In a week’s time the Academy Awards ceremony will for the first time have 5.1 surround sound effect, said Dolby Laboratories, the new owner of the Oscars venue.
“We work with the theater owner as well as the Academy, to make sure that from the sound treatment perspective, the theater itself sounds like nothing before,” Ramzi Haidamus, Dolby’s executive vice president of marketing and business development, told Xinhua.
Since last June, when Dolby officially took the name of former Kodak Theatre, Dolby has added 164 speakers, 200 audio amplifiers, dozens of servers, processors, screens and projectors, which outfit four-level venue with its Dolby 3D and Dolby Atmos audio systems.
“It’s the first time to use the 5.1 surround sound in the house,” David Gray, Dolby’s vice president of content services, told Xinhua.
“We’ve been thinking about it (surround sound for Oscars) since we got the name,” he said.
Dolby’s 5.1 digital system not only brings the 3,400 attendees a surround sound enjoyment, but also provides theater experience for the 1.2 billion audience at home as long as they have Dolby technology inside their equipment.
“It is not just about adding more speakers, it’s about the placement to the speakers, the Dolby technology and the Dolby sound coming from the clips and the movies that are nominated for the Oscars, and making sure that we hear those clips as if you were watching the movie itself,” said Haidamus.
Except for the introduction of new technology, Dolby has decorated the stage with a semi-circle wall of Oscar trophies and prepared a private lobby lounge for winners, nominees and other renowned celebrity guests on the Oscars night. In order to present Dolby sound, the lounge is designed as sound waves coming from the doors, ceiling and walls.
On June 11 last year, Oscars’ home, the 180,000-square-foot (16,723 square meter) and 3,400-seat landmark, was renamed Dolby Theatre. That came a month after Dolby Laboratories announced a 20-year naming agreement with the theater owner CIM Group after beating out 10 other bidders for the naming rights on May 1.
Since then, as a first-class live entertainment venue, Dolby Theatre has hosted a range of prestigious artists and events including IRIS by Cirque du Soleil, Celine Dion, and various touring Broadway productions. Notable television and awards events at Dolby Theatre have included the American Idol finals, AFI Lifetime Achievement Awards, Daytime Emmy Awards, BET Awards and so on.