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The black Italian seats are soft but firm. They smell like leather but are made of leatherette. I have plenty of legroom, and the backrest adjusts to the movements of my torso. The air conditioning is comforting, and the cold smoothie in the cup holder on this warm Tuesday morning is tempting. But I let it wait until the first demo clip emerges on the 185 square meter screen, which is larger than an average volleyball court.
The room is painted black, and color-changing neon lights hang on the wall creating an anticipative atmosphere; the auditorium Tennispalatsi 1 has transformed from coach to first class.
The Dolby Atmos sound system with its 73 speakers rattles crisply as a helicopter passes the screen and you begin to follow the movement with your ears. The speakers cover the auditorium, including the roof. The picture projected by a laser projector is clear and detailed, and as I jump to the seat in the front row, it remains so. Aaah, the smoothie is fresh!
The renewed auditorium is called Finnkino Scape. It’s located on the top floor of Tennispalatsi cinema in Kamppi, downtown Helsinki. This is Finnkino’s third Scape theater, joining its predecessors in Tallinn and Riga. In the Nordic countries, the laser projector is first of its kind.
According to Janne Uusi-Kölli, the development manager of Finnkino, Barco DLP D-Cinema 4K laser projector doubles the luminosity and increases the saturation and contrast compared with 2K technology.
“Especially, when you watch 3D movies from behind the ‘sunglasses’, some of the luminosity is lost but now the picture remains bright and luminous,” he said.
The improvements come with a higher cost, though. During weekdays the ticket of a 3D film costs 16,50 euros and during the weekends the price jumps to 18,50. That’s 3 euros more than the weekday price in a regular auditorium and 5 euros more on the weekends. According to Finnkino, the auditorium could also host 2D movies in the future but that would depend on the demand of the customers.
It’s time for the ultimate test. Is the price actually worth it? A screening of the latest blockbuster Independence Day: Resurgence is about to hit the screen and fits Finland Today’s purpose nicely.
I reviewed the movie earlier (read the review here), while watching it in a regular Finnkino auditorium, and now during the intense opening scene, the depth of the 3D picture is the first notable difference. It’s clear, the characters are huge and the picture is more detailed while wearing the glasses. The sound grabs you by the hair.
Janne Uusi-Kölli was right: this is some next level 3D tech!
The renovations of Tennispalatsi, which started in May 2015, have totaled about 4 million euros, including the lobby and the shop premises but, according to Finnkino, the cost of building the Scape auditorium has taken a large part of the sum.
“In the other countries, Scape is well-received,” said Veronica Lindholm, the CEO of Finnkino, earlier. Lindholm added that the target group encompasses a wide age group, from pensioners to children.
“Our goal is to enhance the experience in cinema and this is one way of showing it. I hope it will be received as well in Finland, too.”
So is the price worth it? I would seriously consider the Scape auditorium if choosing a 3D film for a date or for a guys’ night out.
Even if we would have to split the cost of popcorn.