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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to see sw:aotc and almost ended up sitting in the forth row. Thank goodness I found a seat in the back of the theater. If I had watched it from the front it would have ruined the experience for me. After watching so much HDTV, the movie screen is huge even from the back. It seems to get three times the height from the screen one needs to sit in the back of the theater. I don't know how anyone can stand to watch it from the front. The front row should not be any closer than 2X the height in distance from the screen. The screens need to be reduced in size. Whenever I go to the movies the back rows always fill up first. Am I in the minority here?
 

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It all depends on what theater you go to. Many newer theaters do have screens that are a bit large; an overreaction to tiny multiplexes built in the 80's, but this is far from universal. Some of the screens at the Century Theaters are too big only for 1.85 films as they are now using constant width rather than the preferable constant height. In any event, any auditorium where the front rows AREN'T too close is not packing in enough people to be profitable.
 

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When I was younger, twenties and thities in particular, I wanted to be close, close enough to the point of needing to move my head to follow the action. Now I don't. Surround sound primarily, I suppose, but maybe at different ages one wants different things.
 

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The bigger the better. I despise small screens/theaters. When I pay $20+ for the lady and I to go see a flick, i want a big screen with big sound.
 

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big image, big sound.


to me, I much prefer sitting at 1-2x the width of a 12meter 2.35:1 screen, with lots of sound headroom and a crisp, panavision shot :D movie.


for instance, I much prefered PEARL HARBOR on such a screen than on a giant 24meter screen the first time.


LORD OF THE RINGS and its very grainy super 35print looked aweful on a 24meters screen I saw it in ( they better do it right for the dvd... )


big is not enough today imho. ultra sharp image, lots of contrast ratio and FTL, and sound headroom is more important to me ( have you guys any idea how much subwoofers and watts are required to fill with pressure a 600-700 seats theater ? enormous like 3 mains with 4x15" and 16 18" subs with 1500watts each... and you rarely get that!!!!!! very rarely ).

a smaller, REAL THX certified ( and verified ) 40ft screen with 120-200 seats will satisfy me much better.


a 12meter 2.35:1 screen is still ... 16times bigger (area) than my 10ft screen :D


i would even say that if some day I got the space to install a 20ft 2.35:1 screen at home with HD dvd, d-theater or even upscaled DVD as sources, I would think twice before going as often to theaters ( with friends we go 2-4 per month to check what to buy on dvd :) ).
 

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If they didn't have seats that were close, what would they do with the empty space?


I don't know how removing seats is going to make the movie going experience better.


However, making the image smaller would make it brighter which most theaters lack.


-Mr. Wigggles
 

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Simple answer? Show up earlier.


If there's one thing we habitual front row viewers don't like, it's sitting near latecomers forced to sit in the front row, who then spend the rest of the film complaining about it. We get there early (18 hours early in the case of AOTC) in order to get exactly the seats we want.


This is the first time I've ever heard anyone seriously suggest that screens should be smaller.
 

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I had the complete opposite experience for SW 2:AOTC. I sat to far on a small screen and felt like I was squinting to see the movie. When I saw Spiderman, I sat nice and close and loved the feeling of having the movie take up my complete range of vision. It was like I was in the movie. Plus, I don't know if it was because I was sitting closer, but Spidey was a whole hell of a lot louder than Ep. 2. Ep. 2 did take good use of surround effects but the dialog seemed light. And there was absolutely no bass in our theater. While in Spiderman, there was so much bass, my body shook. Just my experiences.
 

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I'm with Chris and JB. My own preference tends to be the last row of the front section (about row 6), with an aisle behind me (minimizing popcorn crunches and whispers) and probably no more than .75 screen widths away.


The reason I like to sit so close is to maximize the subtended angles - my only constraint being my glasses frame. Since I patronize a particular AMC theater with a competent projectionist and a torus-curved screen, the focus is perfect and the only reason you should see film grain with modern film stock is when they want you too see it for effect.


I specificly DO NOT want to sit so far away that my experience more resembles the small screen or television experience (a part time activity). What I am seeking is maximum immersion in the movie itself - the bigger the better, as long as you can see the entire image. At home, I sit about 1.0-1.2 screen widths from a 6-foot wide screen, because my XGA projector displays some screenddor effect. However, I do understand that not everyone shares my preferences, including my wife.


Gary
 

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But Matt, where do you sit?
When I saw STAR WARS at the Ziegfeld, I was able to pick my seat with ease (benefit of being first in line) and sat about 10 to 12 rows from the front, dead center in the row. That is typically where I sit. About 2/5 back from the screen. 1/2 way back is too far and 1/3 is a smidge too forward, except at the Ziegfeld, where the presentation is always the very best.
 

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I saw AOTC last Friday at a brand new 18 theater multiplex in Germantown, MD. I always try to sit dead center and between the first and last surround speakers...basically dead center both ways. The screen was very large, the largest I've seen in many years, and although it was not a DLP projector, I was quiet impressed with the picture quality! The PJ was well focused and it was sharp and a very clean, although not pristine, print.
 

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When Jurassic park was at the cinema years ago I came in late and sat up front probably 2 or 3 rows back.


I'll tell you, when the T-Rex entered the fray, with its augmented, monlithic size combined with the close proximity of the powerful, mega-decibel front speakers and subs, it scared the pants off me!


I enjoyed that film from that postion (I doubt I would have the same feelings with other films).


It was, however, a positive experience!


JEff
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It seems to me the resolution of todays movies can't hold up to viewing from the front of the theater. I can always see the grain from the front; like seeing pixels. If movie makers want large screens they need to go back to 70mm. Especially now that they have HDTV to compete with. Cinerama with 3 projectors, now THAT was wide screen.
 

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Chris,


There must be a typo in your post. It says you waited 18 hours for the start of a movie. I don't think I could sit and wait 18 hours even if the cast was coming to perform the movie in person.


Bob
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by RobertWood
Chris,


There must be a typo in your post. It says you waited 18 hours for the start of a movie. I don't think I could sit and wait 18 hours even if the cast was coming to perform the movie in person.
No, I said Vickie waited 18 hours for the start of the movie. I arrived around 7PM, directly from the airport. I spelled Vickie in line (#18) and she took my luggage home. They let us into the theater around 11 PM for the midnight show.


Why did we do it? Because this is was not "waiting in line for a movie", this was hanging out with a group of fellow weirdos in front of a movie theater. We were all doing the same thing, and we all had something to use to start a conversation. There were people in costume, people bought pizza to share.


The weather was nice, we had fold-up chairs. The theater was very cool about all this. The security guard specifically asked to work this event. The cops even got into it, driving by and saying things over their loudspeaker like "Luke, I am your Father!" and breathing like Darth Vader.


One member of the group actually brought an LCD projector and a laptop with a DVD drive. He duct taped a sheet up onto a wall and we watched "The Phantom Menace". It was like a sci-fi convention - a single-file one. If you're not the sort to go to SF conventions, this behavior would seem very weird. Most people - SF convention type people call such people "mundanes" - would be taken aback by by a grown man offering to show you his light saber.


This is one of the rare opportunities for all the geeks and weirdos to get together and not be judged.
 

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If you are in Denver in the next few weeks...GO SEE STAR WARS the way George intended it to be seen:


The Pavillion Theatre downtown on 16th street mall. This is the ONLY digital projector showing the ONLY digital copy in Denver of AOTC. THX certified (and verified I believe). Large screen, sit 3/4 of the way back in the middle. Show up 1 hour early minimum, and buy your tickets online, as they sell out fast. Worth every penny of the $8.00, guaranteed (by me ;) )
 

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Chris,

The premovie party sounds like fun. For me, at least, it would have given a whole new meaning to the term "anticlimax' to have followed such a party with "Clones."


As befitted the movie, the theater here in St. Louis had a truly awful level of presentation. Vertical lines were present during much of the showing. The screen itself looked as if it needed repair. There was visible judder during much of the showing. Art
 

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We saw it again recently, in the same theater - Chicago's McClurg Court. This is a 795 seat classic theater. Originally, it was much larger, but the balcony was turned into two smaller theaters, leaving the floor as the main screen. The first time we watched it, we were in the front row. This is not like the front row in modern theaters - the front row is 20 feet from the screen. But on that showing, we saw the pixel structure as well as vertical striping.


This showing, we were in the 8th row. This put us at SMPTE optimum distance, as determined by the "nose test" (look at the screen with your left eye only and move your head to put the tip of your nose on the right edge of the screen. Then, without moving your head, switch eyes. At SMPTE distance, the left edge of the screen should be touching the tip of your nose as well).


The pixel structure was invisible from this distance. Also, the appear to have tweeked the scaler, as the artifacts from horizontal scaling that I had noted on the first viewing had disappeared. The only time I saw jaggies was on the subtitled text. I believe the subtitles are generated on the fly, and that they didn't bother to anti-alias them. One of the many advantages of digital projection is that it allows the theater to offer sub-titling in many different languages - a very useful competitive advantage in a multi-cultural city like Chicago.


Art: What I saw was a state-of-the-art presentation of a film like all Star Wars films other than "The Empire Strikes Back" - exciting action sequences, clunky romance, and some of the worst dialog ever. Go back and watch the first film (now called "A New Hope") with an adult eye and tell me that Mark Hamal is a decent actor. They are popcorn films and always have been.
 
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