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I am lucky enough to live in Manhattan where 8/10 theaters are good and the others are acceptable in their attention to projection detail and quality. I happened to go to the Clearview in Montclair, NJ last night to see Lost in Translation. I often get a picture that rivals what I see at the movies although many times the theaters win because film can look so good. An example of a FINE theater is the Landmark Sunshine in Manhattan.


The movie should have been beautiful. Instead it was completly washed out. I've never seen such a bad theater set-up in my life and I've seen movies all around the world. Forget the sound, the whole thing looked like it was projected through someone's socks. They had a WHITE ceiling, light drapes all around the theater and a screen that was far too high up to be pleasant to look at. What a rip off. Ruined what appeared to be a beautifully shot movie.


Why can't a movie theater cover the basics?


1. Dark surroundings.

2. Sharp focus.

3. Good surround sound?


A big corporation like that ought to have a set of calibrators that go around making sure that the monkey who projects the movies had little to do to get a halfway decent job.


R-S
 

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I know exactly what you mean.


I was at a theater the other night that had both the wall lights, AND the ceiling spot lights on through the entire movie! I don't know if they forgot to dim them, or if they just don't... but it really didn't help the black level of the movie at all.


I think the problem is that the HT folks are the people who really know what's going on, and they're not exactly the kind of people you see working in a movie theater. :)



Anyone here work in / design / set up any movie theaters?


- David
 

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I think the big corporations have realized they don't need to do go to that expense, and they still get lots of vistors.


For many of the folks that go to the movies its so they can watch the film on the big screen, as opposed to the letterboxed version on DVD and a 27" TV with the internal stereo speakers. Given that, no matter how bad the presentation is at the theater, its usually still better than the presentation at home.


For the big corporations, its all about the profit, which is why almost all of the projectionists are high school kids working part time - cheaper.


Last time I went to the local multiplex theater they left the wall sconces up way too high and it really washed out Twin Towers. They dimmed the lights, but apparently its policy to leave the sconces up so folks don't trip entering/exiting during the movie. The film before that was the latest Star Trek flop and the space scenes where grey with white dots - totally not worth the ticket price.
 

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I DON'T EVEN GO OUT TO THE THEATER

ANY MORE UNLESS ITS A MOVIE

MY WIFE WANTS TO SEE


THERE IS NO REASON FOR A WHITE

CEILING IN A THEATER

OR LIGHT COLORED DRAPES

IT COST NO MORE TO DO IT RIGHT

THAN IT COST TO DO IT WRONG



XANATOS
 

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Actually, it can cost less to do it wrong. Given two "theater designers", one who wants $100/hour (and is a pro and well respected in the theater industry) and "bob" who wants $20/hour and has only designed the outdoor amiptheather in the local town park, it may appear on paper to the bean counter that "bob" is a better deal. :(
 

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According to Roger Ebert, many theater houses dim the projector bulbs, believing that it will last longer and use less power.
 

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I get a headache half the time at the local theaters. Either they have a serious problem with the picture bouncing heavily or the whole screen is out of fucus just enough to make your eyes bug out.


I complained last time (over a year ago) and so I got free passes to see more bouncy out of focus movies... No mention of getting it fixed.


With the miliplex theaters it's clearly not about quality, simply quantity. If it can't be put on a sign to draw customers, like SDDS DD DTS, then it must not be worth doing right?


Troy
 

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Perfect time for me to plug Maxivision (my family's involved in it). The true answer to all you woes. I know that that CRT projection lovers of all people understand that digital projection is not up to speed for the home, and therefore not even close to theater houses.


Maxivision offers a much more stable picture and a drastic increase in resolution- all using current 35mm film, as well as current cameras and projectors with reasonably priced modifications. Maxivision48 offers the same, plus the ability to show 48fps, and the projectors are back-wards compatible with film shot with current equipment.


Maxivision also offers a little logo and a way to draw customers, much like DTS and Dolby.

http://www.maxivisioncinema.com/


BTW, the Roger Ebert reference in my earlier post was purely coincidental.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by spearce
Actually, it can cost less to do it wrong. Given two "theater designers", one who wants $100/hour (and is a pro and well respected in the theater industry) and "bob" who wants $20/hour and has only designed the outdoor amiptheather in the local town park, it may appear on paper to the bean counter that "bob" is a better deal. :(
I'd do it for $15/hr. :)


I'm not a pro, but honestly, some of the mistakes being made are REALLY basic problems.


spearce- what happened to the little lights that theaters used to have on the end seat of the row? They always used to have those, but now it's just as you described- the sconces are up ALL the time. One theater where I live, it's like they got a good deal on ropelight- it's all over on every wall, right up to the front of the screen. *sigh*


- David
 

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I have no idea, but I can say I really miss those lights, and despise the sconces.


I think it might have to do with too many lawsuits related to tripping in the dark and spilling a 32 oz cola all over oneself... :)
 
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