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“I guess that means that when all the theatres have digital in a few years (perish the thought) that the first say 10 rows cant be sold because the picture will be blurry. Don’t seem to have that problem with good old 35 or 70MM. Makes you wonder…”
Last year I went to see “Beowulf” in 3D, and the 3D scenes were at times, straning to the eyes. I often had to rub them so I could enjoy it. Hollywood will tell you that it brings lots of crowds, yet it grossed 82 million out of it’s 150 million budget.
And there was a similar thing with “Superman Returns” in IMAX 3D. The picture quailty in the 3D scenes weren’t very good. But…
I had to sit in the front row when I saw “W”, and guess what? No blurry images. Very little grain was visible. And it was a 35MM presentation.
If anything, this “Benjamin Button” mishap is a premonition of what’s to come. Hollywood’s disturbing habit of rushing things are slowly but surely catching up to them. They fool people into thinking that digital is “sooo much better”, and they spend all this amount of money to convert these screens, yet they could be restarting a much better format in 70MM. I don’t care what anyone says, but digital will NEVER top the quality of 70MM. Come to think of it, a 35MM print fresh from the labs often top digital.
This is what Hollywood should be looking at
Did I mention that a 35/70MM projector costs about 20/30 grand, and even less if it’s reburbished? And it can last for decades? The new 4k’s are about 150/200k, and could break down in five years. Or in a night.
Paul and BW, how are you guys willing to bet that in the next few months, improvments will start being made?
I finally went here in August to see the latest “Mummy” flick, and I was impressed with the place. For an old building with management who runs good theaters (Water Tower, Burnham Plaza, Stratford Square) in the ground, it was in decent condition. What I hope Visionary will do is install new carpeting, improve bathrooms, new decor, because the current state makes it look like a seedy nightclub. This is really evident in the hallway leading to auditoriums 3-4. Of course new seats and lighting in the auditoriums themselves would be swell. The current condition is a lot better than what some user reviews at yelp.com make them out to be. But then I was at an afternoon showing. All and all, I will return soon, and combine it with another trip to Carmen’s Pizza (great stuff) a few blocks away.
I can’t remember the exact seating count, but #1 seats 140. 2 seats 100, 3 and 4 both seat about 120.
Everyone give props to Paul, who predicted that Village Theatres would be gone by 2008. With my theater corporation yet to get off the ground, this was a lesson in how NOT to run a business. It is truly sad how some once good or great theaters have died early deaths under Village’s reign. Had someone with a plan entered the business, Burnham Plaza and the Village in old town would’ve been around longer. Same can be said for Stratford Square, which could’ve survived in it’s original carnation. I would’ve added 2-4 screens to it, then remodel the nearby Bloomingdale Court. Yeah I know the new Century/Cinemark is the thing, but I still love those early 80s mall theaters with big screens and simple decor. And SS opened in March of 1981.
Anyway, rant over. But looking at some of their theaters, Water Tower’s days were numbered long ago. They really went under when ICE management took over, then couldn’t pay taxes. And I don’t know how long Lincoln Village has. The current mix of Bollywood and first run movies aren’t bringing in LOTS of people needed to stay strong. And it needs improvments badly. And on another note, Phoenix Theaters is reopening Golf Glen soon. And me, I’m going after River Oaks (keep fingers crossed everyone!). I have a name for my potential corporation too, but I want to suprise everyone.
Rant really over. And happy thanksgiving everyone!
Awesome find. Thanks for sharing.
Does anyone know the seating capacity for each of the ten screens?
I’m aware of that website Justin. I often write to the editors. But there needs to be something like it to reach young people who don’t know about 70MM. If there’s a way we widescreen fans can get teen-based sites to link in70mm.com, then that would be a good start.
Here’s another site that teens need to see
PS: Notable 70MM engagements at the Meadow include “Temple of Doom”, “2010”, “Stakeout”, and “Last Crusade”.
Top down masking, arrrggghh! I only go to places like that because it’s closer to where I live, but I’m slowly getting away from that. Now I could accept the new Kerasotes if they built it like the Showplace in Niles, Il (love that theater, and it has side-masking), but this is turning out to be just another shoebox that’s too often today. And while I never went to the Meadow, I can agree with people’s comments regarding the possible closure. Here in Chicago, theaters with super large auditoriums are becoming scarce. And I must change that.
Movie534, soon, I want to start some kind of myspace page or fansite that explains 70MM to the teenage audience of today. And I want the page to include a plea to filmmakers to shoot with a camera like the Arri 765 or the Super Dimension 70. If you know anyone who might do know how to do this, then let’s get 70MM off the ground again!
I got my wish! The Ultrascreen @ Orland Park opens 11/26. Can’t wait.
And here’s more
8/31/84 – TIGHTROPE
3/1/85 – WITNESS
7/10/85 – SILVERADO – 70MM
9/27/85 – INVASION U.S.A.
10/4/85 – JAGGED EDGE
10/17/86 – THE COLOR OF MONEY
9/16/88 – MESSENGER OF DEATH
11/17/89 – HARLEM NIGHTS
11/22/89 – BACK TO THE FUTURE PART 2
11/17/95 – GOLDENEYE
I contacted Marcus about running a 70MM movie from time to time at the Ultra-Screen, this was the response
“Thank you for contacting Marcus Theatres,
I will pass your comments onto our film department for their
consideration. Unfortunatly, I don’t believe the demand for classic
films on 70 mm is there from the majority of our guests.
Although shown on 35 mm, we have had many film festivals/revivals
showing classic films/cult classics, etc and the attendance was not what we’d hoped. When we directly compete with over the air TV and DVD’s, it is difficult for anyone other than a cinemaphile to appreciate. Additionally, the theatre industry is starting to move away from film projectors and into digital technology.
I think your suggestion is a good one, but I think it would work better for an arthouse or another venue that specializes in classic films. I wish you luck."
The demand isn’t there because they don’t premote it. If they advertise it, can you imagine the number of fathers/grandfathers taking kids to see movies like “2001”, “Lawrence of Arabia”, and “HTWWW” the way it were ment to be seen.
Gosh, I know 2k/4k is the new fad. But please, don’t erase showmanship of the past.
I wonder why it’s closing?
Oh my, I mentioned that thread, yet had no idea I was posting on said thread.
It’s been a long day, so maybe that’s why.
I agree with you John. I don’t want to see digital vanish, but I don’t want it to replace film either. Like the people at the 65/70MM workshop say, why can’t we have both? And in order for that to happen, there needs to be a new 65MM production. Bill Bennett, ASC, shot a short test film called “As Good as it Gets”, which takes a look at widescreen photography. Here’s three links about that movie in the links below
In today’s digital based editing systems, you don’t need to shoot an entire movie in 65MM (though that would be sweet!), just shoot the wide shoots/major sequences in 65MM, and closeups in anamorphic 35MM. The combined film stocks would be scaned through a DI at 4k. Why studios don’t consider this is beyond me. With DTV coming on 2/17, and prices for blu-ray dropping, why would most moviegoers spend $11 for a presentation they will be getting at home…for free? This needs to be addressed.
Movie534, I mentioned on a thread called “NATO calls for equity for independent theaters” that there should be a 65/70MM myspace page or a fansite like it to get the young generation interested in 70MM DTS. You mentioned that you might know someone who knows how to go about it. If so, then I hope to see proposed page up soon. Of course, the site would have a link to the studies conducted by the 65/70MM workshop.
Meanwhile, I’m trying to get my first theater open soon. Then I can hold a 70MM film festival.
Now I know that this digital is the craze, but before theaters become all 2k/4k, I want to see a return to this. Film fans, please read.
If I’m successful, then I will look into Woodbridge.
PS: GO OBAMA!
What are the closest theaters to Woodbridge?
Even with the Showplace 14, could this place, even with a small chance, stay open? I think the 14 is being built in the same lot as the Plaza 8, so I know that will close. What bothers me about the new Showplace 14 is that it will have a capacity of just 2,752, which is less than this theater. So expect screens with the top-down masking, and small seating capacity (largest auditorium maybe 250-300 seats, smallest 90-105). I think the Meadow could hold it’s own if another operator took over, remodel it with new carpeting, screens, seats, sound, expanded concessions with coffee, doughnuts, kosher hot dogs, etc… Screen 70MM classics on the largest screens, mix 1st run movies with art house & 2nd run fare. Oh yeah, install a digital projector on at least two screens, and lower ticket prices. Heck, maybe expand it from 6 to 9 screens by buying mall space. I’ve got lots of ideas, it’s just that I can’t do anything at the moment.
Here’s the first link again
If you want a good idea of how auditorium #1 looked, then here’s some examples for you. It was like these in size (though the screen to me appeared to be taller, from my memory)
Last picture in this link
But McClurg had this on the auditorium walls
I hope these will help you visualize #1 better, has it helps me sometimes. But I still hope for a comeback as an art-house or so.
So the auditoriums don’t look like this anymore?
Pretty soon I must get over there and check things out.
Ooops, my bad. I forgot that Regal is not an indie chain. They’re ran by accountants who don’t think showmanship is real.
If the largest auditorium has side masking (a feature that’s actually in new Regal builds), then they should install a century JJ 35/70MM projector & run classics like “Lawrence of Arabia”, “2001”, etc…
T2 did have a 10pm screening on 7/2/91 at WT Lower Level. And I remember the Drury Lane in Evergreen Park, but I never went inside.
I miss these places. It just seems that they had character.
I first saw this movie (at the age of seven) about 11 years ago on USA network’s “up all night” lineup. Great movie. I hope there will be another movie of it’s type for this generation.
Being from Chicago, I will have a list of the Chicago-area bookings soon.
And I hope to get my first theaters open by next spring/summer. My mission will be to bring back the sense of showmanship to the movies. And lower tickets too.