Many years ago, I used to work in a Cinema (From March 1984 to September 1986, before the days of multi-screen cinemas you see today). I used to enjoy the work some of the time, but it was so annoying having to watch films with other people present. People would talk, fidget & do other things (sometimes deliberately) to disturb your enjoyment of the film. Any complaints were on some occasions, met with threats of violence or foul-mouthed abuse.
To this day, if I want to go & see a film at the cinema, I go & see the film a few weeks after the film has opened during a weekday matinee, so I will see that film in a virtually empty auditorium (except when I’m on Holiday & it’s one of those rare occasions when I want to see a film straight away!) You also missed parts of the film because you wanted to go to the loo, or go & buy the extortionately expensive sweets or drinks from the cinema kiosk. You couldn’t tune the auditorium environment to your own taste (sound too loud, picture too dark, too warm or too cold, seats uncomfortable etc).
One day, I thought would it be possible to recreate the cinema experience at home without the bad aspects?? As I was looking to buy some new Hi-fi separates; I bought some magazines to see what was available regarding price, sound quality and features. In one of the magazines, I came across a news article that *Dolby* Laboratories were developing *Dolby* stereo cinema surround sound for home use. It was named *Dolby* Surround.
This article gained my attention immediately, I spent the next several months researching & looking in local Hi-fi & electrical stores, to no avail. I eventually saw my first “Home Cinema Demo” at a Hi-fi show in 1985 in St. Johns Wood, London.
It was Marantz demonstrating their latest *Dolby* Surround processor with an amplifier, Hi-fi stereo video recorder (NOT Nicam) & a front projector of sorts. If my memory serves me well, they were showing ‘Supergirl’. The demo room was packed solid with people eager to see the demo. That was it, the Home Cinema bug well & truly bit me. I asked the cost of the set-up, the rep said in excess of £3k!!. Way too much for a 19 year old on £50 a week, so I began saving & waiting.
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