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Cinema 4 Min Read

The road to CinemaCon 2024: An exclusive Q&A with Judson Cross

March 27, 2024

Let’s pull back the curtain to learn how Jud helps Christie and our customers every day

We’re getting ready for the CinemaCon 2024 trade show, which takes nothing less than a village. From marketing to product management, it’s all hands on deck to bring our products and solutions to the show – including our new Christie® CP2406-RBe projector to the Milano V Ballroom, and our latest RGB pure laser cinema projectors to the Milano Ballroom I.

One team member is Judson Cross, our senior technical manager, Cinema, Americas. Jud manages our team of field application engineers and supervises our cinema technical support teams in North and South America. Jud and his team help customers solve technical issues and provide input on the design and installation of new cinema projects.

Jud also creates the technical plan for CinemaCon, which brings together the people and technology to ensure that the show goes off without a hitch.

Let’s pull back the curtain to learn about how Jud helps Christie and our customers every day.

Hi Jud. Let’s start with the basics. What’s your role at Christie, and how long have you been with the company?

I’ve been with Christie for 23 years in June. Before Christie, I worked for a cinema service group installing 35mm film projection and sound but was recruited to join Christie as a field application engineer, commissioning 35mm film systems. Shortly after starting at Christie, I began learning, documenting, and installing demos of the early prototype DLP® Cinema projectors. Many of the standards and methods I developed then are still in use today.

Now, my primary role is to lead a small team of our field application engineers in North and South America to support activities including trade shows, pre- and post-sale site visits, and training. Most of my team has been in the industry for a long time, and they’re the best of the best.

In addition, I supervise and support our North and South American cinema tech support teams, which oversee global tech support cases.

"I enjoy supporting my team, sharing success in their personal growth, and helping our customers offer the best moviegoing experience to their guests." - Jud Cross, senior technical manager, Cinema, Americas

What does a typical workday look like?

I review any “hot” tech support cases over coffee to see if I can help, either directly or by escalating and connecting the correct people. After that, I’m in collaborative meetings with my team, technical web sessions with internal and external people, and remote support of and/or technical planning and scheduling of events that my team will participate in.

When I’m in the field, I will either be training, installing, or finding some manner of solution to a problem or a challenge.

What kind of challenges do you solve for our customers?

Because cinema solutions are expected to last ten or more years, we have dozens of projector models in use today. Most recently, a sneaky software bug in an older projector model caused an issue for some customers. I connected with the right people in our engineering group, and we figured it out – and we saved our customers many hours and dollars as a result.

How do you support the cinema team at CinemaCon?

I work with the marketing team on a technical plan for the show. I’m responsible for everything technical, from the electrical line drawings that connect our technology and figuring out how the show is going to run to presenters and content playback. I work to keep things operating smoothly.

My team and I also plan, execute, and support the main screen at The Colosseum Theater at Caesars Palace where CinemaCon is held, and we support individual vendors who use our equipment at the show.

Finally, I spend each day at the show meeting with attendees and doing some impromptu training. For example, we’ll get hands-on with a projector, or sit down with a laptop to review blueprints of a theatre to work through some of the challenges that an exhibitor may be experiencing.

What are you working on in preparation for CinemaCon 2024?

I can’t divulge too much about our booth, but what we’re doing this year is at a whole different level from last year.

My team is supporting screenings in The Colosseum, which are essentially 24-hour shifts starting with rehearsals on Friday, April 4, and ending Friday, April 12.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

The people I work with. I enjoy supporting my team, sharing success in their personal growth, and helping our customers offer the best moviegoing experience to their guests. I truly have pride in the product we make and the people who make it, so I also enjoy working with our products.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I have made a career out of Christie, and my passion for cinema continues. Many new challenges and projects await, and the collaborative nature of my role combined with the people I work with continue to inspire me.