A few weeks ago, Dublin’s newest cinema experience came to town, with  the opening of the Omniplex Rathmines. Housed in the Swan Centre, and encompassing the old Swan Cinema, this new 8 screen multiplex offers the latest in high audio and visual equipment for the watching of films on the big screen. Omniplex Group spent the bones of €5m on this upgrade, refurbishment, and enhancement and the results are very impressive.

Scannain was treated to a guided tour of the new cinema recently, getting a chance to glimpse behind the curtain and see just what audiences are in for.

The new cinema comprises of 8 screens, with 1519 seats in total, the largest of which, Dublin’s first OmniplexMAXX, can hold 258. This screen, appropriately number 1, features a 19 x 8 metre screen, leather rocker seats, a massive 2k projector, and the Barca Aura 11.1 sound system. This sound system is viewed as the jewel in the crown by Omniplex and features naturally immersive sound, which is provided by the unique height and overhead channels which allow for sound waves to envelope audience members from every direction.

The leather rocker seats have been fitted into every screen, with all four of the old Swan Cinema screens being completely refurbished as part of the upgrade. In terms of audience screens 1-8 can now hold 258, 194, 189, 97, 178, 227, 163 and 213 respectively. Screen 4, the smallest one, can even be hired out for private functions.

A state of the art digital projection system runs behind the scenes, run from a command-centre located behind screen 1. This air-conditioned and sterile room allows management at the cinema to queue up a weeks worth of programming with relative ease. Assuming of course they get the digital decryption keys that are paired to every film and unique to every projector!

Many people malign the move to digital, and with good reason as we have lost some of the magic, but the move has allowed the number of screens in the capital to increase 153, and nationwide to 473, allowing a greater chance for people to see films on the biggest screens. With percentage audience numbers in Ireland eclipsing those elsewhere in Europe it’s easy to see why the screen numbers have gone up and it is great to see companies responding not just by pushing more people in or upping the show count, but instead offering customers a better cinematic experience, with the latest technology.

We’d still like to see cinema ticket prices come down though!

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