As the cost of movie tickets goes up each year, fewer people continue to go to the movies. To make up for the lack of patrons and in the face of improving home theater technology, movie theaters are pressured more and more to justify their cost of admission.
One way they’ve done this is by introducing premium formats into their theaters, which offer an array of moviegoing experiences beyond just a chair and a screen. Such formats include, but are not limited to, D-BOX motion seats, 4D-X simulation, and Dolby Digital Cinema with dual laser projection. There are even premium large formats– or “PLF’s” for short– such as IMAX or Screen X.
As you may have picked up on, it is a crowded marketplace that’s about to get even more crowded.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, THX Ultimate Cinema, a new PLF, is set to make its debut sometime this spring or summer at the historic Regency Westwood Village Theatre (previously called the Fox Village Theater) in Las Angeles.
THX Ultimate Cinema will be a co-venture between THX and Cinionic, the company that provides Barco cinema projectors.
The format will offer a THX-certified auditorium that uses Barco’s ultra bright, 4K and HDR-capable dual laser projection system in addition to a THX-certified sound system, of the theater’s choice, that exceeds the number of speakers used for 7.1 surround sound (this could include Dolby Atmos).
According to THX, this format will support at least 30 films each year that are specifically mastered for the brand, as well as Digital Cinema Packages (the digital equivalent of a film print). This allows theaters the flexibility to play any film in the auditorium.
Theater owners who purchase the system will facilitate ticket pricing for their individual THX Ultimate Cinema-supported auditoriums.
It was also announced that Sony is launching its Sony Digital Cinema PLF brand. Installation will follow at Galaxy Theatres’ Las Vegas Boulevard Mall.
What do you make of THx and Sony both getting into the PLF game? Do the expanded options entice you to go out to the theater. Hit me up in the comments below and let me know!