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TOPIC: THX certification -- worth it?

THX certification -- worth it? 24 Feb 2005 20:11 #28789

  • air7walk
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I've been a busy little beaver reading all these old posts, and I searched to find the answer to this question but came up with nil -- if it's already been answered, please flog me.


I'm purchasing an old 1 screen theater that's been closed for over 20 years and that was built in 1936 in an area with about 30,000 people. The closest theater is 30 miles away.

The chairs have been removed and I'm willing to bet the equipment is old and outdated, so I'm starting from scratch (I'll have pictures and specs tomorrow hopefully -- more info to come).

I've been to THX's website (www.thx.com/mod/services/cinemaServices.html for anyone that wants to go there) and was thinking -- is it worth investing in THX approved equipment and trying to get this certification? I'm not worried about competition *today*, but that could change tomorrow. Does anyone know the cheapest it would cost to outfit a theater with the approved equipment and attain certification? What do you wonderful folks think about it?

-Dan
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Re: THX certification -- worth it? 24 Feb 2005 23:23 #28790

  • RoxyVaudeville
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It's not just equipment here that you're talking about. You can purchase the finest equipment available and still not get certification. It's the environment that is just as important as equipment. Can you hear sounds from outside, or other parts of the theatre... maybe from the booth. How about the heating or air-conditioning? Do you hear air flowing from the ductwork? What are the room acoustics like? If any of these conditions exist, they would have to be dealt with requiring potentially very expensive alterations to the building.

Depending on how bad those conditions are, if any do exist, you might want to rectify them anyway. But if they are hardly noticeable, the cost of making those improvements may not be worth it, yet they would be enough to deny a THX certification.

Will the certification bring in more customers? Probably. But will it bring in enough to pay for the extra costs involved. I doubt it. If you have the money, and it's something you want for your own satifaction... go for it. But if the budget is tight, there are other areas where the money would be better spent.
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Re: THX certification -- worth it? 24 Feb 2005 23:32 #28791

  • outaframe
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10 years ago THX Certification might have been a worthwhile investment, today it is nearly meaningless... Spend your money for a sound system that is FULLY up to digital specifications, and either install DTS now, or as soon as you can afford to do it... THAT will pay you back and give you some bragging rights...
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Re: THX certification -- worth it? 25 Feb 2005 06:14 #28792

  • air7walk
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I'll have to say that you folks are some of the nicest, most honests peeps around -- THANK YOU. In my mind, if I could get THX certified it meant my theater was top notch. I'm in the IT industry right now, and certifications mean jack anymore -- that's what this sounds like too. My end goal is to create the best experience possible that I can afford -- I can do that with or without a certification, and if it's not that important to have your theater certified, I can focus on running my business and improving things that matter to customers and not worry about things that most/all folks won't notice.

Does anyone know of any theater consultants in KY? I'm a newbie at this stuff, and I know I'd benefit from hiring someone to help me get the theater up to speed after I seal the deal and purchase it.

-Dan
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Re: THX certification -- worth it? 25 Feb 2005 08:01 #28793

  • outaframe
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Hadden Theater Supply (Louisville) has an excellent reputation...
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Re: THX certification -- worth it? 25 Feb 2005 11:10 #28794

  • rodeojack
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Hadden Theater Supply (Louisville) has an excellent reputation...

Agreed. I've also had excellent service from Louis.
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Re: THX certification -- worth it? 25 Feb 2005 22:17 #28795

  • wimovieman
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Louis is excellent--and a very vast amount of knowledge---just make sure you have what ever you want to order written down in front of you when you call as Louis is so personable that I usually never get all I am suppose to order in one phone call!
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Re: THX certification -- worth it? 26 Feb 2005 10:23 #28796

  • air7walk
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AWESOME... I'll give Louis a call!
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Re: THX certification -- worth it? 28 Feb 2005 14:50 #28797

  • Avco
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Wasn't part of being THX certified, you had to pay a yearly fee to them.
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Re: THX certification -- worth it? 01 Mar 2005 21:04 #28798

  • trackfood
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Yes, you have to pay a yearly "re-certification" fee...
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Re: THX certification -- worth it? 05 Mar 2005 00:18 #28799

  • filmguy
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Don't bother with it. I've heard THX theatres that don't sound as good as one that couldn't get the cert. As long as you've got good, and I mean GOOD, sound, nobody gives a rats rear end about the label on it. It's all in perception. If what people see and hear is pleasing, that's all that matters.


Part of the THX cert. is the amount of room noise that is heard from HVAC units and other "ambient" room noise as well as sound from the lobby and such. In an old theatre where the lobby is usually immediately outside the auditorium, it's darn near impossible to isolate the auditorium from any other source of noise. It's just not worth the effort or the expense. You can still have sound to rattle your teeth. I've got a sound system that was in a theatre that was certified and there's no way in hell that I could ever get certified here. But it sure sounds good.
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