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name should be changed to Rancho Mirage 16 and IMAX, as they opened a digital IMAX in one of their existing auditoriums last month.
IMAX is gone! UltraStar has stopped showing IMAX films and will convert this to their “UltraMax” brand. I have seen Non-Imax movies on this screen 4 times with the 4K Christie Projectors (when they dont get 70mm prints they show movies via DCP on their non imax projector they installed in 2011) and it is a dark picture..nothing like true Imax. Sad. Here is the article:
CATHEDRAL CITY – Change is coming to the Coachella Valley’s IMAX theater that officials say will mean more first-run movies on the large screen, but not in IMAX format.
The theater is transitioning to UltraMax, a product of UltraStar Cinemas, which manages the Desert IMAX and neighboring 14-screen Mary Pickford Theatre for Cathedral City.
Over the weekend, IMAX lettering was removed from the theater’s exterior. Above the marquee, a banner announcing “Desert Cinema Large Screen Experience” was hung over the former lettering.
“We believe this is better,” Cathedral City Mayor Kathy DeRosa said Sunday. “We had trouble getting first-run movies through IMAX, and the catalog of movies was limited.”
UltraMax will primarily show newly released movies in digital 3-D on the 70-foot-wide by 52-foot-high screen, she said.
The City Council approved the transition more than a month ago, said DeRosa. She said costs would be reduced for the city but couldn’t recall offhand the exact savings.
UltraStar Cinemas took over management of the 14-screen Pickford and 270-seat Desert IMAX theaters in November 2011 under a five-year contract with the city.
A nearly $500,000 digital film projector was installed in the IMAX in July 2011, allowing for more flexibility in the types of movies that can be shown and more revenue for the theater, at 68-510 E. Palm Canyon Drive, officials then said.
Theater and UltraStar officials couldn’t be reached for comment Sunday.
According to its website, UltraStar has at least one other UltraMax theater at the Garden Walk in Anaheim with a 65-foot wide screen “developed to provide an amazing large screen experience similar to those provided by other branded formats.”
Roger, I agree with you 100% which is why I was so disappointed. The problem is not the screen but rather what arclight has done to diminish the affects of the curve. The issue is the masking on the bottom corners of the screen.
Jason, I know. I stood there with my mouth open knowing this dude had no clue to what he was speaking of and just walked away. I emailed Arclight, lets see if I get a response. Yes, it was Days of Future Past…or as I will call it now, the movie that smiled at me for 2 hours.:)
I finally made it back to the Dome last night after spending most movie weekends since last fall/summer at the Chinese or the Village (or the new Prime AMC Burbank). They finally were showing something I wanted to see that was not in 3D, X-Men FC. Wow, how depressing it was. The masking that they “fixed” the screen with last summer is even worse now. It is as if the screen looks like it is smiling, with the bottom right and left sides of the masking pulled up about 5 feet on either end. The screen looks small and distorted. It is as if you walked into a carved up theater from the 80’s where the screens didn’t really fit the space but they jammed them in.
It wasn’t that crowded so I walked around trying to find the sweet spot and couldn’t find it. From every part of the theater you can see how distorted the screen is. I guess they are trying to diminish the curve, but isnt that why we come to the Dome, to see a giant curved screen? It was hard to tell, but I cannot imagine it to be bigger then 70 feet now. I know it is supposed to be 86 feet wide, but that has got to be used only for 70mm showings such as when I saw IAMMMMW in fall ‘12. It is so bad (IMO) that the screen they used for Evita (when they put a flat screen in front of the curved screen) looked way better then what I saw last night.
I went out and complained and the manager told me that they had to do that since they “no longer show 3 projector movies anymore as they used to when they opened”. I sighed and walked away.
Sorry Mark, the Chinese is not listed under Pacific Theaters/Arclight section this week, it is only listed under “Independent Theaters” section. I have not seen it listed under Pacific Theaters for a few weeks now.
I too miss the old Calendar section that listed all the theaters including AMC which no longer uses print. Which made me think of the below….
BTW – Geek Alert that a few of us might like. If you use the Fandango IPad App (this doesnt work on the website or the iphone app)when you select your Theater and movie time it will tell you the Auditorium number the movie will play in. For me, this is a huge geek gadget. I can now pick any theater and I do not have to call them to ask what is playing in what Auditorium, i just look on Fandango and it is there. Finally a way to find out what auditorium is showing what movie.
Back to The Chinese, Does everyone know that the Chinese 6 (upstairs multiplex) appears to have Dolby Atmos installed in Auditorium #1? I saw it listed when they played Gravity, I called and they said it was only for this engagement. Now I see that Capt America is advertised in ATMOS. Great news, as I have fallen hard for ATMOS.
They have not been consistent with the LA Times ads. More days then not it is not listed. But then on some days it is. I will try and snap a shot and post here next time I see it. I get the paper every day so I will look.
This is great news! The Village installed Dolby Atmos.
From their Facebook page. Now we dont have to spend $19 dollars to hear Atmos at the other theaters in LA.
Regency Village and Bruin Theatres – Westwood, CA
April 11 · Edited
We are happy to announce that Dolby Atmos sound system has been installed at the Regency Village Theatre!
Beginning with Transcendence on April 17th @ 8pm, our theatre will feature the new system for select films. The most significant development in audio since the arrival of surround sound is here. Dolby Atmos delivers audiences a more natural and realistic soundfield, transporting them into the story with a lifelike sensory experience. Developed with input from professionals throughout the movie industry, Dolby Atmos represents a dynamic shift in audio, reinventing the traditional surround sound methodology and offering a complete platform for sound now and well into the future.
The Chinese and the Chinese 6 movie times are listed under Pacific Theaters in the LA Times now.
The new XD screen in the old IMAX auditorium opens tomorrow according to a huge ad in today’s LA Times. It states the new name of the theater is Cinemark 18 and XD Los Angeles.
What gets me is they list in the ad “State of the art Digital Sound!” What the heck does that mean, is this 1995 or something, is it Barco Auro, is it Dolby Atmos, is it Dolby 7.1 or 5.1?? They also state “Oversized Screen!!” Again, what does that mean…is it a 70 foot screen or a 60 foot screen, how does that differ from the other screens. I just think this is bad marketing. Maybe its just me, but Cinemark should give us a reason to visit the theatre where they ripped out the best IMAX in LA.
Oh Man. Theater 11, “The Grand Palace” is closed for conversion into an RPX screen. That is a shame, it was one of the best auditoriums as it was, now they will charge double, and all showings no doubt will be in 3D as this was the last large auditorium that only showed 2D as they couldn’t get enough light on the screen for 3D. Let’s hope that they install Dolby Atmos at least and a duel projector set up so we can actually see a proper image on that 80 foot screen.
ETX auditorium is still closed, but I guess they are making this into one of their “PRIME” auditoriums from this post from Buttkicker seats on Instagram.
Sub-woofers in the seats?? Sounds like this could go either way…:) I thought they would add a PRIME auditorium to another smaller auditorium like they did elsewhere but at least they are trying to make the room different then IMAX with superior seating and sound.
The ETX auditorium is closed this week for the installation of new seats. I was told they are putting in the red recliners in the ETX auditorium only and will evaluate how it goes and perhaps install them in all. I guess they will add reserved seating as well, but I forgot to ask. I find it interesting they are reducing seat count, but now one can pay for a premium experience and actually have one.
I think they just need to change the seats to recliners like they did with the Fallbrook location. That alone turned Fallbrook 7 into a destination theater for the West Valley. Every time I go there it is so crowded, you have to get your seats at least a day early for popular films. Not every tourist will want to pay $16 for a matinee.
Will this be Arclight’s first built from the ground up theater since the first one in Hollywood?? I think it will be. I wonder if they will still leave the same footage as the screen height between the front row of seats and the screen as they have in Hollywood?
I visited the Regency 9 this week to catch Saving Mr. Banks. It’s been years since I had been here and I wanted to see how Regency has kept it up. The last time I visited it looked tacky but had great THX sound in some auditoriums and very spotty hit and miss projection that usually was dim. It was built right before stadium seating but the slope on the floor is very steep, so having someone in front of you doesn’t obstruct your sight lines too much.
I am happy to say that the place is still tacky as they have really done nothing to to decor, the sound (which I am sure is no longer THX although the THX website still lists it as such) is still terrific; very well calibrated auditoriums, with enough bass to make me happy. This time however i noticed the picture has improved. For this cinema, the switch to digital is a welcome improvement.
They have recently replaced the seats in all 9 auditoriums, 4 of which are of a nice big size with 50 or so feet screens (top masked) and 2 medium ones and 3 smaller ones, all with nice size screens. All auditoriums still have two aisles which I always have liked. The seats are a bit too stiff and not that comfortable, but for a 6.75 matinee price, I think I found my new go to theater in this area.
I just discovered that the Chinese 6 installed Dolby Atmos in Theater 1. I called to confirm as it is not on the Dolby website yet and was told they do indeed have Atmos. I was able to get to the IMAX to see The new Hobbit movie on Sat (epic) and when i see it again, I will definitely try to check it out it Atmos. If I remember, Theater 1 of the multiplex is the larger one to the left when you walk in. I haven’t been to that screen in years and I am curious to see how the Atmos sounds.
As a gay man that lived in Palm Springs for over 5 years, this came as a bit of a shock. I mean the gay film festival is held here for goodness sakes. This was my little piece of heaven in the desert. Where else can you see independent films on a 70 foot curved screen with 7.1 Dolby (when available).
I don’t ever like to get political on this site, but I do feel that her response to this should also be posted here as well.
An open letter to the Palm Springs community.
My name is Rozene Supple. Although I was born in the Midwest, I have been a part-time resident of Palm Springs since 1934 and a full-time resident since 1968. Recently, others have tried to paint a very one-sided picture of who I am. With your forbearance, I’d like to add some color to that canvas.
I love this community. I have seen it through good times and through bad times, and I have always tried to do everything I could to contribute to its well-being with my own energy with financial contributions and through the businesses that I own.
When my husband and I moved here, we invested in this community by opening businesses here. We purchased, refurbished and reopened the defunct Camelot Theatres, and purchased, then reopened a defunct radio station. We have also tried to do our part when it comes to philanthropic causes.
We helped found the Palm Springs International Film Festival, we funded the trauma center at Desert Regional Medical Center, we helped fund the McCallum Theatre, and we have given time and money to a wide variety of other organizations and causes.
Over the years, we have also donated to a number of arts organizations and charities, including the Desert AIDS Project, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Equality California, The Judy Fund, Olive Crest, the Children’s Discovery Museum and others. We didn’t have to do any of these things. We did them because we love our community and its people. That includes the gay and lesbian community — a community that includes many of my closest friends, and a community I both admire and respect.
Having been born in the Midwest to a conservative family, and to a family that had been in the broadcasting business since before I was born, I have also been a supporter of small government and less regulation for most of my life. The broadcasting business is one of the most regulated in our country. I daresay you will find few owners of broadcasting companies that are in favor of big government or more regulation.
As a result of my background and my beliefs, I have been a member of and a supporter of the Republican Party for many years. As the party began to become more and more attached to social causes I personally disagreed with, it became harder and harder for me to continue making those donations, but old habits and longstanding beliefs about the role of government die hard.
I doubt anyone will ever call me a liberal, despite my rather liberal social beliefs and my commitment to the arts.
I can tell you specifically that I am not a fan of either the tea party or the religious right, and that I have been struggling for quite a while with the fact that my efforts to support fiscal responsibility in government have been clouded by these other issues. As a result of that struggle, and because of these recent attempts to paint me as someone I am not, I have decided that I will no longer contribute to any political entity that does not embrace equal rights for all Americans. Truth be told, I will probably stop contributing to any of them.
I realize that some people will find a way to criticize this decision on my part, or spin it in a negative way. That’s their option.
Anyone who knows me knows I answer to my own conscience, and not someone else’s opinion.
They also know there is far more to me than the picture that was painted in the Valley Voice column that was printed in The Desert Sun on Sunday.
Went here on Saturday matinee to see Gravity. We got there at 15 minutes early and the curtains were closed with TCL Chinese Theatre logo in lights on the curtain, unlike last week. Also, there was no preshow…the curtains opened after the introduction of the movie and it went right to previews.
Another great presentation and this was almost sold out.
I went here yesterday to see Rush. The renovation they did really is amazing. The main difference is when you enter the lobby, there is only one hallway back to the theaters other then the two that were there before. That is the only major structural difference i saw.
We were in Auditorium #3 which now seats 142 people. They did not dig into the ground to add stadium. They kept the slope they had, and each row is about 6-8 inches above the row in front of it. This is not stadium seating, but more of a hybrid of slope and stadium. The seating is great…red recliners that work and are very comfortable. It looks like they took three of the old rows to make one of the new ones.
The screens are all bigger. Auditorium 3, 4 (162 seats) and 5 (162 seats) are all side masked…or should I say common height since there is no masking. I peeked into Auditorium 1 (85 seats) and they have a common width screen, which was there before. It looks as if they used as much real estate as they could for each screen which is terrific.
What was odd, was that the screen seemed curved at the edges.
The sound was terrific, i really noticed the bass where before I had not. The cost of $8 was totally worth it and I think i have my new go to cinema. All seats are reserved, and there were only 5 other people for my showing.
It now looks like an AMC. The wood paneling is gone and all traces of GCC are wiped away.
AMC Fallbook 7 is reopen today. Here is an article from the LA Times. Looks it is all reserved seating, with those big red AMC recliners, but thankfully no dinner service….I will check it out this week and get some pics if I can.
This seems to be paying of for the TCL Chinese. The theater had the highest grossing auditorium for the country this weekend!
“The Chinese gross for “Oz” marks the highest of any film this weekend for a single theater, though higher-priced Imax tickets certainly goosed grosses, as well as anticipation for the renovated theater, which now is the largest Imax theater in the world.”
I also went this weekend, Sat 430, and I have to agree with most everything Chris mentioned above. It is absolutely beautiful. The Stadium seating is a bit steeper then I had thought, and the accessible aisle in the middle of the auditorium is right where the best seating should be……..but aside from that….Gorgeous. The picture itself was amazing. The 3D just worked and was not gimmicky at all. It still feels as if you are in a grand theater from days gone by.
The seats are not as wide as Arclight, but there is way more leg room and they recline a bit. There was about 600 or so people, with everyone applauding, booing the witch and clapping throughout the film’s run time. It was so special to see this many people in the auditorium…last time I have seen this many (aside from the TCM festivals) people here for a screening was when Titanic came out.
There was no masking for our showing either, but when the film ended, the curtains did close. It took a few minutes for them to shut, and when they did, people CLAPPED…clapping for curtains! I was in dork heaven.
RUN and see movie here. For the first time in forever I felt as if I got my moneys worth for a 3D showing.
When I think of what “could” have happened here, I only have to look down the street on Hollywood Blvd.. The Chinese dodged a bullet and yes it’s an IMAX with stadium ish seating, but I will take that any day over what could have been…such as…
1) The Egyptian – the restoration was horrific and although they saved that beautiful theater, they essentially ruined it. That awful steel structure frame and terrible seats with no leg room and bad stadium seating. The first time I walked into the Egyptian, Oklahoma was playing in Todd AO on a 90 foot screen. Almost half of the screen they have there today. At least they still show 70mm now and then, if your lower back can take it.
2) The Vogue – One of my high school haunts, great little theater that is now a disco…
3) The Pantages – Fantastic restoration but only shows musical touring shows so the chance to see a movie there again is nill.
4) Pacific 3 – Home of LA’s original Cinerama, now carved up, sad and shuttered.
This is what could have happened to the Chinese.
That is the prism I’ll look through when I go the Chinese…I don’t really care about 2K or 4 K (ok i do, but not enough from keeping me away), IMAX, Digital or Film. As long its its open, there is NEW product, there are people there enjoying themselves and they stay in business and don’t let it go to hell like the Dome did, I will be happy.
Has anyone read the reviews about Wiz OZ in IMAX? Its at a 99% on RT. I was skeptical of it at first,I thought just seeing the new Chinese would be enough, now Saturday cannot come fast enough!! Once I am there I will happily purchase my tickets for Gravity, since I am thrilled that I do not have to suffer through anymore 3D showings in the Dome, I have emailed Arclight 3 times and I get the same response…“we have no control over the format that plays in the Dome.” yea right.
I am getting more excited about seeing all the changes this weekend, the blog review above was great, as well as the pictures that have been floating about. Is it too much to also wish for comfortable seats?