The first film to be shown via laser beam premieres tonight

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Apr 1, 2015, 6:52 PM EDT (Updated)

Film projection will take a crazy leap into the future tonight in Hollywood.

That's because tonight (April 1), at the TCL Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, IMAX will present the first movie ever projected in public through a new laser system that will supposedly provide a picture that will contain, according to a press statement, "the sharpest, brightest, clearest and most vivid digital images ever."

The movie is the highly anticipated Furious 7, and the system is the next generation of IMAX film technology, which has been in the works for years. Just how awesome is it? IMAX Chief Technology Officer Brian J. Bonnick had this to say about it to Slashfilm in 2013:

One of the most important thing a filmmaker is concerned about with projection is contrast. Film projectors can give you, on a good day, 3,500 and 4,000 to one contrast. This is the Achilles’ heel of digital projectors as others in the marketplace right now are maybe 2,000. The IMAX one is around 2,600 or 2,800 on a good day, so we are a lot better, but we are not where we want to be. IMAX film is around 4,000. The IMAX laser system will get at least 6,000...we are the only company that uses dual projectors in both 2D and 3D modes, so we are getting more light on the screen, more pixels on the screen.

And I thought my HDTV at home looked pretty good! Seriously, though, seeing a movie in IMAX -- whether digital or film -- is already an often mind-blowing experience, so it's amazing to think that the company is pushing its technology even harder. And to have it happen via laser beam just seems so cool and futuristic.

The system will apparently remain in place at the Chinese Theater indefinitely, so if you're in L.A. anytime soon and want to see what laser-projected movies look like, you might want to stop by. Is this something you want to see in your local multiplex somewhere down the line?

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