The evolving world of outdoor cinemas on board superyachts

Written by Charl van Rooy

Often overlooked as the stars of the show when it comes to entertainment aboard today’s most modern of superyachts, advancements in the world of audio visuals could well see outdoor cinemas soon featured as the headline act in terms of on board recreation according to some industry specialists. These exterior theatres offer guests the perfect way to escape reality while experiencing a world beyond from the comfort and serenity of the open outdoors.

Although by no means a novelty on the list of leisure pastimes on board yachts, constant improvements in the fields of cinemas and home-theatre has lead to an increase in demand for outdoor cinema areas on board these luxury vessels. So says Torsten Steinbrecher, General Manager and head of Genesis Marine of Genesis Technologies, a specialised firm focusing on the distribution of high quality A/V systems throughout luxury residences and yachts across Europe. “Owners don’t just want to hide inside their yachts, they want to enjoy the outdoor areas as well,” he says. Russian and American clients are at the front of the queue when it comes to the commissioning of the latest systems on the market, Steinbrecher specifies.

Not only new built yachts however, but the latest tech is being installed as part of refit projects as well. “We also see an increase in the refit market with yachts between 65 and 130 metres.” It would seem as long as a yard is capable of doing some minor remodeling of an exterior area, these outdoor entertainment zones can soon be found on a refitted yacht near you.

But it's not only a matter of mounting a flat screen and arranging a pair of speakers according to Steinbrecher. As these areas are used as multipurpose entertainment zones and subject to every imaginable ocean condition, not to mention the wrath of a hose-happy junior deck crew member, a great deal of planning and no small amount of waterproofing is worked into the development of these systems. Creating the optimum environment on deck is also a crucial part of the complete package: “The layout on a yacht is very different [to that of a home cinema], because it’s not a dedicated cinema room and therefore requires more planning to create the ultimate immersive experience in comparison to an indoor cinema installation.”

But what exactly is the next big release guests can expect on the big screen? Steinbrecher speaks passionately about the possibilities of enjoying one’s favourite film soon not only under a night sky. “We see a trend in laser projection with incredible high lumen output, with new high-end models able to be used during the daytime as well. And as these projectors operate independently, images can even be displayed on the sail of a sailing yacht such as the Maltese Falcon has proven.” High contrast projection surfaces are being developed that can be incorporated into the exterior of the yacht itself to make these areas blend in even more seamlessly.

According to Steinbrecher, as long as the demand for personal entertainment areas such as these persist, research and development in this field is sure to deliver constant advancements in what is possible. The only limitation Steinbrecher has witnessed is being able to provide the same Hollywood experience during the daytime; an issue he believes can be avoided by designing exterior spaces with this particular use in mind.

Captain Ivelin Velinov

St. David

How does anoutdoorcinema enhance the on board experience for guests?

It gives our guests an opportunity to experience their favourite movies while surrounded by the peace and quiet of the ocean around them. Most guests enjoy the Jacuzzi while watching the movie.

Are guests surprised to find such a feature on board a yacht?

No, home theatre systems outside are relatively common on board most yachts.

How often do these areas get used on a yacht?

Weather dependent of course, but at least a few times per charter.

Are these areas practically located and systems yacht-proof?

Yes, they have been designed so not to be affected the elements. The equipment slides away and folds up into deckhead with hardly any effort. It is quick and simple to set up.

The full article was published in the eighth edition of the SuperYacht Times newspaper. Subscribe now and never miss another issue.



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