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I’ve been saying the same thing for the last few years. I don’t think they’ve gotten rid of all their projectionists. I thought they had one for those rare 70mm shows. I remember one of the last bookings they only played 70mm on the weekends, thinking they ran digital or some automated showing on the weekdays when attendance is lower.
I found 2001: A Space Odyssey showing here tonight and attended the only showing. Film started promptly at 6:30, intermission at 8, resumed at 13 minutes. No previews or IMAX trailer, whatsoever. Just a prerecorded welcome announcement. The classical music played pre show was nice. One would think the theater would have had slide shows or commercials for the Smithsonian museums, but nothing. Even though today was a holiday, I paid $2 just in case. Fortunately, there was no ticket on my window given the 2 hr parking time max.
Movie was digitally disappointing. Color was not vibrant or sharp. The picture was ok, no transferred film artifacts such as scratches or spotting. In fact, the readouts looked dull. What I saw in the 70mm print at the AFI Silver such as the red veins in Bowman’s eyes in the bedroom suite scene showed a vein, not tree of veins. Bowman’s eye color in the closeups looked green in one scene, opaque in another. Ship/pod readouts were dull, worse than the 70mm print at the AFI.
Even though I’ve seen this film many times, I would always hope there would be a change to one scene. When Bowman rescues Poole, he returns to the Discovery but lets Poole’s body go to get into the ship through the manual airlock. Well…the pod has 4 arms with 4 hands. Bowman should/could have held on to Poole with two of the arms and still have the other two turn those dials on the Discovery exterior to open the airlock, place Poole into the chamber and then enter, himself, as in the film.
Having read of Kubrick’s obsession with perfection, he’d be rolling around in his grave to find this film digitally preserved and presented the way it was tonight.
Howard, so true.
Peter, so this Nolan supervised ‘new’ 70mm print taken from the 65mm original negative, to use a Trumpism…was an ‘alternative fact?’:) GRRR.
Giles had mentioned the IMAX version was at the Chantilly Smithsonian the previous week. I was thinking about attending that to compare but didn’t have the time to check it out. I hope it makes the rounds again to check out (the IMAX version).
Hooray for me. I caught the last showing of 2001 this evening. This time I bought tickets online to avoid the mess from last time. Turnout was surprisingly decent for a weeknight showing. I guestimate about 200 spread out the Grand Theater.
The theater advertises fresh made Whole Food sandwiches and other items. Unfortunately, they were all sold out. This is ridiculous for a 7:30 pm show. And they stopped selling my favorite stuffed pretzels. And I ain’t paying no $10 for a Costco sized dog that Costco sells for $1.50. Instead, I paid $5 for one oversized cookie and a bag of super crunchy chips. Its funny in that the guy next to me also had chips and as anyone who has seen the film knows its mostly quiet. You can hear audience movement, coughs and whatnot. So he and I were careful to quietly chew our extra crunchy chips, stop when the soundtrack was dead silent and resume chewing when it got loud. :)
Excellent showmanship. They discontinued the slide show and closed the curtain promptly at 7:30pm while the overture or entrance music began. There were some film detracting artifacts such as a sudden drop out as if the film had been trimmed at the beginning of the Dawn of Man scenes. Spotting and lines in certain places led me to believe the film has been shown quite a bit and probably mishandled. Intermission started at 9pm and the show resumed about 15 minutes later. Curtain closed. Audience clapped at the end. After the credits, while many still sat in their seats, curtain closed. ^5s.
Thinking about the ‘experience,’ I have to say it was less than I hoped. While its always great to see a classic on the BIG screen, with a decent audience, there were some other detractions. The color seemed less vibrant from what I thought was a first generation print. For example, the close ups of Dave Bowman. The guy has big BIG BLUE eyes. We’re not talking exaggerated digital blue like Chris Pine in the IMAX-lite Star Trek reboots here. They looked more light blue. My memory of the virgin print from the Uptown viewing from 1990 was more engaging..this is aside from the superior w-i-d-e screen at the theater. BUT..what I did notice this time (for the first time probably) were the red blood veins in Bowman’s eyes.
Another color detraction were the ship monitor readouts as Hal kills the scientists in stasis. The colors looked faded and not properly contrast and sharp. Maybe I’m wrong but I had thought the readouts filled the entire screen not boxed. The sound effect had a less than vibrant piercing beep beep..beep beep. Or, maybe my hearing has, um..lossed some sensitivity after years of THX/Dolby Digital/DTS abuse. :)
On the positive side, in one of the moon shots, there appeared more ‘texture’ than what I remember from before. The space suits by the Discovery looked more blood orange then orange than I recall. Since this print was supposedly made from the original negative would I be correct to assume this was the original intent?
I didn’t spend much time looking at the exhibits, but I did take a minute or two to marvel at the decorations and interior designs and how well things seem to have held up since its reopening some 15 years or so ago.
If Spartacus were shown here in 70mm for the Kubrick retrospective, I would have driven back for it. But for DCP, not so much interest. Might as well see it at home.
I saw the movie Incredibles 2 in #8 last week. The place looks a little more updated with the newer doors and concession upgrades. The recliner seats appear to be similar to the mall ones. If only they had upgraded the sound and installed larger screens. Sound levels for the movie were okay. I think if it played in the mall, it would be louder. Surrounds were ok and ] whatever attendance there was were mostly kids and their parents. Hope to visit the other auditoriums and sample some of the newer concessions on a future visit.
Looking at the AFI Silver’s page, they’ve got 2001 booked for only ONE day, Fri 8/24, with just two showings. I figured they would try to get it back especially with the current Kubrick film retrospectives.
I’m wondering why this year they hardly had any 70mm anything. I know we’re not in Hollywood and have easy access to the film archives and all that but when I see Portland and some of these other places having more 70mm, I’m jealous. This isn’t right. This is the AFI!
Since I missed the last showing of 2001 at the AFI Silver, I walked here to see what was playing and decided to see Ant Man in IMAX. I think its the first time I’ve been back to a Regal theater since the Into Darkness film blogged above. 5 years! And after tonight’s visit, it may be another 5 before I go back. :)
The remodel of the IMAX auditorium is nice. The soft faux leather seats are car seat comfortable and firm. They don’t recline! Seating capacity states 303.
I can’t believe I plunked down $20 for this movie. I used the kiosk to buy as the single cashier was busy. Still having my Regal card, I saw I had 500 points. The movie point system with them has changed in what I believe is just psychological. Instead of singular points for your dollar spending, it is now in the HUNDREDS.
The main concession stand is undergoing a major remodel and was completely closed. The secondary refreshment counter was opened and the counter guy explained you need 7000 points for a measly popcorn. I bought a pan pizza for about $7, not too bad. I asked for ice water and received nothing at the other end. Customer service is poor.
The pre show show plays on the entire screen, which is very nice. On the other hand, the sound plays only on the left side. Why this is, is baffling. You’d expect more for that $20 ticket price.
The IMAX trailer is the same. The circular countdown touting the big screen and immersive sound. They need to update it. Of all the trailers shown, the bio pic of Queen’s Freddie Mercury in the upcoming ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ looks quite good. :)
Presentation of the movie was as expected. This is IMAX-lite. Some decent stereo rear effects but nothing worth mentioning. Paul Rudd looks better with age. The CGI de-aging of Michael Douglas and Michele Pfeiffer’s characters are almost flawless. The darkness of the short scene definitely hides some of the imperfections of the effect but the shots are short that you’ll have to freeze frame the eventual home digital copy to notice it better.
I tried to catch the last showing of new print of 2001 this evening. After fighting rush hour traffic to get to the theater, I was surprised to see a line going to the end of Panera Bread! Still had 10 minutes to show time and then they announced the breakdown of their credit card system. Had no cash. I tried, along with my fellow patrons in line to book tickets online. Not knowing if that system was working, I gave up, since the site was so slow. I doubt the showing was sold out but I’m sure the crowd was a decently sized one.
In my disappointment, I walked around the block and decided to check out what was showing at the Regal theater… :)
I caught Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom here, as usual in the very nice BTX auditorium. Being Discount Tuesday, the $7 admission price is excellent. Fortunately, the self service kiosks were running correctly but the seat selection part took a few attempts to take hold. I took advantage of the concession food offering of hot Mozzarella sticks at $6 only because it was the cheapest offering. Why they don’t offer the traditional popcorn/soda/candy items for seat delivery is a mystery.
This time around there was an usher who asked if help was needed to find a seat. Didn’t need it, so it was declined. The plaque at the entrance to the auditorium indicates a 232 seat capacity. This amounts to..I’m guessing 1/3 of what the original capacity probably was with the regular seats in the beginning.
Previews had already started with what appeared to be curtains bunched up on either side of the screen. Not sure if the place now has curtains in use and I forgot to stay after to see if they closed after the movie ended. Will have to arrive much earlier to find out next time.
Movie presentation was excellent as usual. The Atmos trailer is the outer space one that mimics the Star Destroyer sound effect, from the first Star Wars, starting from behind and overhead. Very nice. The movie scene that composes the T Rex head shot and roar brought back memories of the same horrific roar in the original 1994 Jurassic Park at the Hollywood Loews Cineplex in the large DTS/THX auditorium…just loud, crystal digitally clear rumbling sound.
My six piece Mozzerella stick order arrived about 10 minutes into the movie. The guy just laid them at my tray, didn’t say a word. No napkins either. But, they were some of the crispiest, non greasy sticks I’ve ever had. I wonder if they used an air fryer for them. Definitely, will consider ordering them in the future. The other offerings get into the $10 price range, but for $7 all day admission Tuesdays, they look a little more palatable. I wish they had better drink offerings like smoothies and coffee drinks.
Howard, its K-r-n-o Krno in the Czech Republic. They have 70mm festivals, although thats way too far for me to go.
I just looked at the AFI site and discovered that 2001 co-star Keir Dullea will be there on the 7/5th 7:30 showing for Q&A. Cost is $20. I missed the last one he did with Gary Lockwood. Its too bad Doug Trumbull could have made it here, too, instead of the Smithsonian showing a few months back.
Wow, I would have loved to have been there. He’s held various Q&As at a few places in the past few years. It would have been even better if he showed some of his HFR shorts he’s been working on like he did at the Seattle Cinerama venue a couple of years ago.
2001 once again at the AFI. I assume its the NEW print. Or, can it be assumed they struck more then ONE? Will the experience be better than the ones previously had here? I guess we’ll find out soon.
Its been years since we had a 70mm festival locally. I’m jealous of the UK and Krno festivals they have every year. Time to have one here again. What do you all say? :)
Having not been inside the projection room, how difficult would have been to keep the older 35/70mm Norelco or whatever projection they had prior to the DP install? AMC could’ve kept them for classic revivals and not for just first run movies that would probably play better at the newer IMAX-lite venues. Even if they had, would the recent 70mm releases (Interstellar, Music Box (or whatever that dressmaker film was called, etc) have been able to be played with the older equipment?
This venue carries many memorable experiences as documented in this thread. The huge screen when properly used really adds to that immersive experience. To be honest, I’d rather see 70mm here than at the AFI..if I had a choice. :-D
If they do show 2001 here, it will probably be in 4K. I haven’t been here since Dreamgirls, which I believe was 2K DP. One would think 4K would be better but my memory of the DP presentations here were that they tended to be darker.
In70mm reports a new 70mm print made from the original negative, so you know it doesn’t get much better than that. Although, I wonder if that means the cut scenes are also restored.. :)
On the other hand, if they did a IMAX version and showed it at one of the Smithsonian venues…now THAT would be quite immersive. I think I’d get
motion sickness rewatching some the scenes that involved anti-grav or earth-orbit shots that go in circles.
Bill, that would be so awesome. On the other hand, the 70mm projectors are gone, so if they do decide to show it here, it would be in 4K Digital. The only other close 70mm auditoriums would be the AFI Silver (so so past presentations), Library of Congress and maybe the MPAA theater(?).
My friend and I saw Star Trek: The Motion Picture here on a Wed on one of AMC’s Dollar movie 11am shows. In fact, it was a popular $1 booking at the Academy 6, too. I don’t recall the mall so much but the auditorium was the typical shoe box-size theater. I’m thinking it was the Summer of ‘80. We had to take the Metro since it was in VA and I didn’t have a driver’s license, yet. The auditorium was so packed that they oversold the movie. The audience was quite diverse, young and old, parents with young kids, with a good number were sitting on the floor! Thinking back, I don’t think the Fire Marshall would’ve allowed this to take place.
Being Summer, watching a movie in an air conditioned theater was a great way to escape the heat.
I grew up in that area and don’t recall any X films booked there, unless maybe that Brando movie ‘Last Tango in Paris’ somehow played here way back in ‘72?, but I doubt it as this was a suburban community theater. Definitely, no porn. I’m thinking the closest X films that played may have been that Hyattsville Drive-In (demolished but near the Metro) or the Central Ave Drive-in going a little south.
The Hot Shoppes! That brings up a memory. That was where the new bus station/stop is currently set up, that displaced a Taco Bell that was there for years. You remember the Grand Union super market at the left end? :)
My family loved the rotisserie chicken they used to make and the waft of it as you shopped in the store.
This venue is now operated by Flagship Cinemas.
Once upon a time, there was a listing here for a venue at the Luxor. Actually, it was three IMAX-type HFR auditoriums that were part of an experience having to do with a pyramid or obelisk that was in keeping with the hotel’s theme.
I think the listing above was what became of the 3 venues that eventually closed.
I visited the place back in ‘94. I think I only saw 2 of the 3 because the price was quite high to see each of the short films. Picking the last of the three to see, I figured it would be the most engaging since it was the last. My only memory now is the last shot that had these anti grav vehicles that preceded the look of '97’s Luc Besson’s 'Fifth Element and the cityscape. There were no gee whiz great first person VFX shots that made an impression on me that I can recall. Maybe by this time, I had seen it all. :) Although, there are similar visual cues very similar to the Back to the Future ride at Universal, which was also new at the time.
There were speakers in the seats but don’t exactly recall if there were minimal motion such as rocking. I do know that there was a steep viewing angle in one (probably the last auditorium).
What I thought was cool was the search light at the top of the building. At the time, it stood out among the many Vegas buildings. When I was driving out of town, I took an 8mm DV shot of it for memory sake. Not sure if I took interiors..definitely, not of the movie auditoriums inside. If I can find that tape and its in viewable condition, I’ll try to post.
Howard, I want to see Phantom Thread this week, along with the Post. Did they use the curtain? If I do, I will keep an open mind. I read a post/review on in70mm that was glowing. I’m avoiding critic reviews until after I see it.
My sense is there is a projectionist for 70mm all the time? I vaguely remember when they played Dunkirk in 70mm on weekends and in DP during the week probably to save money on labor.
Post is playing here, too, but I think I’ll see it at Greenbelt just to support them. :)
Finally made it to see this venue after its remodel. The lobby area is nicely redone with dark wood flooring and a nicer concession stand with some baked goods. Since I was too full from Christmas food, I just got a drink. Prices are reasonable ($9 Adult) and $4 or so for the large drink. Very reasonable, if cheap compared to the chains. Restrooms are a welcome change. They switched restrooms as the Mens room was the Women’s rest room. New fixtures and interiors are a welcome, long awaited change. No more creaking moveable commode. :D
I saw The Greatest Showman. I’m more than convinced Hugh Jackman cannot sing although he is good at pretending to. The musical numbers are good, especially the first one between young Jackman’s character and his future wife. The auditorium was filled with the sound of music and voices. While not quite inventive as Buz Luhrman’s Moulin Rouge, there are some good moments. The actress who plays the Lady with the Beard should get a Supporting Actress nod.
I know the film isn’t a straight bio but movie ‘inspired by’ it ends too abruptly after a tragic event. What is rather poignant is the fact the real Barnum & Baily circus shut down this year as this film is released.
I’m looking to seeing The Post in the upcoming weeks assuming they book it here.
I saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi in the BTX theater buying tickets online. I’m disappointed they don’t waive the online fee like AMC does. The nice thing about the reserved seating is to choose the best seats as opposed to going early and taking your chances. The seats chosen were in decent shape unlike some other venues with similar recliners.
The $19 per price is hard to swallow given the fact the screen appears to be the same size not even AMC IMAX-lite or Cinemark XD sized. Upon entering we received 3D glasses even though the show was listed as non-3D.
Movie started and then broke down twice at about the same mark when Poe starts his attack on the Star Destroyer. Upon the reboot, the 3D kicked in. Then the movie cut off the frame at the top, which brought laughter to some in the audience. Eventually, the picture got corrected. Sound was excellent, especially the surrounds when Kylo and Rey were doing their force communicating. Nice Visual FX for the most part but the Red Guards of Snoke’s looked too video game-ish. Smoke himself, his head looked like an undercooked oatmeal cookie with the crack on top. John Williams score mixing new and the familiar; Luke and Leia’s theme, especially brought back that nostalgia feeling not heard since Return of the Jedi. On top of that is the resonance of the orchestral score..assumably with the London Symphony..quite epic. :)
Their upscale concession fare is now available. They had people distributing the menu cards. Maybe next time, I’ll give it a try.
Phantom Thread is booked here in 70mm shortly. Looking at the you tube preview and setting, its somewhat interesting. I just hope it doesn’t turn out to be as unsatisfying as The Master.
It appears a new print of Lawrence is making the rounds. Perhaps, AFI will get it here later in ‘18. Its about time for it and 2001 to come back, once again. :) Maybe with luck, something 70mm new? I’m thinking Sleeping Beauty and Brainstorm.
As many times as I’ve seen Titanic on tv and we’re talking bits and pieces, not in its entirety, this newer release sounds interesting in the 3D format. How much more definition are we going to get without it looking exaggerated? Can we see the actual rivets on the ship? Count the pores on Leo’s then fresh face? :D
On the other hand, if only the newest Star Wars movie were released in this format…
If it did, it wasn’t in 70mm. For some reason, one of the Columbia MD theaters..the newer one sticks out in my mind of possibly playing it in 70mm for a brief time. OR, had a special print? Have to search the paper archives for that one.