A Private Screening at Skywalker Sound

Recently, Realm was invited to California for a private tour of Skywalker Ranch, George Lucas’s 4000-acre ranch in the hills north of San Francisco.  It is home to Skywalker Sound, the preeminent audio production facility, where the sounds and music of many of the movies we know and love are created and edited.  For audiophiles and movie buffs like us, this was an incredible experience.  

The highlight of the tour was a private screening in the Stag Theater, arguably the best sounding theater in the world.  It is in this 300-seat theater that directors and sound engineers screen their movies and decide how it should sound to the rest of the world. 

At the heart of the experience is a Meyer Sound audio system, actively powered by 31,000 watts of amplification.  There are 10 subwoofers, five screen channels and 24 surround speakers.  Dolby Atmos surround processing is used for immersive 3D audio.  The image on The Stag’s 50 foot wide screen is generated by two Christie Digital CP4230 4k DLP Digital Cinema Projectors.  

The projectionist screened the first 13 minutes of Oblivion, which was the first movie ever natively mixed expressly for Dolby Atmos, the latest immersive audio format.  The quality of the performance, both audio and video, defies superlatives.  But it is immediately evident that this combination of Meyer Sound and Christie Digital is what one uses when creating the world’s reference theater.  

We liked it so much we decided to build one in our design center.  More on that later...