Dolby Digital Sound
Biggar Little Cinema and Dolby Stereo
To match the exceptional quality of our digital picture, our sound reproduction system is Dolby Digital using high definition stereo loudspeakers. The Corn Exchange has excellent acoustics, enhancing the fine detail available from Dolby equipment and Dolby encoded digital films.
Our equipment comprises:
Dolby Laboratories and Cinema Sound
Dolby Labs was founded in Great Britain in 1965 by American Ray Dolby, who subsequently relocated the company to San Francisco in 1976.
company's first system was Type A Dolby Noise Reduction, a method of
treating a recording so that the quiet sounds in a recording would not
be masked by tape noise. At first the product was marketed to record
companies, but, in 1968, a consumer version, Type B, was introduced..
Upon investigation, Dolby found that many of the limitations in optical sound stemmed directly from its significantly high background noise. To filter this noise, the high-frequency response of theatre playback systems was deliberately curtailed… To make matters worse, to increase dialogue intelligibility over such systems, sound mixers were recording soundtracks with so much high-frequency pre-emphasis that high distortion resulted.
The first film with Dolby sound was the British production A Clockwork Orange (1971), which used Dolby noise reduction on all pre-mixes and masters, but a conventional optical sound track on release prints. Callan (1974) was the first film with a Dolby-encoded optical soundtrack.
In 1975 Dolby released Dolby Stereo, which included a noise reduction system in addition to more audio channels - Dolby Stereo could actually contain additional centre and surround channels matrixed from the left and right. The first film with a Dolby-encoded stereo optical soundtrack was Lisztomania (1975), although this only used an LCR (Left-Center-Right) encoding technique. The first true LCRS (Left-Center-Right-Surround) soundtrack was encoded on the movie A Star Is Born in 1976. In less than ten years, 6,000 cinemas worldwide were equipped to use Dolby Stereo sound.
Dolby reworked the system slightly for home use and introduced Dolby Surround, which only extracted a surround channel, and the more impressive Dolby Pro Logic, which was the domestic equivalent of the theatrical Dolby Stereo.
The company subsequently developed a digital surround sound compression scheme for the cinema. Dolby Stereo Digital, now simply called Dolby Digital, was first featured on the 1992 film Batman Returns. Introduced to the home theatre market as Dolby AC-3 with the 1995 laserdisc release of Clear and Present Danger, the format did not become widespread in the consumer market, partly because of extra hardware that was necessary to make use of it, until it was adopted as part of the DVD specification.
The Dolby Theatre
The Dolby Theatre, formerly known as the Kodak Theatre, and temporarily renamed the Hollywood and Highland Center theatre in 2012, is a live entertainment theatre in the Hollywood and Highland shopping mall and entertainment complex on Hollywood Boulevard and North Highland Avenue in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles. Since its opening inNovember 2001, the theatre has been the home of the annual Academy Awards ceremonies (the Oscars), which were first held there in March 2002, and is the first permanent home for the awards. Since 2002, the theatre was also the home for American Idol.
The theatre was designed by David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group and Theatre Projects Consultants, specifically with the Oscars in mind. The stage is one of the largest in the United States, roughly tied with the Edward C. Elliott Hall of Music at Purdue University, measuring 113 feet (34 m) wide by 60 feet (18 m) deep. However, it has a seating capacity for up to 3,332 people, about half the size.
The theatre is particularly successful as a venue for a televised theatre performance (improving production values and economies in American Idol and the Academy Awards) through the planning and technical design. The architect and advisers undertook extensive consultation with many of the leading production personnel in Hollywood, which led to highly functional production cable infrastructure systems including an underground cable bunker which passes below the theatre to truck locations in adjacent streets, accessible and substantial power, and a unique camera, sound and stage management cockpit designed by Rockwell in the orchestra seating area.
The hallway leading up to the Grand Staircase entrance to the theatre from the front facade is flanked by storefronts as well as Art Deco columns displaying the names of past recipients of the Academy Award for Best Picture, with blank spaces left for future Best Picture winners well into the 21st century. In a fashion reminiscent of Hollywood's movie-making process, the building is 'dressed' before the ceremony, including, usually, a different sign, red drapery to hide all the storefronts, and the famous red carpet running up to the Staircase. A visitor during the rest of the year might have trouble recognising the hallway in its undecorated form.
The theatre is rented to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for weeks before the Oscar night. During the rest of the year, it hosts numerous live concerts, award shows, symphony performances and others. However, the 7,000 seat Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live has largely replaced the Kodak Theatre as the premier auditorium in L.A. since it opened in 2007, and some events formerly held at the Kodak are now regularly held at the Nokia, including the American Idol finals.
The theatre was sponsored, until February 2012, by the Eastman Kodak Company, which paid $75 million for the naming rights to the building. In early 2012, Eastman Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection, and thus ended its naming rights deal. The theatre's name was then changed to The Hollywood and Highland Center at the suggestion of the venue's landlord. On 1st May 2012, it was announced that the theatre was to be renamed the Dolby Theatre after Dolby Laboratories signed a 20-year naming rights deal.