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When BowTie acquired Crown Theaters, what I heard about some of their newer theaters closer to CT was the BIG SCREEN auditoriums among the usual multiplex mix. Those would’ve great for 70mm if they ever wanted to show them for retrospective bookings. I suspect the trend now with the AMCs and Cinemarks are those IMAX-lite conversions, who can play the 3D releases. In a way, its too bad because those new to the market will associate IMAX with the smaller venues as opposed to the true multistory screen IMAX venues.
I’m near two of BowTie plexes. The Mall one is the better of the two as it has the state-of-the-art sound and projection systems and THX certs in 3 of the 11 auditoriums. The Harbour 9 usually gets the move overs and art house fare. I’m not crazy about the conversion as its still film and is subject to the usual gripes about film in the current state of projection and the scratching and fading from repeated MIS-handling of the format. When they took over from Crown, I was informed they were going all digital at one point. Of course, the economic climate has changed for the worse in the last four years, so a less costly alternative to an upgrade is understandable.
Now all you need is 70mm projection and a 70mm classic film festival to put the Ziegfeld to shame! That would be worth a visit for me. ^5
I never knew that the Layfayette would ever go digital. What kind of system? 2K, 4K? 8K? :D
As a member of their film club, I received an invite for two, to a free screening of ‘Mother’ a Korean film import this past Monday 3/1/10. Due to the fact they sent out more invites than seats, I didn’t get in. The fact is my friend, who works nearby was to get in line early and get the ‘red tickets’ to allow us in. There was this Asian lady, who presumably is a Landmark employee, when I wanted to meet my friend, at the head of the line, bluntly said “its not my problem” and walked off. How rude. She wouldn’t even listen to my story, much less allow me to jump the line.
Since my friend and I did not get into the screening, we paid to see the five short films nominated for Oscar. They were shown in DP in #3, which I believe is my first time in that auditorium, which supposedly has the Sony 4K system. To my eyes, I did not notice any difference with 2K, unless they were shown side by side. Each was shown flat and the DP was sharp and clear, but the transfer of the first Indian film short yielded, maybe intentionally, diagonal lines like an interference line you’d see on your home tv due to an electronic disturbance.
Of the five films, I think Kavi, the Indian film should take Oscar given its world wide subject of slavery, which is a commendable theme. You want to know what happens next to this charming kid, who dreams of becoming a cricket player and going to school, while working with his enslaved parents on a brick farm.
Awesome Giles. Thanks for the info. I may have to make the trek to Tysons even though it is a haul for me in MD. I used to travel to VA, and to the National Amusement Multiplexes; Alexandria, Merrifield and for ONE time Centreville (for the awful movie “Shadow”) when they had 70mm event movies booked. My continual issue with the IMAX-lite screens (Columbia and Hoffman) are the lack of deep bass subwoofer ooomph. Its improved somewhat but its not the same as the best THX cert houses. You can tell what a theater’s sound system is capable of (deep bass) when you can ‘feel’ the power of it when the THX flower trailer is played.
Giles, is the auditorium, at Tysons, larger than the Columbia and Hoffman installs? I remember going into Tysons..I think to the left of the concession stand and to the right was a humongous theater, whose screen seemed as big as the Uptown’s.
Oops. #4 was where we were. The line to get in started at the top of the stairs, which I thought was too many. Fortunately, we all got in and there were about three rows in the front that were unoccupied. The print, itself, had scratches and projected slightly off center to the left. Where I sat and after the first ten minutes, you forgot about the imperfections in the projection.
I had the privilege to see a free screening of “Terribly Happy” a Danish film import that has received much international critical claim. Its plays like an R-rated, extended Twilight Zone or Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode on the large screen. A recently transferred cop to a small town encounters residents who are more than they appear to be… There are some interesting twists and turns and some decent acting all around. If you happen to see it playing at a theater near you, which I doubt will have a wide release, go see it.
If they were there, I think they are long gone by now. I don’t recall seeing statues by the screen. Maybe they were there once upon a time. But as I said in my last post, the place could use some sprucing up. Maybe they could do a fundraiser just for that purpose.
On my browser, you can get the pics to enlarge to a degree but its not like they are supersized and can see the individual fabric tufts in the seats. :)
Not too sure about my memory but I thought there were columns of a sort either at the entrance to the theater after you passed the concession stand, OR as you entered to the seating area, itself. Then again, maybe it was the MacArthur that had the columns at the entrance to the seating area.
There was some mention of this also on the local news. What a tragedy. I was thinking to myself, when you are in a theater and are in that ‘other place’ provided the projection, sound and atmosphere are right, and then the next instant you could be dead, do you ‘feel’ it from being ‘in’ the movie to that sleep called death?
Thanks for the link, Joe. The pics bring back memories. The interiors look remarkably similar to the original Flower and MacArthur and even Senator with the two crying rooms upstairs.
Chuck, no I do not live in the Balto area, but did grow up in and around here.
Disclaimer: The previous post was not meant in anyway a personal attack on any ONE individual living or not. The reference to ‘you’ is meant in the collective sense of MANAGEMENT. It is this posters intent that no virtual harm was done to any blogger in the creation of the previous post.
You miss the point. Let me reiterate it for you and that is the CHAINS charge too much for their concessions. I’ve said I would gladly pay reasonable prices and most INDEPENDENTS here in the DC area do. Again, I get it. Exhibitors don’t make it on ticket prices and need the markup on concessions to make it. I get it.
As if I’m the only one in this thread to voice an opinion on and sneaking food into theaters, WHY do you think this is? Has your hearing gone due to the loudness of the DTS or Dolby Digital soundtrack in your theater?? Do you hear people complaining? I’m sure you are well aware of public polls and people who blog on this very site as to why they prefer watching movies at home and not in places like YOUR theater. You charge too much and assuming you run a theater of a national chain (AMC, Regal, etc), let me say it bluntly, you suck. I am (and the others on this thread against high concession prices) are the messengers, don’t get mad at us for refusing to pay your high prices and proceed with a solution of our own. At least you’ve got someone who actually GOES to your theater.
As for me sneaking in food into and “stinking up” your theater, its no different then what you serve as popcorn and topping, with that hydrogenated, bloat-inducing, weapons-grade of gas destruction glop you and other exhibitors pass on as ‘butter’ or ‘butter substitute.’ Just WHERE is your theater anyway?
You think you could stop people from sneaking in food? Go ahead, make my day. Good Luck and Good Night. Catch Me if You Can. The End. :D
As a fairly regular weekly movie going patron, your policy sounds fair. But then again, a family of four who just spent money on tickets and probably an equal amount on concessions would deserve a break wouldn’t they? Maybe you could offer a free refill on either popcorn or drink, with a purchase of the other (popcorn or drink). That way you still earn some money on the high profit items and the customer feels he’s getting a deal. On the other hand, I don’t know many who can consume an entire large tub of popcorn and large soda. If it works for you and your customers, then its a good policy.
Jogging my memories of Star Trek II at the MacArthur, were/are there times you could turn OFF the Dolby or noise suppression system that was in place (if there was one)? I’ve seen the movie many times here during its run and remember some presentations were louder than others. When I say ‘louder,’ I mean you could hear soundtrack noise such as whistles, crackling and pop. Others when the presentation was quieter, it seemed something was missing. Personally, I enjoyed the 6-track presentation with ALL the noise because it seemed to be more engaging to me.
When it was triplexed and Dark Crystal opened, did they keep the Dolby CP200 for the main, or was it replaced and/or other systems added for the two smaller auditoriums?
If we had not received so much snow (about 50" give or take), I would’ve driven up to NYC for this special showing. I suppose we’ll be hearing about how things went after the event. If you are youtube inclined, please post some video.
Rick, if you ran a theater near me with those prices, I would certainly buy concessions in theater. My (and many others here) anger and frustration is against the chain theaters for charging way too much for food. Regal here in the DC metro area, which is one of the dominating chains charges $12 for a single pizza and soda. Thats more than the movie, itself! I’ve paid it only because I was starving or had my elderly dad in tow, but more often than not, I won’t pay it and will continue to sneak in food if I can’t get a meal in before showtime.
Popcorn? I’m not so sure. I’d guess Nachos. At the Regal, its $8 with drink. Consider the bag maybe no larger than the 40c or 50c bag you can get at the snack dispenser machine and the little cup of cheese. That is like a 800% markup or more.
Every bans outside food, you just have to be more smart as to where you hide the food in your jacket/pockets. I’ve taken chinese food in with the rice, egg rolls and meals, plus a bottled soda. IT IS possible. The more layered clothing helps, too..then again, you may look and smell like a trip around the world…. :D :D I’m going stir crazy being home with all this snow….make it stoppppp!
Interesting and amusing stories. Thanks for sharing.
After reading the Baltimore City Paper article, they claim the owners show DVDs on screen. Isn’t that illegal? If I remember the FBI blurb at the beginning of each tape or DVD, doesn’t it have some warning on public exhibition being strictly prohibited?
So I gather the neighborhood has deteriorated into a drug dealing, gang infested neighborhood. That is a good thing. I remember when Barbra Streisand gave her comeback concert in ‘94 or so, she made mention of this theater and falling in love with Marlon Brando and a candy called a melarose(?).
Assuming the theater keeps its 3K plus seating, where do people park?
I can’t imagine myself ever going into an adult movie theater. The conditions are probably awful with torn up seats and new meaning to the term ‘sticky floors.’ What kind of presentation would it have? Probably none to speak of except lots of scratches and mono sound.
The pics of the interior still look ornate and grand. What is the surrounding neighborhood like? I’m a non-New Yorker and am curious.
I never knew the theater was that large in its original state. I only visited the venue as a twin as posted above. I notice the ‘flower’ design on the wall, hence the name! Looking back in that picture, there was at least one crying room. Interesting! Thanks for the picture link, Joe.
Giles, do they play the THX sound trailer before the movies start? When I used to go there it was a toss up as to whether or not they do. Also..what of the Sony Digital install in #2, is there a trailer played before the movie to showcase the format? #2 is the smaller venue to the left, on the side of the concession stand, isn’t it?