Film-Tech Cinema Systems
Film-Tech Forum


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | my password | register | search | faq & rules | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Large Format Forum   » Universal Studios Hollywood IMAX Gone Digital

   
Author Topic: Universal Studios Hollywood IMAX Gone Digital
Daniel Schulz
Master Film Handler

Posts: 361
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2003


 - posted 04-14-2013 09:19 PM      Profile for Daniel Schulz   Author's Homepage   Email Daniel Schulz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If anyone is keeping tabs - the IMAX screen at the AMC Universal CityWalk in LA has converted to digital IMAX. It was still running 15/70 last summer for The Dark Knight Rises, but I went over the weekend for Jurassic Park 3D (I chose that location specifically so I could see the 15/70 IMAX 3D presentation), and found as the screening started that it's now the usual stacked 2K digital projectors.

Interesting, as this is one of the old very large IMAX screens, with the steeply raked auditoriums. Presentation was OK, but certainly not up to 15/70 3D standards.

 |  IP: Logged

Carlos Villalpando
Film Handler

Posts: 21
From: Villa de Álvarez, Colima, México
Registered: Jan 2013


 - posted 04-14-2013 10:37 PM      Profile for Carlos Villalpando   Email Carlos Villalpando   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Didn't it look pixelated? I mean, 2K blown up too big.
How was the sound?

 |  IP: Logged

Terry Lynn-Stevens
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1081
From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Dec 2012


 - posted 04-15-2013 01:31 AM      Profile for Terry Lynn-Stevens   Email Terry Lynn-Stevens   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They advertise the IMAX screen as a 7 story screen, can digital even make up to that size?

And the ticket price is $19.50

What a shame!

 |  IP: Logged

Jonathan Goeldner
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1313
From: Washington, District of Columbia
Registered: Jun 2008


 - posted 04-15-2013 09:48 AM      Profile for Jonathan Goeldner   Email Jonathan Goeldner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
^ oh I read 'scam' not 'shame' [Wink]

what? they couldn't wait til next year when IMAX-Digital Laser starts rolling out.

 |  IP: Logged

Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10678
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 04-15-2013 10:16 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
2K material looks pretty bad on a large IMAX screen designed originally for 15/70mm projection. If the projector's focus is right on you be see evidence of the pixel grid even with a pair of 2K projectors trying to overlap images to hide the jaggies. Whether the projection focus is sharp or not the overall image quality will be really fuzzy and wanting in terms of native resolution.

Also, it doesn't matter if the 2K material is being shown via digital projectors or by way of film. I watched Superman Returns projected in 15/70mm film, but I thought the image quality was still really bad thanks to the movie's HDTV native resolution. I know how native IMAX imagery is supposed to look and this didn't even stand up to 35mm standards. The movie basically looked like it was run out of focus.

If what I have read about the laser projection system IMAX is going to start using maybe next year (or who knows when for sure) it will be a major improvement (dual 4K resolution projectors claiming much better color, contrast and black levels). If the laser projection system is able to deliver what they claim it will go a long way to prove their experiment with 2K projectors was a stupid waste of time. The IMAX brand has been seriously damaged by this LieMAX era.

I'm not convinced dual 4K laser projectors will be on par with 15/70mm material, but at least it will finally be a noticeable step above what can be seen in the average movie theater.

 |  IP: Logged

Mike Williamson
Film Handler

Posts: 13
From: Burbank, CA
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 09-30-2013 12:14 AM      Profile for Mike Williamson   Email Mike Williamson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I attended METALLICA: THROUGH THE NEVER at Universal IMAX this evening and spoke with a gentleman at Guest Services about the switch to digital.

He seemed convinced they still had the 70mm projectors up there, but were forced to switch to 2K now because they couldn't get prints of anything anymore. Studios just weren't making them for all IMAX releases. He cited how long they ran DARK KNIGHT RISES (seemed like all summer long, almost) last year because that was the only 70mm print they could get for months. He mentioned being disappointed they couldn't get a 70mm print of AVENGERS, so it skipped their theatre entirely.

I asked specifically about GRAVITY, and whether it will be digital or 70mm next weekend. He radioed in and came back with the "digital" response.

When seated for METALLICA, I looked up at the booth and couldn't conceive how they could fit both 70mm and 2K up there...Perhaps he just didn't know that it was completely disassembled from the booth. The 2k 3D IMAX presentation on the big "classic" IMAX screen was fine for digital, but nowhere near 15/70 quality (of course, this concert was shot digitally anyways). But it was better than I had expected (which was very low expectations).

I wonder if the RAVE Imax in Los Angeles is also 2K now. That was the only other commercial 70mm IMAX in town.

End of an era. Mind blowing 15/70 images replaced with passable pixelated imagery.

 |  IP: Logged

Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10678
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 09-30-2013 10:07 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Gravity looks like it might be interesting. But rather than paying a bunch to watch it in digital IMAX HDTV video 3D, if I see it i'll probably pay a few dollars less to watch it at the Harkins Bricktown theater in 2D with Dolby Atmos sound.

 |  IP: Logged

Mike Williamson
Film Handler

Posts: 13
From: Burbank, CA
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 09-30-2013 10:21 AM      Profile for Mike Williamson   Email Mike Williamson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Gravity looks very interesting, and I know of one theatre in town running it in 35mm 2D (GLENDALE GALAXY - A 4plex that's still 100% 35mm). Probably the way I'll go.

IMAX responded to my Facebook query about the ability of the Universal Citywalk site having both 2K and 70mm. Their response:

"Hi Mike, your theatre will be capable of projecting in both IMAX film and IMAX digital. The addition of the IMAX dual 2K digital projection system will allow the theatre to play more IMAX releases at this location. Gravity will be a digital IMAX 3D release. Please let us know if you have any other questions."

 |  IP: Logged

Dick Vaughan
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1032
From: Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 10-01-2013 03:42 AM      Profile for Dick Vaughan   Author's Homepage   Email Dick Vaughan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They may have the projectors on a rail system which quite a number of IMAX theatres do to allow use of 1570 and digital.
There are far fewer 1570 prints out there but at a recent conference IMAX said that Chris Nolan's Interstellar which opens November 2014 wil play in at least 50 1570 theatres.

 |  IP: Logged

Joseph L. Kleiman
Master Film Handler

Posts: 378
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Apr 2005


 - posted 10-01-2013 04:11 PM      Profile for Joseph L. Kleiman   Email Joseph L. Kleiman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This is at IMAX Sydney, which houses the world's largest screen. The projection port is located on the left side of the photo. To run 1570 film, the exhaust hoses are disconnected from the twin digital projectors, which are then manually slid down the track, in this case towards the foreground of this photo. The GT projector, seen on the right, is then slid forward into the projection slot and the hoses attached. The process is reversed when switching from film to digital, with the exception being that each time they are placed in position, the digital projectors need to be calibrated. Because 1570 has never used a sound strip, both projectors are tied to the same digital control and audio system.

 -

 |  IP: Logged

Kevin Orpilla
Film Handler

Posts: 2
From: North Hollywood, CA
Registered: Oct 2013


 - posted 10-26-2013 05:05 AM      Profile for Kevin Orpilla   Email Kevin Orpilla   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello everyone, my name is Kevin, and I work the booth at this particular location. I was very curious, Daniel (the thread starter), as to what made you think Jurassic Park was digital?

Jurassic Park 3D was one of the first movies I was trained in threading IMAX, so I can assure you that it was definitely 70mm. We did not go digital until this month (early October for the Gravity release).

Here's our setup before (these pics were actually taken the same day that this thread was started, 4/14/13):
 -
 -

And this is after (as some posters above may have guessed, we have both digital and 70mm on a rail system):

 -
 -

 |  IP: Logged

Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10678
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 10-26-2013 11:33 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for posting the photos, Kevin. I'd like to know what resolution was used in creating the Jurassic Park 3D DCP. I'll bet it was just 2K. Unfortunately, 2K material blown up to 15/70mm isn't going to look much different than watching a movie in IMAX digital. The 15/70 print might do a better job of hiding the pixel grid in the original material. But it won't show any more native detail than the digital version.

Gravity was rendered in 2K.

 |  IP: Logged

Terry Lynn-Stevens
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1081
From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Dec 2012


 - posted 10-26-2013 11:54 AM      Profile for Terry Lynn-Stevens   Email Terry Lynn-Stevens   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Kevin, nice pictures. In your opinion, how do you feel about the difference between the 2K digital projectors vs the 15/70 IMAX machine? After all, you work there, what do your eyes tell you?

From everything I have read and heard, the end of 2014 is the date that IMAX will officially stop distributing 15/70 prints. Any word on what your theatre plans to do?

Is your theatre getting Hunger Games Catching Fire in 15/70?

 |  IP: Logged



All times are Central (GMT -6:00)  
Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic    next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:



Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.3.1.2

The Film-Tech Forums are designed for various members related to the cinema industry to express their opinions, viewpoints and testimonials on various products, services and events based upon speculation, personal knowledge and factual information through use, therefore all views represented here allow no liability upon the publishers of this web site and the owners of said views assume no liability for any ill will resulting from these postings. The posts made here are for educational as well as entertainment purposes and as such anyone viewing this portion of the website must accept these views as statements of the author of that opinion and agrees to release the authors from any and all liability.

© 1999-2018 Film-Tech Cinema Systems, LLC. All rights reserved.