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Howard, I’m glad you enjoyed your movie in one of my favorite seats in the AFI’s Historic Theater. What a treat, eh? Perfect movie presentation, eating a snack while stretched out in comfort, without worrying about who is behind or in front of you. Now if only a robe and bedroom slippers were the accepted theater attire decorum… :)
I’m sure theater owners pay for THX certs otherwise they can’t claim they are THX certified and use the advertising to distinguish themselves from the other multiplex boxes. If you notice in the Post, some venues do advertise this fact such as BowTie Annapolis. What I don’t like is the movie print ads, themselves, don’t have the little THX logo by those theaters that do show the movies in their certified auditoriums, much less digital stereo (DTS, DD, EX, etc) and digital projection. Its now just one big ad and you call a number or check the directory.
I’ve always enjoyed sound format and projection format trailers before the actual movie starts, but fewer of the plexes do them anymore. With the sound format trailer, the audience gets a sense as to what the theater’s sound system is capable of and with THX hitting all those sound levels AND the subwoofer vrooom, leads to great anticipation because of the startled auditory senses. If movie theater managers want to ensure audiences come back, they need to reenforce the positives of patronizing and that is the great sound and picture. So, play the damn THX trailer, please loud.
Let’s hope AFI show other 70mm features in ‘08 than the usual fare…PLEASE?
I should add that because of this pretzel treat, its one of the few movie houses I’d ever buy concession stand anything because of the exhorbitant prices. Either I try to eat before the show or try to sneak it in.
They used to have these delicous jalapeno cream cheese stuffed pretzels that were sooo good. If made right, its the perfect balance of crusty shell, the kosher salt and melting hot but not volcanic hot cheese with the right amount of jalapeno zing that’s, oh so yummy! The last time I was there..probably when they had 2001 a year ago, they were out of that, actually most of their snacked goods were GONE except for popcorn, soda and alcohol. I was so disappointed!
Nice photos, Howard. The last set is good in that you capture some of the better seats in the back that are spread out and not congested. If I’m snacking on something like their hot stuffed pretzels, I like the snack tables adjacent to the seats in the back. My friends and I snuck in sandwiches and soup from the Panera, next door, and had a good time with our movie!
On the other hand, the pictures point out the rather smallish screen. Small in comparison to some of the better single houses of yesteryear, sadly gone forever. I do wish that in ‘08, they have more 70mm other than Lawrence and 2001.
I think Regal bought out Hoyts here in this area and from the looks of it, UA and Edwards.
It would be a shame if this local chain gets gobbled up by the likes of a Regal or AMC. We all have less than positive experiences at the aforementioned and that their further expansion would be bad for Missourians.
Very nice. I love the twinkling lights in the ceiling as you walk in. Was this an original touch or added to give patrons a nod to the atmospheric ceilings of yesterday’s theaters?
The website seems to only show the interior of one (presumably the largest) auditorium in your triplex. Otherwise, it looks very homey and comfortable. Too bad you don’t have one here in MD. I’d definitely be a regular.
Giles, I emailed Consolidated and they claim their newer plexes are wired for Digital should they go that route, but like you’ve said, they’re behind the times.
I enjoy the Fairfax cinema deLux now and have seen DP movies there. I thought they had 7 units, including the 3D one? Regal seems to be doing one per plex in this market, too.
It seems just about every other plex (AMC, Regal, Nat'l Amusements, BowTie, Muvico) in the DC area has DP in at least one auditorium. I say thats an improvement from two years ago when it was just Annapolis Mall and the AFI.
I’m just glad that this market isn’t overlooked when it comes to the rollout of new movie projection technology. Usually, its LA or NY that gets the new toys, which is understandable given their proximity to the heart of the entertainment business. Though we’ve had IMAX since the Smithsonian’s Air & Space opened in ‘75, its rare they play traditional Hollywood fare.
Back in the mid 80s to early 90s, my friends and I drove into VA to watch 70mm booked movies at the National Amusement multiplexes and they had some good set ups with THX cert-auditoriums. I’d have no problem doing that again for the IMAX presentations if they are that good.
I’m not sure how you would project 70mm and digital projection, since you’re talking about two different formats. But I hear what you’re saying about getting back to high quality projection. If they built a projector that could handle the older classics, you could see the return of possibly roadshow runs in these venues that could alternate between the usual newer fare and the older films. Newer generations of movie goers will be thrilled at the likes of say the acid-trip light show of 2001’s Stargate corridor sequence, or the aural delight of the helicopter sequence in Apocalypse Now.
On the other hand, there would have to be a foolproof automated process to running such a machine given the fact that there are few projectionists around. I’ll let those who were chime in about that.
With the exception of the Transformer IMAX movie, just about every IMAX movie I’ve seen at the UA/Regal King of Prussia IMAX theater has met with some kind of technical problem where the film was stopped or presentation cancelled.
While, I’m with the exhibitors to try and improve the movie going experience, I’m not so sure about retrofitting existing auditoriums for this IMAX 3D format. What makes IMAX special to me and, I’m sure for most others, is the enormous multi-story screen size. I don’t see how retrofitting an existing auditorium, or even combining, say two big ones to make an IMAX auditorium a true IMAX experience.
Now, the new Tysons Corner 16 plex in VA has some enormous screens..maybe it might work but its not the IMAX I know and appreciate on the level of say the Smithsonians.
On the other hand, the idea of large screen exhibition brings back the argument of the return to 70mm. Why not just bring that format back with a next gen high definition sound system?
Oops, posted comment in wrong story. :)
I remember when this place opened up in 1986. It had state-of-the art presentation, THX certified theaters with 70mm capability and was a favorite destination point for me, my friends and relatives, who would drive across the bridge from MD.
It just happened that I found out today that the place had closed even though I drove by this place last week! Its sad. Yes, the place even back in the 80s seemed a little rowdy but I never felt unsafe and did enjoy coming here up through the early 90s.
NA could have put in some extra money to revitalize the place to make it more viable to Hoffmann, but Hoffman is quite a place and they have much larger and more engulfing screens, which the older venues such as this one; Reston and Arlington all lacked.
A drive-in comeback. I doubt it. Perhaps a second-run house with all those screens would be a better alternative, plus you’ve got all those screens and stereo sound in each auditorium.
Saw the film in Dolby Cinema Digital 3D/THX at our Annapolis Bow Tie Cinemas. Presentation was excellent all around for the sold out 7:40pm show. What is great about this venue aside from the state-of-the-art presentation is they no longer show on screen advertisements! No pre-show commercials. The opening Grendel attack on the celebrating party was gruesome and gory. I’m surprised this film didn’t get an R.
I don’t think motion capture has improved a whole lot since Zemeckis' earlier effort with it with Polar Express. The characters barely emote as if they are taking behind whole body masks. BUT I can see why he chose this technique for this kind of film. There are some extraordinary camera shots, pull backs and the like add to the fantasy elements.
If you have a chance to see the film, see it in 3D the way it was meant to be seen.
$12 is fine as long as its a Ziegfeld or similar venue.
Re: 35mm prints of Blade Runner. DC’s Uptown is running a 35mm presentation, with Baltimore’s Senator to be running it after the newly opened Landmark Baltimore concludes its DP engagement.
Wow, what a gorgeous palace. I’d change the meeting place if I were you but given the late hour, I doubt it will happen. Maybe next time?
What a wonderful idea! Where can I get my free roundtrip tickets, accomodations at the Marriott and free car rental? :)
The Senator engagement has been postponed indefinitely due to the popularity of “Michael Clayton” at least through 11/1. Good for them as they need the patronage.
As for the Uptown…the AMC/Moviewatcher website indicates showtimes of 1, 4, 7 and 10pm, respectively.
As far as any DC area digital projection engagements, none are indicated at this time. Looks like DC has the exclusive.
That is good news. It seems they are expanding their digital conversion to other area Regals as well, albeit ONE auditorium per plex. And its also equally good news that they installed it in an auditorium that isn’t the smallest in the plex.
Again, there was a listing for Springfield as I remember commenting on my experiences and now it is relisted. Here we go again. :)
1 was among the first venues in the country to become THX certified when it became available way back in ‘83. Cinema 1 also had 70mm projection capabilities that they kept even after the remodel when it became THX certified.
I’ve seen 2010 and Cocoon in 70mm and can say both films were outstandingly presented here even though the screen size was not all that large.
Unfortunately, quality has gone down as when I saw the last Matrix movie here, it was very, very disappointing. The soundtrack was muddled and hardly crisp and sharp. The first Matrix film was excellent as i distinctly remember that in this theater, I could hear the sound of spent bullet shells hitting the floor. In the presentation at DC’s Uptown, it was not as crystal clear.
Hopefully, things have improved since but with the AMC takeover, I doubt it.
This venue had a listing on CT. I wonder why its re-listed. I made mention of the fact that my friends and I visited here opening weekend. I don’t remember which film it may have been but I know I’ve seen both Alien 3 and Basic Instinct here when they opened. The theaters were decently sized and had equally decently sized screens. Its too bad this placed closed after the Majestic opened. The Majestic is a lousy run plex that has lousy projection and sound that is played too low to be enjoyable.
Choices, choices and more choices. The Uptown will have the superior viewing experience given its sheer screen size. The Senator has an excellent sound system when done right but its screen is smaller. Landmark Baltimore will probably get a DP version and is NEW. Heck, I may have to see it in all three venues :)
The Tenley 3 was here before. I remember commenting on it. GRR. I suspect when Cinema Treasures moved to a new server some info was lost. I know some of my comments went missing.
Re: Blade Runner. Baltimore’s Senator is touting a ‘new 35mm’ print sometime after Oct 26. Perhaps the Uptown will get a chance at an exclusive run since there is at least one film print from The Final Cut.
Hmmm. Strange bedfellows, indeed. But from reading past posts and articles with comments from Mr. Kliefaber, it seems he is welcoming Landmark. Perhaps its because they will break the clearance power that the Charles was exerting over the Senator.
Interesting they are showing a 35mm print of Ridley Scott’s final cut of Blade Runner. Maybe worth a viewing to compare to the Ziegfeld’s practically perfect digital projection version.