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Hey Flix and Richie, whatever petty reservations I might have about the curtains and the new color of the walls, I am really thrilled that the Big N is packed again on the weekends. last night I looked at Fandango for the evening show and MI 5 was almost sold out. There were like 20 seats left open! So what they did is working, as I never thought i would see a sold out show at this place again.
It is technically a fantastic cinema with one of the best looking pictures i have seen on one of the biggest screens in Southern Calif. If is was not 70 miles each way, I would be there a lot more.
I finally made it down to see AntMan at the Big N last weekend. First off, hats off to Regal for installing a laser projector, the pic has never looked better there and as Flix stated above, the screen does seem bigger. Also, cheers for keeping it as one auditorium and for not forcing us to watch something in 3D (at least for AntMan).
That is about all the good I can say. All the charm is gone, and when you walk into the auditorium and you are confronted with a huge open white screen; you might as well be in any multiplex usa. The curtains are gone. There does seem to be masking and it appears they kept the common height screen, so at least they got that right.
I really dont want to bag on the theater, I understand that changes had to be made to get butts in the seats. Many times I have been here on an opening night for a popular film and there were like 30 of us in that huge place. I just wish they kept the red curtains and didnt treat the walls as they were carpets with that tacky blue treatment that have up. Also, what is with no Dolby Atmos? The sound is still terrific, but one would think with all the money they spent they could have installed Atmos.
The remodel really makes me appreciate what they did to the Chinese up in Hollywood. I really really wanted to like what they did, but I doubt I will make the trip down to Newport Beach again to check it out for a second time.
Thanks for the heads up Flix!
From their Facebook page.
“ Enjoy fully reclining chairs, a bigger silver screen, all new speakers, state-of-the-art sound and laser projector. It will be the most premium movie experience anywhere!”
I had no idea they were installing Laser projection as well as increasing the screen size. I hope that is the case. There appears to be no mention of Dolby Atmos.
I had the pleasure of spending Friday night here with some of my family. What a terrific experience. Here was the program.
“This is Widescreen” series.
1) 35mm short film called “Time Stood Still.”
2) 70mm 30fps short “The Miracle of Todd-AO”
3) Oklahoma! – 4K DCP at 30 fps with the original 6 track mix (5 behind the screen and 1 mono surround track).
Seeing 35 mm, 70mm and 4K DCP in one night was something special and unique and one of the reasons this is just, as Edward says above, “The Best Damn Movie Theater in Los Angeles”. The presentation was stellar. The TODD AO short was fantastic and reminded me of “This is Cinerama”. There was the Pacific Ocean Park rollercoaster, the scene on the airplane going over the Tetons. Then there was the part filmed on skies at Idaho’s Sun Valley.
The theater was just over half full, and after intermission they even played some of director Fred Zimmerman’s home movies made on the set.
The restoration of Oklahoma! caught my eye last year when it opened for the TCM Fest at the Chinese. I was not able to go so I have been waiting to see it on the Big Screen before I got the Blu Ray and the wait was worth it. Even my guests mentioned how bright and clear the image was. The restoration was incredible. This has to be one of the best looking images i have ever seen. The color was just terrific. The sound was amazing too. We were told that they had to play it in a Dolby Atmos container to get the original 5 behind the screen audio. However they did it, they did it beautifully.
Looking forward to seeing something here again soon!
Thanks for the info! I was under the impression that imax laser could do 4:3. We shall see soon enough. I have seen two films at the Chinese Theater in IMAX Laser and it is spectacular. Same with Dolby Vision, it was just phenomenal at The El Capitian . Best digital images I have ever seen. Hopefully they will release more information soon on Winter Soldier and the aspect ratio they will use with that film before they start Infinity War. Thanks for the reply !
This was the first Imax I have ever been too and have always adored this theater.
cellboy, I am not sure that information about the Alexa 65 is correct. I might be wrong, but doesn’t this info from Arri mean that this lens is capable of a 1.1:43 aspect ratio with the Alexa 65?
ALEXA Plus 4:3 for anamorphic
Came here this weekend to check out Tomorrowland in Dolby Vision. I was sitting in the front row of the balcony, and the entire presentation was great. The Atmos sound was good, not sure if it was this mix or the theater but I have heard Atmos sound way better elsewhere. The picture was really bright and the colors were just incredible. There was no Atmos or Vision trailers which was a shame.
So that is why the lobby was packed with hundreds of people at 6pm when I got out of “Woman in Gold” last night. We wanted to see the 5pm “2001” show but there were no two seats together other then the front few rows on the side. That is a lot money they had to refund.
I think he is referring to this.
AMC will begin by converting existing ETX and AMC Prime sites into Dolby Cinema ones. It expects to have four by mid-May: in Los Angeles, Kansas City, Houston, and Atlanta. It plans to have 50 by the end of 2018, and 100 by the end of 2024.
yes, there are 4 speakers on the ceiling.
moviebuff, this is/was Grauman’s Chinese Theater and does not show Chinese movies ( but named for the architecture and decor)? I would read the overview above.
the screen does seem a bit wider, and no, there is no masking for IMAX shows. I have heard that it is 96 feet, but also read that it was 91 feet so I am not sure on the exact size, but it is BIG.
I spent the last two weekends at the Chinese, first with the TCM Film Fest and then to see Furious 7 on Friday. The TCM festival was awesome, and to see classic movies ( i saw Affair to Remember, Norma Rae and 1776) on the big screen with almost every seat filled is a wonderful thing. Also, to see that screen properly masked was beautiful. They have movable masking that they used for each film, and I was wish they used that during the IMAX shows. It makes a huge difference.
Furious 7 looked amazing, but the most notable improvement here is what Cliffs said, the sound. It is very discreet, detailed and kicks butt in volume. 4 more channels on the ceiling and one additional channel on each side of the auditorium mid way from the screen to the back speaker. It is not as good as Atmos, but damn if it doesnt come close.
The visuals were stunning. Far superior from the demo i saw two years ago. The blacks were solid, and like Chris said, the colors. OMG the colors…well done indeed!!
It’s a pretty good guess. The Chinese IMAX theater in Hollywood is doing the installation now, reopening 4/2 with laser projection and new sound.
The Chinese Theater is closed till 4/2 for installation of the new IMAX Laser Projector and a new immersive sound system. I noticed there were no showings posted so I called to ask. Personally I am psyched to finally get to see hear and this. This also means they will be using the entire screen starting with Fast and Furious 7 (after the TCM film fest is over).
This theater could use the face-lift, yet i am not sold on the Arclight conversions. They do not change the seating layout, so there are new seats, but the same legroom, in the case of Arclight Sherman Oaks, is dreadful. I hate paying premium prices only to be crammed up against the seat in front of me.
I wish Pacific Theaters would change the Northridge or Chatsworth locations to Arclight, those are dreadful and threadbare, with terrible sound and picture.
Been here a few times since Interstellar and have been impressed each time. Inherent Vice in 70mm did look a bit grainy but it went with the mood of the story. I was not really sure what the story was fully about but it was a nice touch to see a movie that evoked the 70’s and the presentation did as well.
I can say that the masking issue seems to be fixed!! Both Mockingjay and American Sniper ( both in digital) used the full scope screen and the bottom masking was normal and reached to the bottom of both corners of the screen ! No more distorted image on that great screen. Was also nice to see maybe 50 empty seats today for the 1245 show. I am cautiously optimistic that they figured it out. American Sniper looked great and hopefully they will keep this masking configuration in place for future shows.
I would highly recommend seeing it here if you can. The screen is really awesome when the masking isn’t all jacked up like it is during the digital presentations. They still do not use the full 86 feet of the screen, but its still massive. I sat upstairs for this one, first row on the side as that was all that was left. I normally like to sit downstairs, center aisle seat in the last 4 or 5 rows, but I am tall and if someone is in front of me it doesn’t really bug me so much. If you sit upstairs, the first row center is best as then you wont have anyone in front of you. I like the sound equally from both areas.
Finally made it to see Interstellar last night in 70mm at the Dome. I had seen it on opening day at the Universal IMAX and wanted to see it here as well.
The previews were in digital and they looked a bit distorted as usual as the picture didn’t go near the bottom corners of the screen ( I have bitched about that here before). During the Age of Ultron preview my friend turned to me to complain how crappy the picture looked. When the film started and it took up the entire screen he leaned in again and said, that’s better. To my delight, they used the full masking including the bits at the bottom corners. The screen looked as it should, grand and large with a nice curve to it with the picture using the full height and depth of the screen.
It was nice to see the theater about ¾’s full, and (except for the 5 year old behind me asking his dad a question every 2 minutes) the presentation was outstanding. I enjoyed the sound mix here much better then at IMAX and I actually enjoyed the movie more the second time too. Perhaps it was the Dome, or perhaps it was that this time I understood the plot a bit more.
I love this site….hopefully a hiatus is just that and you will be back really soon!
I few summers ago (2010 or 2011?) i went to the Star Trek 70mm festival at the Royal, in West Los Angeles before it got chopped up and was still one single screen. They showed the movies on Saturday nights at midnight for a few weeks in a row.
From what I recall, they could not even find a 35mm print of the original Star TreK, The Motion Picture. I think they started the festival with ST2: Wrath of Kahn, which was a horrible 70mm print that was faded and looked all green. It was still a blast, and the sound was fantastic.
This theatre has always been a favorite of mine in the Valley. 2 huge auditoriums with 60 foot screens (one with Barco Auro 3d sound) and 4 nice size medium auditoriums with large screens as well. This past year I noticed every time I came here it was nearly empty. Turns out the remodeled AMC Fallbrook a few miles away with auto recliners and reserved seating has killed their business.
They are in the middle of a major renovation, adding reclining seats in all six auditoriums, reducing seating by 50%. It should be completed by November and hopefully create more traffic here. They will also have reserved seating as well. Cannot wait to check it out when done. Next time I got I will try and add pictures.
So from what I read from this thread they are turning the Big N into an IMAX?? wow, although i welcome dual projection and hopefully the new Laser 4K Projector, I feel they can do this without the IMAX brand.
OCRon, thanks for the update! Personally i am not sure how I feel about changing the Big N, although whenever I go it is usually the 7ish showings on a Saturday for the big event movies, since no one is ever there. There have been opening weekends when we were sitting with maybe 50 other people in that huge auditorium. I guess a remodel is the better option to it being chopped up or worse, closed. Did they tell you if they were going to serve food? The part about the swivel tables make me nervous.
As far as the layout, it seems they are going to make it look like the Ziegfeld with both slopped and stadium, that doesnt sound too bad. Hopefully they will go the distance and add in Dolby Atmos and one of the new Laser Projectors, but doubt it.
When they switched to digital in the big auditorium I called and asked the Manager. I think that post is still on this thread. I was told it was a Barco2K 32B. They also told me it was upgradable to 4K as they installed before the 4K projectors (non sony) were available. The Sony 4K cannot properly light up that size screen. Many AMC’s and Regals who all have Sony 4K deals outfit their largest screens with DLP projectors from NEC or Christie or Barco.