Why Dolby Cinema at AMC is the best movie-going experience today

I may sound spoiled, but it's hard for me to go to another theater after the Dolby experience.

Brian Tong Editor / Video
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Brian Tong
2 min read

If you're "that person" who wants the best movie experience possible, with the best image quality and sound available today, there's only one theater that you should be going to.

It's a Dolby Cinema at AMC.

And no, this is not an advertisement. After raving about the Dolby Cinema experience to my friends for the past year, I got a chance to go behind the scenes at AMC Burbank 16, just north of LA, to show you what makes this experience special.

You can't find them everywhere, but there will be 50 of these theaters in the US by the end of the year, and 50 more worldwide, though none yet are planned for the UK or Australia. So what makes them special?

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Firstly, you're getting 500 times the contrast ratio compared to a standard movie projection system, pure black levels, an expanded color gamut and twice the brightness. This is all thanks to a dual-4K Christie laser projection system, designed to support films that have been optimized and color graded for Dolby Vision HDR.

The majority of the movies are 2D, so you're really getting the truest image quality. It's up to studios to produce Dolby-optimized 3D versions of their movies, with "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" only the second film, behind "The Jungle Book," that will have 3D showings at some Dolby Cinema at AMC theaters.

The second piece to this is Dolby Atmos sound system. The best way I can describe it is to call it 3D sound that moves around you. It's a reference-quality surround sound technology from Dolby that renders audio objects in real time and supports up to 128 tracks. You can clearly hear individual elements, like a bird flying around the entire room in a scene set in a rainforest, and it's amazing.

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Dolby Cinema at AMC gives you 500 times the contrast ratio of a standard cinema. Perfect for any blockbusters you may be planning on watching.


Dolby Atmos has some serious firepower: five in-screen speakers , 48 surround sound speakers and four ceiling-mounted subwoofers. Want more? The reclining leather chairs have transducers in them, so you'll feel a deep rumble directly in your seat when there's a loud explosion or a crash of lighting. It's the definitive movie-going experience right now.

A standard movie ticket today costs around $15 for a prime time showing -- it's not cheap these days. A Dolby Cinema ticket will run you $20 (about £15 or AU$25), but it's worth it to me. Go and check it out for yourself. You can thank me later.

If you're in the US, find out if there's one near you at the Dolby Cinema at AMC page.