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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » Phantom Dolby EX

Author Topic: Phantom Dolby EX

 - posted 05-30-1999 03:54 AM            Edit/Delete Post 
I was reviewing the movie ads in the SF Chronicle today and noticed an
odd thing about Phantom Menance and the eight screens its playing on in
San Francisco proper. The UA Coronet (1 screen) and the AMC 1000
Van Ness (5 screens) are presenting the film in SDDS while the UA
Stonestown (2 screens) is presenting it in DTS. If you live in SF and want
to see Phantom Menace in the much-hyped Dolby Digital EX you have to
go to the Pacific Cinema in Marin (across the Golden Gate Bridge), the
Grand Lake in Oakland (across the Bay Bridge) or trek down to South
San Francisco (near the airport) to the Century Plaza 10 (Century Plaza 10
either has 3 or 4 prints, I can't tell from the ad and it doesn't specify
whether all are in EX or not.)

I for one find it very odd that in San Francisco, home of
Ray Dolby and Dolby Labs that no theatre that is presenting the film in
Dolby Digital EX. This situation is particularily odd when you consider that
the Coronet presented Independence Day and I believe the re-release of
Star Wars in Dolby Digital

Phantom Menance is also playing in many other theatres in the Bay Area
but most don't designate a specific digital format, they just say digital or
THX Digital. This begs the question why do all these theatres insist on
running the increasingly tedious sound format tags on all films (though
apparently this is forbidden on Episode I) but don't promote the format in
their ads and directory listings. I haven't seen or heard a sound format tag I
liked since the original Dolby Digital Train...and even that got old on
repeated viewing. The Simpsons THX tag was also fun...the first time, not
the tenth time.

On another interesting note, the phone announcement for Century Plaza 10
states that MovieFone has oversold its allocation of tickets to the Century
Plaza 10 so if a patron
bought tickets via MovieFone they may not have a seat. Nice...should do
wonders for MovieFone's image.

All for now..................Ky

Scott Norwood

 - posted 05-30-1999 03:54 AM            Edit/Delete Post 
You actually trust the newspaper ads to tell you the sound format in which
the film is being shown? They may actually get things right in the SF area,
but I've seen some theatre ads which are downright hilarious...stuff like
"Life is Beautiful - Presented in 'DTS' Digital Stereo"--this film was a
Miramax release and thus contained only SR-D and analog SR tracks! The
theatre in question was indeed equipped with DTS, but it was thrown into
an existing early-1980's-vintage Kintek system...I wouldn't be surprised if
they were running the film in mono!

Joe Redifer

 - posted 05-30-1999 03:55 AM            Edit/Delete Post 
I agree that the train (original version that said "Dolby Stereo Digital", not
the cheesy, short remixed version) was the best digital logo. I do like the
THX TEX 1, however. All of the other THX logos are very boring. I plan
on taking off the Dolby Digital and DTS trailers after this weekend is over
(we were specifically told to run sound logos). I may replace them with the
17 second THX-EX "Let's-see-it-in-THX" logo. I dunno. There are so
many trailers on the movie that I don't want to bore them with another one.

We had some EX trailers that came with our EX units and they were pretty
dumb. They were a shortened version of the Dolby Digital Rain trailer
which is also very dumb. We are advertising all 3 screens in EX
specifically. The Century theatre out here just says "Dolby Digital EX" and
then lists all of the showtimes, so there is no way to tell what screens are
EX. Of course the UA and AMC theatres out here did not bother with EX,
they just run it in glorious SDDS

Marc Jones

 - posted 05-30-1999 03:55 AM            Edit/Delete Post 
The part I love is on the trade screening I would of thought since its a new
format, star wars is the first to officially/intentionally use it that they would
of held a screening in an autitorium that featureded it. And if you ask the
staff, they can't answer any questions, I asked about the format of the
movie they had to get someone with a brain, and I called for directions to
the theatre and they had to ask some one else.
Marc Jones


 - posted 05-30-1999 03:56 AM            Edit/Delete Post 
Contrary to your experience, in the SF market, the theatres do list the
sound format correctly or just use the generic digital. In 5 years of Bay
Area moviegoing, I've not run across an instance of a film being advertised
in one format and being played in another, or being advertised as being
played in Digital and being played in mono. Maybe I've just been lucky.
Anyway my point remains, that since this is SF and it is the home of Dolby
Labs and its just 15 minutes away from LucasFilm in San Rafael, I am
really surprised that PM is not being played and advertised in Dolby Digital
EX. Ky

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