Europe’s largest drive-in movie theatre is utilising Christie projectors to entertain film buffs. The 250m² screen located at the centre of the Autocine Madrid Race is no easy feat to illuminate, but thankfully Christie’s CP2230 projector is up to the task.
The Autocine Madrid Race is located near Madrid’s central Paseo de La Castellana and takes up 25,000m² of space; enough room for around 350 cars. While the giant screen and movies are the key attraction, the location is also famous for its bar and food trucks, giving it that 1950’s US drive-in feel. Coincidentally, the drive-in theatre opened on February 24 with a screening of Grease.
Out of all the projection systems the theatre could have chosen, why Christie? Well, the founding partner of the newly opened drive-in, Javier F. Espejo, explains: “Deciding on the ideal projector for our drive-in was no easy task: we’re talking about a huge 250 square metre screen and a cabin located at a distance of 110m. And when you factor in the light contamination of the city of Madrid, it means we needed a really powerful projector. After studying what was currently available on the market we opted for the Christie CP2230 and I have to say we are thrilled with our choice: the spectacular quality of the image and the powerful light more than met our needs. In addition, we were pleasantly surprised by just how easy it is to operate.”
All the technical aspects involved in installing the projector and getting it up and running were carried out by Técnica Cinematográfica Loza, with the support of Kelonik. Since 1950, this family company based in the Basque County has been working in the design and kitting out of cinemas. Isabel Loza, one of the family members involved in the running of the integration firm, confirmed they decided on Christie for the new drive-in because of the brand’s proven reliability. “Because the screen was so big and the projection distance so long (110 metres), with the added complication of being in the open air, we needed a projector that would give us the maximum brightness and contrast possible. And the CP2230, with its 6000W lamp and its 33,000 lumens, was the ideal match for the screen. Likewise, we also highly valued the fact that it is so easy to operate and requires little maintenance.”
The CP2230, which has 2K resolution upgradeable to 4K, is located in a cabin designed by the owners in a shipping container conditioned to house the equipment, with air conditioning to ensure perfect functioning. The projector is fed from a Dolby DCP-2K4 server with 6 Tb for storing contents. The sound for the movies is relayed on FM to the radio in the cars.
“The truth is that we are really happy with the final installation and we are hoping for a big success with the new project,” adds Isabel Loza. This is by no means Isabel’s first experience with drive-ins, having installed another three in the north of Spain, more specifically in Torrelavega, Gijón and Getxo, the last two with Christie projectors.
The drive-in’s programme gives audiences a chance to watch all-time classic movies as well as the latest blockbusters.