THX will premiere its own IMAX-like experience at a US theatre soon.
It plans to launch a premium large format brand, called THX Ultimate Cinema, by spring or summer, it announced. While IMAX is most commonly associated with huge screens and immersive sound systems at cinemas, there are some alternatives, like Dolby Cinema and Sony Digital Cinema, and now, THX. Its using dual-laser 4K Barco projectors and a 7.1 sound system.
THX Ultimate Cinema, which is a partnership between THX and Cinionic (the Barco projector supplier), will debut at the 1,400 seat Regency Westwood Village Theatre in Los Angeles. We can expect up to 30 films per year in the format, but there's no word on how much tickets might cost. Considering the projectors reportedly costs around $1 million each, they might not be cheap.
Currently, there are roughly 18 different premium large format (PLF) brands, so it remains to be seen how well THX will do. IMAX has about 1,500 screens around the globe, while Dolby Cinema recently launched its 200th location. The one thing THX has going for it, however, in order to help it standout, is that it was originally founded by George Lucas and named after his first film, THX 1138.