Regal L.A. Live to Host the First ICE Premium Large Format Auditorium in the United States
The Premium Large Format (PLF) field just got a little more crowded. The leading French circuit, CGR Cinemas will bring its first immersive ICE THEATER in the U.S. at the Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center. Through a partnership between CGR and AEG, the sports and entertainment company which developed the L.A. LIVE hub, the ICE experience will debut in the fall at Regal L.A. Live. This marks the second international rollout for ICE this year following an exclusive deal in March with VOX cinemas to bring the experience to the Middle East and North Africa.
Launched over two years ago, the ICE (“Immersive Cinema Experience”) THEATER concept creates an immersive experience through its ICE IMMERSIVE technology consisting of five non-reflecting LED-panels flanking each side of the auditorium to fill the moviegoer’s peripheral vision with complementary colors from the front of the screen. The ambient images for the peripheral panels are produced and synced to each film in the city of La Rochelle in France where CGR’s in-house post-production team is based. ICE THEATER combines advanced sound and image technologies with Dolby Atmos sound, DJ speakers, 9P 4K and RGB laser projection and recliner seating.
“Entering the U.S. market and doing so in partnership with AEG that allows us to launch at the prestigious Regal L.A. LIVE, provides affirmation of the incredible success and potential of the ICE THEATER format,” said Jocelyn Bouyssy, managing director of CGR Cinemas, in a press release. “This revolutionary experience is based on a concept designed by an exhibitor for exhibitors, with a focus on a unique business model. This first location has always been known for bringing innovative experiences to moviegoers and the ICE THEATER is a perfect fit, especially in one of the world’s more beautiful locations and capital of the entertainment industry.”
“AEG is excited to partner with CGR to have Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center be the first location in the United States to feature the ICE IMMERSIVE technology,” said Shelby Russell, Sr. Vice President of L.A. LIVE Marketing and Cinemas. “We are always looking to showcase cutting-edge technology to provide moviegoers the best possible experience, and thrilled that our L.A. LIVE moviegoers will be the first in the country to have this one-of-a-kind movie experience.”
ICE THEATER is currently the leading PLF in France with more than 25 sites. The concept faces competition in its home market from Dolby Cinema, currently available at select Pathé locations, and from Ymagis’ Sphera PLF concept, which recently launched its first French auditorium with the opening of the Les 7 Batignolles location in Paris. ICE’s existing presence in the French market has led to a steady stream of titles released in the format, including Bohemian Rhapsody and Mission: Impossible – Fallout. According to Bouyssy, the format’s admissions have surpassed revenues from other IMAX screens while revenues compared to “classic” screens also rose by 55 percent. He also boasts a double occupancy rate compared to the average attendance for a classic auditorium. Bouyssy cites the format’s business model as one of the drivers of its success which allows exhibitors to keep control of their ticketing revenues.
The first blockbuster to be screened at Regal L.A. Live has not been announced yet but Spider-Man Far From Home and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw are among this summer’s blockbusters set to be released in ICE IMMERSIVE.