Noise Levels in Cinemas

Damian Ellerton

New Zealand Acoustics, 15(2), pp.22- 26 . (2002).

Over the last couple of years there have been numerous media reports about the potential risk posed to personal hearing from watching movies in cinemas. The reports often describe noise levels that patrons are exposed to as “ear shattering” and in excess of the recommended levels for the workplace resulting in potentially serious damage to hearing. The aim of this project was to measure sound levels of a number of movies in order to determine what level of noise an ordinary cinema goer may be exposed to during the course of a movie. Noise levels of movie trailers have not been measured or considered and are outside the scope of this project.