TCL Chinese Theatre

6925 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Chris Utley
Chris Utley on August 26, 2013 at 4:37 am

How is this open to debate? Here’s how:

With the exception of the museum films, there is only 1 mainstream Hollywood director – Christopher Nolan – actually shooting films full time with IMAX cameras. There are only 2-3 others who shoot a scene here and a scene there with them. In any given calendar year, we’re talking 1-2 films with 20-30 minutes shot in native IMAX. The other 8 (maybe more) films are all IMAX DMR blowups…which, by the way, are all cropped. 1:85 flat films are about 10/20% cropped while 2:40 scope films are plopped in the dead center of the screen with 40/50% screen cropping.

As far as the screen itself, according to the pics I’d call it a step between the dreaded “LieMax” label and the true blue 15/70 6 story tall screens we all know and love.

As usual, this is all armchair quarterbacking & speculation. Let us see if the presentation delivers the goods starting 9/20. And, IMO, “Wizard of Oz” won’t be the judge. “Gravity” – with George Clooney & Sandra Bullock set in space – will be the true test.

Robert_G_Kelley on August 26, 2013 at 4:19 am

Here is from an article on the Smithsonian conversion to IMAX Laser projection next year.

IMAX Corporation (NYSE:IMAX; TSX:IMX) and the Smithsonian Institution today announced an agreement to install IMAX’s next-generation laser digital projection technology in the Smithsonian’s three IMAX® theatres, enabling the Smithsonian to deliver the highest-quality digital content available – both documentaries and blockbuster films – and further enhance The IMAX Experience® for its millions of visitors annually.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Samuel C. Johnson IMAX Theater at the National Museum of Natural History and the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater at the National Air and Space Museum, both in Washington, D.C., and the Airbus IMAX Theater at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., will transition to IMAX’s laser digital projectors in 2014.

IMAX’s next-generation projection system is expected to set a new benchmark as the industry’s premium entertainment experience. The system, which incorporates the laser digital intellectual property IMAX exclusively licensed from Eastman Kodak in 2011, represents the largest R&D initiative in IMAX’s history and will enable IMAX® dome theatres and IMAX screens larger than 80 feet to deliver the highest-quality digital content available with greater brightness and clarity, a wider color gamut and deeper blacks.

“Building on our shared legacy of excellence and discovery, we’re delighted that the Smithsonian has adopted this new technology, acting as a springboard for our institutional partners globally,” said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. “For over 35 years, our partnership with the Smithsonian has served as the gold standard in delivering immersive entertainment experiences that educate, inspire and showcase the wonders of our world. We believe the new laser digital projection system will usher in a new era of quality and innovation in projection technology and allow museum-goers to experience their favorite documentaries and blockbusters as never before.”

Since the National Air and Space Museum opened its doors to visitors in 1976, the Smithsonian/IMAX partnership has delivered exceptional-quality and critically acclaimed documentaries and world-class entertainment to millions. The partnership also has funded and produced groundbreaking IMAX® documentaries including The Dream is Alive, Blue Planet, Destiny in Space (with Lockheed Martin Corporation), and Cosmic Voyage (with Motorola).

“Laser digital projection offers our visitors a more immersive and visceral experience, as well as more programming opportunities,” said Christopher A. Liedel, President, Smithsonian Enterprises. “Today’s agreement continues our decades-long partnership with IMAX and strengthens our commitment to delivering the best educational and entertainment experience.”

Robert_G_Kelley on August 26, 2013 at 4:17 am

Here is the link to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald.

“By the end of next year the whole [IMAX] industry will be digital. There will be no more film projected anywhere in the world.

Read more:"

There are several more out there from other news sources as well

Cliffs on August 25, 2013 at 10:02 am

Robert, It’s actually IMAX that determines that. It’s the native ratio for IMAX cameras (1.43:1). With digital and IMAX DMR, the options for ratios are nearly endless, but the FACT (yes, FACT) still remains that the new 1.90:1 screen at The Chinese, while certainly suitable for the vast majority of IMAX presentations and clearly the new standard as we move into a totally digital age (they call it IMAX 1.9:1), isn’t capable of displaying ALL IMAX movies correctly. Unless they’re planning to pillarbox natively shot IMAX with bars on the side, full 1.43:1 IMAX photography (either of the newly shot or revival variety) will be cropped top and bottom. It is not a full, traditional IMAX screen, it’s a new, digital friendly IMAX screen. How is this even open to debate?

MJuggler on August 25, 2013 at 7:28 am

not sure why it isn’t a link so try 2

MJuggler on August 25, 2013 at 6:59 am

The Museum of Neon Art needs your help! You can help us with our fundraising campaign to restore one of the Dragons from the marquee, from back when it was Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. It is a wonderful historic Hollywood icon and it graced the theatre for 43 years. It was removed in 2001 and placed into storage. Click on the link to watch the video and learn all about the history & the future of this 40' marquee dragon. Hope you can contribute even a small amount. Thank you!

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on August 25, 2013 at 1:59 am

The aforementioned pics:

hdtv267 on August 25, 2013 at 12:11 am

@Robert- there are railings at the Metreon and also at the Lincoln Square in NYC. It does sadden me to read what you posted about Interstellar not being run on film anyplace. I was so hoping to attend this at the Metreon next year. Perhaps you can provide linkage to this please or it is on the IMAX site?

mhvbear on August 25, 2013 at 12:01 am

I am just curious, I have not been able to find a link on line that IMAX is going to phase out 15/70mm film presentation. I was under the impression that IMAX theaters, or at least the ones ties to museums paid for their own prints.

Robert_G_Kelley on August 24, 2013 at 6:26 pm

One thing I also think is cool is that if you look at the photos of the raising of the screen yesterday, there is no front railing to obstruct the screen like you see at Venues like Universal Citywalk.

Robert_G_Kelley on August 24, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Can I also add, since I have not seen mention of this on here. The ticket prices for The IMAX at the chinese are the same price that it was for a regular 3D presentation on a Fri Sat and Sun night, so its not costing you anymore of a premium than what was allready being charged for regular 3D at the Chinese prior to the refit.

Robert_G_Kelley on August 24, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Cliffs your post doesn’t make any sense, you are not the one who determine what makes IMAX, and what does not. The Chinese has the THIRD largest IMAX screen in the country now. Let me ask you this, IMAX is phasing out ALL 15/70 film and projectors by early to mid 2014 why would they go to all the cost and trouble of installing 15/70 when it will be obsolete completely in less than a year. Even when Interstellar comes out next year it won’t be presented 15/70 anywhere and most likely it will be the last IMAX movie to be shot on film, since IMAX has publicly said they are doing away with 15/70 presentations

bigjoe59 on August 22, 2013 at 7:44 pm


I suppose we shall have to wait and see. I have found the discussion of the Chinese' new IMAX installation fascinating to say the least. it kind of resembles my opinion of the IMAX screens in Manhattan. the only real or true IMAX screen is the one at the Loew’s Lincoln Square on Bway and 68th St. the other IMAX screens in Manhattan are not quite so.

bigjoe59 on August 22, 2013 at 7:44 pm


I suppose we shall have to wait and see. I have found the discussion of the Chinese' new IMAX installation fascinating to say the least. it kind of resembles my opinion of the IMAX screens in Manhattan. the only real or true IMAX screen is the one at the Loew’s Lincoln Square on Bway and 68th St. the other IMAX screens in Manhattan are not quite so.

Cliffs on August 22, 2013 at 8:04 am

My point was simply that The Chinese doesn’t HAVE an entire IMAX screen. I’m not bashing The Chinese, merely pointing out that (until they also do away with SHOOTING on IMAX film) the new screen will be a compromise for certain films. Christopher Nolan has just started shooting Interstellar using IMAX cameras. If/when Interstellar shows at the Chinese… it will most likely be cropped for their new screen. It won’t be cropped on traditional IMAX screens. When Catching Fire comes out later this year, the IMAX portions will also be cropped (much like they are for a Blu-ray) if shown at The Chinese. I’m not complaining, just offering observations and math. I didn’t realize that was controversial.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on August 21, 2013 at 4:55 am

You ARE aware that IMAX is phasing out film prints along with all the studios, right? They’ll continue running digital this year and switch to laser in 2014…which, allegedly, can be projected to fill the entire IMAX screen (so I read).

Cliffs on August 20, 2013 at 8:52 am

Well, Universal City is not projecting EVERYTHING in digital. Star Trek into Darkness was 15/70, as was Pacific Rim. While Pacific Rim was close to 1.90:1 (due to Del Toro shooting 1.85:1 anyway), Trek certainly was not. And I saw Dark Knight Rises full 15/70 1.44 there as well. So, as I said, MOST things will be an improvement when shown at the new Chinese, but not everything will. But I was happy to hear that they’ll have adjustable masking to show things in more traditional ratios.

Danny Baldwin
Danny Baldwin on August 20, 2013 at 1:35 am

Yep, 1.9 is the standard for digital IMAX. I saw The Dark Knight Rises in 1.9 projected on a 1.44 screen—similar to the scenario RobertAlex describes above.

RobertAlex on August 20, 2013 at 1:24 am

Cliffs, you make a good point, but you forgot that the Universal IMAX is now projecting in digital, using a Barco projector which can only get to 1.9. They cant use their full screen height anymore, a screen with no masking.

Cliffs on August 20, 2013 at 12:11 am

Well that answers my question about how you were going to fit an IMAX screen in there. You don’t. 47.2x90 means the screen is pretty much 1.90:1. Noooooooooooot exactly IMAX. The Universal City IMAX is (by their own website) 7 stories tall (which translates to about 70 or so feet high and 50 or so feet wide (at the correct IMAX 1.4:1 ratio). So the Chinese will be 80% wider but only about 70% as tall. So for the majority of Hollywood product converted to IMAX, the Chinese will be better. For true IMAX stuff like Dark Knight or Catching Fire… Not so much. The other sad thing will be that the Chinese will now essentially be a top/bottom masking theater for films presented in 2.4:1.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on August 16, 2013 at 6:48 am

Looks like all of our questions and concerns about the big IMAX conversion are all answered in this article posted directly at TCL Chinese’s website.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on August 14, 2013 at 2:38 am

Here’s the best article I found:

From the research I did, the age of the movie doesn’t matter that much. It’s moreso about the quality of the film print they use. I’m fairly certain that, since this is one of the most beloved films in cinema history, Warner Bros. has a top notch print in their vault for the team at IMAX to work with.

bigjoe59 on August 12, 2013 at 5:22 pm


I would like someone to explain to me how they can successfully to a 3-D retrofit for a film released in 1939.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on August 12, 2013 at 6:49 am

Tickets are now on sale for the 9/20 (and beyond) grand reopening attraction of “The Wizard of Oz IMAX 3D” at Movie Tickets ( They’re (WISELY!) switching to a reserved seating system. New seating layout (as shown in the construction pics) is a higher level & lower level stadium arrangement with a left, center and right section.

bigjoe59 on August 10, 2013 at 2:21 am

Hello Again-

every grand old theater no matter how state of the art when it opened has to be fine tuned every so often to keep it viable as a 1st run venue. to which my question- other than the auditorium is any other part of the theater being renovated?