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Is Home Theater Technology Killing Movie Theaters? - Page 2

post #31 of 254
I just went to the local theater here in Colorado springs the other day to see taken 2. Both my wife and I were extremely disappointed with the sound quality in the place. I even considered leaving at the beginning of the film since I was surprised at the lack of volume and punch to the sound. After the film both my wife and I looked at each other and said why did we even bother when we have a much better sounding system at home. I did get a guest pass after bringing my point of view to the manager so I suppose that counts for something
post #32 of 254
I can get damn good 1080p 7.1 surround in my house with better atmosphere and better popcorn. Theaters are failing because they don't push the technology limits anymore. Theater should already be fitted accross the board with 4K and 8K screens, Atmos surround sound and a significantly better atmosphere for the same $13 bucks they charge today. The marginal value of the theater experience for me has been relegated to the must see movies. Batman, The Hobbit, Harry Potter... All the rest, I'll wait and if the movie is playing in any of the backroom theaters in the complex, I'll wait. If it's not on the top two screens in the complex, the experience is significantly worse because what piss poor equipment the theaters do have, they forget to maintain.

Why again is it worth $60 to go see a movie? I didn't even bring up the stupid person that can't get off Facebook while the movie is playing. Those people make me want to stab someone. I keed.
post #33 of 254
I remember watching Jurassic Park when they released it at the Cinerama in Seattle and being blown away by every part of it: the super large, curved screen, the booming bass that made me truly frightened of dinosaurs and the audience screaming.

Out of a sense of nostalgia I am completely willing to pay for an immersive experience, even at what they're charging. But as has been stated many times before, the caliber of films being released and completely disrespectful audiences are two reasons I started investing in my home theater. Once I realized that I could approximate what I experienced at the Cinerama in my own home and ditch the high prices and five year olds, I was sold.

I look at movies coming out and think to myself, "Is it worth the price?", "Is it worth the probability of having a small child kicking and screaming?" There are only a handful of films in the past two years which have passed this test for me.
post #34 of 254
If the producers are losing ticket sales do you see the day when you can get opening day movies streamed to your HT for say $20? I'd be all over that. I probably spend $50 for the 4 of us at the local theater anyway.

Btw. when I took the kids to see Batman Dark Knight Rises on opening day i think I counted 35 patrons. Granted there was the fear factor but still I expected a lot more people.
post #35 of 254
Back when I was dating my wife, we used to go to movies every week. That was in the early 1990's. Now that we're married and have kids, we never go. It's not the cost (well, maybe). It's the hassle of picking a movie everyone hasn't seen and wants to see and getting us there in time. It would be impossible. My wife is late for everything. Plus, i would spend the whole movie getting food for everyone and then hearing complaints about it. I don't know the last time I saw a movie in a theater. Must have been over 15 years ago.

My kids see movies. They go to birthday parties. They also watch movies on the TV through their laptops. A few months back, I watched some of the hunger games and it had some strange subtitles on the bottom. Not sure what language it was. The picture and sound were terrible, but my kids didn't seem to care. They can't even tell the difference between HD and SD. I don't approve of them stealing movies, but all the kids have iPods/Phones/lap tops. I don't see any way to stop it. My kids would rather spend money on PS3 games than movies. There have been several occasions where I asked them if they wanted me to rent a particular 3D blu-ray and they said they've already seen the movie. I asked them about it and they said they saw it months ago at a friends house. The movie had just been released on blu-ray/DVD.

I have all the movie channels with FIOS. I DVR movies and always have a stack of at least 5 I haven't seen yet. I don't have time to watch movies.
post #36 of 254
Like it or not...The movie makers will have to revamp their release model for new films to catch up with not only home theaters. But proliferation of HDTVs and internet streaming all over the USA. They should lauch movies in better theaters like Imaxx...simultaneously with exclusive, first and one only weekend release of highly advertised blockbusters to the home via VOD...XBox Live...PSN. Broader distribution could follow the one week burst in an extended range of theaters...followed by a bigger VOD pattern 1 month later That would have the effect of creating a lot of buzz from the limited home launch that could drive more people into theaters to see the movie over the next 4-8 weeks. It could also improve Blu-Ray and DVD sales with people who view the movie during the one week intro window. If they like the movie, they will likley buy the DVD when it becomes available with all of the special features. JMHO...they are going to have to try something like this or simply perish. Bottom line is that movie makers should be looking at proliteration of bigeer HDTV's in homes (40"-50") and growth of elaborate HT cinemas as a new market opportunity for consumers to get early trial of their products. They can even add some of the extended scenes and features into the broader theater rollout to entice wider viewing.
post #37 of 254
I'm in my late 20's and since I bought my own house 5 years ago I've only been to the movie theater once and that was only because another couple wanted us to go along. I can buy a blu-ray for the price of 3 ppls addmission to a theater and I can sit in the comfort of my own home and pause the movie to go to the bathroom or make popcorn or nachos. Yeah I only have a 60" 3D 1080p plasma and a 7.2 surround, but my pq and sq are more than fine for me, for now until I build a dedicated theater room. I probably won't go to the movie theater except to take my kids when they are old enough OR maybe they will take after me and prefer to watch movies at home with only the select few ppl you desire to have over.
post #38 of 254
I think home theater is taking over. That is one reason why movies that are a must see even from great directors don't stay long enough at the theaters. Back then movies would take even a year or longer to make it to VHS. Now days even the best movie is out on DVD in 3 months or so. Look at it this way at home with kids you can pause the movie 1,000 times LOL. Dedicated home theater or just a simple TV I think more and more people chose to stay home.
post #39 of 254
We are seeing more movies than ever in the theater, primarily because my wife and I are now senior citizens and qualify for reduced prices. And I am fortunate to work near a large omniplex theater and I will often stop in after work and enjoy a movie while traffic clears, particularly if my wife has evening activities (zumba or whatever) and if it's an action movie which she may not enjoy. Also I generally reserve theater viewings for blockbuster action flicks and usually choose IMAX if it is available, and reserve the slow drama for TV or Netflix. Yes, we have a decent HT setup at home and a large BD/DVD library, but I still enjoy seeing a great movie in a great theater.

The problem most often encountered is rude, noisy audience members. Noises really bother me. Usually I wait a couple weeks after a movie's initial release so the crowd will be smaller, but not wait so long that the movie is moved to one of the smaller theaters in the omniplex... some of which have undersize screens and inferior sound systems. Sometimes I just walk out and come back another day, or perhaps move to view a different movie across the hall.
post #40 of 254
Might have been mentioned before, but the lack of common courtesy is one of the reasons I don't go. Between the loud conversations, ringtones and idiots actually having phone conversations. People have no respect for each other anymore. Cheaper to stay home and more enjoyable.
post #41 of 254
Originally Posted by doughman View Post

If the producers are losing ticket sales do you see the day when you can get opening day movies streamed to your HT for say $20? I'd be all over that. I probably spend $50 for the 4 of us at the local theater anyway.

From your mouth to Barry Meyer's ears.
post #42 of 254
I'm in my late 30's married with a toddler son. There is one and only one circumstance when I go the movies: I go on Saturday mornings before noon (alone) at which time ticket prices are $5.00 - even for new releases - for movies I can't wait for blu-ray for. If the new movie is one I'm dying to see (e.g., Skyfall, Hobbit, etc.) I'll spend the extra money to see it in 3D and/or on the Imax screen. That's it. I took my wife to see "Argo" this past weekend. While we both enjoyed it, I could have purchased it on blu-ray for $22.00. I have been to a wonderful theater (my favorite, in fact) which is not local and does serve dinner. I'd gladly take here there for dinner + a movie if we had one local. Barring that, it's some alone time for $5.00 for me!
post #43 of 254
wow I must say Im shocked at how much of an issue cellphones and texting has become, that is something I can happily say isnt an issue at our local theater, sure a few conversations can get loud from time to time but typically not to bad, The worst we really get is those people who think opening up a candy box or bag slowly makes less noise then just opening it quickly which no it doesnt lol...
post #44 of 254
My wife and I do not visit the movie theaters any more because they charge $11.50 per ticket. This is the only reason why. I will wait for the movie to come out in Blu-ray so I can watch over and over and over. smile.gifbiggrin.gif
post #45 of 254
I did go to the movies back in the 70ies, young and eager to watch them big holywood western by Clint. Nothing else, and certainly not the alien genre.

Now, retired and oldish, I certainly not go to the movies

1. The mov theaters where i live has bad sound bad screen and is always crammed with teens chewing pop corn

2. I was about to tell something of my kidney disease, but not

3. There are of of cours som big theaters in nearest town, no imax, but very good

4. They are very expensive tickets, approx 12 usd

5. Thats why i have invested a lot into a decenct modest hometh, in my living room. I really enjoy the movies now, things like u-571 really rattle my neighbours. But im too old for such foolines, i am just relaxing and enjoying my self.

6 alien genre. A long 30 year waiting, at last i dare to watch ALL of my fav movies. I am sci fi enthusiast, but too "jumpy" to watch alll of them in a public theater.
post #46 of 254
I only go see movies that I absolutely have to see. Some times, it's a good decision (Avengers, Dark Knight Rises) and others I could have waited (Prometheus, Amazing Spider-Man, Total Recall). I absolutely refuse to do 3D. I don't see the point and it certainly isn't worth the premium that you pay. Now you see reviews for 3D movies and, more often than not, the reviewer says to just see it in 2D.
post #47 of 254
Even if every movie theater had state of the art image and sound, the fundamental problem still exists, the people who attend. For the record, when my dedicated home theater is finished, there will be 1 super comfy leather chair in the room - in the sweet spot - for me!
post #48 of 254
Not sure if anyone from my demographic or age group has replied, but I'm a 19 year old college student. I have an incredible theater in my house which my roommates and I enjoy daily. After having seen what my home cinema is capable of, I will only go to see a movie in a theater if it is an epic IMAX release at the Seattle Pacific Science Center, which actually has the 70mm projection setup and over 10kW of sound power. Every other theater is a waste of money, in my opinion.

Here's why:
  • As a college student, I don't have $20 laying around to go watch a 2 hour movie that inevitably will leave me wishing I;d spent that money getting drunk or stoned, or even to save up to pay off student loans. The only movies in the last few years that I've actually left with a giant-ass grin on my face are TDK, TDKR, and the Avengers. I saw all of these at the Seattle Center IMAX.
  • My theater at home is better. It's brighter, the seats are comfier, blacks are deeper, and, compared to my seating distance, the screen is proportionally much larger (save for IMAX). It's hard to justify going to a theater to see a 30ft screen from 30ft away and have it not be bright enough. Theaters should be immersive; most of them aren't.
  • I can go to the store and get a jumbo size pack of junior mints for 80c. I need not explain more.
  • I typically watch movies with my girlfriend. It's damn near impossible to cuddle up in any remotely comfortable position at a movie theater. Give me love seats or give me death! I must be fair, though. The Cinerama in Seattle is awesome and has love seats spaced out pretty well throughout the theater.
  • Subwoofers were made for a reason. If I can afford the same one that a commercial theater has (JBL 4645C), they can sure as heck afford a few more to compensate for the size of the room. Rotor wash should be felt, not just heard.

Bottom line, I don't go to theaters because the don't offer anything I can't get at home. IMAX is the one experience I can't get, which is why I still see movies there. Oddly, the PacSci IMAX is cheaper than most chain theaters around it. For me to go to a theater, the picture must be better than at home. It doesn't need to be by a large amount, but it certainly shouldn't be worse.

Here are some things that would make me go to a theater:
  • 3D that isn't dim. I know for a fact that both Christie and Barco make projectors capable of outputting enough light to still have between 12 and 16fL of light in 3D mode. Avatar at IMAX was an unforgettable experience that every theater needs to emulate. Why would I spend an extra $4 on top of an already outrageous ticket price to see 3D that I can't see?
  • Sound that makes me part of the movie. Fortunately, most theaters actually have great sound above 80Hz. It's the LFE track that needs improvement. For a small investment, the theater could invest in a rotary subwoofer or, for an even lower cost, transducers in the risers or seats. I don't have the money or space to install a rotary sub in my home, so you can bet your ass I'd go to a theater if it means I could see a movie where I'd feel sound all the way down to 3 or 4Hz. Considering the price of most projectors ($80k+), I'd think a rotary sub would be a no-brainer investment.
  • Healthy food options. Now, I know I sound like a hippie here, but I don't really like drinking a king size orange soda and a box of Red Ropes separate, much less at the same time. If theaters offered fruit and veggie trays and drink options other than soda, I'd be a customer again. How hard would it be to put a Jamba Juice franchise in a theater? The drinks cost nearly the same and I know for a fact people would buy those delicious smoothies far more than they buy a small barrel of Coke. Just some food for thought... Damn, I'm punny.
  • An atmosphere and decor that justifies the price. I'm fine with paying $14 for a movie, provided the experience justifies that price. I'm not referring to people talking or texting as I can deal with that and it's not something the theater can really control. Though, now that I think about it, couldn't they just put a lead lining or some EMI shielding around the theater to make texting impossible? I am talking about the little things like having the theater be clean, upholstery that's not ripped or too worn, and seats that recline comfortably without squeaking. If tickets were only $6 or $7, I'd live with those. I suppose a different ambience would be nice as well. Why must the carpet and wallpaper look like something out of Ted Nugent's closet?
  • I'm going to be called an ******* for this one, but I think it's a pretty big issue in today's America, especially for sold out shows where people are crammed in. We need specially designed obesity seats. There is nothing worse than going to a movie and losing 30% of my already tiny seat to the Slurpee-glurping, Doritos-murdering beluga next to me who thought that wearing jeggings the optimal wardrobe choice to show off her curves.

Maybe I shouldn't get a degree after all. Who wants to loan me some cash to make a quality theater. I guarantee a 110% return on your investment, contingent on Hollywood making movies people want to see.

But that's a COMPLETELY different issue. smile.gif
post #49 of 254
well as far as your comment about 3d. RealD stated that only 2%. can you believe 2% of all the theaters running their RealD technology has their system calibrated correctly, not sure how they got their facts but yeah their main remark was about the dark/dim picture and that brightness and whatnot was not setup correctly in all the projects they looked at.

There has to be something like an organization that doesnt allow a theater to open until it meets a set requirement, like all the theaters around here are not Dolby Digital, DTS, THX, SRS or any other sound solution certified so audio tends to always not sound right or be lacking ~_~
post #50 of 254
The last "wanted to see" cinema trip I took was to Tron Legacy. I was very unimpressed by the movie. A few months later the kids wanted to re-watch it so I lined it up on Netflix (when it was there) and I watched what seemed like a totally different movie. With cleaner picture and sound in a modest HT, I could actually follow the story more closely and got character relationships I had missed in the theater. That's just shows how bad the initial cinema experience detracted from that movie.

Maybe there are exceptions (about 10%) but it seem slike 90% of theaters are just peddling a movies and showing them sub-standard. IMHO theaters stink, literally and figuratively.

post #51 of 254
Originally Posted by DavidK442 View Post

I remember seeing an old episode of the Simpson's where Homer's long lost entrepreneurial brother gave Homer free reign to design a car to meet the needs of the common man.
Needless to say it was totally impractical and so expensive that it drove the company under. I'm getting a sense of deja-vu. rolleyes.gif

I agree to a small extent, but if you look at my list you'll see that really only one of those would cost an extraordinary amount: increasing 3D brightness. Everything else would be a small fraction of the cost of building a new theater, which just goes to show that theaters are building the theaters sub-par, likely intentionally to cut costs under the assumption that the vast majority of people won't care.

Which brings up a rather simple point: most people don't care. AVSers are a minority of theater snobs, or at least we've seen better than a movie theater, and most other people still think actual theaters are the best movie experience. As such, movie theater companies will go for the bare minimum which will still sell tickets to the majority of people.

The decline in movie theater business isn't due to the minority of us that have actual home theaters. It's because theaters are overpriced and most people are willing to wait a few months to see it on Netflix in their own home. I would venture a guess as to say that if theater companies were able to offer same-day streaming to our tv's at home for about 80% of what it costs to go to a theater that they'd see their business increase.
post #52 of 254
Even though my ageing onkyo 6.1 receiver 12" sub and old optoma hd70 720p projector...Its often times AS good as the theatre! Why? Well for one its matched to the size of my room. Theatres are big and loud to fill the large space they are in and to accommodate 100s of people. You can replicate the same sound in a smaller space. Is there any reason or advantage to go see a comedy on a big screen anymore?What about a movie like Battleship? Crap is crap I dont need to spend $10 to get the pleasure to view crap on a big loud screen. Theres miller lite and smoking in my screening room wink.gif For me the only theatre worth spending my $13.50 is the IMAX theatre in the henry ford museum here.. That is a TRUE 3 story high screen pumping 15,000 watts of sound!!! That is my bar and what keeps me going. Its ran like a proper theatre. No admittance after the movie starts, ushers, care taken to make sure every movie is screened perfectly. I never regret going...3D? Wow Polar Express has been the most amazing movie I have ever seen on IMAX 3D!! Well any 3D movie for that matter...ok ok Avatar but thats it.
Edited by pimpology26 - 10/17/12 at 5:45am
post #53 of 254
I'm with you all on the annoying people, dirty theaters, etc.

The killer for me is simply bad audio/video quality. Bad calibration and even poor focus are unforgivable. Not to mention badly distorted audio. So yeah, my modest home theater is better in every way. My 65" LG passive 3D TV is plenty bright playing 3D Blu-Rays with good PQ, and my oldish 5.1 surround is good enough.

Maybe I'm unlucky and there evidently, (going by previous comments), are theaters that give a damn about delivering quality. It's been a few years now since my wife and I have set foot in a theater. I confess we will go see the Hobbit in 3D. Can't wait for that one.
post #54 of 254
I think many kids are spending their monies to view movies on their phones now
by way of subscription. this rather than going to see movies. using a great set of
headphones in the privacy of their own rooms with store bought snacks. I do not
think you can beat it (creature comforts.)
as for myself, since the early 1980's I have been to theaters less than the number
of fingers on my hand. the poor speakers systems drove me out back then not just
the rats in the theaters...they would run along your feet.
I have the sony HX800 3D, but I will admit I am interested in the possibility of once
again going to a theater just to view the 3D as a comparison.
post #55 of 254
I absolutely disagree.

People are cheap. They'd rather spend 13 bucks on a ticket to sit in filthy chairs and eat overpriced popcorn then shell out thousands on a theater. Most people can't afford anything like a home theater, and the A/V crowd is shrinking as well. I think rising ticket prices and crappy movies are killing theater sales. People are now saying, why should I spend 20 bucks per person at the theater when I can watch netflix on my Roku for 8 bucks a month?
post #56 of 254
VOD movies look like crap; bitrate is too low. But yeah, most people don't mind or don't see it.
post #57 of 254
The only thing that gets me to a movie is if it's something I just don't want to wait to see like the upcoming Hobbit; or the latest Batman. Otherwise I would prefer to see it at home even with the budget space I have now. Of course the demographic on AVS is going to be a bit older so going out might involve babysitters (added expense) or less inclined to hassle with the teaming masses as it were.
post #58 of 254
Don't forget the rare occasion for bed bugs. After spending thousands in a home theater, no real reason to go to a local theater.
post #59 of 254
Is Home Theater Technology Killing Movie Theaters?

Doesn't appear so:

post #60 of 254
The lack of good movies is a real killer. A lot of multiplexes just seem like bus stop terminals... average to crappy sound, dim projection, small screens, sticky seats and floors, rude audience members, etc. etc. Who the hell wants that... and pay a premium for the lousy experience?

Notice that catalog title purchases and downloads have risen lately?
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