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Those “living room sized auditoriums” aren’t exactly living room sized. At least compared to the one my home has or most people I know of..its more likely steeply raked, stadium seating with wider and comfortable chairs of a standard sized multiplex auditorium.
I also saw Inception in the IMAX-lite theater. Unfortunately, I was up late the night before, so the AM showing I saw caused me to sleep during the middle of the movie. Its funny though that I thought I was actually “in” the movie going in and out of consciousness and felt I was in certain scenes and that I was actually talking to Leonardo diCaprio. :D I hope to see it again before it goes.
Piranha, Giles? PIRANHA???? In 3D, no less and paying $14.50 for XD???? I thought you were better than that :P :)
I want to see Avatar, again, too. Maybe tomorrow. My first experience was less than pleasurable given the fact that I had eaten some bad potluck food… The special edition should be worthy of the admission price.
I meant to say that there was an existing page for this venue already on Cinema Treasures because I had made an entry about my experience here but its nowhere to be found. :P This isn’t the first time. Not sure if its a server issue when they migrated to bigger one. No replies were ever received to my queries.
Sounds exciting. How about opening a plex like this in the Washington DC market. LA has enough first rate venues to see movies. We could use at least one or two. With youth predominately employed in movieplexes these days, I am curious how your superior customer service is going to work out given the fact most are apathetic to work, much less know the meaning of ‘good’ customer service. :P
Sounds exciting. How about opening a plex like this in the Washington DC market. LA has enough first rate venues to see movies. We could use at least one or two. With youth predominately employed in movieplexes these days, I am curious how your superior customer service is going to work out given the fact most are apathetic to work, much less the meaning of ‘good’ customer service. :P
Wasn’t this listed under National Amusement? I thought I blogged about my first (and probably last) encounter about their ‘reserved’ seat selection in the Director Halls and the mall-type fast food fare. Nothing exists under the city. I recall seeing the previous Shrek movie, not this summer’s one, the sound and picture were okay, not worth driving into Virginia though. :)
I forgot to mention that it was nice they had their free screening in Bethesda and not at the sister plex on E St, like they usually do. Parking is much easier if you drive. Attendance for the screening seemed to favor the older (50s and older) crowd with many seats to spare in Auditorium 6.
I had the privilege of seeing a sneak preview of the upcoming release (8/20) Mao’s Last Dancer, tonight. The movie is a biopic of the Chinese ballet dancer LiCunxin, who created an international incident after leaving his native China for the US in 1981. Performances are great all around, including its star and Bruce Greenwood as Li’s mentor/sponsor, Ben. You will appreciate the ballet backstory and leave the theater without a dry eye at the end.
As of today, should the theater’s current status be changed to ..closed? I am surprised no one has posted anything from the last movie showing. I had work conflicts and couldn’t make it.
I saw Airbender in 3D in the newly 3D equipped #5. Film was not very good. The 3D aspect looked more like an after thought. There were no gotcha or aha 3D tricks, not even a pointed spear or arrow. Unless they showed the 3D trailer at the beginning, which I missed, there wasn’t a 3D trailer. The stereo surrounds were good sitting in the back. Hopefully, they will book something more worthy of the format in the future.
If the movie is good, they will come. You’d need an Avatar-like movie to bring em in. But when you do the Shrek 4 trick and jack up 3D/Imax-lite pricing to $16 then they won’t.
I saw Airbender in 3D and that movie was awful. The 3D was obviously an afterthought and it looked it. If it weren’t for the fact I was redeeming a free ticket voucher (but paid $3 for 3D) and had seen almost all the other movies on the marquee, I would have skipped it.
Congratulations! Was this theater the one where in one auditorium there is a building beam or column that obstructs the view to the screen?
How do you think you are going to fare against Landmark and AMC’s Georgetown 14 that sometimes books art house films? How are you going to differentiate between those two giants? Do you plan on remodeling/upgrading the systems there? If so, what is the plan?
I doubt it was 70mm. AFI had it in 70mm last year or fairly recently. I missed it. :P Or maybe it was 10 Commandments.
If they can do digital now on 60ft screens at the IMAX-lite and Cinemark XD venues, they should try retrofitting the Uptown for digital. With the curved screen, they may have to reduce it.
I doubt an Arclight-type complex at the Senator would help. You’ve got the Charles and its six screens not too far away and the Rotunda’s two, with a third on the way. There would be too much competition, unless the Senator does more live and unique programming as opposed to movies all the time.
With Wednesday’s “last day” coming up, even though I’m not an Eclipse fan, I may plan a trip up just in case its the last time I see the venue in one complete piece.
Do you think its a fair assessment that 3D films, in general, are darker, then your usual flat films?
I think so. I always thought the CGI movies like your Pixar movies were always ‘brighter’ especially in DP. When they go the 3D route, like Shrek 4 was, it was noticeably darker. Yes, I know the movie had ‘night scenes’ but there was still that CG crispness that made you notice things better.
I attended many MacArthur showings (mostly 70mm) after 1982. The opening weekend of event films like your Star Trek II, Return of the Jedi were sell outs with lines going around the block or extending way way down MacArthur Blvd, itself, towards the Reservoir Rd. 70mm bookings of Dark Crystal (1982, upon its triplexing), Brainstorm (1983), Amadeus (1984), White Night (1985) were spartan but the presentations were memorable.
Even as late as Witness (1985) and Total Recall (1990) there were pretty full crowds. I suppose the film bookers at Circle and later Cineplex were inclined to book the event films at the Uptown and Wisconsin Ave venues then here. Hook (1991) played at the downtown Fine Arts, with even more difficult street parking. They could have booked it here to probably greater crowds.
With regard to the night the projectionist and manager closing the theater due to not wanting to be there…Steve, was this during your tenure? :)
Steve, with regard to Star Trek II in 70mm, someone on another site is correcting me stating that the soundtrack to the film was MONO and not stereo. When I described the 6-track sound fx i.e. hearing a screw drop to the floor from the right rear of the theater, this individual states it was sound panning.
I could’ve sworn the ads were 70mm 6 track Dolby STEREO in the paper, with the 70mm 6-track logo in the Post, back in the day.
I believe I saw this movie in 70mm at the Avalon in DC. This was after Circle had done a remodel installing a Sistine-chapel style ceiling painting. At the time, it was one of a handful (maybe two?) that had the HPS4000 sound system. Fantasia had a reissue there in a new soundtrack. It put me to sleep, actually by the time the Sorcerer’s Apprentice part started.
The movie was enjoyable overall, but I never did like Michael J. Fox’s acting style. With the exception of that army movie he did with Sean Penn, it always seemed like I was watching the same actor doing the same role but in a different situation. Watching him on Family Ties as ‘Alex’ was bad enough. I suppose it was his gesturing..looking back, maybe it was the start of his Parkinsons. Its hard to remember specific moments in the movie’s 6-track soundtrack but I suppose the coolest parts were when he was playing on stage and hoping his ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ would kiss. Then there was the DeLorean car, at the end, when it had the capability of flying, the sound started in front of you and sped behind you..to ‘move’ out of the way. Did it come around again and do a ‘warp jump’ explosion at the end? I forget. I think so..it did that light streak and then the titles began ..To Be Continued..
The first film reportedly was shot in 65mm that had spfx in it. To me, it looks better than the others even in 35mm given the original source material. The others were 35mm, then blown up for 70mm release. I remember when ST II came out and saw it in 70mm and was thoroughly thrilled by the experience and 6-track soundtrack accompanying it BUT noticed grain and other undesirable artifacts from the blow up.
Boldly go. :)
I wish I lived in LA. It seems this place, the Aero and Egyptian have specialty programming unlike many other venues. Plus, the proximity to the movie capital of the world is a bonus since special guests such as production crew or actors can participate in Q&As and interact with a live audience.
Caught Knight and Day in #1 after almost a year. They played the wonderful THX life trailer before the show and it seems some of the speakers up front and left began to crackle. Oh oh. There appears to be a new digital projector that does not crop the image as badly as the previous one. Picture is masked side to side but is full length from top to bottom.
The film, itself, was okay. I was expecting more of a Mr. & Mrs. Smith kind of romp. Cruise and Cameron are okay, but they do not sizzle on screen. Watching those two smile after each other made me feel like watching a toothpaste commercial with all that whiteness going on.
What a shame. Had the place shown movies, I would have visited the place at least once, but from what I remember seeing of the interior, this place was a mere shell of its former self.
I believe it was this theater that my Dad, brother and I saw Flash Gordon in 1980, to a packed crowd here enjoying the campiness and romp that the movie was. Queen’s soundtrack was different and, at the time, I thought cool.
I wouldn’t mind the XD so much if they’d have bargain matinees BEFORE 6pm. Or, at least the first show of the day like AMC does. I don’t think they have any XD reduced prices.
My cousins and I saw Toy Story 3 in XD 3D and paid $14.50 each for the privilege :P
This is my first experience with XD and so it seems that it is Cinemark’s IMAX-lite competitor. #12 seems smaller than 11 though the screen seems to take up more vertical space. I appreciate the sharpness of the digital picture but again, it seems ‘darker’ than the regular flat screen digital projections that I enjoy.
The seats are comfortable and I enjoy the movable armrests. Being tall, I would prefer more leg room. Since I was with others, who prefer to sit higher up away from the screen, I had to satisfy myself with the fact that I would not be able to stretch my legs during the movie. Unfortunately, for the young girl in front of me, I found myself accidentally kicking her seat when shifting positions.
The XD trailer doesn’t have the CGI crispness of the IMAX-lite trailer. I prefer the IMAX’s H U G E lettering and coming-at-ya countdown style and the technical aspect of the 12K watts of sound. The XD trailer sound mix doesn’t show off the auditorium’s potential the way the THX ‘Life’ trailer does with the subwoofer booms.
The soundtrack was rich though I’m at a loss to explain this 7th channel. Part of the film’s soundtrack mix could be heard mid level, up high, especially at the end during the credits, where the front screen vocals can be heart miliseconds ahead of the sound coming from the mid-theater level speakers.
In my later years, I have tried not to read reviews of films I really want to see so as to not be jaded or swayed by their opinion. Unfortunately, I could not help but listen to Ann Hornaday’s opinion, on the radio in rush hour, about this movie and her comment about the technical aspect (IMAX treatment) of the movie not being special. To be blunt, I have to agree. There were no aha moments or really special visual tricks that work well in the XD format of this film.
The trailers for Despicable Me and the Disney Rapunzel movie look okay. December’s Narnia sequel looks more exciting and will hopefully make better use of the IMAX-lite treatment.
Customer service wise this place is just as bad as any Regal or AMC. No greetings by the barely alive ticket takers. The restrooms were atrocious. I realize it was a busy Sat night, but how much time does it take for two guys to run a mop throughout the mens room? I felt like I was at the National Zoo large animal exhibit on a hot 90Âº muggy day with no air circulation.
I’m not so sure about whether the Charles' owner is ‘good news’ for the Senator. It was my impression, maybe wrongly so, that there was some animosity between the former owner and the new one, specifically involving that of film clearance. And correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t one of their proposals gutting the main auditorium to make room for another screen? Perhaps the main auditorium is rather large at 900+ and whittling down to say 500 or so, would open the rear to an opposing twin? I shudder at the thought but in these economic times, maybe it is necessary. I just wish it were say, upstairs, or next door, or further behind the property.
In a way, I am glad the Senator will be booking more mainstream films as I have missed seeing the ‘event’ movies there since the turn of this century. Last year’s Star Trek would’ve been great on their screen and terrific digital sound system.