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I got confirmation that all eight screens have sound systems that can playback 7.1 surround sound movies.
Apparently Landmark went all out and installed laser projection in all eight auditoriums (that is not cheap) – can anyone ask what brand projector’s they are using? Secondly, what is the sound? can all the screens playback 7.1 surround sound encoded DCPs?
I thought there was a change over from the 35mm print to 70mm at the KB Cinema (?) but on the second largest screen in DC at the time, the experience in picture size and sound was phenomenal
While it wasn’t during CE3K’s premier engagement – Tyson’s Cinema presented it in 70mm in 1978:
Greg MacGillivray’s ‘Opinion’ article/writeup in last Sunday’s Washington Post:
“In an increasingly noisy and distracted world, it is often hard to capture people’s attention for more than a few minutes. A casualty of our distracted age is our broken connection with the natural world and all its wonders.
And yet, it is technology that helps bridge that gap through the power of film. Not just any film — Imax film, in all its sweeping 70-millimeter grandeur. One Imax screen in particular now needs to be protected from demolition.
Unless something changes, on Oct. 1, the iconic Samuel C. Johnson Imax Theater at the National Museum of Natural History will go dark. The Smithsonian Institution is tearing it down to make way for an expanded cafeteria. I have tremendous respect for the Smithsonian, but this decision of fast food over documentary nature films is a disservice to the public and to the educational mission of this 171-year-old institution.
This theater is the country’s premier venue for those without the luxury and means to travel the world to experience the grandeur of nature. It is the only theater in the nation’s capital dedicated to showing Imax films about nature, from the depths of the oceans to the harshest deserts, from the top of Mount Everest to the lush Amazon rain forests.
I know a bit about the power of Imax films. I had the honor of producing “To Fly,” the 1976 Imax film that introduced an entire generation of moviegoers to the six-story screens of this incredible, large-as-life format. Since then, I’ve produced some three dozen documentary nature films in Imax, including “The Living Sea,” “Everest” and “National Parks Adventure.” My company’s body of work has grossed more than $1 billion in box-office sales around the world, about 80 percent of which goes to the museums and science centers where these films play. I have shot more Imax 70-millimeter film than any cinematographer in history.
Before the wrecking balls start swinging, I urge the museum and its supporters to think about what we are about to lose.
The Johnson Imax Theater sees hundreds of thousands of people through its doors every year, tens of thousands of them schoolchildren with discounted tickets. They come to the museum, run past the massive elephant in the foyer on their way to other exhibits, stop by the giant squid for a brief moment to gasp in wonder and walk through the skeletons of dinosaurs. These are memorable but brief experiences.
And then they go to the Imax theater. Here, for 45 minutes, they are immersed in a single topic. They fly above Yellowstone, explore the singular beauty of our world, and meet scientists and explorers who are driven by the need to explain it. Do we really think cheeseburgers and fries are more important to the mission of one of the most iconic museums in the United States?
I don’t. Our world has so many challenges facing it right now. Climate change that will force populations to move in record numbers. Dwindling natural resources for the 7.5 billion people on our planet, double the population when I picked up my first camera to shoot black-and-white surfing films in California 50 years ago.
Our children are the ones who will be faced with solving the most complex problems in human history. If they are to do that, they need to be inspired by what they are fighting to save.
The Smithsonian is the standard by which other museums are measured. The educational and behavioral power of Smithsonian exhibits is magnified by the Imax experience. These films evoke change in those who see them. Food court revenue may be attractive on paper, but the true cost appears to be lost in the equation. Are the exhibits valued for the revenue generated or for the value they bring to the public? The Imax experience creates value and revenue. These films inspire change, create wonder and encourage children to pursue science careers, care for our world and expand their minds.
The Smithsonian should open the discussion to a public dialogue. There has to be a better way to increase space for concessions at the museum without losing this powerful tool for learning and moving hearts and minds."
has anyone been here lately? This theater’s sound system never featured surround sound, or does it, with the museum renovations?
in response to jeffpiatt – there is a ADA certified restroom on the main floor.
Reclining seats are the LAST thing this theater needs – what a way to cheapen the theaters grandeur – all it needs is a carbon copy of what was done at Seattle’s Cinerama theatre
I have no idea how much it is to showcase Fathom Event satellite feed content or how it’s physically set up as such, but if the few times when it’s actual 4K hard drive DCP – would it kill AMC to present those one off screenings on the big screen ?? Will and would they present the 40th anniversary screening of ‘Close Encounters’ next month ? No, they won’t, but to see these at the Uptown would be more than ideal … (sigh) oh well
if they did that they’d have to remove the curved screen to eliminate the inverted fisheye lens flaw, maybe take away the front two rows and add ceiling speakers – go full on twelve channel. If anything AMC really needs to do in order to add bling and attraction is go the ‘laser’ and immersive audio route, this theater deserves state of the art amenities.
sadly there are a number of premium large format screens in and around DC that offer laser projection and/or Dolby Atmos sound which when compared to the Uptown ‘experience’ are superior
Having seen what I saw with “Spider-Man: Homecoming” the Uptown has a potential to equal or even better what those screens offer.
well those plans were quickly dismissed:
‘AMC Nixes Plan to Replace Iconic Uptown Theater Sign’
One would think and hope this is the case but the public / neighborhood outcry has begun -the public meeting is scheduled for the latter end of September
I recently went to see a 3D screening of ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ and it was by the most underwhelming presentation, visually. Even with the glasses slightly diminishing the colors and brightness I was rather surprised the dimensionality was retained. Outside of the drained colors, the image had this murky graininess hampering the image – if this were laser projection this wouldn’t be an issue. The very top of the image was ever so cropped but wasn’t too visually distracting. The 5.1 sound was great probably the best part of the experience, but this is one theater that AMC seriously needs to consider installing a Dolby Atmos sound system, why they are being so bullheaded over this is beyond me. Lastly speaking of AMC, they are in the process of removing the iconic vintage lighted ‘Uptown’ sign from off of the building – ?!? (why?) They way they have been treating this theater I’m surprised they want to install a tacky AMC on the front …. unreal.
what’s the deal with this theater – is it making money or not? Seeing and knowing of the proposed plans of raising the adjacent strip mall/parking lot as well as the theater itself – the future plans don’t make any mention if the theater will be implemented in the new design – has anyone heard, read or know what Alexandria has in the cards for the new ‘North Potomac Yards’ area – in terms if Regal is coming back or not?
obviously this reporter forgot about this prior location being a movie theater, but on the plus side looks like the ‘live’ Synetic theater' will have a new ‘movie’ theater neighbor.
^ I remember Gore Vidal as ‘Captain 20’ too
anyone know if the AFI fixed that ugly blemish on screen 2, most everything lately I’ve seen at the Silver has been on screen 1 or 3.
the Tyson’s screen was flat even in it’s prior ETX form – however when Dolby added more lighting, that’s when the problem with the light bouncing back onto the screen occurred.
the Tyson’s screen is significantly taller and wider, so yes, the DC screen here is smaller; on the plus side the audio is much better calibrated and not as inconsistent as it is at Tysons.
I haven’t been here in awhile, but what’s going on at this theater complex? I thought there were two prior ‘Xtreme’ screens, are they both XD now or has one gone back to just being a standard large screen. Also it seems odd that as of this posting they appear to be only six screens in use – are there upgrades/renovations going on? Cinemark could in my opinion upgrade the seats, make all sound systems to be 7.1. Shame Cinemark sealed the deal with Barco and Auro, the latter being crushed by more movies being mixed and released in Dolby Atmos.
I remember going here since my friend used to work here.
well on the positive side – the DCP of ‘The Dark Crystal’ is the best it’s looked and sounded since, well … it’s 70mm engagement
guess with one off showings for it’s Sci-Fi Sundays – the Smithsonian relaxed it’s “no R-rated movies” policy – they’ve shown “Alien” “Aliens” “Blade Runner” “The Matrix”
and oh, check out the new Greg MacGillivray movie: ‘Dream Big’ – who knew that ‘engineering’ was a topic ripe for the ultra big screen & 3D.
^ maybe that’s why there were so few 3D screenings of ‘Fantastic Beasts’ at Udvar Hazy … [shrugs] … I’ve never noticed the reflective glasses issue and any other flaws over at either of the Smithsonian IMAX-laser setups.
I noticed this while down at Charlottesville, at the Regal Stonefield Stadium 14, that the new screens are what the industry refers to as ‘floating screens’ and sadly are fixed at 1.85, thus any scope movie is nestled in the middle of the screen and essentially letterboxed – one word: yuck!
As of last Friday (the 13th) the brand new auditorium with 222 seats and a full blown 5 stage channels, and 43 surround Dolby Atmos sound system opened up here.