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A quick recap of some classic films I’ve seen in digital projection in a theater:
The Wizard of Oz (looked like a VHS tape…my husband had to beg me not to leave after 10 minutes)
Fantasia (vibrating colors, moving pixels, zero film grain or texture, very “digital” looking)
Streetcar Named Desire (again, crystal clear but no texture…a strangely flat, cold, artificial image)
Very sad that 35mm is going away. Cut costs on product quality so stockholders can have a few extra bucks in dividends…what a brilliant idea.
Maybe museums should just start providing digital projections of art works. Those restoration and storage costs (to say nothing of the price of security guards) is simply not worth having the real thing on the wall.
Digital projection is not the same. It is an inferior product, and…unless the film being shown is something super-rare…that seriously reduces the appeal of going to a repertory screening.
If I don’t see “35mm print courtesy of….” in the advertisement, then I’m likely to stay home and enjoy equal or better quality via Blu-ray in my living room.
Just back from TCM film festival. This year I wasn’t as distracted by the mediocre interior (that was a major let down the first time i visited—I really wanted this to look like the original).
I must admit this was my favorite of the Festival theaters. The very size of that screen really brought home the importance of seeing classic movies in a theater. Saw Buster Keaton’s THE CAMERAMAN (with live orchestra!), and that was just amazing. A once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. Would give anything to see 70mm here!
You Los Angelenos have got it good!
Enjoyed seeing movies this year at the TCM festival. I dont think there is a bad seat in the house.
Agree with “robertalex” on CAROUSEL (played in smaller theater upstairs)…holy dear mother of God was that a gorgeous print. The audience was going “wow” out loud as the curtain kept opening to reveal the big screen. Then…applause at the Cinemascope logo. Gotta love that!
Saw FANTASIA in the main theater. I found it distractingly digital looking…pixilation and digital noise very apparent. A bright and colorful picture, but very flat looking. HOWEVER…I was sitting very close. I’m told the digital image is more impressive if you sit back a bit. Either way, the very SIZE of that screen was breathtaking indeed. We non-LA folks dont get to experience that very often.
THATS ENTERATINMENT looked good, not spectacular. They did the overture and full curtain treatment…those little things mean a lot to me. The Technicolor sequences looked like really good video…but 100% different from the genuine 35mm Technicolor print of ROYAL WEDDING that played at the Egyptian. You cant beat the real thing.
STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE looked crisp and clear. No grain. So…it looked very blu ray DVD-ish to me. That is…gorgeous, but NOT like 35mm. Trying not to be a purist snob, but digital lacks that shimmer and warmth. I notice it.
I guess I better get over my 35mm love…I hear studios wont be doing 35mm prints forever. Enjoy them while you can.
Broadway shows and concerts are nice, but can we get more classic movies?
I have been to 3 classic movies here…THE GENERAL, BEN HUR, and GWTW. All were neraly sold out, packed performances. Why are they so rare?
Partner up with Turner Classic Movies (which is up the street), and get some kind of classic movie program going.
Good news in the New York Times today. Theater finds an “angel” and is set for possible reopening in 2014.