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The first three National Amusement multiplexes, in the DC/VA area started out in the mid 80s were state-of-the-art for its time. I recall they boasted at least two big auditoriums that were THX certified and had 70mm capability. I remember catching Star Trek IV, Terminator 2 and Dick Tracy in 70mm at one of those venues. Today, they are just run of the mill operations and have lost their THX certification. The Arlington VA Multiplex has DLP but its in a small auditorium that is shoe box sized. I saw X2 there, in ‘03, and was disappointed with the muddled sound though the picture was vibrant and colorful and didn’t bother going there to see Revenge of the Sith.
If they build another one in this market, they could take a page out of the Arclight Cinemas book and offer all stadium seating, with at least THX certified auditoriums, if not better, and at least one with IMAX and/or DLP. Perhaps an auditorium or two could be kept for art house classics, with 70mm capability to show older widescreen favorites. Then you can call it a ‘De Lux’ venue. :)
Okay, I’m projecting a wish that may not come true…
We have one of those ‘De Lux’ multiplexes in Virginia and, to be honest, it’s nothing great. The plasma tvs just show ads and movie trailers. The food court is just that..a food court. Sbarros, Nathans, the usual mall food fare at movie house prices!
The movie screens are decently sized, with stadium seating, nothing special. The presentation was in the Director’s Hall. The sound was muted and none of the auditoriums were THX certified, which would explain the lackluster presentation. The reserved seating is just that. I couldn’t choose where I wanted to sit and even though there were other people, the usher would check our tickets to make sure we sat in our assigned seat. I felt like I was in elementary school being told where to sit and not to move!
Is it worth the extra cost for the ‘De Lux’ treatment? Not in Virginia. Maybe it is better at the other locations where there may be at least DLP and/or IMAX.
Just returned from a screening of the original Star Wars trilogy. It was a great experience. Great sound and picture from start to end, in the largest historic theater (in THX). Unfortunately, the presenters flubbed up (though they did catch themselves) one of them referred to Star Wars as ‘Episode One’ and another referred to the second film as ‘The Emperor Strikes Back.’ It seems this was the only venue anywhere in the world that currently showed the first five movies of the saga. Its too bad the prequels weren’t in digital.
I second Doug23’s comment and responses to the previous bickering! Celebrate the fact you have the choicest venues to experience movies. The BEST! If you were in Washington DC, your choice is a decent looking art deco structure that can boast bad sound and lousy projection (Loews Uptown), or a smaller suburban multiplex.
Who cares if King Kong is coming to the Uptown? With its current lousy projection and sound standards, I’ll stick to my closer, better sounding and looking (especially if its in DLP) multiplex movie screen, thank you.
Now, the current screen must be only 40', as it appears to be about the same size as Baltimore’s Senator. So, how can they properly show Cinerama on a flat screen that is only 40' wide?
Having returned from a mid-week, evening showing of “Revenge of the Sith,” I’m sad to report that things haven’t changed a whole lot at this theater. The presentation was a disappointment all around. The movie was scratchy, blotchy and had a noticeable line running down the middle during previews and at the end credits. I realize this is a dark movie, both in subject matter and lighting, but in many of the scenes, especially during the one where Sidious reveals his true self to Anakin, the costumes were too dark. No texture differences, washed out color. The digital projection of this film was so much better hands down. The only saving grace to watching this film, at this theater, is its enormous screen size. It draws you in, but the horrible picture and sound brings you back to reality like a slap in the face. sigh
The sound was subdued even though this was supposedly an event film. Given the fact there may have been less than 20 in the audience, in a theater that could seat 800 or so, I guess whomever was responsible for the audio settings just turned it down. A waste of my $9.50.
Okay, I do remember the not-so-friendly cashier at the booth, who, on this day, was reading a book. She and the ticket taker were watching, in bemusement, as I was trying to buy our tickets using the automatic kiosk. It didn’t work, so I ended up buying it from her. She did say “enjoy the show” and that was about it. Rude, well, its NYC. At least told us to enjoy the show, perhaps she sensed we were out of town… :)
I’ve E-mailed them to find out if the original trilogy will be in 70mm, the special editions, and, if the prequels will be in digital projection. All three auditoriums are capable of any format, but I’d like to see them in the historic original auditorium. So far, no response.
My friend and I visited NYC and made a stop at this theater to see Revenge of the Sith in DLP. I must say that the theater is quite ornate and large but the screen size was smaller than I expected. I suspect its about 40' or so wide, about the size of some of the larger auditoriums in your local multiplex, or like our Baltimore’s Senator. Its a bit strange to have to go up the stairs, then turn right into an auditorium that seems to go down again. The lobby pictures show a Ziegfeld that had a much more decorative top structure that is missing from the current one. Was this the same theater?
The picture and sound are better than in most theaters I have experienced with this DLP/Dolby Digital Cinema set up. Excellent sound separation, with little reverberation, yet powerful subwoofers add to the aural experience! Its nice to see an ‘older’ theater outfitted with the latest presentation technologies and sound. If people are going to leave their DVDs and cable to see a movie, this is how it should be experienced.
My understanding of DLP is that its a Texas Instruments system and Dolby Digital Cinema is a competing system that achieves the same objective, which is digital cinema projection. DDC, according to the article link, stores, decodes and projects at “higher data rates than other image decoders,” meaning Texas Instruments DLP system.
As far as the posted theater listing, a check of the Ziegfeld indicates it is Texas Instruments' DLP set up, not Dolby Digital Cinema. Not trying to be difficult, just trying to discern the differences.
If megaplexes are the future, I’d be supportive of say a megaplex that incorporates a single screen gem and then building adjoining but distant, ornately-styled auditoriums that have the projection and sound that exceed THX cert standards like the Arclight, in Hollywood.
What specific venues have the new Dolby Digital Cinema system? Their website doesn’t say. Has anyone seen a movie with this new system? If so, how does it compare to DLP?
I caught Sith in Digital projection but came away with a somewhat less-than-satisfying experience. The movie looked dark, not as vibrant as previous movies seen digitally. Then again, it may be this theater. I’ll be catching it again on regular 35mm and maybe another digital projected theater.
Patrons should complain to Clearview management and do so with frequency and ferocity, perhaps then someone will fix the place, especially if its the AC. I’d be quite a livid patron, if I were to attend say, screening of the new Revenge of the Sith, in 90 degree+ indoor heat!
Yes, they are showing it starting with a 12:01 AM show that is sold out. Since they’ve gone to a platter system, I suspect the projection qualities aren’t quite up to decent standards. I’m going to see it in DLP and then at Baltimore’s Senator Theater, then maybe the Uptown, unless someone has a post that indicates the picture and sound are bad first. My experience seeing Attack of the Clones, in ‘02, here was quite bad.
Why can’t movie theaters just start their advertisements before the published time? That way you don’t have to wait 10-15 minutes for the movie to begin.
Isn’t that a waste of money having a venue that isn’t used? You would have at least some revenue coming in from a few patrons rather then to have nothing and still have to pay for your rent, electricity, etc. I’ve never heard of such a thing.
I’m curious as to why the Ziegfeld is dark until next week. I’m wondering if they are upgrading their digital projectors to the new 4K units out by Sony.
The Uptown was remodeled back in 1996 or so. The seats have higher backs and are a marked improvement from what was installed before. The sight lines are good given the enormous size of the screen. Now, I haven’t been there since Spiderman 2, so I can’t say how much worse the presentation is now. I saw Sin City in DLP and enjoyed the presentation, but the movie was so so.
I do plan on seeing Revenge of the Sith there to compare it to Baltimore’s Senator and Crown Annapolis' digital presentation of the movie. I’m sure there will be posts about this theater, again, at that time.
I hope the Washington DC Market will be part of the initial roll out, but the screens at the two Landmark multiplexes here are a bit on the small side. And the admission prices are some of the highest, if not the highest here, even during so called ‘bargain’ matinees.
Does anyone know if any theater in the US has this projector? How does it compare to the 2K projectors that are already out? You’d think this new one is 2x as sharp.
If the theater had better programming, films that showcased its capabilities; 70mm & classic films that other theaters were not showing, then perhaps it would’ve survived. Maybe the local P&G theater group will take it over after its gone. Anyone know what will happen to the theater when it is closed?
As far as the Uptown is concerned, maybe it will be twinned; a theater upstairs where the balcony presently is and the curved screen below. Oops. I probably shouldn’t have suggested that…
If enough people write, like I did, perhaps someone will notice and make the necessary changes. Otherwise, people just won’t go there anymore. I rarely go downtown anymore to see a movie. Since they don’t have films in 70mm anymore, whats the point travelling all the way to see it in a place where management doesn’t care?
Ahh. Now this drive-in brings back some memories. No, I’ve never been inside of it but I do remember passing by, on my way home, from school. The view, from Central Ave., was obscured by sections of board. Unfortunately, there were these big gaps between the boards where you could see xxx-rated action as you drove by. And, yes, there were people who would park their cars, on Central Ave., where the biggest gaps were to see portions of the movie for free!