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3D for the Ears in the Traumpalast in Nürtingen, Germany

The Traumpalast in Nürtingen: decked out in red and blue and completely digitized, automated, and networked by Kinoton. (Photograph © above: Traumpalast Nürtingen; down: DolbyAtmos logo)

Just in time for the start of Penguins of Madagascar (3D), the Traumpalast in Nürtingen, Germany has begun using a new Dolby Atmos surround sound system in its Atrium auditorium. It has also inaugurated two new auditoriums featuring high-end, state-of-the-art systems. As a result, the cinema now belongs to the select group of about 25 movie houses in Germany that are currently equipped with this revolutionary new audio technology. The team of Kinoton’s Southern German sales center managed the project and handled all of the planning and integration. This, together with Kinoton digital cinema projection solutions that had already been installed and fully networked, has catapulted Traumpalast to the forefront in terms of audio quality and sound reproduction.

Kinoton supplied and installed the new Dolby Atmos system, which was specially configured to suit conditions in the auditorium. Additional surround speakers on the ceiling and side walls and subwoofers on the rear wall immerse moviegoers in a sea of dynamic sound. This creates a unique audio experience that thrilled cinema fans describe as “breathtaking”, “lifelike”, and “totally realistic”. All of the speakers in the auditorium (comprising 47 systems) are fed by a powerful amplifier system with total output of about 34,000 W.

The new speaker configuration is completely compatible with available 5.1 and 7.1 mixes. Dolby Atmos mixes are supplied to the theatre on a hard disk together with a movie’s visual images. Each Dolby Atmos mix comprises individual sound effects (“audio objects”) and coordinates that indicate their positions in 3D space. Information on the auditorium’s size and the installed speakers is also stored in the cinema processor, which is the heart of the audio system. Based on these data, the processor optimizes sound reproduction by matching it as closely as possible to the sound created in the mixing studio.

Dolby Atmos sound debuted in theatres with Brave in June 2012. Since then, more than 200 films featuring this technology have appeared or been announced, including blockbusters such as The Hobbit (the entire trilogy), Star Trek Into Darkness, Life of Pi, and Gravity.

Kinoton has also installed complete projection and audio systems in both new auditoriums. They include state-of-the-art DCS digital cinema systems for reproducing 2D and 3D, as well as high-end Dolby 7.1 Sound systems. Both auditoriums are equipped with high-luminosity, high-contrast latest-generation digital cinema projectors that produce an ultrasharp, realistic 3D experience. The effect is additionally enhanced by screens of the Clarus family, which excel with reduced visual hotspotting. This new screen technology boasts significantly better reflection than classic 3D silver screens and delivers more uniform on-screen brightness to all viewers no matter where they are sitting.

The Traumpalast in Nürtingen is also using a leading-edge Kinoton TMS Theatre Management System. Instead of having to individually operate each individual digital cinema Server, the theatre’s staff can control all six auditoriums from a single location. This has made it possible to save space by redesigning the projection booths as dedicated “equipment rooms”. The playlists for all auditoriums are now centrally created and distributed to the servers. It only takes a few mouse clicks to send movies and trailers to each auditorium, which has greatly reduced the workload. The ability to remotely control the projection room equipment also delivers other benefits: it’s easy to monitor the status of ongoing shows and catch any problems before they get out of hand.

The re-equipped Atrium and the two new auditoriums opened on November 27, 2014 after just under five months of remodeling work. The theatre now has a total of six auditoriums and can seat more than 950 moviegoers. At this year’s Munich Film Week, Twentieth Century Fox celebrated Lochmann Filmtheaterbetriebe, which owns the Traumpalast, as the “Cinema Operator of 2013”.