Forest Grove will also see digital upgrades

Despite its location off the beaten track, the Cornelius 9 Cinema complex has become a trendsetter in providing local moviegoers with the most dramatic entertainment experience possible.

Robert Perkins, owner of Beaverton-based Act V Theaters, said Cornelius 9 is one of the first movie theaters in the state to go all-digital in both projection and sound. The business has just completed an expensive upgrade of the largest theater in the facility, which boasts a 53-foot screen rather than the typical 34-foot or 38-foot screens of most multi-plex theaters. The theater has been reconfigured with what is known as “4K” digital projection and “THK 7.1 Dolby” sound.

“It’s pretty astounding,” said Perkins. “One of the really phenomenal differences is in the way the screen is lit. It’s a big difference from 35mm film, which is illuminated from the center out and is a little dimmer at the edges. Here, the whole screen is lit, and it’s extremely vivid.”

The sound system has also been significantly upgraded with the latest version of THK Dolby “surround-sound.”

“What’s new is, we’ve added more channels of individualized audio,” said Perkins.

Although he did not want to provide an exact figure, Perkins said the overall package cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“It’s a phenomenal investment, but we have to do it to stay competitive,” Perkins explained. “Without these improvements, we couldn’t go forward. Film is going away.”

Perkins, who also owns the Forest Theater in downtown Forest Grove, said traditional film projection will be all but extinct 18 months from now. That means changes are coming to the Forest Grove venue.

“Our plan is to bring digital projection to that theater as well,” Perkins said. “Long-term, we have to make that change. We like the Forest Theater, and our plan is to do the upgrade this summer.”

Perkins added that he believes this is an exciting time to be in the movie business.

“We’re excited about the changes, and about the films coming this summer,” Perkins said.

He pointed out that potential blockbusters are going to be released over the next few months, including a new “Star Trek” film, a new “Superman” movie and “The Lone Ranger.”

“Our timing is good,” Perkins said. “It should be a phenomenal summer with big film after big film, and our patrons will see and hear a difference.”

Contract Publishing

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