7:00am PT by Carolyn Giardina
New Premium Large Format Brand THX Ultimate Will Launch At Historic Fox Village Theater
The first THX Ultimate Cinema — a new premium large format (PLF) brand — will debut at Regency Westwood Village Theatre (previously called the Fox Village Theater) this coming spring or summer. The historic theater has nearly 1,400 seats and has hosted countless red-carpet premieres over decades.
THX Ultimate Cinema offers a THX-certified auditorium that uses Barco's ultra bright, 4K and HDR-capable dual laser projection system combined with a THX-certified immersive sound system of the theater's choice that exceeds the number of speakers used for 7.1 surround sound (this could include Dolby Atmos).
The new PLF brand, which will compete with the likes of Imax and Dolby Cinema, is a strategic partnership between THX — the company founded by George Lucas to ensure a quality theatrical experience — and Cinionic, the company that provides Barco cinema projectors.
According to THX, their system will support at least 30 specially mastered movies for the brand each year, and it also supports standard Digital Cinema Packages (the digital equivalent of a film print) so that a theater has the flexibility to play any movie in the auditorium.
Theater owners would purchase the system and create its own ticket pricing. While the cost of a THX Ultimate configuration wasn't immediately available (and will vary by theater configuration), the Barco dual laser system can run in the $1 million range. The sound systems vary, though in the case of the Regency Village Theatre, it already offers Dolby Atmos.
THX and Cinionic will be on hand at next week's theater owners confab CinemaCon in Las Vegas. Underscoring the increasingly crowded PLF space, Sony is launching its Sony Digital Cinema PLF brand during CinemaCon, with an installation at Galaxy Theatres' Las Vegas Boulevard Mall.
Said THX CEO Min-Liang Tan: “THX and Cinionic are respected technology leaders in cinema, and we are confident that this strategic relationship will help meet the demands of exhibition and consumers to make premium entertainment experiences more attainable.”