Naval Aviation Museum Foundation in Florida takes ‘The Magic of Flight’ to new heights with Christie and D3D Cinema

Installing Christie 3P laser creates over $200,000 in new net revenue and increased attendance at Giant Screen Theatre

Wokingham, UK. – (October 6, 2016 ) The riveting colours and shimmering brightness of the Christie® 3P laser system is enthralling audiences at the National Naval Aviation Museum   in Pensacola, Florida. T he museum’s 325-seat Naval Aviation Memorial Giant Screen Theatre, home to ‘The Magic of Flight’ – a film tracing the history of aviation – recently upgraded to a Christie CP42LH projector head that is not only saving the Foundation over $200,000 annually, it has increased attendance by 20 percent. Installed by D3D Cinema , the projection upgrade was part of the museum’s renovation that includes a stage and presentation area at the front of the theatre.

“I knew about D3D Cinema and the great work they did using Christie laser at the National Infantry Museum , so I went to Derek Threinen at D3D and told him what we wanted, which was a 2D projection system with the latest technology,” said Phillip Crabtree, operations manager for visitor attractions, Naval Aviation Museum Foundation . “We wanted 2D because our signature film, ‘The Magic of Flight,’ was shot in 2D. The timing hit right with laser coming out and Derek’s answer was, ‘I am going to talk with Christie and if we can make this happen we will do it with RGB laser for the light source and in 4K resolution.’”

“The museum wanted a technology that would have their audiences blown away by the new experience, but were mindful that they needed to stay on budget,” added Derek Threinen, vice president, Film Distribution and Business Development, Giant Screen Films / D3D Cinema. “We designed a system that allows the museum to put an incredibly bright image on the screen with the Christie CP42LH laser projector.”

Christie laser technology increases net revenues

Threinen said the Foundation was particularly impressed that D3D Cinema could design a laser-illuminated system at a much lower cost than anticipated and Christie’s modular design – with its built-in redundancy – was important to the museum.

Laser modules can be easily added, removed, activated or disabled using the Christie modular laser system and each laser module is independently cooled, providing built-in fault protection, improved efficiency and the ultimate in reliability.

“With this Christie 3P laser system, we are saving well over $200,000 a year in overall costs including the cost of buying new film prints, replacing lamps – which were very expensive with our previous system – paying royalties, and the maintenance costs. This is net revenue for us and is money we’re not spending – that is a big deal for us,” Crabtree said. “With D3D and Christie, we were buying this equipment outright and we have optional service plans to cover us down the road. We aren’t paying a per-head or per-year royalty to the projector manufacturer. For us in 2016, that does not fit our business model.”

Positive reviews of Christie laser bring audiences into a new world

Crabtree and his team pay close attention to visitor feedback and read online reviews of the new theatre.

“The reviews are very positive and audiences love the experience. I read one that talked about the new projection technology and how spectacular it looks. The reviewer said he definitely recommends a visit to the theatre,” said Crabtree. “That is a very typical comment and I take it as proof positive that the system is meeting and exceeding expectations. Everyone is blown away by the colour and light on the screen. I like to say it is clean because you can sit down and look at the screen from corner to corner and it is focused and bright wherever you look. We are thrilled with the technology and result.”

“We live in a new world now and Christie has really stepped up and is producing a product that is spectacular. The programming is wonderful; we are doing things like programming the entire days’ worth of content, which includes trailers, light triggers, built-in pauses, etc. so it is all there and every morning this kicks off,” Crabtree continued. “I am very happy we went with laser not only because of the quality but that there is redundancy built in. It is a real nice luxury to have that we didn’t have before.”

Threinen commended the Christie technology and team. “Our experience working with Christie was phenomenal; they are supportive throughout the process – whether it is engineering, the installation itself or on-going support,” he said. “We know we can rely on Christie and its laser system.” 

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About the National Naval Aviation Museum

The National Naval Aviation Museum is located aboard Pensacola Naval Air Station. It features nearly 350,000 square feet of displays and is one of the world’s largest aviation museums. The facility boasts more than 150 beautifully restored aircraft representing Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard aviation, and is one of Florida’s most visited museums.

Trip Advisor’s 2016 Travellers’ Choice Awards named the National Naval Aviation Museum one of the "Top 25 Museums in the United States," alongside the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. It ranks 14 on the list of 25 best museums in the United States. In 2014, USA Today named it as one of the "10 Best Military Museums” in America. Museum admission is FREE and open to the public. The National Naval Aviation Museum is open daily from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. For more information, visit

About D3D Cinema
D3D Cinema offers complete digital cinema solutions and services to museum and attraction industry clients worldwide, providing a unique partnership approach to cinema design and 3D content production built around four core capabilities - theatre design and installation, touring exhibition theatres, an award-winning library of content, and custom signature film production. D3D’s production arm produces films for D3D Cinema, IMAX® and other giant-screen and museum cinemas. Comprised of institutional theatre specialists, D3D excels in bringing first-to-market immersive cinema technologies to its clients, offering technology-agnostic consultation, strategic planning, installation, content production & distribution, operational support, and on-going service. For more information, visit .

About Christie

Christie Digital Systems USA, Inc. is a global visual and audio technologies company and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ushio, Inc., Japan, (JP:6925). Consistently setting the standards by being the first to market some of the world’s most advanced projectors and complete system displays, Christie is recognized as one of the most innovative visual technology companies in the world. From retail displays to Hollywood, mission critical command centres to classrooms and training simulators, Christie display solutions and projectors capture the attention of audiences around the world with dynamic and stunning images. .