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The reason why I rarely go to Movie Theaters

post #1 of 176
Thread Starter 
I have been complaining about this for years and hardly anyone would back me up.
Except for Roger Ebert: http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2011...the_light.html
post #2 of 176
Some of us are fortunate enough to have found a nearby theater with talented projectionists, THX-certified sound, Sony CineAlta 3D projectors adjusted for correct brightness, D-Box seating, and above all, theater management that is interested in getting the entire theater experience correct.

Those of us who have done so are experiencing movies as they were made to be seen, on big screens, in huge darkened rooms, with reference level sound, and a live audience.

Anybody's Home Theater, no matter how elaborate, is a poor imitation of a real cinema.
post #3 of 176
When my wife and I went to see Tron Legacy with my daughter, in 2D this time, as I had already seen the IMAX 3D version, it took place in one of the Guzzo theaters in Montreal (http://www.cinemasguzzo.com/). The movie started, and then after about 45 minutes the sound stopped. But the movie continued to play on screen for another 3 good long minutes, without sound. What happened after these 3 minutes? Someone in the theater had to go find an employee and let him/her know that something probably needed fixing in the projection room... That someone was me, and I was very pissed, cause I truly hate it when these things happen. But the employee couldn't even find anyone!!!!! I thought wtf is wrong with todays cinemas, is there even someone present in the projection room??? Are they just 17 3/4 years old uneducated bozos who switch back and forth from the pop corn stand to the projector and press "play"? This is simply unacceptable. Meanwhile the movie was still playing on screen, image only. Finally, someone (I like to think it was a real professionnal) fixed it, they "rewinded" to the position where the sound broke and the rest of the presentation was fine. Damn even thinking about it right now it still pisses me off!!

To an extent, and like many of you, I'm like Ebert and I kinda know how a movie should look like, I know how the experience of sitting in a theater for a movie presentation should be like. I could say that 80% of the time it's not. For starters when I look at the image on the screen it's almost always NOT properly centered, just that it's way more than annoying to me.

Anyways... thanks for the article. People can say what they want about Ebert's reviews, but this is someone who loves films and the art form of cinema; I have the greatest respect for him.

(And I still think the only good theater in Montreal is the St-Catherine st. Paramount (IMAX).)
post #4 of 176
Nice article, thanks Oink! There must be a reason, but I wonder why multiplex theaters don't just have one or two screens/projectors dedicated to 3d and the rest setup for 2d. That way at least the majority of screens would look good with 2d and the few 3d movies would only play in the 3d rooms....
post #5 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary McCoy View Post

Anybody's Home Theater, no matter how elaborate, is a poor imitation of a real cinema.

This...As much as I love my HT room, it's nothing compared to going to the theater.
post #6 of 176
Nice article.

I will take my modest HT over the theater "experience" any day. I would say over the last 10 years, it has been about 75% bad experiences vs 20% mediocre and 5% actually good.

The theater sucks (well, at least the ones around me). And honestly, it's not even the technical aspects. It's the theater going crowd. Noisy popcorn/candy, talking, cell phones, etc. I've had people smoking in the theater, laser pointers, someone spilled their soda on my head (trying to squeeze into the row behind me), someone knocked the $5 box of junior mints out of my kids hands with no apology. The list goes on. Can't stand them, and they have completely ruined my attitude towards the theater in general. Doesn't help that I had a bad run of bad projectionists as well.

I'd just rather stay at home on a properly calibrated setup that I can pause, rewind, turn on subtitles if I can't understand a line of dialog, etc. And it costs me significantly less. And I can lay down on my couch. In my underwear. Wiping Cheeto dust on my t-shirt and drinking beer

I think I went to 2 movies in the theater last year. I have been to exactly one movie this year in the theater (Tron Legacy in IMAX 3D). I don't anticipate going to another this year.
post #7 of 176
Cool article. The last 2 3D films I've seen were so dark that some scenes were very hard to see. As I mentioned in the Thor thread, my brother actually spent the majority of the film with his glasses off just to see the screen. Last weekend I was dragged to Water for Elephants and was bugged by how off center from the screen the picture was. The rather small town I currently live in has only one movieplex within a 40 minute drive (unless I count the run down dollar theater across town with broken seats, torn screens, and sticky aisles). Its a Regal Cinema with 12 screens, only 3 of which are large enough to actually make the experience seem worthwhile, the other 9 screens are tiny with cramped seating and bad sound. My budget 100" setup with htib 5.1 surround is far more comfortable, and at the risk of sounding delusional, often more of a quality experience. Even my popcorn tastes better.
post #8 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post

Nice article.

I will take my modest HT over the theater "experience" any day. I would say over the last 10 years, it has been about 75% bad experiences vs 20% mediocre and 5% actually good.

The theater sucks (well, at least the ones around me). And honestly, it's not even the technical aspects. It's the theater going crowd. Noisy popcorn/candy, talking, cell phones, etc. I've had people smoking in the theater, laser pointers, someone spilled their soda on my head (trying to squeeze into the row behind me), someone knocked the $5 box of junior mints out of my kids hands with no apology. The list goes on. Can't stand them, and they have completely ruined my attitude towards the theater in general. Doesn't help that I had a bad run of bad projectionists as well.

I'd just rather stay at home on a properly calibrated setup that I can pause, rewind, turn on subtitles if I can't understand a line of dialog, etc. And it costs me significantly less. And I can lay down on my couch. In my underwear. Wiping Cheeto dust on my t-shirt and drinking beer

I think I went to 2 movies in the theater last year. I have been to exactly one movie this year in the theater (Tron Legacy in IMAX 3D). I don't anticipate going to another this year.

This sums it up for me. The theater going folks are extremely inconsiderate...which may be a microcosm of our society as a whole.
post #9 of 176
I actually enjoy audiences and don't usually have a problem with them unless they drag out their cell phones for a chat, or lighten up a whole row to text someone, or bring in their restless children. I have to put myself in a certain mindset to appreciate an audience, but when I do so I find the audience reaction to a good film is a big plus in the whole movie theater going experience. Its funny and fun seeing people jump during a good thriller or laugh during a good comedic moment. Occasionally that backfires though... when I saw that abomination, Transformers 2, the audiences thorough enjoyment of the ridiculous antics by the two gangster robots drove me from the theater half way through. On my way out I glared at the audience and mentally shouted "are you all idiots!?".
post #10 of 176
^ I don't remember the last time I enjoyed a crowd, honestly. Probably sporting events or concerts. Certainly not movies, where I want to get "lost" in the movie, and not be reminded I'm just watching a movie with a bunch of inconsiderate idiots.
post #11 of 176
Still haven't found the "pause" button at the local theater which is all digital and automated but bright presentations. I did several times back in the day at film showings complain the projection light was too low and once that the film was so miss framed (a masked print) that we could seeing the studio lights and boom mike in the film.
post #12 of 176
Thanks for the link, a very good read and definitely something I'll be keeping an eye out for in the future. The last one I saw was Thor (2D) and I know it was in a Digital theater and also very dim, as I would expect the 3D version to be. Truly disappointing...
post #13 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post
Nice article.

I will take my modest HT over the theater "experience" any day. I would say over the last 10 years, it has been about 75% bad experiences vs 20% mediocre and 5% actually good.

The theater sucks (well, at least the ones around me). And honestly, it's not even the technical aspects. It's the theater going crowd. Noisy popcorn/candy, talking, cell phones, etc. I've had people smoking in the theater, laser pointers, someone spilled their soda on my head (trying to squeeze into the row behind me), someone knocked the $5 box of junior mints out of my kids hands with no apology. The list goes on. Can't stand them, and they have completely ruined my attitude towards the theater in general. Doesn't help that I had a bad run of bad projectionists as well.

I'd just rather stay at home on a properly calibrated setup that I can pause, rewind, turn on subtitles if I can't understand a line of dialog, etc. And it costs me significantly less. And I can lay down on my couch. In my underwear. Wiping Cheeto dust on my t-shirt and drinking beer

I think I went to 2 movies in the theater last year. I have been to exactly one movie this year in the theater (Tron Legacy in IMAX 3D). I don't anticipate going to another this year.
My apologies for quoting this again, but I think it very succinctly represents how I and many others feel about going to the theater. I would only add that most of the time the "great blockbuster" I decide to go see turns out to be a steaming pile of dung (I'm looking at you 300) and I feel even worse because it cost me 4 to 5 times as much for the experience.
post #14 of 176
It depends on the movie I'm seeing, theater I go to, and time of show. All big deciding factors. Horror movies I take very seriously and almost never watch them in a theater because the crowds ruin the experience of being scared with all their reactions, it takes me out of the film and pisses me off, especially when the teens laugh at parts with no humor If I do see them in a theater I will go at an odd time on a week day to ensure I'm one of maybe 10 people in the auditorium.

Movies like the last Star Trek, Batman, etc. are must see in a good theater at prime time. I love the energy and enthusiasm in the crowd and I enjoy the film more with it. I will rarely see a comedy in theaters and usually care less the theater I see it in since they benefit least from the big screen big sound experience. Just my 2¢
post #15 of 176
I am on a compressed work schedule at work, so most of the movies I see at the theater are during the week and have light crowds. I guess this keeps me coming back. Yes I do get annoyed when I go to the theater on the weekends with my family and rude people are texting, talking, etc. But it's still an amazing experience for me, and I'll always go to the theater as long as they still stand.
post #16 of 176
I love going to the theater - makes me appreciate my home set up even more!
post #17 of 176
When I go to the theater, I pick a time that is close to 5PM. I rarely if ever have any problems like those that others seem to have with the audience.
post #18 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by gocabonow View Post

i love going to the theater - makes me appreciate my home set up even more!

+1
post #19 of 176
I like going to the theater, as long as the theater is properly set up for sound and video. This is also assuming no one ruins the experience for me. Oh, and also assuming there's a movie worth going to see....which grows less likely every passing year.
post #20 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary McCoy View Post


Anybody's Home Theater, no matter how elaborate, is a poor imitation of a real cinema.

Yeah I'm sure it's true on planet Gary, but not on planet Earth. I guess reality just doesn't syncing with you.
post #21 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehun View Post

Yeah I'm sure it's true on planet Gary, but not on planet Earth. I guess reality just doesn't syncing with you.

How many people do you know that have 30 or 40 foot screens, $100,000 digital projectors showing content in 10bit color depth using Motion JPEG2000 as a compression codec with a Meyers Sound system for audio?

Well, made on Planet Hun they do.
post #22 of 176
As much as I disagree with Ebert on his opinions about movies and other matters, I think he’s spot on here. I despise the industry’s fascination with 3D, and I believe it’s destructive to movie quality and making watching them more expensive. I appreciate the information he gives about what to watch for. For many years, I was of the opinion that watching a film in a movie theater was the best way to see it. I still think that, if it’s projected correctly. It seems, however, that the industry’s infatuation with 3D makes it less likely that will be the case. My desire to see movies at theaters is fading (my home theater has far better black levels and sound anyway), unless it’s one of the special showings at venues in and around Hollywood, where I know they do things right. For those of you who think 3D is the bees knees, enjoy yourselves. I’ll pass.
post #23 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

How many people do you know that have 30 or 40 foot screens, $100,000 digital projectors showing content in 10bit color depth using Motion JPEG2000 as a compression codec with a Meyers Sound system for audio?

Well, made on Planet Hun they do.

You didn't pay attention to the actual topic of this thread.
All that equipment means nothing if they are not used correctly, which seems to be the norm, not an exception. Yes in a perfect world all that great expensive gear run by a caring and competent staff would be the ultimate, but it's not happening, so for Gary to reprise that Utopian slogan every time this comes up seems to me he lives on his own world indeed. Wise Up!!!
post #24 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehun View Post

You didn't pay attention to the actual topic of this thread.

If you are referring to the issue of dark 2D movies because the 3D lens wasn't removed, avoid theaters that use a Sony 4K digital projector. That doesn't happen with Christe, NEC or Barco projectors because they are all single lens. The RealD ZScreen that is in front of the lens easily swings out of the way.

Quote:
All that equipment means nothing if they are not used correctly, which seems to be the norm, not an exception. Yes in a perfect world all that great expensive gear run by a caring and competent staff would be the ultimate, but it's not happening, so for Gary to reprise that Utopian slogan every time this comes up seems to me he lives on his own world indeed. Wise Up!!!

If you really enjoy going to the movies, then you should do what I and others do. Seek out a theater complex that does care about their presentations and avoid those that don't.

No different when digital didn't exist and it was all 35mm.
post #25 of 176
It's not like I can choose my 3D projectors- there's only one theater/multiplex (other than IMAX) in my area and they happen to have those notorious Sony digital projectors that are so dim. It pisses me off, and even moreso that I have to pay a $3 premium to see a movie in 3D.
post #26 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

avoid theaters that use a Sony 4K digital projector.

I'm not optimistic that the guy answering the phone would have a clue what I was talking about when I asked what projector they're using.
post #27 of 176
Engadget: Sony Stands Behind Its Digital Projector

Ironic that popped up- obviously Ebert's and that Boston Globe article are really making waves.
post #28 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR View Post

I'm not optimistic that the guy answering the phone would have a clue what I was talking about when I asked what projector they're using.

AMC and Regal are Sony's biggest customers. Landmark has a few.
post #29 of 176
Thread Starter 
Have to say the lack of video quality isn't the ONLY reason why I rarely venture out to the local cineplex.
I have to whole-heartedly agree with others who point out the lack of courtesy and respect for the rights of fellow members of the audience is a serious impediment.

And, yes, I have no idea HOW to cure that....
post #30 of 176
I mentioned this right after I saw Superman Returns in 3D. There just wasn't enough light to allow me to see detail. I dropped the glasses down and noticed that I would rather have had the added light than the few mostly worthless 3D effects. This has been the case with each 3D experience since including Tron. The image is simply unengaging as the best I can describe it.

3D will not save theaters IMO.

Art
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