Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Field Trip Report - Village THX Ultimate
Finally made it down to the Village in Westwood, the first THX Ultimate Cinema, which I gather is meant to compete with Dolby Cinema/IMAX. I saw the new Men in Black.
The auditorium hasn't changed much - no new lighting scheme, curtains or seats. The sound system is still a very capable and very good-sounding Dolby Atmos system, no changes that I could see (not that it needed any). In fact, I think Atmos in the Village sounds better even than Atmos in the Dolby Cinemas I've been in, probably because the size of the auditorium and excellent acoustics just make for an impressive starting point.
Projection is now handled by a pair of Barco Laser Phosphor - High Contrast model - projectors. The picture quality was absolutely perfect. I understand they are doing a custom grade for the THX Ultimate Cinema, but I don't know the details. Perhaps a bit brighter than 14FL, and certainly the contrast really showed, so perhaps THX is also doing a bit of custom grading to push the picture closer to HDR territory. I was thrilled to see the auditorium has retained its constant-height configuration, with a massive 2.39 screen with side masking to handle 1.85 movies. MIB was, annoyingly, a 2.00:1 presentation, so it was shown slightly letterboxed, but for that I blame the filmmakers not the theatre.
My only real complaint is the lack of branding - THX has been around for a long time, and if you didn't know going in you'd think this was just another THX-Certified auditorium, albeit with an unusually good picture quality. Even the THX logo trailer they showed was just the old THX Tex 2 Moo trailer.
Still, all in all, a great theatre made even better and it remains atop my list of places to see movies.