A Company George Lucas Founded Is Now Competing With IMAX

THX Ultimate Cinema is offering a “new visual standard”

April 2, 2019 9:00 am

First, if you’re trying to get 3-D IMAX tix to see Avengers: Endgame … good luck.

But next year, you might be able to see a Marvel movie in an even better format than IMAX.

THX, the forward-thinking audio/visual group formed by George Lucas in 1983, is about to launch THX Ultimate Cinema. A collaboration with Cinionic, this new premium large-format (PLF) cinema standard utilizes a dual-Barco laser system that delivers a “a 4K resolution image with increased brightness, contrast, clarity and rich brilliant colors.” The company is hailing this as a “new visual standard” for movies.

Given that casual filmgoers are now more likely to stay at home and watch Netflix, the movie experience increasingly has to become something special. THX is hoping their new system — which will cost theaters over $1 million just for the projector — will help them break away from the other dozen-plus PLF brands (including IMAX and Dolby) competing for eyes and ears.

To be fair, this is not 4D or VR; THX admits they’re simply offering what they consider a sharper picture and better, more immersive acoustics. And it’ll most certainly cost you a premium price, much like any IMAX screening.

THX Ultimate Cinema will debut in Los Angeles’s historical Regency Westwood Village Theatre later this spring or summer, with plans to roll out nationwide soon after.

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