Dolby Making Oscar & “Hobbit” Plans

Dolby Laboratories, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, and CIM Group have come to a three-way deal which will see the Oscars ceremony staying in its current home for a few decades says The Hollywood Reporter.

The former Kodak Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland complex in Los Angeles has been renamed the Dolby Theatre and AMPAS has extended its current contract which will keep the ceremony at the complex. As a result the Oscars will officially call the ‘Dolby Theater’ its home until at least 2033.

The news comes as Peter Jackson is reportedly considering the new Dolby Atmos audio format for the upcoming release of “The Hobbit”. Dolby are headed to New Zealand to give the filmmaker a demonstration, but Jackson has already said “If we can do it I would be pretty keen.”

The Dolby Atmos format creates a “lifelike” and “immersive” soundscape and involves the placement of speakers all around an auditorium as well as across the ceiling – allowing transmission of up to 64 discrete speaker feeds and 128 simultaneous and lossless audio channels.

Disney/Pixar’s “Brave” will be the first film to test the Atmos format and a little over a dozen theatres worldwide are expected to be ready for that trial run. By the time of the release of “The Hobbit”, said technology should be available in quite a few more theaters.