HDR by Barco Rolls Out in Theaters as a Fall Commercial Pilot

Cinema solutions firm Barco is rolling out HDR by Barco to select AMC Theatres, B&B Theatres and Regal Cinemas in U.S. markets including Los Angeles, New York and Dallas this fall. The company touted the display technology for titles mastered in HDR at CinemaCon, where attendees were treated to a specially graded trailer from Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick” and taped remarks from the film’s producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Joseph Kosinski. Barco described the installation of its new HDR laser projectors as a “commercial pilot program” designed to heighten the moviegoing experience for the 2024 holiday season.

The HDR by Barco pilot program is scheduled to begin September 1 and run through the end of the year, with permanent installations expected in 2025. Southern California sites “will include AMC The Americana at Brand 18 in Glendale and the Regal Irvine Spectrum,” reports Variety, which notes that “a big part of the development is the aim to give a wider creative palette to filmmakers.”

As part of the prerecorded remarks at CinemaCon, colorist Stefan Sonnenfeld of Company 3 said of his work on “Maverick” that the system “allowed us to highlight some of the extreme contrast ranges that we wouldn’t normally be able to display.”

HDR by Barco features Barco’s patented Lightsteering projection technology that strategically deploys light onscreen. The Barco HDR Lightsteering projector “steers light to specific focal points within each frame, resulting in brighter highlights and deeper darks for rich, brilliant, high-contrast images,” the company said in news announcement.

The company is currently working to outfit some of the leading theatrical post-production facilities with HDR by Barco equipment to prepare a slate of remastered HDR titles as well as first-run titles, Barco explained in a statement. Variety reports “the HDR by Barco system also includes a software-based measurement tool for use during post-production.”

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