Cineworld Fit Out – Box Office Smash

McCabe McGinn brings back cinema magic for Belfast's moviegoers...

Specialist turnkey interior fit out company, McCabe McGinn Construction (MCMG), completed a stunning interior fit out for Cineworld Belfast. Located at the Odyssey complex, the newly refurbished cinema features 13 state-of-the-art screens including an IMAX 4K Laser auditorium, a multi-sensory 4DX extreme cinema experience and a 270-degree wrap around ScreenX. These are the first and only 4DX and ScreenX auditoriums to be opened in Northern Ireland.

MCMG carried out a full strip-out of the existing cinema screens, including the auditoriums, all MEP and removal of the old IMAX screen. A completely redesigned concessions area was installed with Lavazza cafe, modern toilets and communal areas. The existing fire protection sprinkler system was completely upgraded to comply with current FM Global standards.

Shaun Bull, Operations Director for MCMG said, “The concession area is a completely new design to what was there before. It now has cáfe facilities with provision for a future bar area, and lots of new seating areas.”
The award-winning fit-out contractor completely rebuilt each auditorium floor to create a sharper seating gradient. “This was a major part of the project for the client who wanted to provide a better viewing experience for moviegoers.”

Next Generation Cinema

The next generation 4K IMAX Laser projection system features a new optical engine and a suite of proprietary IMAX technologies. The new experience also features IMAX’s 12-channel sound technology with new side and overhead channels that deliver greater dynamic range and precision for the ultimate in audio immersion.

Overhead rigs were installed by MCMG in the new 4DX ‘extreme cinema’ auditorium to support the specialist units that operated the system’s sensory effects such as water spray, wind, snow and strobe lighting. The 4DX auditorium experience is driven by a hidden system of compressors and powered systems to operate the high-tech motion programming which moves the seating. The entire seating structure was formed in structural steel and incorporates the latest in acoustic and vibration dampening technology to ensure a flawless performance every time.

The movement of all these seats in unison with the on-screen action required precise engineering and complete separation from the projector to guarantee that the picture is always perfect. The innovative 270° projection in ScreenX is exclusive to Cineworld in the UK. The state-of-the-art technology uses additional projectors to extend the film out onto the sidewalls of the screening room, for a truly atmospheric experience that surrounds you in your seat.

The Dolby Atmos surround sound, IMAX Laser, 4DX and ScreenX projection were installed by Cineworld’s specialist contractors and with guidance and assistance from MCMG. “Electrical installations included a substantial amount of new digital signage such as the LED display screens for film showings as well as impressive Digidot display spanning over 40 metres in length,” said Shaun. “There is also a fully automated lighting system which is controlled by the projectors – again fully automated. It doesn’t need any input from cinema staff and so allows them to focus on giving the customers a top-class service!”

Commenting on the completed project, Shaun said, “There were some challenges along the way, such as the removal of existing structures to allow for better access and egress and also the installation of the new massive IMAX screen; this required a large crane lift and a lot of planning. But on the whole, this was a very smoothly run project for us.”

“Each subcontractor worked very closely with us and attended weekly and daily meetings to ensure that the project was handed over efficiently and effectively. All of our contractors performed very well and continue to work with us on other projects.”

Project team:
Fit-out Contractor:
McCabe McGinn
Operations Director:
Shaun Bull
Mechanical Contractor:
Grove Mechanical
Electrical Contractor:
Premier Electrical

T:+44 (0) 7873222385

Grove Mechanical provided the Mechanical installations and upgrades for the Cineworld Belfast refurbishment project. Scope of works included: provision of new air handling plant for the upgraded IMAX facilities; new air conditioning equipment for the IMAX projection suite and cinema foyer; refurbishment of air handling units serving the existing 12 screens – which entailed installation of new heat pumps to provide the heating and cooling loads for each individual screen – and general plumbing works and compressed air systems for the IMAX.

For the ventilation systems a popcorn extractor canopy and associated fire rated ducting to roof level was installed, a dedicated extract system was installed for the new toilet block, and the existing ducting within the screens was raised to suit the new ceiling heights inline with Cineworld standards. A refurbishment and upgrade of the existing smoke ventilation system for the IMAX was carried out.

A new, dedicated BMS system was installed for the IMAX facilities along with the associated wiring installation. The existing cinema control system was upgraded to incorporate the new heat pumps for the air-handling units. The biggest challenge was replacement of the IMAX ventilation and air conditioning plant. Works were split into two phases – the strip out and new installation. A 100-tonne crane was hired by Grove to facilitate the works. Due to site constraints, new plant deliveries had to be scheduled just in time for deliveries.

Commercial Manager for Grove Mechanical said, “This was certainly a challenge, which was carefully thought out and planned to ensure both phases ran like clockwork.”

Despite the logistical issues, the project ran smoothly with great communication from the client and main contractor, with weekly workshop meetings to help oversee all on site challenges. Mark concluded, “McCabe and McGinn was a great builder to work with; well-organised and committed to driving the extremely tight programme on to everyone’s benefit.”

T: +44 (0)28 7944 8111

Knauf Ceiling Solutions delivers on acoustics and aesthetics for Cineworld upgrade… 

Knauf Ceiling Solutions supplied all the modular ceilings for the Cineworld Belfast refurbishment project. Thermatex Alpha, a high performing Class A sound absorbing tile with a black fleece finish was specified. Thermatex Alpha ceiling tiles are made of modern, bio-soluble mineral wool, perlite, clay and starch with excellent physical properties in fire reaction and acoustic performance.

Ireland’s Country Manager, Aaron McKee commented, “This is a very popular product which has been installed in cinemas and other projects throughout Ireland. The high sound absorption performance makes it an ideal ceiling for cinemas.

“As with all major projects, I was involved at the early stages with the main contractor McCabe McGinn, then through to completion. Tennants Building Products supplied the materials to site to the specialist ceiling contractor Convery Ceilings who installed the system to their usual high standards.”

Knauf Ceiling Solutions offers the largest scope of ceilings and associated options across the whole of Ireland. “Our diverse range is suitable for application in education, healthcare and commercial projects,” said Aaron. “The business has grown fantastically well in recent years, and we have plans to continue this trend with new products and production investments. Our systems include mineral/soft wool, metal, mesh and our woodwool range Heradesign.”

Whether you require a metal acoustic ceiling for an office, a hygienically treated ceiling for a hospital or a bespoke coloured wood wool baffle for a fit-out project, Knauf Ceiling Solutions has you covered.

Commenting on the completed Cineworld job, Aaron said, “This was a great project to be involved with, which has delivered a fabulous, state-of-the- art cinema upgrade for the people of Belfast.”

ThermatexAlpha key
• Very high sound absorption
• High recycled content
• Coloured glass tissue laminate
• Available with Hygena, anti-microbial treatment

T: +44 (0)7789 007610

APW Fire Protection Ltd was awarded the contract to carry out the design, supply, and alterations to the existing sprinkler system for the Cineworld, Belfast refurbishment… 

Alterations were carried out to suit the new Cineworld layout, and designed to comply with current FM Global standards. APW provided sprinkler protection to areas such as concessions, bar, toilets, and offices, to name a few. By working closely with the architect, and co-ordinating with other mechanical services, sprinkler coverage was provided throughout, while not compromising any of the major design elements of the project.

Upon completion of the works, APW provided ‘As Fitted’ drawings, certification, and other relevant documentation to the main contractor, McCabe McGinn. Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems can save lives, and shield homes and businesses from damage or loss. They provide protection from fire damage and, most importantly, they offer people a much greater chance of escape in the event of a fire. By reducing the damage and severity of a fire, they can also save money, and reduce renovation time.

APW Fire Protection Ltd has extensive experience across the UK and Ireland in the supply, installation and maintenance of class-leading sprinkler systems for both the commercial/industrial and residential/domestic markets. Founded in 2007, APW has offices based in greater Belfast and off-site manufacturing facilities in Bellaghy. Recognised as a leading designer and installer of automatic fire sprinkler systems, APW offers residential/commercial fire sprinkler systems, dry/wet riser installation and testing, service and maintenance packages, and a 24 hour emergency call out service.

T: +44 (0)28 9082 7046

NBDA architects was the lead consultant for the impressive refurbishment project at Cineworld Belfast.

The program included overstepping every screen, new ceilings, seating, wall panelling, new IMAX screen, 4DX Screen, Screen X, Foyer and concourse design. NBDA also project managed the job on site, making sure it was constructed in accordance with the drawings and all the current legislations/regulations including interior design, sound and projection, IT and concession installation.

Commenting on the completed works, Chris Tyrrell, Director for NBDA said, “ I am incredibly proud to be bringing a Cineworld to Northern Ireland, in such a great city as Belfast. The job is the best Cineworld refurbishment I have been involved with. The Imax is incredible, and the foyer looks amazing.

“It was a pleasure to work with a contractor with such professionalism and high standard of work ethos as McCabe McGinn, and look forward to working with them in the future.”

T: +44 (0)1625 575550

Plumbing merchants Stevenson & Reid supplied sanitary ware products for the Cineworld Belfast, refurbishment project.

The scope included innovative products such as: Armitage Shanks touchless sensor flush cisterns; Armitage Shanks DocM packs for the disabled toilets; Armitage Shanks “waterless” urinals and Bristan sensor operated touchless taps.

Commenting, Stephen Pyper, Project Manager for Stevenson & Reid said, “This was a very smooth project to be involved in. McCabe McGinn were excellent to work with; they are a truly professional company.

“Our contracts team, lead by Christopher Wilson, liaised with McCabe McGinn throughout the project and ensured all products were on site as scheduled to ensure a smooth completion. We look forward to working with McCabe McGinn on future projects.”

Founded in 1980 in Newtownabbey, Stevenson and Reid is one of Northern Irealand’s largest independent plumbers merchants, providing bathrooms, tiles, plumbing and heating solutions to commercial and private customers.

T: +44 (0)28 9085 2212