Aug 11, 2015

1 billion hours is a long time – but just exactly how long?

Cinema 2 min read

Back in 1999, Barco projectors were used in the very first digital cinema screening in history. Since then, they have projected the magic in cinemas around the world for an accumulated total of 1 billion hours… or about 114,808 years.


Just a few figures to illustrate how impressive that number really is:

Stone Age If you would travel 1 billion hours back in time, you would be crafting stone tools with your ancestors from the Stone Age in the year 112,140 BC.  


life expectancy The life expectancy in the country in which I live (Belgium) is 81 years. This means that I’m expected to live for 700,000 hours. It would take 1,426 of my lifetimes to reach 1 billion hours.

Population USA In 2014, the population of the USA was 319 million. To arrive at 1 billion hours, every US citizen would have to go to the cinema at the same time and each one would need to watch a three-hour movie. (With a runtime of 178 minutes, ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’ falls two minutes short…)

The Tonight Show ‘The Tonight Show’ is the world’s longest running TV talk show in history. Still going strong (currently with host Jimmy Fallon), the show has recorded a dazzling 11,461 episodes. Picture airing all these episodes sequentially in a cinema theater – to reach 1 billion hours, you would need 87,000 theaters.

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