Our Sound System

As part of The Astor’s dedication to providing the best-possible movie-going experience, a new sound system was installed in 1997.

At the heart of the system is a Dolby CP500-70D processor for Dolby Digital and a decoder for 35mm and 70mm DTS. The Astor managed to get the last Dolby 70mm pre-amplifier to be manufactured and also has full split-surround capability.

And the projectors have been fitted with reverse-scan, analogue, infra-red readers for Dolby A, Dolby SR and mono soundtracks.

The auditorium side of things is also impressive. Behind the screen are six ElectroVoice 12-inch, low-frequency speakers and three EV wide-angle, HF horn speakers fed by six 750-watt RMS amplifiers manufactured in the US by QSC. But that’s not all – there are also eight EV 18-inch sub-woofers fed with 3.5 kW RMS!

If you add the 24 surround speakers which are fed by four 750-watt RMS amplifiers you get a total of 11 kW of amplifier power!

Imagine how it sounds! You have not experienced real 70mm presentation until you see something such as the “bridal march” scene in Hamlet or the chariot race in Ben-Hur and break-out in goose-bumps at the stunning “wall” of crystal-clear sound that fills The Astor’s new screen as surely as does the image.

It is amusing, to say the least, to compare the results with what must have been possible with the cinema’s original, 1929-design, Western Electric amplifier with its then-awesome power output of a staggering 15 watts! It has been restored and is on display in the upstairs foyer.

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