Kids’ movies such as Dumbo are so loud that they hit the same deafening level as a pneumatic drill, it is claimed.
And campaigners are now warning that the noise levels could be putting cinema-goers’ hearing at risk.
Armed with hi-tech recording gear, we tested the decibel levels of new releases across major chains, including Odeon.
We found that the loudest scenes in Dumbo reached 107 decibels (dB) – the same as a drill.
A trailer promoting the upcoming Shaun the Sheep film also reached 107dB.
And the new superhero flick Shazam! reached 100dB during one fight scene.
Under the Noise at Work Regulations 2005, anything over 85dB is considered potentially dangerous to people at work if it is prolonged.
There is no statutory standard for cinemas but the UK Cinema Association uses the criteria specified in the 2005 Regulations.
Gemma Twitchen, senior audiologist at Action on Hearing Loss, said: “These decibel readings are extremely concerning. Any sound above 85dB can cause permanent damage to hearing.
“The fact that these readings go up to 107dB means that audience members could be at serious risk.”
But Phil Clapp, of the UK Cinema Association, said a level of 140dB is allowable, according to the regulations.
And a spokesman for Odeon said: “The sound levels in our cinemas across the country are in line with regulations.”
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