Exploding since 2012, the big screen outdoor movie business in sunny Southern California provides an escape from the day to day grind while bringing enjoyable entertainment and moviedom out-of-doors. Having previously owned a movie theater in Malibu, CA, David Lyons, president of Pro Outdoor Movies, Inc., embraced the outdoor movie culture and began looking for a way to take his concept on the road. Thematically tying in the movies being shown to the venues they’re being shown in, Pro Outdoors Movies, Inc. offers unique, free-tothe- public cinematic events that are an engaging and refreshing change from the traditional in-theater affair. Seeking a professional outdoor mobile projection solution, Lyons found the typical screens and projectors available on the market were either too expensive, too heavy or consumed too much power. Knowing this would be problematic to his vision, Lyons set out to create his own custom projection solution.
Resourceful and ingenious, Lyons quickly designed his own portable inflatable screens and tried every self-powered speaker on the market. He then tested numerous native widescreen projector brands with varying results. When the Optoma ProScene WU1500 was announced and hit the market, the lights went on, quite literally. Featuring 12,000 lumens, motorized lens shift, dual lamps primed for 24/7 operation, 360° operation with portrait mode and more, the WU1500 specifications seemed ideal for the professional outdoor mobile projection solution he was seeking to create.
Knowing that clients desire the biggest screen at the lowest rental cost possible, and that they generally want to start their movies before sunset, Lyons needed a solution he could easily fit in an SUV. Half the weight of comparable projectors and featuring a smaller footprint, the WU1500 fits perfectly in a strong yet lightweight carry case and can be transported, unloaded and set up by one technician.
Reliable and versatile, the WU1500 also offers an expansive choice of lenses allowing for projection consoles to be set up in close proximity to the screens they’re projecting on. “Completely filling the screen while offering increased brightness, interchangeable lens options like the BX-CTA19 also allow patrons to sit as close to the screen as possible,” Lyons shared. “And, if the client wants to shoot over the audience from the back, which is always more dramatic, the BX-CTA22 is quite flexible as well.”
Showcasing brilliant imagery while filling venues from Hollywood and Manhattan Beach to local schools and film festivals — and even the historic Grand Central Air Terminal in Glendale, CA — Pro Outdoor Movies, Inc. is projecting the future of outdoor cinema.
“Our first demo of the WU1500 outdoors was an eye opener,” Lyons said. “We had been using a 3-chip DLP WXGA projector and thought we had an amazing image. Adding nearly 1.5 million extra pixels with the WU1500 really got our attention. What we did not realize is how the extra clarity affected our audience. It definitely engaged them more in the outdoor movie experience.” He added, “I have attended competitors’ shows who are still using XGA 4:3 data projectors on big screens and the audience fidgets, looks at their cell phones or loses attention. Upgrading our visual experience has led to larger audiences and more shows.”
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