Are You Ready for Atmos?

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Dolby’s new theatrical surround sound format, called Atmos, that promises to revolutionize the way that movie soundtracks are created and presented. At the time, I’d received a brief demo of the system at Dolby Labs’ headquarters in San Francisco, and was pretty impressed by it. This Friday, Dolby officially rolls out Atmos to 14 test theaters in conjunction with the theatrical release of Pixar’s ‘Brave’, which is the first full feature film to be mixed in the Atmos format. Want to experience this for yourself? If you live near one of these locations, you can.

The following theaters will be the first to receive the Atmos upgrade in time for the ‘Brave’ premiere:

Additionally, the world premiere of ‘Brave’ will take place at the recently-rechristened Dolby Theater (formerly the Kodak Theater) in Hollywood, which will incorporate both Dolby Atmos and Dolby 3D.

Sadly, none of the launch theaters are near me in the Boston area. If I wind up going to the Toronto Film Festival again in September, I might try to check out the Atmos theater there. Of course, ‘Brave’ will be long gone from theaters by that point. Hopefully, another Atmos movie will be available at that time.

For the locations of other theaters planned to upgrade to Atmos at later dates, check Dolby’s Atmos web page.

If any of our readers are fortunate enough to see ‘Brave’ at one of these launch locations, be sure to tell us your impressions.

About Dolby Atmos from Dolby Laboratories on Vimeo.

7 comments

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      That’s up to the individual theater. Many of the first wave of theaters are being converted from their respective chains’ premium auditoriums, which may already have an upcharge. For example, Cinemark’s “XD” screens were targeted for conversion because they have an existing speaker and amp layout that’s well suited for Atmos.

    • William Henley

      Same with the West Plano theater. That will probably be expensive, if its showing in XD and Real3D. Debating on whether I want to drive over there or not – its 50-60 miles away, and there is horrible construction going on between here and there.

    • EM

      I haven’t been to Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney, but I’ve been to Disneyland’s several times (I visit that resort almost every year) and to Disneyland Paris’ similar Disney Village. Basically, these are outdoor malls for shops, restaurants, and entertainment, with most venues being at least a little upscalish or unusual. For me as a tourist making day visits, the idea of a normal movie theater at a Disney resort—the same place that hosts Star Tours and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and the Tower of Terror and so forth—has been fairly lackluster. There’s a very small chance I will go to Disney World later this year; the idea of an enhanced presentation—particularly as a break from a week of theme-park shenanigans—is a little more interesting, and so I might be willing to check out Atmos, depending on what’s playing at the time.

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