THX Certified Cinemas
THX defines quality and performance for the world’s premiere movie theaters. Not to be confused with the surround sound technologies from Dolby® Laboratories and DTS®, THX Certified Cinemas provide standards and best practices for architectural design, acoustics, sound isolation and audio-visual equipment performance.

The goal of THX cinema certification is to reproduce the acoustics and ambience of the movie studio, allowing audiences to enjoy a movie’s sound effects, score, dialogue and visual presentation with the clarity and detail of the final mastering session.

By creating these design standards and enforcing performance criteria for speakers and other cinema audio and visual equipment, THX provides directors and sound artists the confidence that the hours spent toiling over sound and visual design elements in the studio will be realized by audiences around the globe.

Today, there are close to 2,000 THX Certified Cinemas, including the Arclight Hollywood Cinema, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Empire Cinemas in Leicester Square, Toho Roppongi Hills and Kinneopolis Cinemas in Europe.

What is a THX Certified Cinema?

Through its standards for acoustic performance, background noise, sound isolation and image quality, THX Certified Cinemas promise every seat in the house is a good one. During the certification process, THX offers the following services to its cinema partners:

  • Feasibility Study: Analysis of THX design integration into cinema architectural plans.
  • Speaker Layout and Baffle Wall: Detailed architectural drawings for speaker positioning and baffle wall (behind the screen) design.
  • Auditorium Isolation: Review of exterior noise sources, such as adjacent auditoriums, street traffic and concessions, to ensure nothing distracts audiences from the feature presentation.
  • Reverberation Control: Specifications for the installation of acoustic absorption material.
  • Measurement of Background Noise: Confirm background noise meets NC30 at all octave bands; this ensures noise from air conditioning units and projection equipment does not mask the subtle effects in a movie’s soundtrack.
  • Screen Placement: Evaluation of cinema visual performance, including luminance, resolution, color, jitter and weave, as well as audience viewing angles in every seating position.
  • Projected Image: Analysis of the projected image to verify that the entire image size is projected on the screen.
  • Calibration: Calibration of the sound and projection system to industry and THX standards.
  • Final Testing: Ensure equipment and auditorium is performing to THX performance specifications.
Contact THX for additional information on the THX Certified Cinema program.