12:59am PT by Carolyn Giardina
'Avengers: Endgame' Premiere: Disney, Dolby Build High-Tech Theater in LA Convention Center
Representing months of planning and a full week to construct, the Los Angeles Convention Center's cavernous Hall K in the South Hall was converted into a massive cinema with a 70-foot screen and state-of-the-art projection and sound technology for Monday's world premiere of Disney/Marvel's Avengers: Endgame.
Opening April 26, Avengers: Endgame concludes the Avengers story and follows 2018 blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War, which topped $2 billion worldwide and is the fourth highest-grossing film of all time. By building the custom theater in the convention center (which also housed the red carpet arrivals and afterparty), Disney created stadium seating for more than 2,000 guests — notably more than the capacity of the largest cinemas in Hollywood or even the Dolby Theatre (when projection and immersive sound is installed, reducing use of the balconies).
To pull this off, Disney partnered with Dolby as well as QSC Audio. "This was a huge effort and required the coordination of many moving parts under the cloak of secrecy — code names and all. With limited time in the venue, we worked around the clock," Michael Kern, vp special events production at the Walt Disney Studios, told The Hollywood Reporter.
The ambitious installation included Dolby Vision dual laser projectors offering high dynamic range and the required brightness to fill the 30- by 70-foot screen, as well as Dolby Atmos immersive sound. This involved 150 speakers, 20 subwoofers, 100 surrounds and an estimated 750,000 watts of power. Plus 2,500 linear feet of truss was installed, including across the ceiling of the auditorium to hold the overhead speakers as well as LED lighting. The partners installed fully redundant primary and backup systems for both sound and projection. The technology alone would be valued in the millions.
"We spent a significant amount of time modeling the space and designing a package to control the room acoustics so that what audiences are hearing is consistent with what the filmmakers heard on the mixing stage," Kern reported. This involved careful use of sound absorbers in the massive space. "A lot of effort also went into controlling ambient light and optimizing the projector to achieve the color range and super black tones possible with Dolby Vision laser projection."