Showing 1 - 25 of 98 comments
I still wish the IMAX had been upgraded to dual 4K Laser Projection.
More good news re The Ventnor Theater. In an interview on Downbeach Buzz from mid April, one of the new owners indicated the following: The theater will be gutted and more than likely end end up as a 3 screener. All screens will have State of the Art projection and multi-track (7.1) Dolby Digital Sound. There will be one what he termed “large format” room with a 50 ft screen. The apartments above the theater will be converted into a “Burger Bar” and a separate bar. Food/drinks will not actually be sold in the auditoriums but patrons may bring in food/drinks from the Burger Bar and Bar. Another adjacent building is to be torn down which will open up plenty of parking in a large lot behind the theater. The theater will be re-named the “Ventnor Square Theater” and is expected to be open by Spring 2019 and remain open year round.
Your memory of the Ventnor Twin is accurate. The theater on the right was much narrower than the larger on the left. The smaller theater had a 2.40 to 1 screen with side masking that was positioned pretty high on the wall and the seating rows had an odd slope…kind of like an S. The last film I saw in the smaller theater was in 1997 (Conspiracy Theory)and I do recall that the picture quality was dark and murky and the sound tinny mono. I don’t recall whether the larger theater on the left had masking (the last two films I saw there were in ‘scope) but the screen was really big and appeared to have an aspect ratio of around 2.2 to 1. At some point the larger theater had Dolby sound installed but not Dolby Digital.The last two films I saw in the big room were Forrest Gump and True Lies. As I recall, the projection for both films was quite good. I would guess that whatever renovation is done, it will include digital projection and digital surround sound.
The guys who bought it have the Harbor Square Theater in Stone Harbor. Based upon what they did with the Harbor Square they will gut the theater and completely renovate. It will be interesting to see if it remains a two screener or if they divide it up into more screens. The larger auditorium at the Ventnor as I recall is quite wide and had a very large screen.
If left intact dimensionally that large room could potentially be one of the best places to see a film at the Jersey shore.
Very, very good news for folks at the Jersey Shore and fans of the old Ventnor theater. In an unrelated article (it was about the Margate beach front issues)in today’s Phila Daily News there was a blurb “the long decrepit but historic and much loved Ventnor Twin was purchased by the owner of the Stone Harbor boutique movie theater who plans a similar bar-theater- restaurant complex”. Sounds promising to say the least.
UA Oxford Valley apparently is no longer using screen masking, at least in Aud #14. Was there Sat night to see The Shape of Water which is 1.85 to 1 and no side masking was used on the 2.40 to 1 screen. It’s just a bad look. With TV’s getting bigger and bigger you would think the theaters would try to preserve the uniqueness and superiority of the theater experience instead of aping TV. Anybody can go over to a store and buy a recliner and plop it down in their TV room. I will avoid seeing any more non-scope films at this theater for now on in the auditoriums that had side masking at this theater.
Only been in the IMAX for Dunkirk and it was a very good experience. Can’t comment on the masking issue. The last time I was at UA Oxford Valley and UA Grant Plaza (within the last 3-6 months) they were still using the masking at both complexes. In fact, prior to the 2.39 to 1 films begin they pulled back the side masking. Kind of reminded me of when there were curtains. I always loved the effect of the side masking being retracted…it was a nice effect. The current trend of no masking IMO, is just a tacky cost saving measure. I wish some film makers and studios would take a stand with the theater chains. It just cheapens the whole experience. If I want the black bars I can stay home and watch my 55" Sony.
Was very impressed with the Dolby Cinema. The Atmos sound is very immersive and the dual 4k laser projection system achieves levels of detail, clarity and color contrast that gets awfully close to 70mm film. The other nice feature of the Dolby Cinema at the Neshaminy is they kept the 60' wide 2.39 to 1 ratio screen unlike other Dolby Cinema conversions that utilize a 1.85 to 1 screen that displays the ‘scope ratio with bars at the top and bottom. I couldn’t tell if the screen had movable side masking as both films I’ve seen there were 2.39 to 1. The new recliners are a bit narrower than others but were still very comfortable.
I wish that the Prince could survive as a film only venue with a 60' wide permanent stage width screen instead of the present 32' flying screen. It is pretty sad that in a city as large as Philadelphia that there are so few screens in Center City. At least with the Prince showing movies there is a decent venue for more mainstream films. I have read of a possible small multiplex in the Gallery renovation but I’ll believe that when I’m actually sitting in one of the theaters waiting for the show to begin.
According to the Prince website they are showing Dunkirk in both Digital Projection and 35mm. Apparently it was erroneously noted in an article in the Sunday Inquire that the Prince was showing it in 70mm.
Thanks for the heads-up re the road work…the seats in the IMAX are reserved so I don’t have to get there too early, but I’ll give myself a little more cushion time-wise just in case.
Hopefully the seats I chose are good; it’s a little tricky with a theater I have never been to. I went middle row, middle seats which is generally a good spot just about anywhere.
Just bought tickets to see Dunkirk in IMAX 70mm at KOP. It will be my first time at this theater. My only other experience with IMAX 70 was at the BFI IMAX in London which has a huge 85'x 65' screen. The scenes filmed in IMAX 70 were stunning. From what I have read, 100 minutes of Dunkirk was filmed with IMAX 70 cameras so it should be quite the visual experience. I read that IMAX screen at KOP is 74'x54'. It’s no BFI but it should still be pretty awesome.
“Steel Pier featured every great entertainer of their day from Frank Sinatra to Al Jolson to The Beatles”. The Beatles never played Steel Pier (unless you count their films, Hard Days Night and Help). The Beatles did play Convention Hall. I wonder what the current owners have in mind when they say “restore to its former glory”? I would doubt we will ever see the return of movies, big name live entertainment, etc to the Pier….but you never know. Except for the IMAX at one of the Casino/Hotels there are no more movie theaters in Atlantic City (or Ventnor or Margate). I don’t think that is going to change anytime soon.
I really appreciate all the info re the Pier. It was also a big part of my growing up in Atlantic City and Ventnor in the 60’s.
When the Ventnor was first twinned the projection appeared to be fine in both auditoriums. In its latter years as a twin the projection in the smaller room was really bad. I actually believe toward the end the Ventnor Twin was leased to someone else who ran the theater but it was in pretty poor shape by then.
Re the Ventnor twinning, the much larger auditorium on the left was wide and had a really big scope screen but no masking and Dolby Stereo wasn’t installed until most other theaters had DTS, etc. The other smaller auditorium was a bit of a strange affair, the screen had movable side masking but the screen was unusually high off the floor. Toward the end, the projection in the large auditorium was generally pretty good but the projection in the smaller room was pretty awful.
That’s a good question. I didn’t think to look for the speakers. The sound was definitely louder or “bigger” than in the past. The Ass’t Manager I had a brief chat with when I was going into the theater as I recall did mention that the sound system had been upgraded. The film, the new Pirates of the Caribbean, was reformatted to fit the taller 1.9 to 1 IMAX screen and the projected image was very bright, sharp and clear (especially for 3D) with no visible pixilation. I am not a big fan of 3D, but I must say that the 3D was excellent for this film and actually an enhancement. Regarding the upgrade to Laser Projection, it might not be up to AMC as IMAX itself apparently calls the shots on a lot of stuff. When I was in London at the BFI IMAX I asked the projectionist if they would be upgrading to Laser and he said that since they still had IMAX 70mm film that IMAX would not do the Laser upgrade.
No upgrade to Laser Projection in the IMAX. Same old 2K dual digital projector system. New amped-up sound system (it’s louder, not sure if it’s better). Seating has been redone in a semi-circular amphitheater style with large recliners (the touch controls on mine were balky and only worked intermittently). The new blue lighting is an improvement and there is nothing reflecting on the screen during the show. Other changes appear to be cosmetic including a large blue lit IMAX logo on each side wall. The renovation is OK and it’s still one of the better if not best Digital IMAX theaters in the area but an upgrade to Laser Projection would have really been a significant difference maker. All in all, it now “looks” more like a real IMAX theater than a conversion but in actual function, it’s still just a very good Digital IMAX. Looking forward to checking out the new Dolby Cinema when something I actually want to see opens there. An Ass’t Manager I spoke to, who was also disappointed in not getting the IMAX Laser upgrade told me the Dolby Cinema with the dual laser 4k’s and Atmos Sound is the impressive visual and sound experience he has ever seen other than 70mm IMAX documentaries at the Franklin Institute.
IMAX has re-opened with reserved seating. Going to see new Pirates of The Caribbean there tonight. Nothing on the Neshaminy 24 website regarding Laser Projection. Will know more after tonight. If no Laser Projection I will be disappointed.
It is confirmed on the Dolby Cinema and AMC site that Dolby Cinema is coming to the Neshaminy, however I’ve seen nothing official regarding the IMAX upgrading to Laser Projection. Just moving to recliners without Laser Projection in the IMAX does nothing for me.
Was at the Woodhaven 10 last night for the first time since the re-model. The recliners are nice and new screens were installed in all the auditoriums, sound and projection were very good and the theater has a nice new shiny clean look and feel to it but….no more movable screen masking. You can actually see the rounded corners of the screens. 8 out of the 10 auditoriums have 2.39 to 1 screens while 2 have 1.85 to 1 screens. The ‘scope films that were being shown on those screens 1.85 to 1 screens, while being projected in the proper aspect ratio really looked crappy and like a giant letterboxed TV without even top masking. They can get away with that with Digital IMAX because the bars above and below the frame are actually black but for regular digital project it is just funky old blank screen. Bad choice AMC.
Another Frank abomination (the Town Twin and later Town 16 weren’t that bad) was the Point Four which was a bowling ally converted into a four screener. No masking, mono sound, incredibly austere interior….cheap, cheap, cheap.
The Franks destroyed the beautiful Strand Theater in Ocean City. It’s a shame, I wish I could find more pictures of the old AC theaters, especially shots of the interiors. Wish I would have thought of doing that myself back in the day.
I worked one summer at what had been the Roxy when they turned it into an indoor kiddie ride park called “The Land of Oz”. The Franks basically turned the Embassy into a Blaxploitation/Kung Fu flick house. The Apollo really went to seed under Frank management. After a fire they never even repaired the screen which had been damaged (it literally had been burned down to 1.85 to 1). Back in the 60’s/early 70’s the Hamid theaters primarily showed films from Fox, Universal and Warners. The Apollo Circuit had MGM and Paramount and the Beach always seemed to show a lot of United Artists product.The Charles in its heyday was actually considered an “Art House” with foreign films and more high brow and prestige US films like the Godfather. The only theaters I was never in was The Capital (I was too young to get in to the summer Burlesque and skin flicks in the winter) and the Astor which was more of a neighborhood house with second runs, double features, grindhouse type films, etc. The Franks apparently even ruined the Astor turning it into the “Town Cinema” and covered the marquee with a cardboard sign which literally turned to mush from the rain.
The Franks built the Town Twin (later expanded to 4 and then 16) from the ground up at the Shore Mall next to the Atlantic Drive-In. For a Twin built from the ground up it was mediocre at best. One decently sized room and one smaller room with what my Father termed “A postage stamp screen”. After growing up with the big AC palaces it was a bit of a shock for me. However the real issue was the too frequent presentation issues: out of focus projection, poor framing, films breaking or burning up in the projector and while there was side masking, its use was inconsistent to say the least. Welcome to the world of Frank Theaters. Everything done on the cheap, indifferent quality control, etc, etc. In fairness, apparently the current state of the Frank chain has improved. I actually went to Jr and Sr High School with Bruce Frank who is now the CEO and he might have done some things to change that bad old Frank Theater culture.