AMC opening Northwest’s first all-digital cineplex

posted by Michael Zoldessy on July 22, 2008 at 7:40 am

TUKWILA, WA — The new AMC Westfield Southcenter not only provides Seattle-area moviegoers with luxurious accommodations but also the Northwest’s first all digital cinema.

It’s not being billed as such, but the opening Friday of AMC’s luxurious 16-screen multiplex at Westfield Southcenter in Tukwila is a milestone event in local movie history. It’s the first large-scale cinema in the Northwest in which every projector is digital.

The 2,900-seat complex is one of 10 nonfilm theaters AMC is introducing into the hard-pressed movie market this year, and the prototype for a movie-theater future that industry experts predict could be all-digital in less than a decade.

Will this transition affect the average moviegoer?

Read the full story in the Seattle PI.

Comments (9)

KenLayton on July 22, 2008 at 10:13 am

This is NOT the first all television theater to open in the Puget Sound area. Galaxy Theaters opened a 10 plex months ago in Gig Harbor (and it’s having equipment problems). Cinetopia has a theater complex in Vancouver that’s been open for almost two years.

Coate on July 22, 2008 at 10:35 am

The new SOUTHCENTER 16 has 4K projectors. Those other theaters you mention use 2K.

KramSacul on July 23, 2008 at 5:22 am

Television theater? What a ripoff. Give me fuzzy high speed printed 35mm. ;–)

markp on July 23, 2008 at 5:56 am

EXACTLY what I’ve been saying all along Kram!!! This will be what kills the movie industry once and for all. Why pay to see that which you can already watch in your living room.

KramSacul on July 23, 2008 at 7:09 am

I was being sarcastic. Film prints today are so inconsistent in quality it’s not funny. The days of special prints are long gone unfortunately.

No one has 4k in their living room, yet.

markp on July 23, 2008 at 12:26 pm

Well, I wasn’t being sarcastic. Sorry I misunderstood. But anyone who thinks this digital thing is going to be the end-all-be-all, lets just wait and see.

moviebuff82 on July 26, 2008 at 8:54 am

I agree. DLP has been around for 10 years (same time as HDTV’s introduction to the US), so it will take time and money before all theaters convert film to digital or vice versa.

Giles on August 14, 2008 at 10:13 am

but it’s much more affordable for the studio to convert film to digital, than it is the opposite, film distribution is very costly – the point of installing Digital projection systems was to cut that cost and process out.

As to Kram’s comment, film prints ARE very inconsistent. Compared to digital projection, every imperfection is gone, reel changes, theater indicator dots, random screen length white horizontal lines, grain.

as for the conversion of AMC screens, it’s been slow as molasses. Granted the technology is swaying to 4K, AMC’s very select theatres that feature Sony 4K is non-existent in print and advertising. ‘Hancock’ was screened in 4K, the next supposedly is ‘Quantum of Solace’.

Jon Lidolt
Jon Lidolt on September 13, 2008 at 12:32 pm

I ran a repertory cinema for many years and am well aware of the problems one faces projecting film: faded colors, scratched prints, frames missing because of bad splices, projectionists who refuse to wear glasses, and badly made prints that should never have left the lab. A new AMC cinema complex located near me in Toronto has 24 auditoriums and almost all of them are equpped with Sony 4K projectors. For me, at least, this AMC mutiplex is a pleasure to attend: the seats are great, the lobby is beautifully designed and feels like a movie theatre – not a midway at a carnival, and the digital projection onto their huge screens is always perfect. Truth be told (except for Imax) I haven’t seen such sharp pictures on a cinema screen since the 70mm roadshow days.

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