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Within Dolby and Odeon's mission to revive a British movie icon



Odeon's Leicester Square Cinema is one of Europe's most famous theaters, and on 1 679 seats, one of its largest. In central London there have been hundreds of premiere and royal galases for 81 years. Any movie worth mentioning has probably debuted here, from James Bond and Harry Potter to the latest Marvel releases. The Art Deco interior is stunning and the exterior of the facade is beautiful, not to mention the tall tower, which dominates London's art district.

However, look at TripAdvisor and you will see that prestige alone does not carry much swing with the public. Reviews from 201

7 saw users to complain about bad service, the temperature and the very uncomfortable seats. "Give you a wound bum within 45 minutes," wrote a visitor, "totally boring," said another, while one-third said it was an "absolute shame". Instead of a destination screen, LSC has a reputation for being an overpriced tourist trap.

Something had to give, so Odeon closed the cinema in early 2018 to start an annual renovation. And the company, now owned by AMC, entered into partnership with Dolby to make LSC the first in the UK to be equipped with Dolby Cinema. Renovation, rumored to cost everything up to $ 19 million, aims to create a "highlight of luxury cinema", according to Odeon's British boss Carol Welch.

The Leicester Square location will be equipped with both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, the company's image and sound layout for high-end cinemas. The great advantage Atmos has over other 5.1 systems, its downward speakers are on the ceiling that allows objects to sound like they move in three-dimensional space.

Unlike most multiplex theaters, Leicester Square has a split level, with stalls underneath and a circle / balcony over. There was a problem for Atmos, which requires precise placement of speakers on both walls and ceilings. The solution was essentially to install two Atmos rigs, one to operate each level, so everyone has good sound. In addition to installing speakers behind the screen itself, Dolby put a series of line speakers into the ceiling. Only two of these are visible, with the rest hidden by a blue cloth that creates the impression of a much shorter roof.

In the projection room are two new Dolby Vision laser projectors in boxes and waiting to be installed. When they work, they will produce 108 screen savers – far from the 48 nits you'll find with a standard xenon bulb projector. Other benefits of laser projection include a much wider contrast ratio and the ability to project the P3 color group, as well as real blacks.


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