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Digital projection or not, movie theaters need to take a page from the 50s and give audiences what on-demand or DVD can’t give you at home, a giant movie on a giant screen, complete with ushers, curtain tabs and the like. Movie theaters will never go away, as there are still to many people in this world who are social. And even with the flaws of theaters today, I am a movie/theater buff, and I won’t give up on them.
With this talk from the studios, filmmakers need to pull out those 65mm cameras and shoot important tentpole releases with them. 65mm can only make digital look better than what it really is.
Movie theaters aren’t going nowhere folks. But expect anarchy from filmmakers, because I doubt Chris Nolan wants people to see “Inception”, or the next Batman first run in a damn living room.
I was going through some microfilm from 1990, and I’m in awe of the discovery that the Rutger Hauer b-movie, “The Blood of Heroes” ran here from 2/23/90 – 3/15/90. For anyone who may have worked here or went here during that time, is that correct? I’m finding it hard to believe because it grossed only 882k at the BO.
This theater now has a digital LIEMAX screen that AMC keeps putting up. Since the auditoriums (before LIEMAX) held approx 140-290, I imagine the screen holds no more that 220-230 people tops.
And you get to pay up to $14 dollars for the scam too!
Robert Weisgerber, inventor of the Super Dimension 70 system, has created a digital projection system (supposedly on par with 70mm) called DMX.
With all the move towards digital, this could be the digital version of 70mm. If it happens, I hope he tweaks it again with 4k/6k techology. And I hope 65mm origination happens, because it can make digital look better that what it is now.
Tim, do you remember if a movie called “Cutter’s Way” played at the Cinema? It was released in NY under the original (novel) title “Cutter & Bone” in the spring of ‘81, but pulled due to poor reaction. It came out again that summer under the new title, and did better, but not by much. I’m hoping to get a microfilm ad of it if Chicago ever got the movie. I figured that this theater was an art house, and “Cutter” would’ve played here or the Sandburg if released in chi-town.
Thanks Tim. I didn’t know that about the Chicago. When my theater corp finally gets going, I hope to build a theater similar to the Lincoln Square in New York, where each auditorium has a faux marquee/entrance of a classic movie palace. In Chicago, the screens would be the Chicago, State-Lake, United Artists, Woods etc… My proposed project would be the flagship.
Justin, you must be talking about the mini-IMAX (I call it LIEMAX) at the AMC Empire 25. The Lincoln Square has the real thing.
And when I eventually visit New York, I plan to make a trip to LS.
I just saw on the news that Costco is looking to build a store on the site of the now-closed Kiddieland in nearby Melrose Park. If that goes through, then that’s more hope for Norridge.
Anyway, does all the screens have side-masking for scope films? I ask because I think of another M&R turned Loews theater, the Evergreen. And its original 2 screens were split to make 4, and all of them were pretty big screens. I’m wondering if Norridge’s split auditoriums have the same effect.
Tim, when you go to that site, look at the bottom of the exterior photo. There should be numbers 1-12 and “full screen”. Click on #8 to see the balcony shot of the screen.
When you see the screen, look at the bottom left & bottom right of the screen (bottom right is more visible), there’s a square opening that’s most likely the exit door. It’s just like the exit doors at the AMC River East here in Chicago.
I hope that because it’s a balcony shot, the visual impact is lessened. Because I’m in Chicago (and broke), I won’t be able to see the place up close. So if anybody visits, please give us a report on the main screen. I hope my suspicions are proven wrong.
I believe AEG owns Regal. I’ve read articles on the theater that refer to them as AEG Regal LA Live.
And yeah, 14 screens is too much. I could see playing it on 7 of the screens, then you could program 7 other flicks too.
Anyway, I’m even more determined to get my theater corpration off the ground and get ahold of a proposed development here in Chicago, because the location would be perfect for me to construct a theater that would put to rest this “premiere” screen at LA Live. I mean c'mon, they spent 100 million dollars to build this place, and they couldn’t get the screen right. When I think of “premiere auditorium”, I think of a screen that looks almost as big as this
Uhh Chris, I looked at the photo of the screen in the “premiere” auditorium, and it looks like Regal couldn’t curb their habbit of top-down screen masking. If you look closely at picture #8 at this link, you can see that the screen while covered up with curtains, has exit doors close on both sides of screen. It’s a setup just like the new AMC builds, or Pacific Grove 14. And with that setup, you know that the screen can’t expand at the sides.
Oh well, it least the decor looks great. Kudos to Regal for that. But for those in LA, the
W-I-D-E-S-C-R-E-E-N experience is at the Arclight or Grauman’s Chinese.
I look forward to building a movie theater in the future, because when it comes to “wall-to-wall screens”, I’m going to show them how it’s done.
JRS40, I know the Chicago Theatre had the larger seating capacity (3,600), but between State-Lake & Chicago, which one had the largest screen? I myself am leaning towards S-L because it showed many 70mm presentations, and the Chicago did not.
My dad drove by the theaters while me, him, and my mom were on the way to the Aldi down the road. It’s still standing, which is great. I’ve wrote a draft of my business plan, now I’m just revising it.
I’ve read about a new system that can project Real-D images with screens up to 80ft wide. This would be perfect to show “Avatar”. With that, here’s another listing of films that would’ve played here if it were open today
5/8/09 – STAR TREK
6/12/09 – TAKING OF PELHAM 1,2,3
6/19/09 – THE HANGOVER (moveover from 1-6)
7/1/09 – PUBLIC ENEMIES (Lansing/River Run would’ve gotten “Transformers”)
7/15/09 – HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE
7/31/09 – FUNNY PEOPLE
8/14/09 – DISTRICT 9
9/4/09 – INGLORIOUS BASTERDS (moveover from 11-12)
9/11/09 – TYLER PERRY’S I CAN DO BAD ALL BY MYSELF
10/2/09 – ZOMBIELAND
10/16/09 – WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
10/28/09 – MICHAEL JACKSON’S THIS IS IT
Now my planned 11-12 would be next to #10. They would hold about 400 & 300, and feaure waterfall curtains.
While I like the idea of large format digital screens, it would be nice if their XD screens had side-masking.
People, this is where large format cinema should be, digital or film
Not this: http://www.cinemark.com/xd288photos.asp
According to the Kerasotes website, the theater at Roosevelt Collection is now known as the ShowPlace ICON Theatre. This sounds like Kerasotes is brining about a new brand within the corporation. They’re opening a similar location in St. Louis Park, MN next month.
According to this link, this theater is opening a Cinemark “Extreme Digital” auditorium on November 6th. I’ve seen photos of their new creation, and it looks pretty good. It’s no IMAX or 70mm, but it appears to be better than the LIEMAX screens that AMC is opening up. I know I will most certainly be making the trek to Evanston when it opens.
I’m glad you mentioned the resolution Xenon. I read somewhere that shooting in 35mm and going directly to print could have a resolution up to 8k. 70mm resolution on the other hand, might be upwards of 10/12k if that comment on 35 is true.
In the very very distant future when I have grey hair and grandkids, there just might be an 8k projector to equal 70mm quality, but it should retain the 2.20: 1 aspect ratio.
Any kind of 70mm comeback would of course, be shot that way. And I think it should also be reserved for screens 50ft wide and above.
From that teaser I saw, it appears that Chris Nolan’s “Inception” has some 65mm. There was a scene or two that looked far too sharp to have been shot in 35mm (and I saw the teaser in 35).
I think that any 70mm production won’t be bought up by a studio exec. However, any kind of return to 70mm would have to be by a director with the power to do what he/she wants.
I don’t think it will return anytime soon though. Once hollywood ***k themselves over with the digital thing….
I second that Ian. I saw “Beowulf” in Real-D, and I started getting eyestrains after the first 30 minutes or so. I will say this though, it looks better than the old 3-D with the red/blue cardboard glasses.
Now why would a studio do a new 70mm release? To keep people in the theaters. Once 3-D and digital become commonplace, and the 3-D systems become avalible to Blu-ray, then what? What happens when there’s another box office slump that’s worse than the infamous 19 week drought of 2005? Keep in mind that 100% “pristine” digital will only make piracy easier. If that’s the case, then people who buy pirated movies can pretty much say goodbye to the old camcorded crap of the past. For $5 on the street, one could buy the lastest Michael Bay fluff, and it would have real DVD quality. Why? Because smart hackers get into hardrives the way a hungry person gets into McDonalds. What will save Hollywood the way it was saved from TV in the 50s?
If they have a teaspoon of sense, then they would go to large format film (for the few selected productions of course). In today’s world where an average summer film costs 200+ million, 65mm originated material only makes sense. Think about it, 200 million is a gamble for something that might be on the street on release date. And “Real-D” will be on Blu-ray in few months. So you’ve gotta give people what they can’t get at home; a big bright sharp image on a BIGWIDESCREEN.
IMAX had a great thing going until they whored themselves out in favor of two 2k projectors and smaller screens at AMC locations. Now they’ve become an example of corporate greed, and has created LIEMAX at the chain locations.
Another thing these big chains (cough AMC, Regal cough) need to stop doing, building 14-20 screeners all with top-down masking and seat capacities of 70-350. And instead of spending all these millions on those LIEMAX screens, they could be spending money on building screens like this:
Of course, that would require a corporation to you know, care about the moviegoing experience rather than just $$$$. When I eventually build theaters, you can best bet that most, of not all of them will feature a premiere auditorium with a screen size that’s 60-80ft wide.
I’ll leave some more interesting links here:
Tell me Ian, what’s the name of the theater that’s getting 70mm? I can mark that down in my list.
I do think digital is the future, and its better than 35mm in some cases. But until there’s a digital equivalent to 70mm, complete with the 2.20: 1 aspect ratio and crystal clear photography, I still stand by the notion that we should be FIGHTING for the kind of movie that would be shot in the large format 65mm, and have select market 70mm or Super Dimension 70 prints. Of course, the rest would be 4k digital.
Ron Fricke’s upcoming sequel to “Baraka” titled “Samsara” is a start. But because of its subject matter, it may not do well even with a select market release. Now if Christopher Nolan does indeed shoot an upcoming project in 65mm, then we should put it out there that even with digital screens, we can run the movie the way it was meant to be seen.
Anyway, I won’t worry about the future right now. I’m focused on getting this theater reopened. Hopefully I’ll achieve that. But yeah, if there’s ever a digital format like 70mm, then lets welcome it with hugs. But until that time, lets fight for the underdog.
PS: I wish there was something like this here in Chicago
Say, does anyone know what is the largest 35mm/digital screen operating in Little Rock today?
“Digital still has a way to go in its own technology”
A loooooonnnnnggggg way at that. The current digital systems projecting movies are good, but it sure as hell ain’t like the last 15 minutes of “The International”, which were shot in 65mm. Now keep in mind, I saw that projected in 35mm. Seeing those minutes made me believe in what film could do if done right. And could you imagine what it would’ve looked like if it were projected in its 65mm origination? But its all about the bottom-line dollar to these greedy/stingy studio knuckleheads. And in some small way, we play a part in what they do.
Think about it. The art of theatrical presentation is pretty much ——ed. They don’t care, because we, the people who spend money don’t care. And when we don’t like what they do in the theaters, we wait for DVD, and inadvertently shrink the window of theatrical release and home video. A decade ago, they came with 2k digital, and we bought it. They started building multiplexes with so-called main auditoriums with top-down masking for 2.35 films, and we bought that. Then comes ticket prices so expensive, one will have spent part of a gas bill after leaving. We visit these sites and talk about the good ‘ol days of cinema and about how much better it was back in the day, yet we do nothing to help bring the art of showmanship to THIS day.
As a 19 year old male with plans to own a chain of movie theaters, I like the idea of digital projection. And when it’s really perfected, I will welcome it with open arms. But the digital presentations I’ve seen pale in comparison to those last minutes of “International” or even better, the IMAX segments in “TDK”. Those are the kind of images that digital won’t be topping for years. Even with a perfect digital in the future, why should digital become the sole format for theatrical presentation? Why couldn’t digital become the new 35mm, with larger film formats used for selected films? Oh yeah, we’ve got to just “accept the fact that film and large format film is a dinosaur and move on”. Those are the words those honchos love to hear. Well, they’re not going to hear it from me. I won’t accede to that way of thinking.
As long as digital is not 100% perfect, we should be thinking of ways film could stand side-by side with digital. This means helping the independent filmmaker shoot productions in old fashioned super 16, or even better, the glorious and beautiful Panavision Anamorphic. And if we’ve got millions of dollars, rent ‘em an Arri 765, which is like the window to the world, through the lens of a camera.
We should also take the young children to see 70mm revivals. And if there’s any projectionists with children, let them feel the strip of film in their hands. Let them know what kind of magic they’re holding.
And if anybody wants a new 65mm production (or just the art of showmanship in general), its very simple, fight for it. I will be doing my part, but one person is one person. A whole group on the other hand, is something else. When “Samsara” gets a release date, hammer the studios about releasing a 70mm print in a selected theater. Find ways to promote the format to audiences. If it does well, then perhaps a filmmaker like Chris Nolan could produce another production for the format.
I am going to conclude my rant, and I will leave everyone with some links.
Although a complete digital takeover won’t happen for many many years, we have to do what we can to save independents in our respective communites. See, studios today only think about the big chains like AMC, Regal etc… They forget about the ones who can’t spend a billion dollars on systems that will most likely have to be upgraded to something else in a few years.
But until we cross that bridge, keep those 35mm prints looking pristine folks. And fight for a new 70mm production, even when people say “it’s never gonna happen”.
I’ve heard that auditoriums #1 and #14 have really huge screens. Is this true? If so, how wide, and side masking or top-bottom?
I’ve been here before to see the remake of DOTD back in 2004, and I was in #6, which had a pretty average screen.