THX's large-format cinema will take on IMAX later this year

It will debut at the Regency Westwood Village Theater in LA.

THX will debut its premium large format brand called THX Ultimate Cinema this spring or summer, it announced. It features a dual-laser 4K Barco projectors and a THX-certified 7.1 immersive sound system and will take on the likes of IMAX and Dolby in the premium large format (PLF) category. It will debut at the at the 1,400 seat Regency Westwood Village Theatre in LA, which has hosted numerous red-carpet premieres.

The Ultimate Cinema brand is a partnership between THX and Cinionic, the company that supplies commercial Barco projectors. THX will specifically master up to 30 films per year for its system, which also supports regular movies via Digital Cinema Package (DCP) projection.

THX is no doubt hoping to use the first installation as advertising. It didn't mention the price to equip a theater, but the projector alone reportedly costs around $1 million. Theaters with IMAX and other large format screens can generally sell tickets at a premium and draw in moviegoers who might otherwise stay at home.

There are something like 18 different PLF brands, but THX does have the great advantage of brand recognition. It was originally founded by George Lucas and named after his first movie, THX 1138. Many movie-goers also have fond memories of THX's "the audience is listening" audio logo played before movies.