AMC Garden State 16

One Garden State Plaza,
Paramus, NJ 07652

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AMC Garden State 16 Interior

This 16-screen megaplex opened Memorial Day weekend 2007. The theater has DLP projection in at least one auditorium and two auditoria with rear window captioning.

The theater is the successor to the old Route 4 tenplex. Unlike that now closed theater, the new AMC Garden State 16 is attached to Garden State Plaza, the busiest mall in New Jersey.

This theater was originally supposed to be a Loews, but that changed (just like the Rockaway location) when AMC bought LCE.

Contributed by Justin Fencsak

Recent comments (view all 233 comments)

alpinedownhiller on June 20, 2018 at 5:25 pm

@Bill Huelbig – at the Monday 3:30 there were actually some younger people, there was one pair that looked maybe high school age even and then one little group that looked maybe college age and then maybe a few 30 years olds and maybe a couple 40 year olds for the likely under 50 set. I was surprised that for this showing the audience hadn’t skewed mostly 60+. Instead it seemed to be mostly under 40.

Also I saw another film on a known 56' screen the next day and it was noticeably larger, so yeah this one is no way a 60-62', probably a 45', not huge, but not bad. Going by seat count across the wide and adding extra seats to the screen borders roughly x 2 often seems pretty close to screen size.

And yeah the projection was great! Even Monday a few days in, barely any dust at all. Almost looked like digital clean hah. I heard tell that at some other theater during this run someone just saw it and the image was dark and they said there was a huge scratch over the entire first half and it had tons of dust, no lighting tricks, etc.

It really was neat to see. My mom loved it too, hadn’t seen it projected since the original ‘68 release.

alpinedownhiller on June 20, 2018 at 5:35 pm

Speaking of Wanda, maybe they are messing up AMC. When the AMCs first went digital, basically every digital auditorium had bright, contrasty, rich projection of uniform quality. Now it’s really become so hit and mess, especially over the last couple years plus. They are really starting to cheap out on bulbs and projectors at times now. Like Rockaway, for instance, now has some great screens some pretty good and then a few stinkers, just totally dull, washed out, dark dismal image, awful quality, like gray blacks, dull whites, low color saturation, some of the worst looking projection I’ve seen like see screen #5 there now, bleh, and back when Blade Runner 2049 came out, #10 was so dark, although with deep blacks so not faded out, it was just ridiculous, OTOH some others have really bright, rich, contrasty projection with deep blacks and bright whites and rich colors, all depends upon the auditorium now days even at a single theater. Also, for whatever reason, for the last two years, other than for ET which looked great, every Fathom even they show on the #16 56' screen has the black levels all faded out and weak contrast, no clue why, the few times they show Fathom on other screens there it looks like normal projection with proper blacks and contrast and saturation.

And like Jersey Gardens AMC some screens look great but was in a small one last year and wow was the projection dark.

I don’t go out to this Garden State one too much but I haven’t seen a screen here use super dim projection yet at least. Although #4 when I peaked in, I did notice, at least like a year or two ago, had the projector mis-aimed and was projecting like a full 5' vertically offset from the screen! And speaking of that while Rockaway fixed the color fringing in #7 and it looks super sharp, bright, deep blacks, great colors, etc. somehow when they fixed it they made it project too large, it’s like masked off so it doesn’t show over the borders much but it’s like you see the movie slightly zoomed in and some stuff that has low subtitles can lose some of the bottom line of them and you can see stuff missing on the far left and right edge too that you’ll see on the other screens.

Until a few years ago, constantly seeing one weird issue or another seemed really rare at all these regional AMCs.)

alpinedownhiller on June 20, 2018 at 5:37 pm

Oh and as far as stubs goes, it’s not a bad deal at all if you go to a lot of movies. You get regular movies for $5 on Tuesday and often IMAX will be nearly half price too on Tusedays and you score points for everything that end up way, way more than paying for the $12 a year fee. I do see a fair amount of movies though and a lot on the more expensive screens to my points maybe add up a bit faster than they would for some.

alpinedownhiller on June 20, 2018 at 5:49 pm

One final comment for now, for whatever reason, out of all the Northern NJ movie theaters, it seems to me that Rockaway AMC pulls in the largest crowds for things like Fathom events classics. Garden State is the premiere AMC for the region and in a much more populated area, but I’ve never yet seen it get larger (and often it gets a good bit smaller) crowds for Fathom Classics. Not that Rockaway has huge crowds for all of them, but for 80s pop classics it always gets a big crowd and sometimes pulls a huge crowd for other stuff, Grease was pretty packed and Singing In the Rain basically sold out the tied for largest (by seats) auditorium, Jaws literally did sell out that one, Godfather added a few extra showings so the prime time ones must have done very well, etc. Of course Fathom stuff only has 4 showings and that is it (well other than for The Godfather). Which is why it was odd when they kept trying to do stuff like cancel AMC Classics from Rockaway way back and make it Garden State only and then they tried to cancel Fathom at Rockaway at the end of last year and make it only GS and a few small, crummier AMCs, thankfully they brought it back again for this year.

With 2001 having more showings than that per day, I guess the number of people it is bringing in is not too bad (especially since so few people in the greater region had a clue it’s playing here in 70mm, not one person I personally knew had a clue and by the time I told them, most couldn’t schedule the trip way out there mid-week, at least a couple of them will make it though). Imagine that packed into just two Sunday and two Wednesday showings total like a Fathom event (which also get at least some advertising) and it might have been fairly crowded at each showing I guess.

(Also, interestingly, I overheard the HS/college kids saying something about how this 2001 70mm showing here looked awesome and that they should do a ton more film like that here.)

alpinedownhiller on June 20, 2018 at 6:07 pm

Oh and on screen size again, my guess it that the IMAX here is a 65' screen (and thus a touch larger than the famous old Stanley Warner Rt 4. Paramus 62' monster, auditorium is much smaller though, that one was nuts, I heard someone there claim it seated 2,500??? I was really little when I was there so I don’t recall the seat count myself, but I just know it had like a huge wide middle section and then two side sections, quite wide across in seating and then it was really long too, tons and tons of rows and then even more because of the balcony up top)?

Not sure what the Dolby Cinema is here, maybe a 60'?

Then screen #5, not sure, maybe it’s a 56'???

Maybe #15 is a 45'?

Rockaway has two 1.85:1 56' and then an IMAX that seems maybe 1.78:1 or so? and maybe 60'? And a Dolby Cinema, probably 1.85:1, maybe 56'-58'?

It’s all a bit confusing, the IMAX at Rockaway seems a bit bigger than the DC. The Paramus and Jersey Gardens IMAX are bigger than the Rockaway. The DC seems to have more seats across at Parmus than the Rockaway but isn’t as large as the IMAX so the numbers don’t quite all seem to work out. But anyway, probably they are reasonably close.

All I know is you can tell for sure the IMAX here and Jersey Gardens is a bit bigger screen than at Rockaway. And that the IMAX here looks bigger than the DC screen. The IMAX at Rockaway also seems bigger than the DC there (although with the screen being I think a touch different aspect ratio it’s a trickier call).

You might not think it should be apparent, but you can easily feel the difference in screen size from just an extra 5' width quite noticeably even when up in the 45'-70' range.

Manville Reading has two nice big 2.35:1 screens. Not as tall the Rockaway IMAX with it’s squarer aspect ratio, but they seems to be nearing as wide. The #4 there also has superb speakers and also kept at slightly more sane volume levels than many these days. #3 there since going Atmos has apparently had the volume turned nuts level as is all too common.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 21, 2018 at 6:22 am

alpinedownhiller: Sorry I overestimated the screen size in #15. When I sat in the front row and the movie started, it reminded me of the same scale I experienced from the front row of the Ziegfeld, where I saw 2001 many times, but even bigger. The Ziegfeld had a 50' screen, but the screen at the Garden State is positioned closer to the front row. Without taking that into account, I jumped to the conclusion that it was bigger than the Ziegfeld.

But it was still a great show, and I have new respect for AMC for bringing the 70mm print to NJ. Wish I could go again.

Next screening for me (unless it pops up somewhere else in the area like the Garden State engagement did): 7/29 in Queens, NY.

PeterApruzzese on June 21, 2018 at 10:53 am

I count the ceiling titles to get an approximate measure of screen width, the tiles are 2 feet wide.

markp on June 21, 2018 at 5:14 pm

Bill Huelbig, as far as 70MM goes here at this theatre (and the other two where my projection team work) this movie, as well as any 70MM was booked by the film company, in this case Warner Bros. The same goes for the Regal E Walk and AMC LIncoln Square. Its because these three theatres do not have in house projectionists like the City Cinemas Village East or Cinema 1-2-3. They book it then hire us. They would like to get it into Lincoln Square. I told WB if you do take our print from Garden State.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 22, 2018 at 6:01 am

Mark: I hope it does go into Lincoln Square. It’s still at the Village East (6th week) which proves it does well in Manhattan.

Pete: I tried measuring the screen with my feet pressed together and walking the length of it at intermission, but I gave up because people were still in the theater and I probably looked like some kind of a nut up there. Your method sounds much better.

MGrennille on September 22, 2018 at 3:15 pm

Looking forward to seeing the First Man…Is Garden Sate the best screen to see it (Imax) or Lincoln Square. I’m closest to Rockaway, but this looks like one of those must “travel” movies. I remember seeing Interstellar in West Nyack before it shut down. Still the best movie going experience hands down!


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