AMC and Dolby plan laser projection, enhanced sound, vibrating seats at 4 theaters in May

AMC Theatres and Dolby Laboratories said Thursday that they will offer a combination of laser projection, enhanced sound, and seats that vibrate in response to onscreen action in select theaters starting in May.

The companies said the partnership will be called Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime and will have as many as four locations in large U.S. cities by mid-May. They plan to have up to 50 locations by December 2018 and as many as 100 by December 2024. The theaters will have Dolby Vision laser projection and Dolby Atmos sound as well as AMC Prime power reclining seats, which vibrate with action on screen.

AMC has 348 theaters around the U.S. In 2013 AMC and Dolby launched a large-screen AMC Prime format that includes Atmos sound. There are now nine AMC Prime locations.

Companies like Imax Corp. and projector maker Christie, which has a partnership with Dolby, have been touting laser-enhanced projection as a way to make the big screen more powerful. The lasers are supposed to be able to enhance the contrast onscreen, making blacks deeper and whites brighter and allowing more movies to be shown on the biggest screens.

Imax premiered "Fast 7," the latest installment in the action franchise, in laser this month, and it plans to add laser projection to more than a dozen locations this year.

Shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. stock lost 93 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $34.27 in midday trading, and Dolby Laboratories Inc. stock slipped 7 cents to $38.13.