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post #1 of 8 Old 07-16-2019, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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CIH in Cinemas

Those of us who believe CIH is the best way to present motion pictures often lament the situation in movie theaters, which have, since the advent of stadium seating, giant-screen experiences, and cineplex IMAX installations shifted towards CIW (and usually without even bothering with masking).

So, I thought I'd share this recent post on the Film-Tech forum from Mark Louis, the guy responsible for presentation at the Alamo Drafthouse cinema chain:

"The vast majority of our screens that are over 35' wide are native scope screens and all of our screens have movable masking. My PLF spec is a minimum 66' wide screen that must be native scope. At 28 Liberty in Manhattan, we're in the basement of the building and we're so limited by height that all of our screens are under 35' wide. However, we decided to go with native scope screens anyway and have the masking curve back and lay flat against the side walls when open. This way we don't have to leave room for masking to stack on the sides so the wrapped screens can go wall to wall to give the best image possible in a small auditorium, even with native scope screens."
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-16-2019, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dschulz View Post
Those of us who believe CIH is the best way to present motion pictures often lament the situation in movie theaters, which have, since the advent of stadium seating, giant-screen experiences, and cineplex IMAX installations shifted towards CIW (and usually without even bothering with masking).

So, I thought I'd share this recent post on the Film-Tech forum from Mark Louis, the guy responsible for presentation at the Alamo Drafthouse cinema chain:

"The vast majority of our screens that are over 35' wide are native scope screens and all of our screens have movable masking. My PLF spec is a minimum 66' wide screen that must be native scope. At 28 Liberty in Manhattan, we're in the basement of the building and we're so limited by height that all of our screens are under 35' wide. However, we decided to go with native scope screens anyway and have the masking curve back and lay flat against the side walls when open. This way we don't have to leave room for masking to stack on the sides so the wrapped screens can go wall to wall to give the best image possible in a small auditorium, even with native scope screens."
https://www.studiomoviegrill.com/

the brand theater studio movie grill also plays CIH in the theater. its also a dinner and a movie place.

the cinema west from Sacramento which opened back in April for avengers endgame has partial cih screenings. I saw rocketman in that format. the Dolby atmos theater are the other way.

https://www.cinemawest.com/location?house_id=49047

the alamo theatre is not alone. I agree that its very limited.
I wish other theatre would do it.

Jacob
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-17-2019, 06:37 AM
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All commercial theaters are about maximizing the seating and the good ones are about giving every seat a satisfying experience. It is fairly logical in a retrofit theater into a low height commercial building basement installation to opt for scope for all the above reasons. Every movie produced will play in there and so far every 1.89 IMAX movie has a scope cut available that is viewed by many as having no lost content. So in that case it makes perfect sense.

It’s interesting he says the vast majority over 35’ wide are scope. I wonder why smaller screens would be any different? I know retrofits of classic Academy movie palaces from the 20s’-30’s often have narrower and deeper seating reflecting that era with really tall ceilings. Scope screens sometime look out of place against that architecture.

I would think though 100% would be scope though 35’ or not I would think smaller theaters would play the same mix of movies as a large theater.

Bud
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-17-2019, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
It’s interesting he says the vast majority over 35’ wide are scope. I wonder why smaller screens would be any different? I know retrofits of classic Academy movie palaces from the 20s’-30’s often have narrower and deeper seating reflecting that era with really tall ceilings. Scope screens sometime look out of place against that architecture.

I would think though 100% would be scope though 35’ or not I would think smaller theaters would play the same mix of movies as a large theater.
I suspect it's because he has a minimum acceptable size for flat. I can imagine architecture scenarios in which a 'scope screen results in a flat image area that is altogether too small.
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-17-2019, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by dschulz View Post
I suspect it's because he has a minimum acceptable size for flat. I can imagine architecture scenarios in which a 'scope screen results in a flat image area that is altogether too small.
If that is the case we all have too small of theaters at home to attempt to be cinematic.

As a kid when I would watch a scope movie in the 60’-70’s in our still running Warner Movie Palace I would feel cheated a little until I figured out I could move up closer to the screen. I got used to the scale of the theater and the Academy screen.

When the new cinemas started popping up in the suburbs with their wider seating arrangements of seats and lower ceilings. Theaters without a balcony the scope movies became awe inspiring. The theater fit the movie format, and the scope screen was the max best you could get. Academy theaters of the 30’s were designed around a totally different standard and were awe inspiring at what they did. Every venue after that tried to be best at what they were until recently. Now people don’t even really know what cinematic means anymore and multiplex theaters basically do what they want and patrons don’t much care. The novelty now is getting to have a cheeseburger and fries with a pitcher of beer served to you during the movie. The movie is a true social experience I guess.

IMAX love them or hate them is focused on the visual experience be it a scope movie or a format they feel is even more immersive than scope, and of course stadium seating is a part of it just as sloped seating has always been a part of a cinema. When filling the vision to the max they need to open up the area below the viewers eye line more. Some say it is a gimmick some said scope was a gimmick also trying to replace Academy back in the day. Scope is a wonderful way to view a movie and some directors even use it that way.

I love scope movies and I hope they stay around for a very long time and directors keep making them. At the same time I can see why there room for a new format to evolve and maybe some sharp directors are figuring out how to make some awe inspiring movies in that format as well.

When it comes to cinema I don’t think there is any end point or I hope there isn’t.

Bud
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-17-2019, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
If that is the case we all have too small of theaters at home to attempt to be cinematic.
You've been telling us that for years! (not an invitation for a PIA discussion!)
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-18-2019, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by ScottAvery View Post
You've been telling us that for years! (not an invitation for a PIA discussion!)
I don’t know what you mean by that.

All I know is some guy named Mark Louis is being quoted here saying CIH with a scope screen is the way to go. He said in rooms >35’ they recommend scope screens and the majority they have are that. The way it was worded rooms <35’ they opted for scope anyway in Manhattan because of low ceiling heights.

I was wondering if normally rooms <35’they didn’t chose scope for some reason?

If that is the case I have 12’ of wall to work with at home I’m pretty sure that is <35’ so what am I missing? I don’t know of a single HT with >35’.

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post #8 of 8 Old 07-18-2019, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
I don’t know what you mean by that.

All I know is some guy named Mark Louis is being quoted here saying CIH with a scope screen is the way to go. He said in rooms >35’ they recommend scope screens and the majority they have are that. The way it was worded rooms <35’ they opted for scope anyway in Manhattan because of low ceiling heights.

I was wondering if normally rooms <35’they didn’t chose scope for some reason?

If that is the case I have 12’ of wall to work with at home I’m pretty sure that is <35’ so what am I missing? I don’t know of a single HT with >35’.

I'm looking at your quote and my quote and I have no idea what I meant. There was a joke about CIH+IMAX format hiding in their somewhere, but it got lost when I transmitted the message over the unruly interwebs.
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