What is Ōma Cinema?
Ōma is an intimate, vibrant and unforgettable cinema experience. Inspired by the ambiance of traditional theaters. Designed in the cinephile city of Paris, its unique architecture intensifies the captivating power of movie theaters. Its proprietary concept of ‘pods’ reinvents the audience position in front of the screen, bringing them emotionally and physically closer to the movie.
As a little girl in a famous movie (almost) once said: there’s no place like Ōma.
Where did the name come from?
Ōma Cinema brings together the best of HOME and CINEMA experience.
The Ōma Cinema design simultaneously provides the intimacy of being seated in a small pod with a limited number of nearby spectators, and the immersion of being right in front of the screen, whilst still viewing with friends, family and other audience members in their separate pods.
Where did the idea come from?
Ōma has been designed and influenced by Pierre Chican’s experience marrying his professional view as an experienced architect, and his personal view as a film and cinema lover.
All cinema halls built for over 50 years look alike, reproducing the same pattern of seating, and where innovation has been reduced to technical progress. Ōma Cinema fully reshapes the relationship between the audience and the film. Its modular structure brings the spectators closer to the screen, immersing each of them into the story. The concept of ‘pods’ also allows for families and groups to enjoy an intimate experience.
Ōma’s unique configuration of the room, unforgettable architecture and optimal viewing conditions revive the original cinema fascination beyond entertainment: a true destination place that moves and unites us for a short yet everlasting moment.
What is the Ōma Cinema offering to cinema exhibitors/ operators?
Ōma has been designed to offer an exclusive and vibrant cinematic experience for operators seeking to offer something different, a new destination offer in their cinemas such as a flagship location. Its concept can sit comfortably from upscale or luxury international cities to smaller towns willing to provide something extra to their community.
Ōma unique modular design, assuring an intensified relation to the movie, is a key element to emerge in the competition. Its flexibility is also a significant selling point as cinema operators can create different experiences within the same venue, and tailor the format to their needs, space, and audience requirements. Creating intimate sections for groups, the viewing pods are an opportunity for private box sales, table service and more personalized services.
What are the key benefits of the Ōma design? Or How does the Ōma layout guarantee the audience experience?
Ōma redefines the cinema experience through the power of design. The best audio-visual theatrical technology creates a true immersion into the film in an intimate and cosy environment.
As the Ōma layout increases the – gradient of the seating tiers compared to traditional cinema layout, making use of the full height of the screen, the audience is much closer to the action. This results in a more immersive sensation as the spectators will have an impression of floating inside the room, in front of the screen, without any visual distraction between them and the screen.
The viewing pods and their seating arrangement allow the central positioning of the projector and multiple sound sources to assure everyone in the room sees the whole screen without distortion and gets perfect sound.
Does an Ōma project have to be built by Ōma’s architects?
No. Depending on the location, we can also work with local architects. We create the preliminary drawings and the local architect will be in charge of developing the project respecting the technical and architectural specifications.
What protection is in place for the design/license?
Ōma Cinema is an international patent-pending concept. Our European patent has been granted in October 2020, and more international patents to be announced soon. In addition to the patents, Ōma Cinema is protected by international models as well as copyright laws, both as the architectural design behind the concept is in its own right as an idea and intellectual work of art, and it is protected as such.
Each pod is designed to be flexible in terms of seat capacity – what is the minimum/ maximum audience size?
The audience size per pod depends on the cinema operator’s needs and the accessibility standards in each country, but for the ultimate Ōma experience, we recommend between 2 and 18 seats. For example, 18 seats are a maximum in France for accessibility reasons (emergency exit).
The Ōma can be configured at cinema owners’ specifications – is there an ‘ideal’ auditorium size?
There is more of a ‘minimum’ than an ‘ideal’ auditorium size. We would advise that 5 pods in a space are the minimum to be considered as a true, quality Ōma Cinema experience.
What is the minimum auditorium height?
The minimum Ōma auditorium height is around 8 meters.
What is the minimum footprint of an Ōma auditorium design?
280 square meters (20m X 14 m) with 5 pods is the minimum recommended footprint.
The Ōma concept can work for refurbishments of existing screens – what process is involved here, and are there any sites for which the concept is unsuitable?
No site is unsuitable, and there is always a solution to implement an Ōma Cinema. We first need to demolish the existing tiered rows of seating. Integrating the holding structure will be the next phase.
We must be sure that the foundations of the existing building are strong enough to support the pods and the holding structure. If not, we will reinforce the existing foundations as we are currently doing it for our first project in Paris. It is easier if the room to renovate is located at ground floor.
How are the balconies attached?
Balconies are an integral part of the load-bearing structure.
The primary structure is mainly made of steel frame. The work breakdown is as follows:
• A crossways lattice tower is set up in front of each of the platforms’ accesses.
• Then, a primary beam is cantilevered from the pylons carrying the seating areas.
• Finally, a secondary structure forms the support for the access galleries and seating areas.
Depending on the project (existing or new build), the structure can present slight modifications.
What kind of safety measures are in place for the balconies to avoid falls? What about fire exit?
Guardrails are provided on the platforms to prevent spectators from falling; These guardrails comply with the highest international safety standards. Please contact us if you have any further questions on this.
Regarding fire and safety, we have designed this Ōma concept according to the highest standards.
The fire rating of the room depends on the total number of seats in the multiplex/ cinema. Each platform is connected from the back by a lane of 1 passage unit (maximum 18 seats per platform in France for example). All doors open in the direction of evacuation and have fire resistance. The maximum distances to reach the exits are respected.
How will physical access work, and what are the provisions for disabled audience members?
The audience first enters a foyer at the back of the cinema, accessing the auditorium via passageways serving the different levels of platforms staggered in the theater. Audience access to the platforms from the rear is an opportunity to discover the space of the hall and to rediscover the special atmosphere of the performance venues. These passageways can also be used to access the other theaters of the multiplex.
There is a unique and independent access for each pod. It is easier to have the disabled audience members seated at the lowest level. But there is nothing preventing disabled audience seating at the upper levels if there is elevator access.
Rear access to balconies are also an opportunity to provide high-end food and beverage services.
Are you working exclusively with any cinema technology providers such as Dolby or IMAX?
No, we are not working exclusively with IMAX or any other technology providers.
When it comes to the projection and sound systems and screens, Ōma Cinema is 100% compatible with any type of technology in the market.
Does an Ōma Cinema need post production work?
Unlike other PLF (Premium Large Format) examples in the market, there is not a specific Ōma movie or sound format. No post-production work is needed to tailor content to our display needs. Ōma Cinema is more about improving the traditional layout to offer a breathtaking cinematic experience.
How does the sound work in each pod?
Ōma Cinema provides a perfect & pristine 7.1 sound experience for all the spectators. For all the spectators to have the same sound experience, sound reinforcement speakers are integrated at some strategic places.
The presence of sound sources closer to the audience is an improvement and an opportunity to offer an even more immersive cinematic experience. Furthermore, the Ōma room is compatible with any type of sound system on the market. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information on this aspect.
How does the projection / screen work?
The projector is either placed on the central platform in place of the chairs or integrated directly underneath this platform with an access for maintenance. Both solutions are possible. In both cases, the projector is located exactly in the center of the screen along both axes, allowing the projection of an image without any distortion.
The design is in line with common minimum distances required between the screen and the projector.
Are there minimum technical levels which should be installed/ met in each Ōma?
4K laser projector is the minimum for digital projection. Regarding sound system, we require at least 7.1 sound configuration.