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^ nice article Howard.
I saw ‘Phantom Thread’ here at the AFI Silver last Friday and they used the curtains only for the conclusion of the movie, usually they do it for both the beginning and the end.
Did the Greenbelt finally upgrade to 7.1 surround sound? I know that for here and the Avalon which is playing on the main screen, the 7.1 mix can and is played back as such.
apparently there was a December edition with ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and ‘Elf’ – who knew ?? (I’m slipping here). For the record last weekend’s movie was ‘Sing’ (I love that movie).
has anyone been to the recently opened ‘4DX screen’ – sounds too gimmicky to me, but as I understand it, the audio is still standard 7.1 and not immersive: Atmos, DTS-X, or Auro ~ right?
went back to the RPX screen over the holidays with the family to see ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ and … I must be overly sensitive to ancillary lighting, but man oh man, did the green exit signs create an obnoxious glow on the screen – and I thought the red haze at AMC Tyson’s Dolby Cinema screen was bad, this is ten times worse.
Downtown Bethesda really DOES need a multiplex because Landmark Bethesda is filling in the gap by adding Hollywood mainstream movies and ignoring foreign/indie movies they normally present.
Actually on TV and hidef (bluray) some of the special effects look overly fake, here though with Dolby using their special ‘Vision’ sauce the colors look better saturated and retain what was shot on film to better effect. Colors had a pop, image looked sharper but not overly DNR’d which was the case for ‘Terminator 2’ which quite frankly looked appalling. Granted I’ve seen ‘Titanic’ numerous times in the theater and on bluray/DVD/laserdisc, outside of the 70mm run, this was the best the movie looked. The audio and specifically when the ship cracks into two, after being hoisted into the air, the subsequent descent and crashing back into the water, the bass and ‘whomp’ was tremendous, literally rocked the walls and floor ~ wow! For once, the light red haze which reflected back onto the lower left/right hand of the screen was NOT a distraction, AMC must have lowered it.
can someone remind me – did ‘Titanic’ play here in 1997?
there are still some issues with the sound, voices sound too sibilant at times and there’s an odd echo-chamber effect. However with ‘Titanic’ and the debut of the 3D Dolby Cinema system, the presentation from a visual stance was simply outstanding, in my opinion it superior to the 2012 IMAX release. I was so glad they didn’t implement the vibration effect for the recliners.
I got word from an AMC representative that Tyson’s Dolby Cinema system was upgraded to playback Dolby 3D movies – just in time for it’s week long run of ‘Titanic’ (new Dolby Vision color graded version).
Nolan’s soundmixing in general is a mixed bag. I saw Dunkirk at the Lockheed Martin IMAX screen; here and Tyson Corner in 70mm – and each were uniquely different. The IMAX-laser presentation audio wise made me ears want to bleed – way too loud, bass was deep, the treble in the gunshots made me want to jump a foot out of my chair, surround sound felt more pronounced. At AFI, the 70mm print audio playback seemed way more constrained, and the surround sound much more subdued – the print on the other hand looked the best. At AMC Tysons, the audio was boosted and as a result gave the aural illusion it had more dynamic range.
saw ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ on the Dolby Cinema screen last week and I was beyond impressed, granted the film was shot in 70mm, the DCP’s ‘Dolby Vision’ color grading looked simply gorgeous. The Dolby Atmos mix was okay not the best, but with the side walls getting audio panning, that wouldn’t be possible in 5.1 or 7.1 speaker configuration, the music and select sound effects gave an aural ‘wideness’ to the soundfield.
the ‘Justice League’ denotation on imdb is wrong, it’s 1.85 on the DCP, the IMAX ‘DCP’ and the 70mm print.
thanks for the answer RidetheCTrain regarding the projectors, my fingers are crossed that Landmark will indulge and splurge for these projectors for the DC NoMA theater complex next year.
Sadly now this can be denoted as ‘closed’
Wish you had asked if the XD screens are laser projectors – I thought I had read said screens were updated as such. Too bad Cinemark merged with a ‘Barco and Auro exclusivity’ Dolby Atmos in my mind is superior
There were actually two different theaters prior to this complex – the Rockville Mall Twin (1972-1980) and the United Artist Rockville Metro Center complex that had ten theaters on three levels ranging in size from 520 – 175 seats (opened June 9, 1989)
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.