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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Large Format Forum   » Megaplex in Sandy, Utah converting to real IMAX (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Megaplex in Sandy, Utah converting to real IMAX
Greg Anderson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 766
From: Ogden Valley, Utah
Registered: Nov 1999


 - posted 07-18-2005 12:43 AM      Profile for Greg Anderson   Author's Homepage   Email Greg Anderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Larry H. Miller, the owner of several car dealerships along with the Utah Jazz NBA team, decided to get into the movie theatre business about six years ago. When his Megaplex 17 theatres opened in Sandy, Utah in late 1999 the 17th screen was a "Super Screen" 8/70 large format set-up. It was the closest thing we had to IMAX in northern Utah at the time. The theatre showed things like the Disney features that have been presented in the large format recently along with 35mm prints shown on the large screen.

Then, a couple of years ago (I can't remember the exact date) a real 3-D IMAX theatre opened at the new planetarium in Salt Lake City... but it only shows the traditional documentary-type IMAX films.

Anyway, Larry H. Miller was on a local radio program on Friday, July 15th and he announced that within the next couple of weeks he'll be converting the "Super Screen" in Sandy to a real IMAX 3-D theatre and start showing the popular, Hollywood films there which are now being prepared for IMAX presentations and/or remastered for IMAX 3-D presentations. Finally!

Miller also plans to install digital projection equipment in some auditoriums at this same complex in time for Chicken Little in 3-D. He's also opening another 20-screen complex in the Salt Lake City area before the end of the year which, he says, will feature a handful of digital projectors.

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

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From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
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 - posted 07-18-2005 02:34 AM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
..I heard also, with this broadcast, that LHM is dropping a 12 in the Brigham City/Ogden/Kaysville area?

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Dick Vaughan
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK
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 - posted 07-18-2005 03:03 AM      Profile for Dick Vaughan   Author's Homepage   Email Dick Vaughan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I wonder if this is real 1.43:1 IMAX or it's baby brother 1.75:1 IMAX MPX.

My money's on the latter.

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Greg Anderson
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Ogden Valley, Utah
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 - posted 07-18-2005 09:26 AM      Profile for Greg Anderson   Author's Homepage   Email Greg Anderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just to clarify a point: When the Megaplex theatres start using digital projection equipment it will be the first time this will happen in any commercial theatre in Utah.

I'm not familiar with IMAX's "baby brother" but Miller did say they have to get a new, silver screen and he used the term "15/70," which is all good news for viewers here. I'll try to get more details and follow up as the theatre completes the conversion. Meanwhile, Mike Coate, don't be surprised when this place suddenly pops up on your database. Miller did say they want to "launch" this new IMAX system with Batman Begins and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

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From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
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 - posted 07-18-2005 01:27 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I can see 15/70 being dropped in the No.17 House at the Commons (been there bunch of times - and even seen the booth when they were running the 8/70 .. They also COULD run 35/70 in that house since they have a Simplex 35/70 machine up there as well) when they change out that matte white screen for a silver screen. I bet they'll put "SR's" up there in that booth.

House is BIG enough (400 plus seats) as well with the screen frame size to easily support IMAX.

-Monte

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Mark Gulbrandsen
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From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-18-2005 04:04 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Greg,
Don't forget the CDC 15/70 3D install at the Thanksgiving Point Dino Museum. Its far superior to any of the practical Imax systems in existance(are there any iMAX that are really practical?). Probably the best 3D you will ever see is at T.P. as they are dual 15kw lamps and much higher quality optics than Imax uses.

Mark

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Mark Lensenmayer
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: Upper Arlington, OH
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 07-18-2005 04:56 PM      Profile for Mark Lensenmayer   Email Mark Lensenmayer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The advantage of true IMAX right now is the availability of product. The major releases come with an IMAX brand, so if you want the new features, you must run IMAX.

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Robert Stawiarski
Film Handler

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From: MW
Registered: Aug 2003


 - posted 07-18-2005 10:02 PM      Profile for Robert Stawiarski     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Kyle: At the same CDC theatre that Mark raves about, the chief projectionist has posted these two quotes on this forum:

"I could go over all the problems that we have had with our system as a result of going with a cheaper brand..."
"They are a bit cheaper then IMAX, but you get what you pay for in my opinion."
[ From this Thread... ]

Of course, when Mark compares this system to IMAX, only positive things are said about CDC, and the bashing of IMAX ensues.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
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From: Bountiful, Utah
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 - posted 07-18-2005 10:04 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
And for all those in the viewing audience, none of the opinions in Mark's post were subjective at all!
Hardly opinion, just what I've been told by two different Imax techs over the years. CDC does indeed have a vastly superior optical system, especially when compared to the lenses being used on the SR system.

The venues that have installed systems suchc as CDC generally don't need to rely on mainstream product. I can think of two Imax systems that have been replaced by CDC equipment in the last couple of years for that matter but I can't think of a CDC system that was replaced by Imax. They all have their market niches.......

Mark

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

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From: Toronto Ontario Canada
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 - posted 07-19-2005 09:40 AM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mark said " Don't forget the CDC 15/70 3D install at the Thanksgiving Point Dino Museum. Its far superior to any of the practical Imax systems in existance(are there any iMAX that are really practical?). Probably the best 3D you will ever see is at T.P. as they are dual 15kw lamps and much higher quality optics than Imax uses."

Funny I had heard mainly negative comments about that theatre from scratched and damaged prints to a hum in the soundsystem everytime the house lights faded up or down

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Dave Williams
Wet nipple scene

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From: Salt Lake City, UT, USA
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 - posted 07-20-2005 09:46 AM      Profile for Dave Williams   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Williams   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Not that I am any expert, or that anyone gives a rat's ass what I think... however.........

I have personally worked with Mark. Totally flawless installs!!! I will trust his opinion over some pimply faced techie wanna bee any day! (please note this refers to the quotes attributed from two years ago to the "chief projectionist" at LHM's Megaplex theater, and trust me, if they had done the job right from the start, we wouldn't be having this discussion)

Projection in SLC has gone by the wayside for the most part. I have given up on trying to teach these so called projectionists the fine art of FOCUSING!!! How hard is it really to understand the concept of film composition when focusing your optics? I MEAN REALLY IT ISN'T THAT HARD NOW IS IT???

So why do people not know that you need to focus so that the elements that are in the distance and out of focus in the film composition also need to be focused, or people start throwing up in the theater because of motion sickness. Ok, off on wrong rant, we will save that for another day.

I have personally visited all of the theaters in question here in Utah. Mark is dead on. Our Imax 3-D theater gives me a headache, and the sound makes my ears want to bleed. The install at thanksgiving point was truly great. I was severely impressed. If it has fallen on wayward times, perhaps Mark maybe you should get back there and tighten the screws a bit.

In all of the quotes I have read regarding this issue in this thread and others, I have to say that after a thorough reading of all them that it is easy to take one qoute for whatever purpose but miss the point entirely.

I for one take the conversation as a whole, and believe that Mark had a very valid point on the Imax debate, stemming from practical experience and first hand conversations with Imax experts.

So Mark, keep the faith my friend. If you need anyone to beat up these guys, I know a guy who knows a guy... I'm sure he knows someone. [Razz]

I am outta here for a few days, I am supposed to have written not one, but THREE 30 second commercials and have them shot and edited by next wednesday for a marketing proposal. AUGH!!! [Eek!]

Ciao

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

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From: Toronto Ontario Canada
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 - posted 07-20-2005 01:46 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dave I am not disparrageing Marks technical or engineering skills (i have known and worked with Mark too long to say anything like that) nor claiming the CDC/Ultr70/Iwerks 1570 machine is nothing les than what it is an a well built product. That said it is no better than Imax's nor no worse

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Greg Anderson
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From: Ogden Valley, Utah
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 - posted 07-20-2005 10:49 PM      Profile for Greg Anderson   Author's Homepage   Email Greg Anderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Went to see a matinee at the Megaplex in Sandy this week. I talked to a couple of people at the box office and they didn't know much about the equipment upgrades that I didn't already know. They were dubious of the announced two-week timetable for the IMAX equipment. But I'll keep an eye on it. Mostly, I'm excited about the possibilities of seeing the Hollywood IMAX releases which haven't been so readily available at Thanksgiving Point or the planetarium.

I should also note that, on the radio, Miller said that the digital projection deal would be part of the Disney and Dolby push to have 100 new digital installations.

http://www.imdb.com/news/sb/2005-07-18/index.html#film3

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Mark Gulbrandsen
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 - posted 07-28-2005 08:21 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Gord and Dave for the kind comments. The other pimply nose guys should go back and read the primary point in my post and that was that the CDC system has superior optics than Imax has. Of course the CDC system has the best picture in this area, it has twice the screen brightness and better lenses. I've seen a number of films at both locations and the CDC system is far better looking. The Imax SR system has definate screen brightness limitations and the new MPX system certainly has even more limitations than the SR does.... so I'm not going to get too excited over another Imax going into SLC.

The guys that run LHM's booth there certainly have enough problems to deal with without an Imax being there and the associated problems that format includes to the daily routine. It will certainly be alot more interesting to hear about than the 8/70 they hardly run any more.

While I can't answer for any operator error or film damage caused at T.P. since I'm not employed there I can certainly add that the same exact 2D projector down at Zion canyon got close to 5000 passes out of one print, now thats dam good. Gords Zion Canyon print at Cinesphere was then sold to the Zion theatre to replace that 5000 pass print that finally started to fade.

So, yes.... I can certainly say without a doubt that the CDC system is on the average alot better than Imax's, and considerably better than the smaller SR and the forthcomming even smaller MPX system. Now we could go on and on here about which is better.... but it would end up like the other thtread a while back about all the problems Imax has with its D-Tach sound system and the crappy lenses that they don't even bother to coat the edges of the elements and so on. I have to say that when Imax techs see my posts and write to me acknowledging that those SR lenses are indeed crappy it sorta makes me wonder.

Greg,
I believe that Westates is also in on that Disney Digital thing but it will be located down in St George.

Gord, The light dimmers do indeed hum a tiny bit through the system, but its not audible with track up. Thats T.P.'s problem though and not mine since its an electrical issue and there's no $$ to have them moved.... they are certainly aware of it though. You should have heard it before the new CSP-1200 went in.

Mark

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

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From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
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 - posted 07-28-2005 11:10 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Uh,oh..Tony, or T.J. is gonna go big time with the Disney/Dolby digital thingey?

I can see it down there..lotsa market for that sort of thing.

They'll probably drop a GT up at the Commons being of that sceen size and the necessary lumens to come from a 15k bulb. Plus, a 72inch QTRU unit to be able to play regular IMAX formatted features as well.

But one will wonder if LHM will go for the CDC system instead of IMAX - to get out of the lease and outright purchase the units. And since LHM is a stickler for quality, there could be a possibility for the CDC system - if they deemed better than IMAX (not familiar with the CDC system, thus I can't say anything about CDC....just familiar with IMAX...), just he wouldn't be able to "sell" IMAX and put IMAX signage on that building.

-Monte

[ 07-29-2005, 12:17 AM: Message edited by: Monte L Fullmer ]

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