Dolby Cinema: Impressions from Munich

On Saturday I had the chance to experience the third screening in the new "Dolby Cinema" hall of the Mathäser-Filmpalast. Reason enough to describe my impressions.

The film: Avengers: Endgame. If you haven't seen it yet, please feel free to read on, this text contains none Spoilers.

Dolby Cinema has been available in the Netherlands since 2014, and now the technology is also coming to Germany in the form of a completely new hall in Munich.

The "Dolby-Cinema" hall in Munich is spatially separated from the other halls and has a popcorn counter as well as its own toilets - this is basically already practical. The price is significantly higher than in other venues: € 18.40 and thus a good € 4 surcharge is charged by Kinopolis for the "Dolby Cinema" experience.

The hall itself is completely new furnished - "new car smell" included. But this will certainly be gone in the next few weeks.

Dolby-Cinema screen at Mathäser Filmpalast Munich
Dolby-Cinema screen at Mathäser Filmpalast Munich

During the obligatory advertising, one doesn't notice much of the new technology with two 4K laser projectors, these play out the improved values for contrast and brightness at the latest from a special Dolby Cinema demo, in which above all the Dolby Atmos sound system and the black level were pointed out.

From this point on, the 3D displays were started, which was announced with a hint to put on the glasses. About the glasses: the Dolby Cinema glasses are much heavier than the normal 3D glasses in the other halls, which at least for me caused the glasses to slip down on the nose during the movie (especially when enjoying popcorn). This could be avoided partly only by holding the glasses with one hand.

This is certainly different from viewer to viewer. Also noticeable: the technology is really sensitive to stray light, so the hall is really well darkened. However, as soon as someone moves around in the hall with a mobile phone display switched on, this is immediately noticeable in a negative way. But without a light source it is also difficult to find one's own seats: punctual appearance is a must if one does not want to disturb the other guests.

About the movie experience itself: both picture and sound are really well balanced, with strong colours, rich - but not grumpy - bass and a convincing 3D effect.

Nevertheless, for most films - except perhaps for blockbusters like Endgame - home cinema with Panasonic AT6000E and a suitable screen is still the medium of choice. All in all, a "Dolby-Cinema" room is a really good development for cinemas.

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