I just returned from another visit to the same Magnolia. I asked them to put on a less stylized movie so that I could get a better handle on color. They put in Iron Man which had some really nice bright as well as dark scenes. Again, neither panel was calibrated (8500 in Movie mode, VT60 in THX Bright mode).
IMO dark scenes were a draw, but bright scenes went to the 8500 as it did better in holding large expanses of white. This created a greater sensation of depth. I saw absolutely no pops during the brightest of scenes. However again, I felt the VT showed a bit more shadow detail.
It just seemed that the 8500 was a more versatile display. Of course it would have been nice to see an A/B between these 2 guys in a totally dark environment. I suspect they'd be very close.