Dolby look­ing to wow Wanda, part­ners

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By LIA ZHU in San Fran­cisco li­azhu@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

Dolby Lab­o­ra­to­ries Inc is sur­vey­ing the vast Chi­nese mar­ket to in­tro­duce its Dolby Cin­ema ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy for “im­mer­sive” movie ex­pe­ri­ences.

The San Fran­cisco-based com­pany has an­nounced China’s sixth Dolby Cin­ema, in Chang­sha, Cen­tral China’s Hu­nan prov­ince, with Wanda Cin­ema Line. By the end of 2018, a to­tal of 100 Dolby Cin­ema movie the­aters will be opened by Wanda, two years ear­lier than orig­i­nally planned.

Dolby’s mis­sion is to draw peo­ple away from their com­put­ers and homes to movie the­aters.

Look­ing like con­ven­tional the­aters, Dolby Cin­ema fea­tures Dolby At­mos sound sys­tems and Dolby Vi­sion pro­jec­tion sys­tems, ac­cord­ing to Dough Dar­row, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of Cin­ema Busi­ness Group at Dolby.

“Dolby At­mos de­liv­ers sound any­where in the three-di­men­sional space of a movie the­ater, recre­ates a life­like sound ef­fect,” he said. “We can lit­er­ally pin­point a sound el­e­ment any­where we want.”

The Dolby Vi­sion laser pro­jec­tion sys­tem uses ad­vanced op­tics and im­age pro­cess­ing to de­liver dy­namic range im­ages at more than twice the bright­ness and 500 times the con­trast of stan­dard cin­ema pro­jec­tion.

From the de­sign stand­point, the acous­tic trans­par­ent fab­ric sys­tem con­ceals speak­ers so au­di­ences don’t see them hang­ing on the wall.

The matte black de­sign makes sure no light from the screen is re­flected back to the screen, he added.

Launched two years ago, Dolby Cin­ema has more than 300 screens un­der con­tract so far, and at least 49 sites have been built world­wide.

Call­ing a new fa­cil­ity at the San Fran­cisco head­quar­ters “the crown jewel”, Dolby CEO Kevin Yea­man said the 230-seat the­ater served as a work­ing lab where re­searchers, sci­en­tists and engi­neers de­vel­oped cin­ema imag­ing and sound tech­nolo­gies.

Dolby’s big­gest part­ner in the US is AMC Entertainment, which has an­nounced 160 Dolby Cin­ema the­aters by the end of 2018. In China, Wanda is its largest ex­hibitor.

“We’ll have more new builds in China and with Wanda than any­where else in the world,” said Frank Bryant, se­nior vi­cepres­i­dent with Dolby.

“We are ac­tively talk­ing to 10 more po­ten­tial part­ners in China. There are a lot of ex­hibitors in that mar­ket who seem re­ally in­ter­ested and pro­vid­ing pre­mium ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said.

De­spite the slower box-of­fice growth this year, China is adding movie the­aters and is ex­pected to over­take the US soon as the world’s largest cin­ema mar­ket.

“It’s one of the only mar­kets in the world right now that’s grow­ing and grow­ing fast, so there are a tremen­dous num­ber of new builds in China, and that’s not the case any­where else in the world,” said Bryant.

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