Dolby adds screens with Digital Stereo

Aided by a slate of films from Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, Dolby is expanding its Digital Stereo SR-D system to 35 theaters this month and a goal of 100 sites by the end of the year.

Compatible 35m prints featuring Dolby’s Digital Stereo encoding were released this summer on WB’s “Batman Returns” and Disney’s “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid.”

New push includes this week’s “The Mighty Ducks” from Disney, next week’s WB actioner “Under Siege” and the WB George Strait-starrer “Pure Country,” opening Oct. 23, plus holiday attractions–Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” from Warners and Disney’s animated “Aladdin.”

Among the theater circuits signing up for the new process are General Cinema, United Artists Theater Circuit, Act III and Pacific Theaters. With the first European and Japanese cinemas installing Dolby DigitalStereo playback equipment late in the year, Dolby is looking forward to its first European productions mixed and released in the format early next year.

At least two other competing systems are in the works, including one being developed by Sony and the Cinema Digital Sound system pioneered by Optical Radiation and Eastman Kodak, which debuted for both 70m and 35m feature releases in 1990. CDS management team is in the process of buying the CDS system from owner Optical Radiation.

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