Prestigious Russian Theatre Chooses Digital Projection

Despite being situated thousands of miles east of Russia’s more well-known cultural centres like Moscow and St. Petersburg, the city of Irkutsk has a long and storied theatre tradition all its own.

Chief among its many fine theatres is the Irkutsk Academic Drama Theatre of N.P. Okhlopkov; the oldest theatre in Eastern Siberia and the cultural hub of the region.

Founded in 1850 and currently celebrating 170 years as a cultural institution, the theatre recently worked with Light Power Design (LPD) to upgrade its technical offering, including a state-of-the-art automated lighting rig from Elation Professional, an Adaptive Systems audio package from EAW, and a pair of native 4K laser projectors from Digital Projection.

“LPD have used Digital Projection for many years and have always been more than happy with the result,” said Digital Projection’s business development manager for Russia & CIS, Alex Gnatyuk. “When they received a request to upgrade the theatre in Irkutsk, they asked us to bring something new and interesting on the projection technology front – particularly in regards to native 4K resolution.”

Although the Irkutsk Academic Drama Theatre has a tradition of high technical excellence, the venue’s management decided that the best way to nurture a new generation of theatregoers was to employ more modern means of communication with its audience. When the executive director from LPD, Mikhail Morozov, began batting around ideas involving holograms, Alex Gnatyuk suggested that the Insight Dual Laser was the perfect fit for such an ambitious project.

“We were the only manufacturer of native 4K DLP projectors with acceptable price on the Russian market,” Alex said. “We provided them with a Titan Laser 37000 WUXGA and an Insight Dual Laser 4K, as well as seven lenses for different purposes.”

The Insight Dual Laser 4K projector is able to create additional figues and crowd scenes using a braided silver net as a projection surface, though this is not yet a common occurance at the theatre given how difficult it is to create holographic content.

“The main problem at the launch of the project was to ensure the operability of the entire system with 4K content without quality loss,” said Alex. “This was done to ensure the audience would be fully immersed in the action taking place on the stage. Delivery difficulties and work restrictions due to COVID-19 also added to the complexity of this project, but other than these small hurdles, the whole process went very smoothly. LPD is highly qualified company with great specialists on hand and, as always, they were more than happy with the quality of technology provided.”

LPD’s Mikhail added: “We were looking for the best possible solution for the theatre, as well as ensuring the best possible image, light, and sound quality. To do so, we needed to make sure that all of the equipment was reliable, first and foremost. Digital Projection, with their projectors’ built-in IP60 sealed optics and five-year warranty, have become the best choice when creating the most reliable system that will delight theatergoers for many years.”