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For all you naysayers out there who thought this movie wouldn’t make it or its intended release format would be a dud, James Cameron is king of the world, again. :)
My friend and I caught the last showing of Star Trek in true IMAX. Its been probably 20 years plus since I’ve seen any movie here. I remember when it opened back in ‘76 and 'To Fly’ was the first IMAX film to be experienced. There were warnings given to people about getting motion sickness from watching the movie but it was a treat and showed off the format quite well. The sound and overall presentation was terrific.
Star Trek was masked but not as badly as in the AMC IMAX-lite venues. The movie plays well in this format. Surprisingly, the print held up well with no noticeable markings or scratchings. Surrounds were present and distinct but, unlike the best THX-cert houses lacked oooomph, noticeably missing during the warp jumps and hand to hand contact hits. There were well over 100 plus in attendance, not enough to fill out the auditorium but a pleasant surprise given the fact it was super frigid outside, probably in the single digits factoring in for windchill.
As we left, we were thanked for coming, not by none other than the security guards as we filed out of the theater AND exiting the door.
I drove by the theater earlier in the day and sat across the street from it, where there is a Dunkin Donuts, bought some food and just took all in that destruction that is there now. Not to say that this theater was any kind of palatial jewel, it does have memories for me and many others. As the pictures show, pretty much all that is left is rubble on the inside and, the framework that was the lobby and marquee and a red brick wall to the rear.
On what was left of the front facade is a poster for the New Hampshire redevelopment project, which seems to take on the look of nearby Hyattsville, MD and its redevelopment efforts of row and apartment homes, small businesses and the like.
This site is one of my favorites, too, if not THE favorite site I visit daily, especially when there is a comment made on a favored theater or article. The way venues, articles and other cinema-related discussions are presented, in addition to providing for member comments is just genius. Kudos to you guys!
Since I’ve been a member of this site, it is great place to virtually meet and converse with other cinephiles. I now happily rest knowing I’m not cuckoo in travelling great distances to see movies at classic venues. Growing up, my brother thought I was nuts to travel hundreds of miles to go see a movie. I’ve read how some members here have flown across country, or even half way around the world to see that special movie in that special venue. Maybe if I had the deeper pockets that some members have, I would travel further…who knows? :)
I caught Nine here on a matinee over the holiday weekend (Sun). Very nice projection, bright screen, great movie. My friend was more excited to see it initially then I did. Not knowing about the movie except seeing Penelope Cruz on tv and hear raves about her performance, I thought I would snooze during the movie. Fortunately, I did not. Daniel Day Lewis gives a good performance as do his castmates and, yes, Penelope does sizzle and dazzle. Her performance says Oscar nomination at least. What was just as good as the movie was the $6 matinee price. :)
While I am glad this theater is still around, I hope they will someday remodel the restrooms and repair the seats that need repair. Also the auditorium could use some fresh paint or something to obscure whatever is peeling or bare.
My cousins and I saw Avatar in IMAX-lite 3D here Sat night. The theater was sold out and for the first time since the IMAX-lite install, I do have to say that the film and this format are a perfect match. The movie was enthralling despite its rather long running time. The ‘3D’ aspect does really draw you into this alien world and after a few moments it all feels ‘natural.’ I want to see it again, at the nearby Cinemark Muvico and their XD format to compare.
Very nice pictures. I am wondering what it is like to watch a movie from one of the ‘opera boxes.’ Do they charge more for those seats? Are there additional amenities for those who sit on those seats? Individualized speakers maybe?
I wanted to go this weekend but with the snow, couldn’t get out of the house. The roads are just too jammed to go to the mall even today, Monday. If work is slow, I may just hit a matinee before Christmas.
How ‘bout posting some pictures. I’d like to see your layout.
I don’t think its fare to compare Avatar to Titanic. Titanic didn’t open huge either but it built its audience and sustained and sustained and sustained. I hope to see this movie this weekend but with the blizzard we’re having in MD, that remains to be seen. I’m keeping an open mind and hope the movie is good at the AMC IMAX-lite I’m going to. :)
The reason why I bring up the 70mm print subject is that I remember how clear, colorful and full of rich sound the movie seemed to have in 35mm. I read how scenes with the spfx were filmed in 65mm and Doug Trumbull was a fan of and utilized 65mm in his earlier fx work.
Now when Star Trek II came out, the MacArthur here in DC did get a 70mm print and, yes, the presentation was equally Trektacular BUT the movie seemed grainy. I later read that 70mm blow ups do present this problem, but the 6-track stereo soundtrack was something else. :)
You know IMDB reports there were 70mm prints made, but I’ve never seen/heard of them showing anywhere. I’m suspecting if there were 70mm, they were made after the release date. I know they never hit the DC market. I guess if there were any struck, they were on the west coast/LA/Hollywood.
Howard, I do not mind supporting my local theater but come on, $8.50 for ONE measly hot dog?? Even at Regal, you can combos for about that or slightly more. As I stated on the other news item about concessions, I wouldn’t pay $8.50 for a hotdog even if it were freshly killed, ground up, kosher blessed and certified organic. (Yes, I know to call an organic hot dog is a misnomer given what it is made of..I was going for a chuckle there.)
If I’m going to an independent and the concession offerings are decent, then I will spend money there to support them.
Tonight, I went to Cinemark’s Egyptian 24, in Hanover, MD and saw that most of their concession items are above $5. A hotdog is $8.50! I would NEVER pay $8.50 for a hotdog even if they killed the animal and ground it up fresh and had it Kosher blessed and certified it as organic. How ridiculous is that? If I were to frequent this place, I would hide my food in my jacket and sneak it in. Heck, I’ll bring an entire Chinese buffet with me, with egg rolls and soup in my jacket.
This evening I saw 2012 in digital projection in Auditorium 11. The presentation was decent but the picture seemed to not be as bright as I am used to and the sound seemed muffled even though the surrounds were present. I did see the entrance to the XD auditorium as it is next to DP’s 11. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to peek inside.
What I really want to blog and complain about are the outrageous concession prices. It appears that most of the items are above $5. A hot dog is $8.50! Thats more than even Regal! I had mistakenly thought that the matinee I saw, the 5:50pm show would be matineed priced but it was not. I paid the full $10.25 price! It seems the matinees cut off before 4pm.
Given the above; the higher admission prices and higher concession prices, I will think carefully before coming here again, after I experience their XD theater presentation :) I still prefer Annapolis Mall’s THX cert #1 auditorium. The sound just blows you away. If only they had DLP in there. Sizewise, its comparable to #11 here at the Egyptian, which supposedly has a seating cap of 475.
Since I frequent the BowTie Annapolis MD plex with regularity, I have to say that I knew they would return to on screen ads sometime in the future. That future is here now. You can’t depend on the infrequent plex sell outs like the current Twilight movie to generate the big bucks desired.
When BowTie’s Annapolis theaters were Crown, they had decent presentations with live introductions to the shows. BowTie stopped that shortly after they took over. Now with the return of preshow ads, I suppose the loss of that personal touch they used to pride themselves on is forever lost. I’m just thinking why don’t they just put up more of those large plasma screen tvs in the lobby and foyer with those ads. People will still see them as they go into the theater and not have to be bothered once they are settled in their seats.
I thought I read somewhere about John Cusack’s (the Senator’s competitor and owner of The Charles 5 screener) screen expansion that would gut the Senator’s main auditorium. I may be wrong or am paraphrasing incorrectly, but unless you add the screens upstairs and they would be tiny little screening room boxes, you would have to widen the main auditorium somehow but wouldn’t that violate its landmark building status? Then again, if you twinned the inside, that would also be unacceptable as well. Whatever they decide to do and it should be to show first run movies, again, they should do it soon.
Can’t believe its been 30 years. I was too young to go into downtown but thoroughly enjoyed a sold out opening presentation in Langley Park, MD’s KB Langley. What an event film it was for the time, but I don’t think the movie had 70mm engagements in the DC area since the film was so rushed into theaters. I don’t think they had time to make 70mm prints in order to meet the Dec. 7 release.
My friend and I saw A Christmas Carol in IMAX 3D. It seems strange to me that its also playing in Digital 3D. If you’re going to go for the 3D experience, why not go to the more immersive experience of the large format showing? When we got tickets at the kiosk, it was interesting to note that they advertise the IMAX lite theater as THX. Unfortunately, the THX website does not list this venue as THX certified, yet. The movie was masked in what seemed to be 2:35, yet IMDB has the IMAX version at 1:44. Hmmm. The IMAX Digital trailer is all new and does show off the format’s immersive and colorful display. The previews for Avatar and Alice in Wonderland were truly amazing and, yes, even in the IMAX lite theater was quite good. Then again, we sat in the seats up front reserved for the elderly and handicapped.
The movie itself began much like we all know about the classic Dickens tale. The motion capture technique used on Jim Carrey doesn’t show his features in the beginning. His voice isn’t recognizable either at first. Unfortunately, given the fact that this is a familiar tale and I woke up very early, I found myself snoozing during the middle part of the movie. Overall, I did enjoy the movie and the format better this time around. I may want to watch it again during a matinee before Avatar comes out.
I don’t know if it was just me but the sound system seemed to have more ooomph and deeper bass than before and the surrounds good accompanying the 3D effects. Its still not up to par with the best THX venues yet, even though they are touting it as THX at the kiosk.
Now if only more theaters were this ornate! I did take a peak at their admission prices..WHOA!
I wanted to see Twilight here in XD, but opted for A Christmas Carol at AMC Colombia 14’s IMAX-lite theater. The XD seems to be Xtra Large Digital Projection. I hope to catch it there this holiday weekend.
Since I’m neither a historic theater expert or non-profit professional I cannot help. I’m sad that the Senator isn’t showing first run movies anymore. For me, its basically a closing chapter of driving in to a wonderful place to experience event blockbuster movies for the last decade with other cinephile enthusiasts. While I do get their emails that promote their current programming of live shows and niche movies, they do not appeal to me. I wish you all the best. Farewell.
Kat/Virg, if you are lucky enough you could park in front of the theater or a block away. There’s a pay parking garage a block away, too. Since the last two times I visited the Ziegfeld were on Sunday, I was able to park for free on the street in front of the Ziegfeld and the last time, a block away. I did not feel like paying $20 for the parking in addition to the already high Manhattan price for seeing a movie there.
An old fashioned ghost story set in an aged multiplex? That sounds like a misnomer..ghost story and multiplex? What could be scary about a multiplex other than bad food, awful sound and projection? :) Those are common everyday experiences of normal moviegoers today at your local Regal and AMC.
I drove by this place yesterday and there is still a for rent sign in the window.