Skip to Content
Pointer Clicker is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more.

What Kind Of Projectors Do Movie Theaters Use?

What Kind Of Projectors Do Movie Theaters Use?

Going to the movies is a great way to spend a date or even to pass the time.


If you are like a lot of people, myself included, it tends to get your interest going to know more about what kind of projectors are used to provide the amazing images you see on the screen if any at all.

What Projectors Do Movie Theaters Use?

Well, that really got me to thinking about the projectors and led me to start exploring what the movie theaters are using.

I mean seriously, who would not want to know what is being used to provide the stunning images on the screen with the knowledge that the Internet has made it easy to find almost anything even on a smaller scale.

When I started the research for the project, I quickly found that gone are the days when the projectors would be placed on the film with the 2 reels that would spin with the images flickering through.

Well, that was nostalgia for the movie theater projectors, but even then the movie theaters have to get the image up on the screen somehow and that really led me to look a little bit deeper.

What is very interesting is a lot of the movie theaters are now switched to complete digital.

This, in turn, meant that a lot of the movie theaters had to do a massive upgrade on their move projectors to meet the demand for the new digital format on the images.

Movie Projectors Get An Update

upgrade a projector

The updated versions of the projectors are called the digital cinema projectors or that is what most of the movie theaters have decided to switch over to when it comes to the format that is being used.

So, this is a major upgrade for a lot of the theaters as even the refurbished movie theater projectors cost over fifteen grand.

Something else that I did find that is very interesting about the projectors that are being used by the movie theaters in the digital cinema projectors format is they all have to reach a certain level of certification.

That certification is the DCI certification which helps the movie theaters know with confidence the projectors will work.

Now, this really made me think more in-depth as to what do these projectors have on them that the home theater projectors don’t have.

Well, outside of the obvious one that the projectors in the theaters have to be able to project over a screen that is the size of my house!

In most of the cases, the projectors being used in the theater tend to use one of the several formats. The formats that are used are the 4K, Ultra HD, and in some cases, you may even luck out and find an 8K formatted projector.

You may notice already that the 4K and Ultra HD are listed are the same ones you can buy in the form of television.

Well, that is on a smaller scale and often is going to have its own backlit type of display that will make it easier for you to see the image.

Movie Projectors Are Different Than Your Home Editions

When I looked at the projectors, they are capable of taking the image that is projected and putting it on a screen that could be up to one hundred feet away.

Keeping the crystal clear images for 4K or Ultra HD is definitely a challenge, but it is one the projector manufacturers like Sony have solved.

After finding out about the quality of the projectors it really piqued my interest to see that they had to meet a DCI compliance.

That really had me flummoxed as I had no clue what DCI meant or even what type of impact it would have on the movie projector world.

What Is DCI Compliance


With a little bit of research, I found out that the DCI was basically the way that was meant to test and document the reliability of the projectors that are on the market.

The testing would go further as it would even test the performance of the units as well to help guarantee they would last for a long period of time without losing their ability to have a great picture projected onto the screen.

Yes Movie Theaters Still Use Projectors

As you can tell, the movie theaters do use the projectors still.

However, instead of having the older film reels like they used to, the theaters now rely on a lot of different methods to get the projection completed, and typically it is using a DCI compliant digital cinema projector.

So next time you go to the movies…

Amazed like I am by the quality of the image that is on the screen.

And start to ask why it cost so much.

Remember the projectors are not simply amazing, but they are also very expensive to buy and use.

That coupled with the cost of the movie to the theater and it is easy to see why the popcorn cost fifteen dollars a bag.


Do Movie Theaters Still Use Projectors?

The simple answer is yes, the movie theaters still use the projectors. In most cases, the movie theaters have all upgraded to a 4K or Ultra HD digital cinema projector.

Why Do Movie Theaters Use Projectors?

In general, the movie theaters have found that the projectors provide a clearer picture on the screen and can be positioned towards the middle or back of the theater, which takes up less space allowing for increased crowd capacity.

What Is The Best Projector For Movies?

When it comes to movie projectors, the theaters have a wide range of models that are on the market. Now, it really depends more on what the theater is looking for in regards to the projector to be used, but as long as they are DCI compliant they are a great option for the movie theater.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.