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Discussion Starter #1
My question is simply what is "Commercial Cinema"? I have read all over forums including this one that commercial cinema has all these standards that make it great(greater color space dci/p3, 4k, etc..). They also seem to infer that compared to home consumer equipment it is just sub par.


However, when I got to any of my local theaters why is my projector setup so much better than theirs. I mean I have a dark room and an old cheap 1080p projector. I have been a projector owner now for almost 6 years(on bulb 4). I have a Epson 8350 and have calibrated it and it has been just amazing. This was my first projector experience and I know there are better out there by far.


So do I just have horrible local theaters or am I missing something completely?


I will admit the last movie I saw as "The jungle book" and it wasn't what I would consider amazing and I have not seen this on my projector at home.
 

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The quality of commercial cinemas can vary drastically from complete garbage to top flight (Dolby Cinema). Something to consider is that commercial theaters need to present a consistent experience across many seats while most home theaters tend to have much smaller "sweet spots". Smaller rooms are easier to fill with sound (but tend to be harder to control that sound on the low end). Commercial cinemas also don't chase lower frequencies as it would take a tremendous amount of power and subwoofers to fill a large room and then they would need to try to contain that sound. Remember, they typically have other audiences right next to each other watching different films. You can't have that sound bleeding through, though lower quality theaters sometimes do.


Don't assume that commercial equipment is sub-par. If the average home theater setup was moved into a room the size of a mid sized commercial theater, you would experience a very sub-par presentation. It is substantially harder to fill screens measured by feet vs. inches with a quality image.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Maybe you need glasses?
I have glasses and get re measured every year. That was the best money ever spent on HT gear. But my vision is better than 20/20 with glasses.....


I also live just south of Washington DC(45min). Can anyone recommend a "High Quality" theater?
 

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I have glasses and get re measured every year. That was the best money ever spent on HT gear. But my vision is better than 20/20 with glasses.....


I also live just south of Washington DC(45min). Can anyone recommend a "High Quality" theater?
Very true.
 

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Commercial cinemas are in a decline as people would rather look at their iPads.
Most places are not setup as good as they can unless you go to an iMAX one.
 

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I live in the Dallas area and good theaters are hit and miss. My kids are 21 and 19 and they also think most cinemas are a bit below average
 

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This is a sentiment that is often heard around these parts.


I agree with some of the comments here that point out that the movie going experience can vary greatly from cineplex to cineplex. I still think experiencing a movie in a well executed commercial theater is a thing to behold. I remember watching Interstellar at one of our premier IMAX locations here in Michigan (Henry Ford) and while the film itself was somewhat lackluster the presentation was, in a word, jaw-dropping. Now my local cineplex? It's fine and it's comfortable enough and clean enough but I've never been 'wowwed' like I was at that IMAX.


As far as commercial standards vs home standards-- keep in mind that a commercial cinema is a far different animal than a home theater. What might work well in a theater could be a poor fit for a home environment and vice versa. I won't wade into the Atmos argument as it's a sensitive one on this forum but almost everyone now agrees that 7.1 was wasted on the home market. Sure, it helped the manufacturers sell some new amps and a few more speakers but in a home environment 7.1 really doesn't add much of anything over 5.1 besides cost and complexity. In the theater where you have a much larger space to fill with sound a more complex and immersive sound system can make a lot of sense.


The other thing I would say is if you have a projector you're ahead of at least 90% of the home A/V crowd. Seriously, most of my family thinks a 40" TV and soundbar a home theater makes. Not trying to be a snob about it or anything but when you hang out around here you start to get the idea that this stuff is normal. Lol! I currently have a very modest projector (BenQ 2050) paired with an even more humble sound system (Onkyo plus AJ Pioneer speakers) and most of my friends/family think I'm insane-- but on AVSforum I have a cute little setup. ;) My point is your standards are probably way higher than the average movie goer.
 
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My question is simply what is "Commercial Cinema"?
It's where you have to buy a ticket to get in. The price of the ticket doesn't guarantee the quality of the experience.
 

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This is a sentiment that is often heard around these parts.


I agree with some of the comments here that point out that the movie going experience can vary greatly from cineplex to cineplex. I still think experiencing a movie in a well executed commercial theater is a thing to behold. I remember watching Interstellar at one of our premier IMAX locations here in Michigan (Henry Ford) and while the film itself was somewhat lackluster the presentation was, in a word, jaw-dropping. Now my local cineplex? It's fine and it's comfortable enough and clean enough but I've never been 'wowwed' like I was at that IMAX.


As far as commercial standards vs home standards-- keep in mind that a commercial cinema is a far different animal than a home theater. What might work well in a theater could be a poor fit for a home environment and vice versa. I won't wade into the Atmos argument as it's a sensitive one on this forum but almost everyone now agrees that 7.1 was wasted on the home market. Sure, it helped the manufacturers sell some new amps and a few more speakers but in a home environment 7.1 really doesn't add much of anything over 5.1 besides cost and complexity. In the theater where you have a much larger space to fill with sound a more complex and immersive sound system can make a lot of sense.


The other thing I would say is if you have a projector you're ahead of at least 90% of the home A/V crowd. Seriously, most of my family thinks a 40" TV and soundbar a home theater makes. Not trying to be a snob about it or anything but when you hang out around here you start to get the idea that this stuff is normal. Lol! I currently have a very modest projector (BenQ 2050) paired with an even more humble sound system (Onkyo plus AJ Pioneer speakers) and most of my friends/family think I'm insane-- but on AVSforum I have a cute little setup. ;) My point is your standards are probably way higher than the average movie goer.
We have a chain in town (Alamo Drafthouse) that is a bit snobby about the quality of their presentation and it's surprising how awful it is despite all the pride they take in it.

One theater at the location next to me has a huge stain or hot spot in the center of the screen. Another projector at the same location has really bad uniformity (It was painful to watch Everest there) and the night time 'car crash' flashback scenes in Captain America 3 were a low contrast purple blob mess.

Because of this I don't regret buying my 'lowly' Sony 40ES because it looks better than anything else I have access to with 'only' a contrast ratio of 5000:1 ish. I imagine I'd be further wowed by a JVC but after awhile I'm not interested in pursuing deeper black levels.
 

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I live in the Dallas area and good theaters are hit and miss. My kids are 21 and 19 and they also think most cinemas are a bit below average
You need to go to one of the two Dolby Cinemas that are in Dallas. A lot of us are probably going to the Northpark Dolby Cinema during Cedia this year.

I have glasses and get re measured every year. That was the best money ever spent on HT gear. But my vision is better than 20/20 with glasses.....


I also live just south of Washington DC(45min). Can anyone recommend a "High Quality" theater?
Look to see when a Dolby Cinema is coming to town.



I agree that a lot of theaters are below par in terms of viewing experience. A Dolby Cinema is probably the only one that can get me to return on a semi regular basis to going to a movie.

As for the cinema equipment itself, the projectors are more solidly built than consumer pjs. Depending on what tech is inside would determine whether the consumer pj throws a better image than the cinema pj.
 

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You need to go to one of the two Dolby Cinemas that are in Dallas. A lot of us are probably going to the Northpark Dolby Cinema during Cedia this year.



Look to see when a Dolby Cinema is coming to town.



I agree that a lot of theaters are below par in terms of viewing experience. A Dolby Cinema is probably the only one that can get me to return on a semi regular basis to going to a movie.

As for the cinema equipment itself, the projectors are more solidly built than consumer pjs. Depending on what tech is inside would determine whether the consumer pj throws a better image than the cinema pj.


We do but it's a drive. We live in Mansfield.

When I was in college I was a projectionist for United Artists. The projectors back than consisted of three vertical platters. As the movie would play it would go from one platter to a second platter. The third was usually empty.

We used to get the film delivered on a Thursday in several cans. We would than splice it together onto one of the platters and watch it, usually at midnight before the Friday opening to check out splices. Employees where allowed to come and bring a friend.

I can remember people splicing a film backward or having it get caught in the projector and basically melt on screen. Lol. Many times the film never started in frame because some were not very good a threading the projector, so once the movie started you would have to quickly focus and get it in frame.

Than throw in all the people who constantly complain it's too loud and demand the sound is turned down. We rarely played movies at the recommended levels even 25 years ago.

I'm sure it's different now with digital projectors but each theater is only as good as the individual manager.

Most theaters are more focused on the concession stand because that is were the profits reside.

Anyway. Just a stroll down memory lane.
 

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To me the question for the forum members with home theaters should be "Why go to a commercial theater?"

About three or four months after a movie hits a theater, Amazon delivers a small object called a blu-ray. I give the code to my daughter who is away at college and then we gather as a family to watch the movie using my modest projector. If I like it, I'll watch the 3D version alone since my girls hate 3D, then if I get bored and can't find anything to watch, I have a the movie as a fall back. I get consistent AV equipment performance each time.

Commercial Theater = Crap shoot... All it takes is one rude person to destroy a good theater/movie experience, or a poor sound/visual experience to destroy a great movie.

My least favorite movie quote: "Sure I can talk I'm just at a movie." Spoken as the 30 something male started a 10 minute phone conversation in a crowded movie theater.
 

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To me the question for the forum members with home theaters should be "Why go to a commercial theater?"

About three or four months after a movie hits a theater, Amazon delivers a small object called a blu-ray. I give the code to my daughter who is away at college and then we gather as a family to watch the movie using my modest projector. If I like it, I'll watch the 3D version alone since my girls hate 3D, then if I get bored and can't find anything to watch, I have a the movie as a fall back. I get consistent AV equipment performance each time.

Commercial Theater = Crap shoot... All it takes is one rude person to destroy a good theater/movie experience, or a poor sound/visual experience to destroy a great movie.

My least favorite movie quote: "Sure I can talk I'm just at a movie." Spoken as the 30 something male started a 10 minute phone conversation in a crowded movie theater.
I get some grief for buying a lot of blurays but streaming just doesn't compare IMO. And if I like a movie I'll watch it A LOT.
 

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Last time I was at a commercial theater the guy behind us was kicking the seat.. not sure I remember what the image looked like, just that my wife was pissed off.. Think that was Star Trek in 2009.. aint been back since.. There is nothing better about a movie theater than what I have at home.. and hey, when was the last time you could hit pause at the movie theater, make whatever you wanted to eat, drink alcohol if desired, be naked if desired, stand up and yell at the bad guy.. etc etc etc.. Movie theaters are for big screen immersion, something most people don't have at home and really, most of the younger folk don't give a rats ass about .. Hell growing up a big TV was 19" in my neighborhood and watching a 13" sucked.. these dipsticks today watch stuff on freaking phones..
sorry.. what was the question again? :confused:
 

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Almost every time I've gone to a commercial cinema, even an IMAX, it has not been enjoyable. I guess some people crave social crowds and to hear the boo's and claps and aw's and whatever. I have not enjoyed the experience, I can see how it is more enjoyable in your teens and maybe up to late twenties, but eventually it becomes something I never feel the need to revisit.
 

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I've gone to crappy cinemas and the worst is when the center channels clip since they crank it up so much. It has happened only twice, one time being an "RPX" theater which I didn't enjoy because loud =/= quality.

Cobb and AMC use Sony 4K, or so they say, and I have zero issues with them. Not to brag but my system and projector is superior to yours and when I go to the movies, I do see an improvement in picture and sound quality even though my system at home kicks ass.

You probably have crappy theaters in VA
 
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