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I revisited #1 after 7 years seeing the very entertaining movie Super 8. The movie was most likely shown in 4K DP. The movie was decently bright and in scope as I noticed the riser going down after the movie. Surprisingly, the movie had very good use of the surrounds this time and was not muddled from my memories of seeing the Day After Tomorrow, or whatever it was called, back in ‘04. If only the bass was deeper for the film’s tense moments involving the usual fx laden crashes and alien activity. I would have preferred to see it in IMAX-lite but my dumb friend decided to wait for ME to pay. Its ok…next week, he’s going to pay for Green Lantern in IMAX-lite 3D at the $18.00 per ticket price!!
BTW, I missed seeing Pirates in ETX at Tysons. That weekend they booked, of all films, Hangover 2 in the ETX auditorium. Who cares to hear that movie in a theater with 40K watts of sound?
Shame, shame, shame. No wonder my neighborhood Regal’s DP movies are so dark. I thought it was a tech issue.
Aha. Another comment of mine is missing from this theater!!! My friend used to work not far from here and one of the movies I remember seeing here was “Little Miss Sunshine” back in ‘06. The movie was thoroughly enjoyable to the eclectic crowd. What I also remember was a fierce argument that went out between this single (white) woman who was trying to politely tell another patron (African American) male to be quiet and not talk on the phone as the movie began. The man became belligerent and the racial epithets started …mind your own business. The woman hastily retreated and got a Manager involved, who basically did nothing.
In ‘07 I recall seeing a movie here, title I forgot now, but I’m sure I blogged about it here, and there were many Secret Service agents here milling about. As to whom they were watching over I never found out..I’m guessing it may have been one of the Bush kids as I’m sure the parents would rather watch a movie in their own auditorium at the WH.
There isn’t much to recommend this place given the above memories and experiences. The technical upgrades sound nice but this is a Regal, afterall. I’d rather go to a suburban venue then venture out here unless a movie I want to see is exclusively here.
Upon closer examination of the picture and without being able to zoom at the marquee to determine the picture playing, I have to say that picture had to be taken in the late 70s. Maybe ‘76, '77..look at the Mustang and Monte Carlo..those designs take it back to the 70s. I see no 'newer’ models I can identify that would predate the other two.
I say this because one of my favorite 70s shows was Charlie’s Angels and in the opening one of the Angels is seen running from that era Mustang. The show ran in the mid-late 70s.
Aha! The truth is out. I’ve always wondered why some DP movies were so dark. For shame. How difficult is it to change a lens? Doesn’t it just screw on and off?
Giles, you’re a marked man. Everyone is going to know who you are.. ;) I’m kidding..When I used to speak to someone about a projection issue, I’ll usually get someone who just gives lip. I remember going to see Superman Returns in DP @ Annapolis Mall. They showed film and it showed a scratchy print. The excuse I got was that ‘there’s no difference between film and digital projection.’ Uh huh. Yup. Refund, please.
I always thought they had one projectionist that ran the projection via computer in the newer plexes. I hope to experience ETX this weekend or sometime this summer.
There are some exciting releases coming. The one I most want to see is ‘Tree of Life’ which won the Palm D'or at Cannes. Supposedly there are some truly high quality elements in the visual fx as they hired fx vet Doug (2001*Star Trek) Trumbull to do some of them in 65mm. If they release this in IMAX or at least 4K DP, this should be quite an experience as the source master is/should not be a blown up one.
LOL. I want to and plan on it maybe this weekend. Pirates is playing there in 3D on the ETX screen and IMAX-lite. It seems the two are one and the same yielding a similar ‘experience’ other then the ETX’s 40K watt system. I enjoy louder presentations on the event films but not so loud that it diminishes the dialogue. If you happen to catch Thor here, you’ll see what I mean during preview time.
My friend and I saw and enjoyed ‘Thor’ in IMAX-lite 3D. I had bought tickets to see Tron in IMAX-lite when it opened here earlier, but missed it due to a family emergency. Hopefully, I can swap my ticket for a replacement show…I like the sightlines and the screen placement in this theater compared to the AMC installs. It appears to go deeper but I doubt it is much larger, if at all, then the AMC IMAX-lite installs in the area. The sound seemed to be played louder as the bass appeared to be deeper. The IMAX preview ad touts the 12K watts of power, which baffles me why I did not ‘feel’ the same deep bass at the AMCs. Maybe they just play the movies louder here? Further showings will have to be seen to be certain. Unfortunately, the deep bass interfered with some of the dialog..not good. Its nice they have a good cleaning crew thoroughly clean the place before the next shows. My 3D glasses were not clean. Even the replacement pair was dirty. I suspect they do not clean the glasses between shows. Where’s the time? For the $18 price, that is inexcusable. I’m going to log a complaint and see what response I get. Looking at the showtimes, even the matinees are not discounted. Not good. AMC does.
Do not worry. It will all work out in the end. Just do not lose any of our archived comments in the transition… :D
Interesting article and pictures. I did not notice any surround speakers, so I take it there are none.
This is all well and dandy but I have noticed that comments and theaters have disappeared from the last few ‘updates,’ like several of mine. I’ve had to repost them from memory especially the ones from the early ‘00s. Are you sure there isn’t going to be anything lost this time around? I’m not getting any younger to have to keep reposting things from 5, 6+ years ago…
Expressing interest in an operation is one thing. How much is another. Wouldn’t it be awful, if it were AMC or Regal wanting to buy the chain?
I like Landmark’s programming here but I have noticed that even the other chains such as your Regals and AMCs have booked art-type films, which the should. In your 10, 11, 13 screen multiplex, how many screens do you need to show the latest 3D Justin Bieber movie?
Joe, that is great. The Bow Tie Annapolis Mall plex is one of my favorite venues. Habour 9, not so much even with the remodel. The concession prices are not Regal/AMC outrageous. I miss the personal intros the staff used to do prior to your takeover from Crown.
I look forward to the Brandywine opening. :) I just hope the market can support it. Given the fact it will be newer then the Waldorf plex, perhaps the movie going folk will forgo it for the newer place, if the Brandywine plex is as good as Annapolis (THX cert houses, 3D Digital, etc.. maybe an IMAX or Big Odyssey-type screen?)
Reston Town Center 13 to me was one of the lesser of the National Amusement plexes that they ran that included Arlington, Alexandria and Centerville. To my recollection, they never had 70mm and were small, squarish theaters. I wouldn’t go as far as to say shoebox. If they combine 1&2 to make it into a large one, it should be interesting. Its been years since I have been there..I think I saw Momento here way back in ‘01 or so.
On another note, BowTie is/was supposed to open a brand new plex in Brandywine MD. Initially, I think Kerasotes was supposed to open it and make an entry into the DC Metro area until AMC bought them out. AMC already has a Cineplex Odeon acquisition outside of the Waldorf Mall. A brand new state of the art plex would be nice…
They built a plex in the Westfield Annapolis Mall, Annapolis MD near me, which I considered one of the better run plexes in the DC metro area. They had crew members intro the movies (but sadly discontinued when BowTie took over) and currently have several THX certified auditoriums with excellent projection and sound.
I vaguely remember their website and this theater. I think it was all THX cert at one time. I’ve only been to Minneapolis once but never visited the place. Free rent sounds nice though. AMC should enjoy it while it lasts.
Hmm. I wonder how this theater holds up to the better THX-cert houses. I’m thinking Bow Tie Annapolis' #1. Its not DP, but the sound is killer. The $15.50 price is too steep. $10 is ok. For $15.50 they’d better include free drinks or popcorn. But hey, it may be worth checking out ONCE. ;) If only Tysons weren’t such a long drive from MD for me…
Giles, Giles, don’t remind AMC to raise their prices, ok? :P If one can get in for ETX for the usual/regular prices all the better. :D
50K watts of audio power? I think that is 10K more then the Senator in Balto. The thing is with all that noise, what kind of insulation is in place so that the adjoining halls do not get two movie soundtracks for the price of one. When you’re a single screener, its no problem. On the other hand, will the movies be played to take advantage of the sound potential consistently? The problem with multiplexes is that lack of consistent audio visual playback whether there is a packed house or patron of one. I’ve noticed that the sound levels generally are higher in a packed house, then an emptier one.
They shouldn’t charge more for such ‘improvements.’ Did they charge more when we got Dolby Digital and DTS? DP? 70mm?
Thats quite an investment. I suppose AMC will be keeping these theaters in the fold for awhile.
Other then alcohol, do they serve better food/refreshments in 6 and 7? I’ve been in 6 on a Sunday when they do not serve alcohol seeing the movie “Fracture,” which I thought I blogged about before given the fact it was my first experience in that part of the plex since it opened. The seats weren’t that great above the others. I don’t recall leather or a leather-type upholstery.
MPol, if you wanted to see WSS, we had it in glorious 70mm, with the recently discovered original 6-track sound, at out AFI Silver, in Silver Spring, MD last weekend. It was a decent print, even though there were some scratches, and the presentation was excellent. This print will probably make the runs at the better art houses.
Sunday night’s attendance was surprisingly good with a good mix of older, younger and the very young. Given the fight scenes in the movie, I was surprised parents brought their toddlers to the viewing. Thankfully, the ones near me were well behaved and quiet.
Not being a fan or having viewed the film in its entirety at anytime, I was curious as to what was really the overture to the movie. I had thought the music played before the AFI ad and previews was the overture. If that is the case, what was the bit of music played with the different color screens that preceded the West Side Story title card?
The use of the curtain was well done. I had bragged to my friend that this is the closest we would ever get to what excellent movie presentation was in the days before the multiplex. Curtain closed and opened with the AFI ad, previews, closed again and opened before the color opening. They forgot to play the THX sound trailer. :P Perhaps the ones they have are all 35mm and digital. The only 70mm trailers I remember was the ‘Grand’ THX trailer scored by James Horner and the prior ‘the audience is listening’ ones.
If this print was struck new, with the newly discovered track, I am surprised there was no clean up to the print. The sound appeared to be void of hiss, crackle and pop leading one to believe that was dealt with. I would also think they’d make a digital master, say 8K, ala Blade Runner, with which to make a 70mm print. Whatever the case, the print, itself, was somewhat of a letdown given restoration efforts done on Vertigo. The print shows off the handsome cast very well. Natalie Wood just radiates and glows in her scenes especially when she and Tony sing together.
Sitting towards the back, I could appreciate the rich soundtrack. The orchestral score appropriately filled the auditorium with music though I have to admit, I find that scores of that era seem disjointed with abrupt cuts and use of percussion instruments. If I’m wrong, someone correct me, but the soundtrack cues such as the opening finger snap, Tony singing Maria that radiated a bit from the front 1/3 to the front half of the theater, the police siren, car whizzing and train runs could be heard from the back.
I think they should remix the soundtrack with new foley sounds like Vertigo and correctly clean up the movie of scratches and fade. Why just do half the job by just restoring the original soundtrack? Then make a HD master for the generations to appreciate the film.
Its a testament to the filmmakers that despite the passing of years, the movie still has the power to move people. The end scene when Maria holds the dying Tony created audible sniffles and crying to the left of where I was sitting. On the other hand, I found Tony to not be that great of a catch. His first onscreen appearance made me think of a beaver with the way his front teeth show up and the side ones disappear in shadow. I was thinking to myself that the gorgeous Maria could do better if she’s going to cross over to the other side for a man. Lastly, people clapped during the end credits as well.
I wish the film had a longer engagement than this weekend, I’d surely want to see it a couple of more times just to see scenes again that went by me a little too fast.
I’m thinking either Sat or Sun. I’m thinking there will be some kinks on the first night. I do not know if the theater runs prints before to discover problems before the actual showtime, but they should especially for 70mm and special presentations like this. That way any adjustments that can be made is performed before the actual curtain time.
As far as Facebook, I gave up on that. I had an account and could not control the spam that I would get after signing up.
As far as complaints about this theater, or I should say ORGANIZATION to be more precise, I have a major one that I’m chomping at the bit to post but I’m giving myself time to cool off before posting.
For you West Side Story in 70mm fans, our AFI Silver, in Silver Spring MD is showing it this weekend. Reportedly, it is the one with the recently discovered original soundtrack.
That is awful they removed the 35/70mm projector..what was it…the Norelco one? I can’t believe it. So no more 2001 in 70mm or 70mm anything? I’d like to think this is just a bad dream. I do not want to resign myself to think that 70mm is only going to be seen at the AFI Silver and their smallish 40 ft screen.
4K DP?! Hmm. Hopefully by the next 3D DP booking, the kinks will have been worked out. As I stated before, the bargain matinee price is very reasonable considering what IMAX-lite is for a screen thats about the same size.
Thanks for reminding me. I almost forgot about it. Should be fun. I hope they use the curtain and they have proper intros by someone who knows something about the movie and the format. So if someone from AFI is reading this, please do a little research if you do plan to have someone talk WSS trivia. You have to educate those under 30 that cinema isn’t just digital projection and IMAX-lite. :D