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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.
Tristan, do you recall what Auditorium you saw Thor in? I’ve been there once and didn’t enjoy the place or the service, so I haven’t been there again. Although, I visit that place every 2-3 months to visit my Stylist. Maybe the place has improved. I’m willing to give it another chance. :)
Saw Blade Runner 2049 in the awesome BTX Atmos Dolby Cinema #1. Excellent presentation with some very strong sound booms and other sound fx from the newer spinner cars to the bullet hits. The original opening listings had partial 3D showings but there are none now. The move opening music drum or sound effect was so strong that the jerks in my row stopped talking. :)
In buying my ticket, they blocked out many seats and tried to assign me a seat. Ridiculous! I ended up sitting too far up. It wasn’t bad as the film was still immersive but the paneling they put up to obscure the seats below lines up to the screen sight line. Again, the D Atmos trailer plays off the screen. I bought a refreshment item to be picked up in the express lane. Just as I was approaching, the lady decided to leave. Great. Waited..waited..got frustrated and went to the other end. I was about to explode but kept my cool. I should’ve just cancelled the sale as it was overpriced anyway. Remodeling efforts still continue.
I hope to catch the movie again in 3D before it goes.
Could be. At the Mall, they just shut down one side while working on the other auditoriums. Not sure how the remodel here is progressing. I may have to visit next week to see, but it depends on the movie line up. :)
The Mall’s new faux leather recliners are very comfortable, maybe too comfortable. I could easily find myself snoozing if I’m seeing a movie that isn’t particularly engaging. And like the Mall venue, prices will probably go up, too.
I don’t like the idea of reserved seating unless the movie is anticipated to open big and you buy in advance.
I can’t believe its been over 20 years since this place closed. 27 years since I’ve seen a movie inside. And its been 14 years since I’ve driven by the place and actually went in. I’m sure the CVS is the same inside as it was when I was there in 2004.
In reviewing my posts, I can’t believe I forgot to mention I saw Amadeus here in 1984 in 70mm. At that age, I had virtually no interest in Merchant Ivory-type period movies up to then, but I recall the commercials/trailer seemed to convey it to be almost unconventional. In fact, I believe MTV had commercials with the minimal frame cuts to appeal to that audience.
Upon viewing, one can say the movie isn’t Merchant Ivory-esque but a thoroughly enjoyable film and cast. In particular, was Tom Hulce cast as Amadeus and that cackle he was able to pull off that the real Amadeus supposedly had and a dirty sense of humor. This played quite well opposite F. Murray Abraham’s Salieri. I believe I saw it 2x before it went. The musical scenes were rapid cut but still audibly engaging given the sound format and McA’s auditorium acoustics. As its eventual Academy Award wins prove, I’m not the only one who thinks this way. :)
If memory serves me correctly, there was an extended or director’s cut that was longer than the original. It released only in 35mm so I avoided it.
For the first time I can remember, the venue no longer has daily matinees during the week. Just evening shows.
I suspect business is very s-l-o-w, but hopefully not to the point where they’ll close this place.
They need to get creative..maybe have lower $3/Tuesdays, book more classics at lower admission rates, offer cheaper concession combos like say buy one popcorn, get soda for free. Those are high gross items anyway, but at least you’re moving product and earning some $.
I saw the Kingsman sequel in 2D BTX #1. The theater renovation seems complete. It is a Dolby Cinema venue with Atmos. They played the Atmos trailer, which I have never seen before. It starts on earth and progresses to outer space showcasing various theater sound effects heard side to side, front to rear and up. Very cool, BUT the Dolby Atmos letters played OFF the bottom of the screen :P
What is surprising to notice about their best auditorium is the fact the left entrance is now sealed off. I had thought the last time I was there they were recarpeting and putting in new doors. If the house is packed and there’s a mass evacuation, you’ve got only the right entrance and the front right exit and upper level door. Not a good thing. There’s going to be too much congestion if there’s a rushed exit. I suspect it passed firecode inspections as it stands now.
Movie was very good, as good as or better than the original. Cool visual FX. Although, the British accent on the lead character sometimes seemed muddied, the rest of the cast was effective. Halle Barry seems out of place, with her soft voice and no accent.
The rest of the venue is still being worked on. The right two hall auditoriums are the last to be refitted. I suspect they’ll be done within the month or so.
A curious construction piece is a curved glass enclosure that looks more like an exhibit-type enclosure with outlets. Previously, the space was a second concessions stand.
Looking forward to the Blade Runner 2049 opening here this week.