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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.
They have a newly installed Digital Projection system in the first theater on the left, as you enter into the comjplex. I forget the number on it but it has a fairly decent sized screen in a above average sized auditorium. The movie I saw here in DP was Underdog. WOOF! The picture was quite bright probably brighter than some of the older DP set ups I’ve seen around the area.
Its a really cool trailer, Howard. If you’re in the DC area, they will play it at those venues that have the Dolby digital projection system set up such as Bow Tie Annapolis #10, AMC Hoffman, Georgetown and some others. Right now, they’re playing a Dolby trailer that features Jerry Seinfeld’s upcoming movie “Bee.” Come to think of it, that trailer may be more for the sound as opposed to the digital picture. Not 100% sure, maybe its both? I’m not sure which NYC venues have the install.
When I saw Sith here, in ‘05, the Ziegfeld’s sound system came alive with contrasting, yet powerful sound effects such as a water wave, fire and a strong woofer mmmmmmmm as the Dolby Digital Cinema trailer came to an end. Even my cynical friend enjoyed it, which is saying a lot. For me, it was a tingler to experience the color morphing and contrasting sounds.
Howard, the Dolby Digital Cinema trailer is the trailer that starts out with a piece of film that burns, then it dissolves into a count down that starts..10-9-8-, etc with a different CGI effect of brilliant, yet contrasting colors until the Dolby Digital Cinema logo comes up. I forget the precise ending but it it says something to the effect of ‘experience for your eyes’ or ‘difference’ or something like that.
I’ve always enjoyed format and sound trailer (i.e. the various THX ones) before the main attraction as it showcases the theater’s sound/picture capability and range. Its analogous to that perfect appetizer that whets your desire and anticipation for that main course.
My friend and I saw the IMAX version of Transformers. The film appeared cropped as the tops and bottoms were blank. Other than the screen’s enormous size, it really wasn’t more of an experience than when I saw it at the my favorite Annapolis Mall grand theater in THX.
What concerns me about the Senator survival is the mention of mainstream programming at this Landmark. They should stick to their usual art house fare. If the Senator ever closes becuase of Landmark, I’ll never patronize them again, even if they’re the only place in town booking exclusives.
Last night, my friend and I attended the 8:30pm show of Blade Runner. I printed several copies of Bill’s Clearview coupon and presented it to the cashier, who looked at it with some puzzlement. I had a fleeting fear that she was going to accuse me of fraudulent coupon manufacturing in spite of my best efforts at tweaking settings on my Phaser color laser printer :) But she took it and discounted our tickets. Thanks, again Bill! We arrived before 8pm to a sparsely filled theater that eventually filled up to probably 75% of capacity by showtime. When the ticket taker took our tickets, I made it a point to him that we drove 235 miles to see this movie in “your magnificent theater” and expect the film to be played loud and to not disappoint us. He smiled and said “don’t worry, it will be played loud.”
The house lights dimmed, the curtain closed and opened and the show began with the Ladd company logo, to the applause of the audience. They forgot to play that wonderful Dolby Digital Cinema 5-4-3-2-1 trailer that I love and remember at this theater.
Oh well. Back to the movie. The restoration effort yielded quite an impressive presentation from the simple but bright white title credits to the excellent visual FX work by Doug Trumbull’s EEG facility. Now tell me why, why on earth that little movie about a caca looking alien WON 1982’s Oscar for Visual FX over this film just boggles my mind. The LA landscape, dark, murky depressing with those Egyptian-inspired superskyscrapers and those cool looking spinner cars!
Not to be nitpicky, but I did notice a ‘hiccup’ or sorts (I’m trying to remember now writing this after having only 2 hrs sleep in the last 30 hrs) in the scene preceding Deckard’s initial encounter with Rachel. It was sustainable enough to notice and at second thought, I thought it may have been an intentional subliminal message :) (Buy more Clearview popcorn and soda maybe?) Towards the end, at the bottom of the screen, I could see some spotting. Probably most will not notice. Perhaps it was the projector and not the transfer, itself.
In the interrogation scene, based on my recollection from previous viewings, what I believed to be the replicant give away was the way its pupils reflected off of indirect light. A reddish hue? In the Final Cut, Rachel’s eyes don’t have that give away. They’re just natural color.
Overall, I thorougly enjoyed the movie again. Having not seen it in 70mm during its initial run does not give me proper reference to compare the ‘experience.’ Knowing that the FX were shot in 65mm does give credence that the 70mm cut would be superior though. The audience enjoyed the presentation, too, as applause went up as the credits rolled. It was interesting to hear discussion of the movie by patrons filing out. As I mentioned in a previous post, it would have been great to have a moderated discussion by a production person with the movie, or even a local movie critic, or maybe even a well spoken cinephile on this film. As we exited the theater, the ushers thanked everyone for coming, to which I thanked them for a great time at the movies.
If members are allowed to put in lousy shoebox multiplexes, why not an IMAX? It seems whatever the favorite theater is a member favorite gets added. Oh well. Well done, Howard. You deserve at least a free movie pass and popcorn. :)
My last time seeing Blade Runner (director’s cut) was at DC’s Uptown in ‘91 or so. I hope the presentation is nice and loud. When I saw Revenge of the Sith here in '05, it was a weekday matinee and it was PLENTY LOUD for the handful of patrons that were there and I loved it. It had the best presentation of that movie bar none, digital or the select EK vision premier print they supposedly had at the Senator.
For the purists who know, or for those who have seen the movie on video AFTER seeing this new cut, what are the differences other than what has been mentioned so far?