‘G.I. Joe’ Gets Zapped by Lasers in Burbank

'Retaliation' harnesses laser technology

"G.I. Joe: Retaliation"

Years ago Paul Simon sang about “lasers in the jungle somewhere.” We don’t know about Africa, but moviegoers are going to see lasers in a theater — in downtown Burbank.

Projector maker Christie is teaming up with Paramount to deliver what they’re touting as the first public test of laser-driven cinema projectors. The two-week test begins March 28 at the AMC Theaters Burbank 16, with their run of “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.”

Laser projection is expected to deliver brightness of 14 foot-Lamberts even for 3D on a 65-foot-wide screen, allowing moviegoers to enjoy more vibrant colors and immersive images.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation” was originally skedded for release June 29, but was delayed so it could be converted to 3D.

This two-week test is sufficient to thoroughly test the laser projector in a real cinema environment, said Don Shaw, Christie senior director, product management.  It also will provide an opportunity for “the Hollywood filmmaking community to come down and catch a glimpse of the future of cinema projection.”

Looking to the future, Christie hopes to learn more about how laser technology runs over an extended period of time. As Shaw pointed out, “To date our previous showings to conference attendees and exhibitor audiences have only been for a few hours, as when we debuted ‘Hugo’ 3D at IBC.”

“We are keenly interested in hearing the reactions and the feedback from a broad cross-section of people representing exhibition, filmmaking, and the ever-important cinema audience,” Shaw said.

Laser projection tech is advancing on other fronts as well. Imax announced in January that three of its theaters, two at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and another in Chantilly, Va., will transition to laser digital projectors in 2014. Imax is using laser projection tech developed by Kodak.