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It wouldn’t be so bad if they were building true IMAX theaters that are many stories tall. The IMAX-lite venues are just diluting the brand name.
Giles, what was the print and surround quality like for this print? Did it seem aged or fresh, or mint? Do you recall any memorable surround sound events? Were the sound levels played up high or more subdued? What about audience attendance?
I wanted to see this movie badly but had work conflicts. I never saw it in 70mm during its initial run only for the fact that the DC market never got a 70mm print.
“Lifeforce” should be fun in 70mm. I saw it when the Circle Ontario was remodeled. You can see my post on that theater’s site. I still remember the experience as if it were yesterday, even the smell of freshly painted seats! The movie is horror themed but campy in a way. I still remember Matilda May, one of the space vampires, walking around the movie naked for the entire movie. John Dykstra’s visual effects were really funtastic for its time.
I wish I could see it again on the big screen, but unfortunately, I have to work that weekend, too.
According to in70mm, there’s a 70mm print of Star Trek II being shown this weekend, I’m surprised the AFI couldn’t secure that print for showing here for their 80’s retrospective series.
My friend and I saw the final Harry Potter in the ETX theater. The previews and preshow videos were awfully dark and the volume awfully low. The theater didn’t really come to life until midway through the AMC trailer. Had this not happened, I was going to get up and complain. Overall, the movie’s louder sound system made the movie quite enjoyable. Its still more palatable to see movies with the ETX surcharge then the IMAX-lite auditoriums given that the screen sizes are almost the same.
Not being into the Harry Potter phenom, or the movies until the previous two films, I can’t say there was any emotional resonance given everything that happens up to the end. I think the ending, to me, reminded me too much of the Star Wars ‘Sith’ and Star Trek First Contact scenes; with the dueling Potter and Voldemort (like Yoda and Sidious) and Voldemort’s demise looking almost exactly the same as the Borg Queen’s.
I wanted to see the movie at BowTie’s Annapolis #1 but the person who answered the phone couldn’t tell me if its in 3D Digital or not. The two Annapolis venues are all digital now.
With three paired tix purchases between the IMAX-lite and ETX shows, I’m close to the $100 mark with their AMC Stubs program to get $10 back. It helps to share expenses like this with a friend. :)
According to their website, this venue has gone all digital projection with 7.1 sound. I’m wondering if its 7.1 sound in ALL auditoriums or just the THX cert ones..or something else.
It appears that this venus has gone all digital projection now.
I finally got the opportunity to sample ETX seeing Green Lantern, in 3D, this past weekend. Fortunately, it was my friend’s turn to pay but I used my AMC Stubs rewards card to help with points. $16.50 is quite steep to pay including 3D…almost as much as IMAX-lite. The theater doesn’t but should have a special ETX trailer to denote the difference as well as the DP format. All that was shown was the Real D trailer and the familiar AMC plant growth trailer. Terrific directional sound booms accompanied the sound track add to the immersion aspect of the experience. I enjoyed the experience and the movie, but less so, overall, then Thor. Technically, everything was very good.
The people at the Customer Service counter were EXCEPTIONAL. I was over speeding driving across WWBridge to make it to the 8pm show and had less than 5 mins to spare. Parking was crowded. I left my cell phone in the car to charge and my friend, who bought the tix was no where to be found. He had mumbled something about leaving one for will call. CS said there was none but OFFERED me the use of their phone. How is that for customer service? I didn’t even ask.
Unfortunately, the ticket taker, a mop headed teen, did not even say hi or offer us our 3D glasses. I asked him about the glasses, as I’m sure he read the tix, and he seemed to either not hear or ignore me. Fortunately, they were laid out on the table and sealed in plastic, so I just grabbed a pair.
At the end of the movie, the very end..after the credits, this same mop headed teen and his co-workers did ‘thank’ patrons for coming, which was unexpected and a pleasant surprise.
I’m on the fence on returning but we’ll see what future bookings they have here.
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.