Germany’s Largest Film Palace: Kinoton Equips Lichtburg in Essen

The Lichtburg in Essen: Kinoton has now equipped Germany’s largest movie auditorium with state-of-the-art 4K projection technology. (Photograph © Lichtburg Essen)

Right after the Lichtburg cinema in Essen celebrated its 85th birthday this October, Kinoton equipped both of its auditoriums with state-of-the-art D-Cinema solutions (DCS). One of them is large enough to seat 1250 moviegoers, making the Lichtburg not only the German movie theatre with the most exciting history but also the one with the biggest auditorium.

Kinoton installed a high-quality 4D D-Cinema solution in the large auditorium. It includes a DCP 30 LX II – 4K projector with excellent light output and extremely uniform brightness, making it is optimally suited for large and extra-large screens. The projector supports “higher frame rates” (HFR), which considerably improves the picture quality, especially with fast motion and 3D content. Kinoton also replaced the 19.5-meter-wide roll-up screen. Behind it is a stage that makes it possible to use the enormous auditorium for other purposes as well, such as theatrical and cabaret performances, readings, and concerts. The Lichtburg’s small auditorium, which is named after Indian film actor Sabu and accommodates 150 viewers, has also been outfitted by Kinoton with a DCP 30 SX II – 2K projector. The projectors of the DCP SX II series are specially designed to meet the characteristic requirements of smaller screens, program cinemas, and art house cinemas. All of them are based on projection technology supplied by Barco. The 2K / 4K DLP Cinema® Series II-Technology from Texas Instruments ensures high color trueness and brilliant contrast.

Both of the D-Cinema projection systems now installed in the Lichtburg can be remotely maintained via Kinoton Remote Service (KRS), thus saving time and money. Via an access channel with multiple anti-hacking shields, Kinoton’s technicians can quickly and efficiently provide support if something malfunctions and install software upgrades on the system. The useful monitoring tool “My Cinema” lets the user keep an eye on the installed D-Cinema devices online via the Kinoton platform “” from anywhere.

The Lichtburg also decided to go for Kinoton DCA Digital Cinema Automation. This system makes it possible to link together the D-Cinema equipment and all auditorium functions—including still-present conventional ones—via the Kinoton CAN bus. The Kinoton DCA delivers maximum flexibility for adding or changing DCA modules when and as needed.

The Lichtburg boasts a long, turbulent history. When it first opened on October 18, 1928 it had around 2000 upholstered fold-up seats and an electric seat indicator panel. After being forced to close during Second World War, it reopened in 1950. A difficult period began in the mid-1990s, with the Lichtburg nearly going out of business several times. The building complex it occupied was also in need of renovation. In 1998 the Lichtburg was acquired by Essener Filmkunsttheater GmbH, and the company’s managing director, Marianne Menze, has been successfully running the Lichtburg ever since. The cinema temporarily closed for restoration work for a year starting in March 2002.

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