
Inside our home, we use a small compact projector according to our room size, with fewer viewers.
But compared to the theater, they are much bigger and also the number of people is vast compared to our living room.
We hope next time you visit for a movie with your friends or family, you can tell them what kind of projectors movie theaters use.
If you still find we have missed out on something, please write in the comment section we will add it to our content.