Dorking Halls, United Kingdom, Customer Story
The exterior of Dorking Halls
Technical Manager, Dorking Halls, United Kingdom
From its origins as the home of a much-loved music festival to its recent addition of 3D cinema technology, Dorking Halls has always been at the heart of the Mole Valley community. Opened in 1931, Dorking Halls has been renovated since the late 1990s to ensure it remains a popular venue for live theater, music, and movie screenings.
The Halls’ Premier Cinema screens films seven days a week throughout the year and recently was completely refurbished with comfortable seats and acoustic wall paneling for improved sound quality. At the beginning of 2011, the Premier Cinema upgraded its technology.
The Switch to 3D
When Dorking Halls decided the time had come to upgrade its Premier Cinema to digital and 3D, it turned to its trusted maintenance contractor, Omnex Pro Film, for advice.
“They know us as a venue and know how we run, so we knew they would provide us with the right recommendation,” says Michael Knight, Dorking Halls’ Technical Manager. “They told us that the Dolby® 3D system delivers the highest quality 3D of all systems.”
As part of the evaluation process, Michael and his team spoke with a number of 3D cinemas to understand the pros and cons of each 3D system available today. They also went to see 3D movies screened using different technologies. They knew from the outset that they didn’t want a system with ongoing costs, nor one that was high maintenance.
“I went to see a few 3D films at cinemas that use different 3D systems,” says Michael. “I was impressed with Dolby. The image and color clarity is far superior, and the physical 3D effect is much better.”
The team decided to go with Dolby 3D, but the transition to 3D still wasn’t straightforward. Dorking Halls is owned and run by a local authority, so staff had to make a business case and get the necessary approvals in order to secure the capital funding required to upgrade the equipment. The Halls has nearby competition from other independent cinemas, and a Cineworld multiplex is just up the road. There was clear evidence that audiences were going elsewhere to see films that came out in 3D, so the Dorking Urban District Council agreed to make the investment needed to move to digital and 3D.
“We’ve since received very positive feedback on the Dolby 3D system, and we’ve significantly increased the number of cinemagoers coming through our doors,” says Michael. “It’s all looking very positive.”