UA Riverview Plaza Stadium 17

1400 S. Columbus Boulevard,
Philadelphia, PA 19147

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Showing 23 comments

Mikeoaklandpark on August 9, 2017 at 5:57 pm

Do all 17 screens have and use masking or matting?

Coate on May 22, 2017 at 10:09 am

New Showcase Presentations in Philadelphia article includes mention of the 70mm engagements here at the Riverview Plaza (along with other Philadelphia area cinemas).

rivest266 on October 8, 2016 at 3:45 pm

November 1st, 1991 and August 28th, 1998 grand opening ads in the photo section for this cinema.

Cinedelphia on January 1, 2016 at 10:26 pm

It was the 70mm version and was shown in the correct 2.76 to 1 aspect ratio that I saw. The auditorium had a 1.85 to 1 screen which uses top masking to achieve the more typical 2.39 to 1 ‘scope ratio. For the “Hateful 8” in 70mm they opted to not use the top masking and projected the film across the top of the unmasked screen, leaving a large amount of screen below exposed as opposed to a relatively small amount if the top masking had been used. Just for the sake of clarification, 70mm “Ultra Panavision” is basically the 70mm version of Cinemascope in that the 2.2 to 1 70mm frame has a slight anamorphic squeeze that yields the extra wide 2.76 to 1 aspect ratio. “Ultra Panavision” was actually developed as a simpler, less expensive alternative to the three camera/ three projector “Cinerama” which was also projected at 2.76 to 1 ratio on a deeply curved screen. Just a shame that AMC did not opt to do the Roadshow in Aud 24 which has a 2.39 to 1 61 foot wide screen…would have been a real event in that theater.

veyoung52 on January 1, 2016 at 1:22 pm

The ongoing comments on reddit would indicate that wherever a digital copy had to be substituted for the print (“H8 8”) the ratio matched that of the film. There may or may not be a “special edition” BluRay in the works maintaining the 2.76 as well.

HowardBHaas on January 1, 2016 at 1:15 pm

I was thinking of “Far and Away” in my reply. I am guessing the digital version of The Hateful Eight is also shown as 2.76 aspect ratio like the 70mm version.

veyoung52 on January 1, 2016 at 12:39 pm

A 70mm scope print, such as the ones for “h8 8”, are to be shown in the a.r. of 2.76 to 1. The 2.2 (or 2.2.1) ratio is the nominal standard for so-called flat 70mm prints. Keep in mind that on a given 70mm film, the actual projected image may be “hard-masked” on the print to attain any ratio that can be fit into the frame.

HowardBHaas on January 1, 2016 at 12:19 pm

70mm scope films are shown at 2.2 aspect ratio not 2.35

Mikeoaklandpark on January 1, 2016 at 11:27 am

Cinedelphia, was it not shown in scope? I assumed even digital it was filmed in 2.35 aspect ratio.

Cinedelphia on January 1, 2016 at 11:12 am

So, UA Riverview is showing the “Hateful Eight” 70mm Roadshow in the pre-expansion big auditorium. That had to be a far superior experience than the 25'wide 1.85 to 1 unmasked screen presentation I went to at Neshaminy 24. Should went with my initial instinct and saw it at Riverview. I saw “Far and Away” in that same room in regular 2.21 to 1 70mm and it was a great experience.

Mikeoaklandpark on December 27, 2015 at 10:15 am

When I saw the 50th anniversary digital print of My Fair Lady locally here in NC, the aspect ratio was 2.20. The theater it played in has masking that that closes top and bottom. After the slide they closed the masking to scope ratio 2.35 for some previews, but once the filme started they opened the masking and MFL was shown with the black bars at the top and bottom juts like your picture shows TH8 was.

veyoung52 on December 26, 2015 at 5:43 pm

My expectations were in some ways exceeded. I had not been in the Riverview since its expansion in'the nineties, so I was pleasantly surprised that auditorium #13 (the h8 70mm room) and its adjacent #12 had not been severely stadium-ized with the upper section resembling a height ride at an amusement park. This nearly always leads to fuzzy multi-channel imaging and often, as in the Cinemark XD rooms, a one-size-fits-all screen that diminishes the impact of scope. That said, aud #13 here has a moderate rake with good views of its approximate 40-45 foot scope screen, in the 2.2:1 ratio which means letterboxing for wider aspect ratios as was the case here. It would have been nice that, given the cost of the install (or reinstall since the original Riverview did have at least one set of 35/70mm machines) to have temporarily masked off the top and bottom of the screen. Throughout the print there was a green vertical stripe down the right side of the image, and the image did often show off the soft focus often evident in UP70 photography. I will within the next few hours post on the riverview’s page on three photos I took inside the auditorium. Oops. almost forgot: the ticket taker graciously handed out the souvenir program booklets…nice touch!

I’ve posted three photographs. The one with the color information removed clearly shows the contrast between the projected letterboxed image and the actual screen material.

TheALAN on September 17, 2014 at 7:14 pm

In what style was this theater designed? Where is the marquee?

Cinedelphia on February 5, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Have never experienced a problem at this theater with audience behavior (but I do tend to go at off peak hrs). The big rooms on the second level are wide and have very large screens (guessing over 50 ft wide), excellent sound and good site lines.

ediemer on June 21, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Great theater when it was new-saw “Far And Away”, “Hoffa”, and “Gettysburg” in 70mm here. They were in two different auditoriums, so either there were two 70mm installations, or the projector was moved. No problems with patrons, either-you can blame the chain for letting things get out of hand.

moviebuff82 on December 27, 2008 at 7:01 pm

very scary. thank god it didn’t happen in rockaway!

dave-bronx™ on December 26, 2008 at 4:01 pm

From – 12/26/08:

Phila. man shot because family talked during movie

By Barbara Boyer

A South Philadelphia man enraged because a father and son were talking during a Christmas showing of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button took care of the situation when he pulled a .380-caliber gun and shot the father, police said.

James Joseph Cialella Jr., 29, of the 1900 block of Hollywood Street is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, and weapons violations.

“It’s truly frightening when you see something like this evolve into such violence,” said police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore.

Police were called to the Riverview Theatre in the 1400 block of Columbus Boulevard about 9:30 p.m. where the gunshot victim, a Philadelphia man who was not identified, told police a man sitting near him told his family to be quiet and threw popcorn at his son.

After exchanging words, Vanore said Cialella allegedly got out of his seat to confront the family when the father got up to protect them. That’s when the victim was shot once in the left arm, sending others in the theatre running to safety.

Cialella then sat down to watch the movie. Police arrived a short time later and arrested Cialella and confiscated his weapon, Vanore said.

HowardBHaas on August 27, 2007 at 5:21 am

Yes, years ago, none of us Philly natives what have believed it!

Yet, that’s reality, and why starting last weekend, and this past weekend, I added 13 multiplexes/megaplexes in Philadelphia & its burbs (on the PA side) to this site including this theater. All the others in the newspaper on the PA side had already been entered.

of course, this is also good reason to ensure the Boyd is restored and reopened including for movie premieres, film classics & film festivals, and live shows the rest of the year. Many people experience movies in stadium seated auditoriums in plexes, but people should still be able to experience them some time during the year in Golden Age Hollywood style movie palaces!

Mikeoaklandpark on August 27, 2007 at 4:59 am

I was just back in Philly last week and was sadden to look at the nespaper and see nothing but megapexes. Ecept for 3 or 4 theaters all the others are gone. Even the popular Eric Pennsuaken aka UA Pensauken is no longert in existance.

ScottWeinberg on August 27, 2007 at 4:46 am

This theater has two excellent auditoriums, but it seems to attract a pretty rowdy crowd — regardless of what movie you’re seeing.

HowardBHaas on August 25, 2007 at 5:09 pm

June 1999 Philadelphia Magazine rated the UA Riverview 17 as a “3.5” on a 1 to 5 scale with comment “Best Center City mainstream choice – for now” Very high ratings were given in the categories of Seating and Cleanliness.

Philadelphia Weekly November 2006
View link
“the poor old UA Riverview can’t seem to ditch its negative image despite two enormous screens that, along with the main theater at the Ritz Five, are the best venues to see a movie in town.”

HowardBHaas on August 25, 2007 at 4:58 pm

Because the main floor auditoriums changed with the addition of the 2nd floor & stadium seating, I waited for the Comments to mention a Feb 2, 1997 Philadelphia article, page A 22. The then General Manager, Ron Angeli, described the largest auditorium as follows:

The screen is huge: 41 feet wide and 18.5 feet tall. The action blasts out of a 2400 watt Surround system that includes 3 stage speakers with horns, 8 on the sides, and 2 in the back. 457 seats.

(My own note to above would be that the main screen at the Sameric, aka Boyd, that United Artists was then operating in downtown Philadelphia, was larger, at more than 50 feet wide.)