The 80 year old cinema company is creating a full sensory theater experience for moviegoers, an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation that begins even before you walk through the door. As Famous Players themselves state, "Famous Players Theaters are movie palaces of the future, totally immersing today´s audiences in the cinematic experience, and restoring for them the glamour, excitement and fun evoked by those buildings of the past."
Christie Lites supplied and installed the lighting for the Starcite theater. All automated lighting for the Famous Players Theaters is delivered through Martin Professional’s Canadian distributor, Erickson Pro.
LD Stephen Pollard comments, "Strict city and Olympic Park ordinances had prevented Famous Players from putting all but the barest of signage and ornamentation on their new Starcite structure at the Olympic Park Montreal.
What they were left with was a very attractive concrete and glass structure, but, in Famous Players’ experience, in this highly competitive market, visually it didn’t say "movie theater" loud enough.
"The one thing the city would allow was flood lighting. I was contacted by the International Design Group (IDG) to put a proposal together for the president of Famous Players, John Bailey.
"Having an idea of the lighting budget available, and a vague idea of the property surrounding the structure, I went to work on the design concept which used the semi frosted glazing of the lobby entrance as a focal point. I framed that with moving accent lighting (MAC 2000) flanked by light changing colors as it fades down the huge length of the structure into a dark lavender UV base.
"When presented with concept drawings a day or so later, Mr. Bailey said it was exactly what he had in mind and the project moved forward. I spent the better part of 2 weeks designing a scheme that included Exterior 600 fixtures and a barrage of other lighting goodies only to be told by the powers that be - YOU CAN’T PUT THAT THERE!"
"Well, where can I put my lights? I asked. The answer was ‘inside the property line’, which for the most part is a distance of 2.5 meters from the 12-meter high wall of the structure to be lit. I had already made my presentation to Famous Players, so as a result had some re-figuring to do to give them what I originally promised.
"The solution was to treat the walls like a theater cyc and light the walls from close range with evenly spaced 1000 watt flood lights placed 1 meter off the ground for snow clearance. The combination of the vertical movement of the color changer as the color splits and travels up the walls, along with the patterns projected onto and around the glazing by the MAC 2000 are not only beautiful but very unique.
"On opening night of the Starcite, Ron Rivet of Famous Players Design and Construction told me that John Bailey, President and CEO of Famous Players had arrived and had asked to see me. I found Mr. Bailey grinning from ear to ear. He informed me that he and his associates had just spent the better part of the last 30 minutes in their car watching the exterior light show. He told me that while we were testing and programming, reports had filtered back to the head office that things were looking good at the Olympic Park. He also told me he had expected to be wowed but admitted that what he saw on the facade of the new Starcite Montreal had far exceeded any of his wildest expectations.
"Throughout that evening there were only positive remarks about the lighting from all those who had worked on the project. The architect, who previously thought that his design might be compromised by the addition of the exterior lighting fixtures, was beaming. The engineers and electricians who had all worked hard on the project finally saw, what had not quite made sense on paper, finally realized. They applauded the loudest."
Design: Stephen Pollard (Stephen Pollard Design Inc.)
Installation: Christie Lites Toronto
Technical Supervisor: Antoine Costantini (Christie Lites)
Coordinator: Doug Thompson (Christie Lites)
Programmer: Jason Jennings (Christie Lites)
Martin Canada technical advisor: Paul Pelletier