Empire Cinemas in Hemel Hempstead has become the first major UK chain to feature Christie’s Vive Audio solution. The largest independently-owned cinema chain in the UK currently operates 186 screens across 18 cinemas, and is in the process of extensive redevelopment at its Hemel Hempstead multiplex. The cinema was seeking an outstanding audio solution in its latest premium screen at Hemel Hempstead, called IMPACT Blue.
The Vive Audio setup delivers powerful, crystal clear Dolby Atmos® surround sound to each of the 185 seats in the screen, allowing customers to truly immerse themselves in the cinema experience.
“Our IMPACT auditoria have superb stadium seating, a spectacular large screen and extra leg room, so we were looking for great sound which completes the experience; it is a very important part of that premium offering, and it makes a massive difference to the overall experience,” says Andre Mort, Technical Director at Empire Cinemas. “We chose Vive because we wanted something a bit different. We wanted something which looked good in a theatre, but most importantly sounded great at the same time. It all comes down to sound in the end, and its performance is simply excellent.”
Empire Cinemas provided initial drawings to Christie and both companies collaboratively worked on creating an optimal design solution. The Dolby Atmos setup utilises in-ceiling speakers with ribbon driver technology in a unique parabolic line array design, delivering wide dispersion to improve the listening experience from every seat. LA4 and LA3 line array speakers were utilised in the install, which feature a very wide 120° horizontal dispersion and highly controlled 35° vertical dispersion patterns – placing sound exactly where it is needed.
Christie’s Vive Audio range comprises all the speakers required to completely outfit any cinema auditorium with a premium audio system. Engineered specifically for cinema audio, the speakers feature leading-edge technology and advanced design concepts to provide dynamic and detailed cinema audio. Christie’s ribbon driver technology provides enhanced clarity, dramatically reduced distortion and ultra-fast transient response. The solution supports the leading digital cinema audio formats, including Dolby Atmos, 5.1/7.1 surround and Auro 11.1.
The IMPACT screen uses Empire Cinema’s patented IMPACT design to produce a more immersive experience with colourful, creative interiors and comfortable seating allowing film buffs to soak up the big screen experience in the perfect environment. Delighted by the performance of Vive Audio, Empire Cinemas will again be installing the speakers in its upcoming new IMPACT screen, which is set to open in the summer. The cinema giant is also investigating the possibility of adding further Vive Audio installations to new sites in the future.
“We’ve had very pleasant feedback from customers, they’ve been very impressed with the audio,” adds Andre. “Christie has always been a pleasure to work with, and they’re always on hand and ready to help us with any assistance we need.”