AMC 34th Street 14

312 W. 34th Street,
New York, NY 10001

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AMC 34th Street 14

This 14-screen megaplex was constructed during the building, or overbuilding, of mega-plexes that took place in Manhattan in the late-1990’s into 2000. It was opened in 2001.

Located only eight blocks from the much higher profile W. 42nd Street Loews E-Walk, the 34th Street mega-plex is somewhat off-the-beaten track between 8th Avenue and 9th Avenue.

When both theaters were Loews houses, much, if not all, of the fare was day and date with the E-Walk.

Contributed by Chris Heaney

Recent comments (view all 154 comments)

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on October 12, 2018 at 2:21 pm

I wonder if this will get the imax laser upgrade next…kips bay is the oldest megaplex in this city.

NYer
NYer on October 12, 2018 at 2:44 pm

“kips bay is the oldest megaplex in this city.”

Cinepolis Chelsea Cinemas….July 14, 1989

AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13… November 18, 1994

AMC Kips Bay 15…..May 14, 1999

BobbyS
BobbyS on October 12, 2018 at 2:49 pm

Is laser really better & sharper than a digital projector or a 70mm film on a Todd-AO bulb? I once bought a laser disc machine and bought videos that were the size of a LP record. It was so long ago I forgot the comparison to VHS. I wonder if a laser projector can play a Blue Ray DVD or has to have something different from the studio just for the projector.

zoetmb
zoetmb on December 7, 2018 at 6:09 pm

Bobby: Theaters don’t play Blu-rays or DVD’s or even UHD’s except in some special circumstances, like a film festival or a very old film. They play what’s called a DCP (Digital Content Package) that’s provided by the studios. It’s a hard drive with lots of security that is opened by a digital key and is then uploaded to a server by the theater staff. And you’re confusing laserdiscs and laser projection. Laserdiscs were read by a laser (as are CD’s, DVD’s, Blu-ray and UHD discs). Laser projection uses a laser as a lighting source to project the image and in most cases, also uses two projectors to brighten the image. Laser projection is used today mostly only in IMAX, Dolby, Prime and other large format screens. That could change in the future as projection equipment gets upgraded.

I’d say laser is sharper than 70mm, but is it better? That’s subjective. Some people feel that film’s inherent colors and its grain structure makes for a better picture. But today’s few 70mm prints are generally made from digital intermediates, so they’re not a true representation of what Todd-AO or Super Panavision 70mm was like. And old prints are faded and damaged. Also, today’s few 70mm prints use DTS digital sound and while the specs are better than analog, I feel the old 6-track magnetic analog soundtracks when they were at their best, sounded far superior.

CF100
CF100 on December 8, 2018 at 4:56 am

To add to zoetmb’s response:

To show content supplied in DCP format, the projector must be “DCI compliant.” Almost all of these use DLP chips, which have 1000s of “micromirrors” on them that tilt in order to adjust the amount of light reflected back off them.

(Sony in particular use LCoS, a liquid crystal layer adjusts the light reflected off a reflective layer below.)

Prior to the introduction of so-called “laser” projectors, the light source that reflects off the DLP chips (one for each of red, green and blue colours) has largely been Xenon lamp(s).

There are now various DCI-compliant products offering laser light source projection, therefore some of them are lower-end and intended for use in large “PLF” auditoria, nor would two projectors be used in all cases.

Some people feel that film’s inherent colors

Improvements to colour gamut/contrast is an area that’s undergoing rapid development; particularly in the consumer space, with a mushrooming of “HDR” formats, and in the theatrical space IMAX have their proprietary laser projection system (IMAX with Laser), as do Dolby (Dolby Vision.) I’m not clear on what additional capabilities the source format for IMAX with Laser system uses (IMAX digital releases aren’t distributed in DCP format, they use IMAX Digital Format (IDF)—an “extended” version of DCP), but certainly IMAX say they separately colour grade (in the mastering of) content specifically for IMAX with Laser.

The original IMAX with Laser projection system was designed for full-sized “Grand Theatre” IMAX venues, being intended as a replacement for the 15/70 film projectors.

It is a dual-projection system. As aligning to 2x4K projectors to sub-pixel levels is, apparently, impossible, in 2D mode, crudely, one projector outputs a lower resolution image, the other fills in the details, forming an overall “smooth” image, avoiding the “pixel grid” effect caused by the gaps between each of the mirrors in a DLP chip.

The new generation “IMAX with Laser” projection system, now being rolled out to smaller venues, and, IIRC, not capable of 1.43:1 but 1.9:1 only, is a single projector system

In any case, provided the system is capable of getting the desired look on screen, then in colour grading it can be made to look any way desired creatively—oversaturated, tinted, etc.

But today’s few 70mm prints are generally made from digital intermediates

To add, inherently digital aspects in the “workflow” of creating any modern feature film include digital “matting”/compositing and CGI. One need only sit through the end credits to see how many people are involved!

Christopher Nolan claimed to have used an “optical finishing” process for, e.g. Dunkirk, but, I’m not clear on to what extent that means an uninterrupted “all optical” chain from the camera lens to print. (See above paragraph.)

Technically trying to compare film/digital projection is a minefield with so many variables, but I’ll say this: Neither is the perfect, “holy grail;” both have limitations and unwanted artifacts. In the case of laser light source projection, there is a “speckling” issue. Significant effort has been put into ameliorating it; IMAX bought thousands of Kodak’s patents in developing their “IMAX with Laser” projection system.

One known method that IMAX use to reduce “laser speckle” is to fit the screen with hundreds of small transducers, which slightly shake it.

IMO, digitally captured/generated material shown using the IMAX with Laser system (first generation—will be visiting a smaller cinema that’s just had the new system installer very soon) looks very good indeed.

15/70 projection I recall “back in the day,” at its best, as looking amazing—however, expectations change, and the last film I saw in 15/70 was “Interstellar,” and whilst I don’t think anyone would say it looked “bad,” film artifacts were very obvious—grainy, inconsistent colour.

Also, today’s few 70mm prints use DTS digital sound and while the specs are better than analog, I feel the old 6-track magnetic analog soundtracks when they were at their best, sounded far superior.

In a world where Atmos exists, both are throughly obsolete. Theatrical DTS uses apt-X lossy compression, which dates from the 1980s; it, therefore, is compromised over “lossless” digital audio delivery systems.

LARGE_screen_format
LARGE_screen_format on December 8, 2018 at 5:25 am

@CF100

Most interesting. Lots of information to digest there. Thanks for taking the time to share all of that with the rest of us.

IMAX with Laser vs Dolby Cinema – let the battle begin…

CF100
CF100 on December 8, 2018 at 4:43 pm

LARGE_screen_format: You’re welcome, glad you found it interesting.

BobbyS
BobbyS on December 10, 2018 at 4:18 pm

Thanks for all the info…even with the lasers etc, and the so-called mega screens of today, it all pales to the screen size and projection of the 1950/1960’s TODD-AO to me. Real wall to wall, floor to ceiling screens and beautiful sharp & colorful images!

ridethectrain
ridethectrain on December 10, 2018 at 5:54 pm

Attempted to see “Schinderlers List 25th Anniversary” in Dolby Vision at this location. The projector for Dolby Vision wouldn’t start.

guolei329
guolei329 on December 12, 2018 at 11:14 pm

have they upgraded the imax theater yet?

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