Dolby Reveals Theaters Set to Install New Immersive Sound Format Atmos
Dolby revealed the first locations in the world—including 16 theaters in North America, among them Hollywood’s newly named Dolby Theatre—that have been selected to offer its new immerseive sound format Atmos.
In additional to the Dolby Theatre, North American movie theaters that will install Atmos are: AMC Barrywood 24, Kansas City; AMC Burbank 16; AMC Century City 15; AMC Downtown Disney 24, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.; AMC Garden State 16, Paramus, N.J.; AMC Van Ness 14, San Francisco; Arclight Sherman Oaks; Century at Pacific Commons and XD, Fremont, Calif.; Cinemark West Plano and XD, West Plano, Texas; SilverCity Young Eglinton Cinemas, Toronto; Cinetopia Vancouver Mall 23; and Kerasotes Showplace ICON at Roosevelt Collection, Chicago. Brenden Theatres at the Palms in Las Vegas, where Atmos debuted at CinemaCon in April, also offers the format.
The Dolby Theatre—home of the Academy Awards—will have its grand opening on June 18 with the premiere of Disney/Pixar’s Brave, as part of the Los Angeles Film Festival.
The Brave premiere will be screened with the Dolby 3D system, but it is still unconfirmed that an Atmos mix will be ready for the premiere.
Seven-time Oscar winner Gary Rydstrom is serving as sound designer and re-recording mixer on a test Atmos mix of Brave that is underway at Skywalker Sound. (Skywalker and China-based sound postproduction facility China Film Post offer Atmos sound mixing).
Current plans call for up to 15 theaters worldwide to show Brave with the trial Atmos mix when the movie opens on June 22.
In international markets, the following theaters are on their way to becoming Atmos-ready: Cinesa Diagonal Mar, Barcelona, Empire Leicester Square, London; and China Film Stella Theater Chain Hefei 1912, Shanghai Film Art Center, UME Shuangjing, and Wanda Cinemas Wuhan Lingjiao Lake, China.
In order to outfit auditoriums for the new format, Dolby reported that theater owners can still use the "majority of their existing sound system" though additional speakers and amplification must be installed. Dolby estimated that an "average mid-size" theater could expect to make an investment of around $25,000-$30,000 for this upgrade.
Atmos was developed to create “lifelike” and “immersive” sound and involves the placement of speakers all around an auditorium as well as across the ceiling. The system is designed to transmit up to 128 simultaneous and lossless audio channels, and renders from 5.1 up to 64 discrete speaker feeds, according to Dolby.
Various Dolby screening rooms at offices in the U.S. and Europe will also offer Atmos.