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'Xtreme' night at the movies

Xtreme. It's a word that usually goes with something more than spectacular, more than awe inspiring -- and, many times, it fails to meet expectations.

The Xtreme theatre, part of the Landmark 8 Cinema complex in West Kelowna, met and exceeded expectations.

With a screen that's three storeys high and six storeys wide, speakers in the walls, ceilings and behind the screen, and leather, high back seating, the Xtreme theatre (theatre 8) is the jewel of the Landmark chain.

It's the first theatre of its kind in Canada and, according to Landmark Cinemas Chief Operating Officer, Neil Campbell, one of only five in the world.

It's the sound system that makes the experience.

It features 11.1 digital 3D sound which equates to 11 channels of sound.

Campbell says it wasn't until he experienced the system at a new theatre in California back in January that the company decided to build a similar system on the westside.

"It meant re-working the plans for this place, it meant really upping our game. Tonight we're just thrilled because it's come through in spades," says Campbell.

"It's 11 distinct channels of sound. We're taking the sound in this room from roughly 23,000 watts of power to 76,000 watts of power. It's not that it is going to be loud and screaming, but you are going to hear everything you hear in the real world. If the sound is coming at you from the left, whether it's coming from shoulder height or high up in a tree you'll have those distinct differences."

The theatre has been compared to the experience of an IMAX Theatre. Campbell says that's a fair assessment.

"The size of the screen and all the accoutrements of this auditorium I think would easily fit under their branding."

Why unveil this theatre experience in the Okanagan?

"This is our fourth theatre in the marketplace and we are expanding our company very aggressively," says Campbell.

"We are looking for things that will separate us from the competition, something that will make us distinctly Landmark. We think what we have done here will show we can show movies as good as, if not better than anybody else."

The new movie experience does come with a price.

3D movies will cost $15.99 in the Xtreme auditorium. Regular movies are $3 cheaper.

While the Xtreme Theatre is the crowning jewel of the new complex, Campbell says the other seven theatres in the complex are also impressive in their own right.

"It's all stadium, it's all high-back seating, it's all silver screen and we have five of the eight auditoriums that can do 3D. Nobody is going to have a better presentation anywhere in Canada than this theatre will have."

The new theatre opens Friday and, at the same time, Campbell says the Capital Theatre will turn into an 'Encore' theatre with discounted prices.

The Capital Theatre will begin running movies that have already completed their first run.

Instead of leaving town they will be shown at the Capital Theatre at discounted prices.

Matinees will cost $3 and evening shows $4. Movies will show all day Thursday for $2.

The new Capital Encore will be open from noon until around midnight when the last movie finishes.

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