AMC Garden State 16

One Garden State Plaza,
Paramus, NJ 07652

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 5:35 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 5:25 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.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 20, 2018 at 1:33 pm

They’d still do that during the movie. Imagine having to wait 90 minutes or more to check on your phone. :)

moviebuff82 on June 20, 2018 at 11:49 am

Not only that but people checking on their phones lol…

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 20, 2018 at 9:25 am

I wonder how many younger people (if any) attended one of the 2001 shows and if they knew what was going on when the intermission started?

An intermission makes a movie more of an event. It’s also good for bathroom breaks and concession sales.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 20, 2018 at 7:43 am

I looked through the porthole at intermission and was surprised to see the projector still running. Was that blank film or leader going through the projector for about 15 minutes? I always thought everything was turned off during intermission.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 20, 2018 at 6:43 am

I tried to find a way into the projection booth at intermission, but I only saw doors for storage closets. I could have thanked you personally! But I’ll thank you from here. That is so cool the way you’re carrying on your dad’s tradition. Where did he project 2001 50 years ago, and was it in Cinerama?

markp on June 20, 2018 at 5:45 am

Bill Huelbig yes I was your projectionist. I hope you liked the way I did the lighting. I tried to replicate the way my dad did it 50 years ago.

MarkNYLA on June 20, 2018 at 3:09 am

Bolorkay: bad guest experiences are getting to be par-for-the-course at the GS16, especially since the Wanda take over of AMC. It seems like all they want to do is take care of their “Stubs” members, the rest can go scratch. I’m not going to pay $12.00 a year to be first in line to buy a $10.00 bag of popcorn, so you wind up being made to feel like a peasant both at the boxoffice and the concession line. Usually most of the self-ticketing machines are unresponsive, so just getting into the theatre becomes a chore. I’m avoiding this place at present in favor of the Nat'l Amusements Edgewater.

bolorkay on June 19, 2018 at 11:01 pm

Not sure if anyone, in general has had this kind of experience with the GS AMC 16 but I found myself “shut out” of this evening’s “RiffTrax” presentation due to poor “ticket-taker” availability and attitude at the box office. (I usually arrive at this theater at least 30 min. ahead of time to get a good seat) This reflects somewhat poorly on the management of this theater.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 19, 2018 at 8:56 pm

I went to the 7 PM show on Tuesday night. About 30 people in the audience. Don’t know if Mark was running this show, but as far as projection and sound go, both shows at the AMC Garden State rank in the top tier of my 77 total theatrical viewings. Only way to improve it: a bigger, more enthusiastic audience (I missed the way the NYC audiences laughed at many of HAL’s lines), and curtains.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 19, 2018 at 6:51 am

An ad like this might be able to boost attendance. Still, it’s doing quite well for a movie that’s 50 years old.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 19, 2018 at 6:12 am

Mark, your colleague on Sunday did a fine job on the lights as well. Too bad there were no curtains, but I’m just happy the movie played here at all, with absolutely no advertising that I was aware of.

markp on June 19, 2018 at 4:55 am

alpinedownhiller, thanks for the compliment on the lighting. It took me a bit to get it right, not knowing the theatre or its systems. Sad that we have only been getting 10 to 20 people per show. I was told Thursday is the last day. My guess would be the 330 pm show but I will find out later today.

alpinedownhiller on June 18, 2018 at 7:25 pm

One slightly unfortunate thing is I’m not sure how many people, especially those for whom this is not their very most local theater, actually know this is being shown here this week. I only knew because I was actively looking since I first heard 2001 might get some releases this year and check various potential theaters/am subscribed to this thread.

alpinedownhiller on June 18, 2018 at 6:44 pm

Anyway I saw it today and it was awesome! So cool to finally get to see it on the big screen for the first time. Awesome to get to see 70mm again. And it was very nice the way it was done with the full intro and exit music and light system etc. I don’t know how many read this often enough, but if you see this, you gotta find yourself out to see this here! My guess is Wed night will be the last showing? Do whatever you can to get here tomorrow or Wednesday! It’s a really rare experience to get (certainly unless you live in LA or NYC and even then, in the latter case, most of the special art houses that might maybe do this once in while tend to have pretty small screens, usually more like the very smallest and smaller ones at this theater, so it would be better here anyway).

alpinedownhiller on June 18, 2018 at 6:41 pm

screen is definitely not a 62' like the old Stanley Warner

I’d guess this one is more like 45'-48', my guess.

It’s smaller looking than the 56' at Rockaway. Larger looking than than the smallest at Rockaway and larger than the smallest and smaller at GS. It’s much smaller than the GS IMAX, noticeably smaller than the GS Dolby and seems smaller than #5 which is perhaps a 56' like the largest Rockaway ones. #15 here is not a mega screen, but not bad at all, and bigger than many of the 70s/80s mall cinemas had.

alpinedownhiller on June 18, 2018 at 6:38 pm

they did shoot some elements of SW and ESB on 70mm and a 70mm print even from 35mm looks a lot better than a 35mm print from 35mm, not as much generation loss