Cinemark XD: Advantages and Disadvantages vs. IMAX and LieMax - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 20 Old 04-30-2014, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
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The Cinemark theater (formerly "The Bridge" and, then, "The Rave") recently replaced one of the few true IMAX theaters in the Los Angeles/Orange County area with an XD "Extreme Digital Cinema" theater.

Earlier today (4/30/14), Cinemark representatives gave me full access to every aspect of their new XD theater. This includes access to the projection room and all the projector, sound, screen, and seating specifications.

My first impression of the new theater was based on seeing "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" on April 4th from my seat in the middle of the third row. In the next few days to a week, I will be posting comprehensive reviews of every aspect of what I think is, by far, the best "digital projection" movie-going experience in the Los Angeles area. I have some pictures I will also be posting that you may find interesting. Many are pretty dark, but I'm working on them so you can at least see some of the aspects I'm trying to highlight.

I'm sad to see the IMAX go, but I also appreciate the opportunity to see virtually every new release on a "true" IMAX sized screen with with resolution levels that are quite impressive. More on that, and everything else, soon. IMG_0022.JPG 6373k .JPG file
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post #2 of 20 Old 07-22-2014, 01:16 AM
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Any reviews coming? Also, I'm wondering how the XD at the H.H. Center compares to the also newly renovated TCL Chinese Theater Imax?
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post #3 of 20 Old 08-19-2014, 06:29 AM
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post #4 of 20 Old 03-28-2015, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by euskadi71 View Post
Any reviews coming? Also, I'm wondering how the XD at the H.H. Center compares to the also newly renovated TCL Chinese Theater Imax?
TCL Chinese not a true IMAX theater, but they did drag a IMAX projector in there for Interstellar. It's a Barco 4K digital projector and is (probably) the same one used by the Cinemark. Cinemark recently built a new theater in Playa Vista and I did a review of it. It's not an IMAX, but it's a really, nice comfortable theater and for digital projection, it's about as good as it gets (Until the new, awesome IMAX projector comes out).

For my review, check out.

http://www.cloudvistas.com/movie-the...een-and-sound/

For the IMAX projector, see:

http://forums.superherohype.com/show...&postcount=792

EDIT: Updated the URL for the movie theater reviews to include the Playa Vista and Howard Hughes Center XD theaters.

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post #5 of 20 Old 04-09-2015, 07:24 AM
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post #6 of 20 Old 04-15-2015, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Pretty cool. Glad my Acer is easier.

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post #7 of 20 Old 04-15-2015, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Any reviews coming? Also, I'm wondering how the XD at the H.H. Center compares to the also newly renovated TCL Chinese Theater Imax?
I haven't been to the TCL Chinese, but they both use Barco projectors. I talk a little about them in my theater review. They are 4K projectors and the Cinemark uses dual projectors for 3D so you get really good brightness levels.

http://www.cloudvistas.com/movie-the...een-and-sound/

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post #8 of 20 Old 04-15-2015, 10:57 AM
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I haven't been to the TCL Chinese, but they both use Barco projectors. I talk a little about them in my theater review. They are 4K projectors and the Cinemark uses dual projectors for 3D so you get really good brightness levels.

http://www.cloudvistas.com/movie-the...een-and-sound/

Yeah I was impressed with Guardians of the Galaxy and The Hobbit (HFR) in 3d at the Cinemark XD - usually I avoid the 3d.


The TCL Chinese Theater switched to laser projection in April...


http://www.dailynews.com/technology/...hinese-theatre


I'm hoping to see Avengers there and check it out, such a great atmosphere in that place. Also there is a new Arclight Theater being built in Santa Monica on top of Bloomingdales at 3rd St Promenade...


http://www.smmirror.com/articles/New...a-Monica/42915


So more theaters for you to review!
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post #9 of 20 Old 04-16-2015, 04:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah I was impressed with Guardians of the Galaxy and The Hobbit (HFR) in 3d at the Cinemark XD - usually I avoid the 3d.


The TCL Chinese Theater switched to laser projection in April...


http://www.dailynews.com/technology/...hinese-theatre


I'm hoping to see Avengers there and check it out, such a great atmosphere in that place. Also there is a new Arclight Theater being built in Santa Monica on top of Bloomingdales at 3rd St Promenade...


http://www.smmirror.com/articles/New...a-Monica/42915




So more theaters for you to review!

Oh hooooooooooo......very interesting. I will definitely be there for The Avengers AoU during the first AM show on Friday. I can't WAIT to check out the new projector (and AoU of course). The folks on The Avengers Superhero Hype forum will be really interested in hearing this. I'll credit you for the eye opener!! Let me put it another way.... The Avenger nerds in LA on the thread are gonna freak out.

Is this the projector I was talking about earlier on this thread?

http://forums.superherohype.com/show...&postcount=792

If it is, I'm pretty surprised because I spoke with the manager of the theater back in late February and he said they hadn't made any changes and gave me no indication that any were planned. Not sure why that is.

Thanks for the update? You know of any good breakfast joints around the TCL Chinese?

Thanks for the Santa Monica update. I live near there and frequent shows there on occasion.

Very, very cool post. Thanks.

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post #10 of 20 Old 04-16-2015, 01:34 PM
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Oh hooooooooooo......very interesting. I will definitely be there for The Avengers AoU during the first AM show on Friday. I can't WAIT to check out the new projector (and AoU of course). The folks on The Avengers Superhero Hype forum will be really interested in hearing this. I'll credit you for the eye opener!! Let me put it another way.... The Avenger nerds in LA on the thread are gonna freak out.

Is this the projector I was talking about earlier on this thread?

http://forums.superherohype.com/show...&postcount=792

If it is, I'm pretty surprised because I spoke with the manager of the theater back in late February and he said they hadn't made any changes and gave me no indication that any were planned. Not sure why that is.

Thanks for the update? You know of any good breakfast joints around the TCL Chinese?

Thanks for the Santa Monica update. I live near there and frequent shows there on occasion.

Very, very cool post. Thanks.

Lol thanks for the cred, not on Superhero Hype boards but I read their articles quite a bit!


Yeah, that does look like the same projector from your post, 4k laser projection.
Hmmm, maybe they weren't sure about laser at the time and just didn't want word leaking out yet? Not sure either - I did look at their Facebook and they didn't have any mention of the new laser projection until a week into April, (from what I could see).


Sorry can't help ya out on breakfast! I've only been out there twice - once for free 17min GOTG Imax preview, (1st time there to see if it was worth price & trip) and 2nd was to watch Interstellar so I don't know the area at all. Speaking of free preview, WB was holding a free 15 min event, (trailer/clip?) for Batman vs Superman this Monday at the Chinese Theater. I was hoping to get in to check out the laser projection, (and trailer of course) but passes all gone in like, a few hours!


The Cinemark XD 18 is my preferred theater for now - prices are good there especially with the Tuesday deal, XD is a nice brand new theater and there are plenty of places to eat at the Center too.


Here's another recent article on IMAX laser projection including future laser projection locations...


http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...415-story.html

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post #11 of 20 Old 04-17-2015, 05:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Lol thanks for the cred, not on Superhero Hype boards but I read their articles quite a bit!


Yeah, that does look like the same projector from your post, 4k laser projection.
Hmmm, maybe they weren't sure about laser at the time and just didn't want word leaking out yet? Not sure either - I did look at their Facebook and they didn't have any mention of the new laser projection until a week into April, (from what I could see).


Sorry can't help ya out on breakfast! I've only been out there twice - once for free 17min GOTG Imax preview, (1st time there to see if it was worth price & trip) and 2nd was to watch Interstellar so I don't know the area at all. Speaking of free preview, WB was holding a free 15 min event, (trailer/clip?) for Batman vs Superman this Monday at the Chinese Theater. I was hoping to get in to check out the laser projection, (and trailer of course) but passes all gone in like, a few hours!


The Cinemark XD 18 is my preferred theater for now - prices are good there especially with the Tuesday deal, XD is a nice brand new theater and there are plenty of places to eat at the Center too.


Here's another recent article on IMAX laser projection including future laser projection locations...


http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...415-story.html
Yeah....the XD 18 has good prices. I like the ATMOS sound a little bit better than the Auro system (though it really depends on the mix) and the XD in Playa Vista (aka Silicon Beach) has both Auro and ATMOS. I saw Insurgent there (used ATMOS) and the sound was terrific.....really impressive. I don't really like paying for parking at Howard Hughes Center, but I guess it's not that big of a deal. I like to eat Mexican Food and have a beer before the movies, but sushi works too. The first time I see anything at the TCL, it's going to be AoU. I'm totally stoked, but don't want to wait. Those guys from Europe who get to see it a week earlier than we do just love to rub it in our faces so I did a little rubbing back with the new TCL IMAX PJ and revamped sound system.

After you see the movie, you should head over to the SSH The Avengers 2! The Official News and Speculation Thread and tell us what you think. Most of the guys and gals over there are pretty cool. Some buttholes, but not many.

Later......

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post #12 of 20 Old 04-24-2015, 05:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Lol thanks for the cred, not on Superhero Hype boards but I read their articles quite a bit!


Yeah, that does look like the same projector from your post, 4k laser projection.
Hmmm, maybe they weren't sure about laser at the time and just didn't want word leaking out yet? Not sure either - I did look at their Facebook and they didn't have any mention of the new laser projection until a week into April, (from what I could see).


Sorry can't help ya out on breakfast! I've only been out there twice - once for free 17min GOTG Imax preview, (1st time there to see if it was worth price & trip) and 2nd was to watch Interstellar so I don't know the area at all. Speaking of free preview, WB was holding a free 15 min event, (trailer/clip?) for Batman vs Superman this Monday at the Chinese Theater. I was hoping to get in to check out the laser projection, (and trailer of course) but passes all gone in like, a few hours!


The Cinemark XD 18 is my preferred theater for now - prices are good there especially with the Tuesday deal, XD is a nice brand new theater and there are plenty of places to eat at the Center too.


Here's another recent article on IMAX laser projection including future laser projection locations...


http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...415-story.html
I will post a review of the TCL Chinese Theater after I go see the new Avengers movie next Friday (5/1/15). I'm expecting big things (literally and figuratively) and am psyched. I found a breakfast place within easy walking distance (Loews Hollywood) and the restaurant has an "endless mimosa" item on the menu (uh oh.....) that they may regret putting there. I will definitely do a comparison of this theater and the Cinemark.

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post #13 of 20 Old 06-20-2015, 09:35 AM
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I don't really like paying for parking at Howard Hughes Center
Did they start charging for parking there recently? That used to be my go-to IMAX place obviously before the conversion, and I don't remember paying for parking, though I could be wrong, it was a long time ago.
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post #14 of 20 Old 06-15-2017, 11:03 AM
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I posted a thread in another area a week or 2 ago about the Cinemark XD in Taylor, MI (Southland Mall).

It opened only Fall 2016, and I saw Sully last October and Wonder Woman opening weekend.

This is now my Reference commercial theater in the Detroit/Dearborn area. Still smelled new when I saw Wonder Woman!

Interestingly, they do not advertise what type of audio system they use, i.e. Atmos/DTSX/Auro- it appears proprietary. Anyone know what they use?

Pic attached was found googling and is similar to the Cinemark XD Taylor, with the dual hi-lo speaker rows on the side walls.

The nearby Southgate MJR Epic Atmos theater uses only one row per wall.
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That is a Barco room auromax and maybe flagship laser. I have heard gravity both in atmos and auromax and it's not that different.
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post #16 of 20 Old 04-25-2019, 06:56 AM
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Thread necro time!

I assume they show movies shot in various aspect ratios, right? If so, how does the XD screen handle wider aspect ratios? Do masks come up at the top and bottom? Is the image *gasp* stretched to fill the screen or *harder gasp* chopped off on the sides?


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post #17 of 20 Old 04-25-2019, 09:57 AM
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Thread necro time!

I assume they show movies shot in various aspect ratios, right? If so, how does the XD screen handle wider aspect ratios? Do masks come up at the top and bottom? Is the image *gasp* stretched to fill the screen or *harder gasp* chopped off on the sides?
Tragically, most of the PLF cinemas I have been to (including XD) just have a flat 1.85 screen with no masking. If the feature is widescreen it is simply projected letterboxed.
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Tragically, most of the PLF cinemas I have been to (including XD) just have a flat 1.85 screen with no masking. If the feature is widescreen it is simply projected letterboxed.
Awesome Not surprising and the least of all evils when it comes to handling content with an aspect ratio different from the screen, but definitely doesn't do anything to encourage me to see movies in the theater. This lazy and cheap lack of masking is super lame. I don't care how nice the seats are and the sound system is if the video presentation isn't up to snuff.


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post #19 of 20 Old 04-25-2019, 10:32 AM
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Awesome Not surprising and the least of all evils when it comes to handling content with an aspect ratio different from the screen, but definitely doesn't do anything to encourage me to see movies in the theater. This lazy and cheap lack of masking is super lame. I don't care how nice the seats are and the sound system is if the video presentation isn't up to snuff.
Totally agreed. I cannot fathom how a theatre could decide to upgrade an auditorium to the tune of half a million dollars in projectors, seats and sound equipment, but cheap out on masking.
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post #20 of 20 Old 08-06-2019, 02:56 PM
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This is all exciting reading. We have a local cinema that was recently purchased by Cinemark. I spoke the the shift manager and he said some exciting upgrades were planned for the theater. I did not ask specifics figuring that he was not able to answer my questions as to sound and screen and seating upgrades. We shall see what transpires.

The theater purchased is the Majestic in Meridian Idaho. Nice theater overall but nothing exciting really. 4 large screens but nothing like an IMAX at all. Sound as far as I know is 5.1. I did ask if one theater had 7.1 but never got what I would call a yes answer so I am going with 5.1. I don't know that there would be any room to increase the screen size in any of their theaters so I figure the upgrades may be limited to the sound system and seating. The parking lot is pretty good size so if they put in a large screen it will need to have a new building to house it. Kind of doubt that will happen but it would be cool.

I am watching to see when and if any new construction begins soon on any type of upgrades in the theater. Another local theater in Meridian is the Village Cinema. It has 4 theaters with Dolby Atmos. There may be a few added this last year but I don't go there much after several bad movie going experiences in the number 1 theater with what I think is a blown speaker on the left side wall. The sound is like the speaker box is a metal garbage can. It really draws attention to the side wall but the only person ever to admit to hearing this is me. Maybe I am just crazy but I have never heard this awful racket in any other theater I have gone to. It hasn't been changed after the 4 films I went to see there so I avoid that theater for now.

Anyway back to Cinemark. I have high hopes for them raising the bar for the theater experience in our area. We shall see what happens.
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