Wanda Cinema to open 100 high-end Dolby theaters in China

Jaimie Park, who works at Dolby Laboratories in San Francisco, wears headgear that measures her brain waves as she watches a film.
(David Butow / For The Times)

Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda Group is bringing Dolby Laboratories’ advanced cinema technology to China for the first time, reflecting the growth of the Chinese cinema business and its increasing ties with American companies.

Chinese theater chain Wanda Cinema Line is launching 100 locations for Dolby’s premium cinema line, which promises more realistic laser-powered projection and sound that bounces around the auditorium.

The new Dolby Cinema theaters will roll out over the next five years, the companies said Wednesday. Financial details were not disclosed.


Dolby, based in San Francisco, introduced its high-end cinema technology to better appeal to moviegoers increasingly tempted by other entertainment options.

Its Dolby Cinema offering features two components: the highly vivid laser projection system Dolby Vision, and Atmos, which uses speaker technology that lets filmmakers make sounds anywhere in the movie theater.

The Wanda deal is part of Dolby’s push to get its new product adopted around the world, Dolby Laboratories Chief Executive Kevin Yeaman said in a statement.

“Dolby’s collaboration with Wanda Cinema Line marks a significant step in delivering the next-generation cinema experience on a global scale,” Yeaman said.

In April last year, Dolby and AMC said they would debut 100 of the high-tech theaters over the next decade. Dolby Cinema locations have also been opened in European countries such as the Netherlands, Spain and Austria.

Wanda’s Jianlin has become an increasingly important player, not just in China’s booming movie market, but also in Hollywood. Wanda is the biggest theater owner in the world, having bought AMC Entertainment in 2012.


The company recently bought Burbank production company Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion. Legendary, founded by Thomas Tull, is best known as one of the companies behind “The Dark Knight,” “Jurassic World” and “Godzilla.”

Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder


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