Dolby Transforms the Former Kodak Theatre

The theatre is renamed with pomp and circumstance.

It may be June, but the former Kodak Theatre was decked out Oscar-style Monday for the unveiling of the new Dolby Theatre.

Performers from Cirque du Soleil’s Iris helped unveil the new Dolby Theatre sign with a great deal of fanfare and much to the delight of the crowd, both in the bleachers and standing in front of Hollywood and Highland Center.

City Councilman Eric Garcetti kicked off the evening’s festivities, telling the audience Dolby is a natural fit for the neighborhood.

“When we heard the name, Dolby, we immediately knew we were home,” Garcetti said.

Kevin Yeaman, Dolby’s president and chief executive officer, addressed the media and VIPs in the bleachers, calling the new Dolby Theatre a “showcase for the best technologies we have to offer.”

After the ceremony, guests were ushered down a lengthy red carpet and into the new Dolby Theatre for an experience that gives a whole new meaning to “surround sound.”

There were individual stations set up with varying technologies to sample, including smartphones with headphones as well as laptops and tablets. There was also a mini-theatre inside the lobby where people could sit and view “Dolby 3D” which offers “full HD quality 3D without glasses.”

“It really does make you feel like an in-theatre experience,” guest Claire Watanabe said of the smartphones.

And the evening didn’t end there. The guests were then guided into the new Dolby Theatre to witness firsthand the transformation and the sound of Dolby Atmos. The audience intermittently donned 3D glasses to witness a variety of film clips, many of them edited to serve as examples of the Dolby sound. The 180,000-square-foot theatre features overhead speakers that hang from the ceiling on two trusses with 22 speakers on each one as well as a new 60-by-32 movie screen and 164 individually, amplified loud speakers.

In honor of the founder of Dolby Laboratories, Ray Dolby, the ballroom and VIP lounge at the new Dolby Theatre have been renamed the Ray Dolby Ballroom and the Dolby Lounge respectively.

The theatre will have a grand opening next Monday featuring a screening of the Disney/Pixar movie, Brave.

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