Dolby Cinema and IMAX With Laser unlikely to be worried by THX Ultimate Cinema

posted on Friday, 5th April 2019 by Steve May

Cinema  Laser  Dolby Cinema  IMAX 

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The premium Large Format (PLF) cinema war is hotting up, with the news that THX will partner with Cinionic, supplier of Barco cinema projectors, to launch its Ultimate THX Cinema format this summer.

“We’ve partnered with the leaders in cinema technology to take your standard moviegoing experience to the next level with a state-of-the-art dual laser projection system, large format screen, a premium immersive audio system, and content artfully remastered exclusively for THX Ultimate Cinema,” states the company. “No distractions, no gimmicks, just an expertly optimized environment designed to showcase movies at their best.”

In a return to its roots, this new joint venture with Barco will outfit screens with a super-bright 4k dual laser projection system capable of showing extended dynamic range movies. The move challenges existing players Dolby Vision, IMAX With Laser and Sony Finity.

“We are excited to collaborate with Cinionic to bring the THX Ultimate Cinema experience to audiences around the world” says Min-Liang Tan, CEO of THX. “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.”

The partnership is expecting to release at least 30 movies mastered for THX Ultimate Home Cinema annually. The first THX Barco theatre will open at the 1400 seat Regency Westwood Village (formerly the Fox Village) cinema in Los Angeles this Summer.

The brand has largely been absent from cinemas since its TAP (Theater Alignment Program) program, introduced to cinemas for the theatrical release of Return of the Jedi.

In 2017, China opened its first all-THX certified cinema complex, the Zhuhai Haiyun China Film Cinema. THX is responsible for auditorium architecture, acoustics, audio and equipment calibration at the ten screen venue.

“The new projection system featured in the THX Ultimate Cinema offering delivers a fantastic image on screen,” explains Lyndon Golin, CEO, Regency Theaters. “We are very excited to be able to provide an enhanced cinematic experience to our studio partners for premieres and moviegoers alike.”

The chances of a THX Ultimate Cinema opening in the UK anytime soon would seem slim to none, and the existing dominant players are unlikely to be worried by the move, however the strategy does open the door to a THX Ultimate Home Cinema play in the future.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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