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Reopened today as the new 400 Theater. They’re showing “Transformers 2”, “Taking of Pelham 123”, “The Hangover”, and “Up” in 2D.
I will get down there again soon, but only when I can go to the nearby Carmen’s Pizza.
It will never happen for all movies. It may work for some indie productions, but for the most part, people still want the experience of being with others. We have it hardwired in our minds that we want to sit with a large crowd, laugh together, cry together, jump out of seats during scary movies, hold hands & cuddle with your date etc.. When was the last time a couple connected while looking at a computer monitor? And look at how many people met future spouses at a theater. And what about the number of fathers who connected with their children while at a theater? And this is a high number, since taking your teenage son to see “Die Hard” is cheaper than going to a sports game.
And then there’s women, who are social beings moreso than men (IMO), and will not settle for being parked on a couch for long.
If (a strong IF) movies/theaters begin to decline in favor for other activites, then Hollywood will go back and take a page from the 50s, and invent new ways to make movies bigger and brighter. Digital projection ain’t it, because thanks to the end of analog broadcasting, we’re now seeing it everyday for free. 3-D? Nope, because again, in a few years, you’ll be able to see a 3-D film on blu-ray. IMAX? No again, because thanks to the digital version, called LIEMAX or MiniMAX, the IMAX corporation just bended over & w—-ed themselves out in favor of getting rid of what works, which is large format FILM. But hey, they got a few extra dollars out of the deal.
So what will bail out the theatrical industry in the future? It’s very simple folks, FILM. No, 35mm is getting it’s last rites read by chains like AMC, Regal, etc… I’m talking about the one format that digital is 100+ years from trying to top. I’m talking about the format that digital Hollywood is trying to shield young moviegoers/filmmakers from. That is 70mm. People, if filmmakers began to shoot movies like “Star Trek” and “Harry Potter” in 65mm, with selected prints in 70mm, then this whole talk about 3-D this, Christie digital that would be over and done. People who’ve witnessed Rob Weisgerber’s Super Dimension 70 format have said it is 3-D without glasses. And for 70mm or any 70mm variation to work in today’s times, it can not under any circumstances be commercialized. That’s part of why 3-D will eventually wear thin, and that’s one of the reasons why IMAX is slowly but surely losing steam. They had a great thing with TDK’s selected scenes for the format, but they had to get greedy & convert conventional screens into screens that look like a bigger version of 1.85: 1.
70mm is something that can’t be put in a mall megaplex every 2 miles, but limit it to a premier theater in a downtown area. The kind of location that people will drive/commute 100 miles or more to if they really want to see said movie.
In a long awaited conclusion, if movie theaters are to survive into a the long term, the industry needs to be thinking a little more this, and less of this.
I do think James Cameron will elevate 3-D to something really special with “Avatar”, but everybody ain’t James Cameron.
3-D is here to stay…for now.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice place and I’ll go back (“Moon opens here Friday), but it needs upgrading if it’s to survive. And I’ll explain why
I was here with my Mom & Brother on 5/23 to see “Limits of Control” (trippy flick BTW), and I could tell that pretty much is still the same from when it opened in ‘91. The seats are worn with some tears in the padding, duct tape covers some of the carpeting (Burnham Plaza anyone?), and the bathrooms smell like tall p*ss. This is not good at all. And the audio & projection while fine, needs some overhauling. You compare/contrast what’s going on inside PA with the Landmark Century further down on Clark, and you’ll see, it’s waay different. And remember that AMC is running things, and they’re known to run former Loews locations into the ground. If this place is to make it to it’s 20th birthday, it needs the following
New plush seats ala the Lake in Oak Park or the Landmark.
New carpeting. Again, the Burnham Plaza style condition its in is not very welcoming.
Fresh paint job & a more upbeat decor in the lobby & concession area. This brings me to my next suggestion
If possible, relocate/reconfigure the restrooms. You have to go around the back of the concessions to get there now.
New screens themselves.
New projection equipment. Keep runnning film, but have a digital projector or two in hand if the movie calls for it.
A 35/70mm projector in #1. A location like this is perfect for a 70mm festival.
In all 4 auditoriums, remodel the decor a bit, and install a curtain for #1.
I know this would cost a lot of money, but come on, it will not last in the condition it’s in. This is especially true with moviegoers who can catch the latest arthouse flick by going to the Landmark, Evanston, or even the River East in some cases.
A remodel will increase business, believe it. Attendance at Webster Place was good, but when Kerasotes gave it the facelift it needed, business skyrocked. The same can happen for PA.
Also, I’ve posted an ‘if I ran it’ listing for #10.
Theater #1, or 9-10 as I knew it, still sits on the lot boarded up. The mall itself looks fine, though the parking lot needs a major repaving. The stores inside are fine, but something needs to be done regarding the hoochie mama, hip-hop clothing, and cellphone kiosks that are starting to pop up. Perhaps a new manager could try to attract more national stores. Heck, maybe go back to an outdoor format & make it look like the Deer Park Center. Be that as it may, it’s nothing compared to Evergreen Plaza. In fact, River Oaks is Woodfield compaired to Evergreen Plaza. Going inside EP is almost depressing. Anyway, I can’t seem to find any photos floating around.
Thanks for the info regarding the crowds for #9 in it’s later years. I know I will have much work to do to make sure lots of people come. I think if done right, #9 could be an attraction. I might dub it “the monster screen” in the ads. I also want to add that I think I will go stadium, but I want the effect to look almost like this
(photo of the Cinerama Dome)
Doing stadium will give me equal footing with nearby cinemas. And if I can go digital with 5 of the 10 RO screens, that will give me an edge over River Run/Lansing 8, and the Kerasotes in Schererville, IN. And since you loose part of the seating capacity with a stadium conversion, it may be easiser to fill up an 800 seater as opposed to trying to fill up 1100 seats.
It may have stadium seating, but the showmanship will still be there, count on it folks.
And if I were running it now…
3/6/09 – WATCHMEN
3/20/09 – KNOWING
3/27/09 – MONSTERS VS. ALIENS
4/17/09 – STATE OF PLAY
4/24/09 – OBSESSED
5/1 to 5/3/09 – 70MM FILM FESTIVAL
5/8/09 – STAR TREK
Next film to open on this screen would be “Taking of Pelham 1,2,3”.
I remember when “Three Kings” came out. I didn’t list it because i didn’t get the microfilm ad. It came out on 10/1/99. My dad went to see it here, but I had to see it at the Chatham 14. I remember that weekend very well. It’s just hard to believe it’s been almost 10 years.
I do remember that “Fight Club” opened here on 10/15, followed by “The Best Man” the next week. In fact, from my memory of that fall, here’s what played here (aka the week-to week era)
10/1/99 – THREE KINGS
10/15/99 – FIGHT CLUB
10/22/99 – THE BEST MAN
11/5/99 – THE BONE COLLECTOR
11/10/99 – LIGHT IT UP (who the fudge made this decision?)
11/19/99 – SLEEPY HOLLOW
12/10/99 – THE GREEN MILE
I also wanted to ask, did this place ever get really huge crowds towards the end of the Loews-Cineplex regime? By end, I mean during the period of 2002-2006.
Humm, If I were an operator, I’d go with Christie projectors. Sony changes it’s technology every few years.
I haven’t posted this yet, but
I got around to visiting this theater a few weeks ago to see “State of Play”. Wonderful theater. The decor & leather seats are really something. I plan to go back there and see “Angels & Demons” thursday. I emailed them earlier, and got the seat count.
The Lake has 1,676 seats. Aud #1-191 seats, #2(main auditorium) 529, #3-125, #4-150, #5-195, #6-196, and #7-290 seats.
To those that are tired of the mega-chains’s overpriced tickets and parking, visit The Lake. You won’t regret it.
If I reopened this place, then this is the what-if listing of films that would’ve played here from it’s 3/24/06 opening to now. Orignally sat 900, seating would be reduced to 600-700 to make way for a larger restroom & concessions
3/24/06 – INSIDE MAN
4/14/06 – SCARY MOVIE 4
4/28/06 – UNITED 93
5/5/06 – MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 3
5/19/06 – THE DA VINCI CODE
6/9/06 – CARS
6/28/06 – SUPERMAN RETURNS
7/14/06 – PIRATES 2: DEAD MAN’S CHEST (moveover from 1-6)
8/18/06 – SNAKES ON A PLANE
8/25/06 – THE ILLUSIONIST
9/1/06 – IDLEWILD (moveover from #9)
9/8/06 – HOLLYWOODLAND
9/15/06 – LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE (moveover from 1-6)
10/6/06 – THE DEPARTED
11/3/06 – BORAT
11/10/06 – BABEL
11/17/06 – CASINO ROYALE
12/8/06 – APOCALYPTO
12/20/06 – ROCKY BALBOA
1/5/07 – CHILDREN OF MEN
1/19/07 – PAN’S LABYRINTH
2/9/07 – THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND (moveover from 1-6)
2/14/07 – TYLER PERRY’S DADDY’S LITTLE GIRLS
3/2/07 – BREACH (moveover from #9)
3/9/07 – 300
4/6/07 – GRINDHOUSE
4/13/07 – DISTURBIA
4/20/07 – FRACTURE
5/4/07 – SPIDER-MAN 3
5/25/07 – PIRATES 3: AT WORLD’S END
6/8/07 – OCEAN’S 13
6/27/07 – LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD
7/11/07 – HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX
7/27/07 – TALK TO ME
8/3/07 – THE BOURNE ULTIMATIUM
9/7/07 – 3:10 TO YUMA
9/21/07 – EASTERN PROMISES
9/28/07 – THE KINGDOM
10/19/07 – GONE BABY GONE
11/2/07 – AMERICAN GANGSTER
11/16/07 – NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
11/30/07 – AMERICAN GANGSTER
12/14/07 – I AM LEGEND
1/18/08 – CLOVERFIELD
1/25/08 – RAMBO
2/8/08 – NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
2/22/08 – VANTAGE POINT
3/7/08 – THE BANK JOB
3/28/08 – 21
4/11/08 – STREET KINGS
4/18/08 – THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM
5/2/08 – IRON MAN
5/22/08 – INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL
6/27/08 – WANTED
7/2/08 – HANCOCK
7/18/08 – THE DARK KNIGHT
8/13/08 – TROPIC THUNDER
9/19/08 – LAKEVIEW TERRACE
9/26/08 – EAGLE EYE
10/24/08 – HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3: SENIOR YEAR
11/14/08 – QUANTUM OF SOLACE
11/21/08 – TWILIGHT
12/5/08 – MILK
12/25/08 – FROST/NIXON
1/9/09 – GRAN TORINO
1/16/09 – DEFIANCE
1/23/09 – SLUMDOG MILLIONARE
2/13/09 – FRIDAY THE 13TH
2/27/09 – TAKEN
3/6/09 – SLUMDOG MILLIONARE
3/20/09 – WATCHMEN (moveover from #9, #11-12)
3/27/09 – MONSTERS VS. ALIENS 3-D
4/24/09 – OBSESSED
5/8/09 – STAR TREK
5/29/09 – UP 3-D
With any luck, this theater will be reopened soon.
No, that photo is from another theater that was located in nearby Hoffman Estates.
Ha ha, IMAX corp won’t like this. Now people will know the difference between 6 story real IMAX, and the overhyped 1.85: 1 DietMAX screens that AMC are trying to shove down throats.
If you can, could you get the seat count for Chicago Ridge Mall and the Lake in Oak Park?
I saw this at the River Oaks #9 in Calumet City, Il. Other than McClurg #1, I couldn’t imagine seeing it at any other theater.
Because River Oaks slowly declined under horrible management, we ended up seeing II and III at the Loews Country Club Hills.
I would give “Wolverine” to River Run aka Lansing 8. But “Star Trek” would be opening in 9-10 (including 7pm-10:15pm thursday night shows) for sure.
JRS40, I have another idea for #9. What do you think about a stonewall near the auditorium entrance with the listing of past movies 1969-2006, that were shown in that auditorium? It could be an attraction for film buffs/historians.
Looks like I may make a trip soon.
Why the fudge would anyone complain about lens flares? That is one of the most attractive things about anamorphic cinematography.
I’m thinking of making a t-shirt with the words, “I heart lens flares”.
Aww man, those photos make me wanna walk in with my $2 and see “Raiders”. And I have my baton to ward off any mice and rats that might be there.
Does anyone know where I can find auditorium photos of the State-Lake?
I still haven’t gotten the chance to get down here yet. Does anyone know what the new seats from the remodel are like?
No, in fact 2-3 closed the year before I was born. Thanks to JRS40, I am able to indentify the movies that played on whatever screen according to the microfilm ads. Of course, there may be a misprint or two there, but it’s mostly accurate.
My complaint about the 3-D is that it makes the image dim when it’s supposed to be big and bright. But since the moviegoing public will accept that, then wait until 3-D becomes avalible en-masse for home viewing. After that, they’ll say, “why spend $12-15 dollars at the movie? It will come out in a few months on Blu-ray 3-D”.
Well, the first two were hits without 3-D, so they’ll be okay.
Or the curved screens at the Seattle Cinerama or the nearby Pacific Place.
All of which will be outdated and needed to be replaced in a decade.
But how many times does a 35/70 projector need to be replaced?