New Indonesian 4D Theatre Enthralls with Meyer Sound Support
The grand opening of new 304-seat theatre at the Jaya Ancol Resort in Jakarta, Indonesia, marks the largest installation to date of the innovative "4D" entertainment systems designed and installed by Kraftwerk Living Technologies (Wels, Austria). Housed in a structure resembling a pre-Columbian Peruvian pyramid, the theatre's cutting-edge networked digital systems create a synchronized, multisensory experience that bridges the gap between cinema and a full-blown theme park ride. On screen, dual Christie HD video projectors create superimposed, color-encoded screen images that, when viewed through the provided special glasses, result in three-dimensional visuals of startling depth and detail. At appropriate moments in the film's story line, the seats jolt, shake, and emit wafts of cool air or sprays of moisture. Finally, to complete the sensation of total immersion, the visitors are encircled by audio from a potent, precision-tuned system of 18 self-powered Meyer Sound loudspeakers.
"We have used Meyer Sound loudspeakers in all of our 4D theatre installations," states Christian Hofer, technical director for Kraftwerk. "We found that they provide the wide frequency response and brilliant reproduction that is essential for this application. We auditioned many typical cinema loudspeakers — even THX-certified equipment — and found that they either require considerable equalization or can't achieve the desired sound quality at all."
For smaller 4D installations, typically around 100 seats, Hofer normally specifies compact UltraSeries cabinets like the UPJ-1P compact VariO loudspeaker for the front loudspeakers. However, for the larger Jaya Ancol theatre, he selected the more powerful CQ-1 wide coverage main loudspeaker, using one each for left, center and right front channels. A trio of 700-HP ultrahigh-power subwoofers provides low frequency thrust to complement the in-seat motion devices. For the sensation of sonic immersion, 12 UPJ-1P cabinets mounted on the side and rear walls surround the audience. "We are set up for 7.1 surround in the theatre," notes Hofer, "though the 4D productions thus far have offered only 5.1 soundtracks."
The Ancol theatre made its debut presentation in April with PandaVision, produced by Belgium-based nWave Pictures in association with the World Wildlife Fund — The Netherlands (WWF, also known as the Worldwide Fund for Nature). Set in wilderness on land and sea, the story line offers a perfect vehicle for the 4D effects. For example, a water spray blast accompanies a sneezing polar bear, and seat vibrations accentuate the thunder of falling trees. "The sound effects are extremely dynamic," notes Hofer, "and demand enormous low frequency headroom. The 700-HP subs are perfect in this regard."
The 4D effects in general, and the Meyer Sound system in particular, have earned accolades from the resort's management. "We are very pleased with the quality of the sound, as compared to the typical cinema," comments Arinta Wahyuningrum, manager of planning and design for the park's operator, PT Taman Impian Jaya Ancol. "Combined with the special effects, the sound gives a wonderful and surprising experience for our 4D visitors."
The 4D technology in the Indonesian theatre was engineered and installed in its entirety as a turnkey project by Kraftwerk. Hofer designed the installation, with Markus Wieland serving as the on-site project engineer.
The explosive worldwide growth of 4D attractions can be credited to the advanced technology provided by Kraftwerk along with the creative and marketing expertise of its distribution partner, 3DBA, also of Belgium. The partnership is responsible for 4D theatres now operating in Turkey, Germany, Austria, and Russia, as well two touring mobile units in Austria and Germany. Additional permanent installations will open soon in England, Spain, Denmark, Belgium, India, and South Africa.
At the Ancol resort and complex, the 4D theatre is a keystone element in a recent renovation of the amusement park. It is contained within a new section called "The Lost Kingdom," where visitors experience storied realms of the imagination or of the ancient past. The theatre is located in "The Land of the Inca", which takes its theme from the pre-Columbian civilizations of South America.