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Author Topic: Favourite Theatre
Andrew McCrea
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 645
From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 02-03-2001 08:25 AM      Profile for Andrew McCrea   Author's Homepage   Email Andrew McCrea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What's your favourite movie theatre?

Mine's the Garrick! It has 4 screens and is very old!

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Andrew McCrea

"I'm Not Bad, I'm Just Drawn That Way!" - Jessica Rabbit

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Darryl Spicer
Film God

Posts: 3250
From: Lexington, KY, USA
Registered: Dec 2000


 - posted 02-03-2001 09:47 AM      Profile for Darryl Spicer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mine is the Man O' War Movies 8. I can go there and watch a movie and not have to worry about any problems. It's clean and has great sound and picture quality. I would say this even if I didn't work there.

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Aaron Sisemore
Flaming Ribs beat Reeses Peanut Butter Cups any day!

Posts: 3061
From: Rockwall TX USA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 02-03-2001 06:37 PM      Profile for Aaron Sisemore   Email Aaron Sisemore   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My two all-time favorite theatres are unfortunately no longer showing movies.

The Northpoint in San Francisco had awesome presentation and a huge screen and could run 70mm. But alas, it closed a couple years ago

The Phoenix in Petaluma (pics in the Warehouse) was another fantastic sounding house that is now a live-music venue and teen hangout that shows only one film (RHPS) on a very limited basis. (their last RHPS screening was about two years ago) I do keep their booth maintained, but the original movie sound system has long ago been removed.

My favorite theatre of the ones that I currently service is the #1 screen at the Fortuna Theatre (The 'Big Fortuna')-a 45' screen and a very good sound system and presentation.

I also have a soft spot in my heart for any drive-in, especially one with a single screen and changeover booth.

Aaron

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Evans A Criswell
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1579
From: Huntsville, AL, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 02-04-2001 02:12 PM      Profile for Evans A Criswell   Author's Homepage   Email Evans A Criswell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My favorite movie theatre in my area is the Regal River Oaks Cinema 8 in Decatur, AL. It is not the fanciest facility, and only has one auditorium with digital sound, but the presentations are the only ones in my area that are what I consider to be consistently of a "professional quality". The manager is a true professional. I have been amazed at the consistency of quality there. I brag on this manager, Ralph Freehauf, as often as possible.

Here are some reasons why this theatre has made such a positive impression on me (in no particular order). These comments are based on my experiences over 47 visits to the theatre from July 26, 1997 to December 23, 2000. Pardon me if I've posted this list here previously:

Aperture plates and projector aim are kept set for the masking to provide nice non-faded, sharp image edges without spillage onto the drapes outside the black portion of the masking. No theatre gets this perfect all of the time, but this theatre has been the best about it.

There is rarely any noticeable shutter ghosting in the projected images.

Images are always very well focused.

The optics (lenses, port windows) are kept clean to provide the best possible contrast without light diffusion caused by dirty optics. This helps contrast and color quality.

Images are of sufficient brightness to provide good contrast and color quality.

Projector lamp brightness is steady and flicker free. This is a sign that lamps are replaced before they exhibit annoying brightness fluctuations (bright to dim every few seconds) during movies.

There is seldom any significant accumulation of dirt at splice points.

Splices are typically so well done that if it weren't for the reel change cue marks, I would not notice them.

I have never heard the DTS audio cut out or default to optical during a presentation in the DTS auditorium (auditorium 6).

I have never seen an out-of-frame splice at this theatre.

Prints are typically very clean looking and in good condition, and lack the dirt, scratches, and other signs of damage often seen in other theatres. This means that films are handled properly and carefully, and the projectors are kept clean and in proper working order.

The trailers are often the pieces of film that show the most damage, but at this theatre, they're typically in perfect condition as well, and are not scratched, dirty, or damaged.

Framing errors are rare here.

When the projector is started, the image is already correctly framed nearly every time, and no framing adjustment is necessary. This means that the projectionist has been taught to thread in frame.

The theatre is always very clean.

Auditoriums are "walked" twice during presentations to check for problems.

Audio volume has always been at an ideal level. I have never noticed a presentation being too loud or too soft.

The sound systems in the 7 auditoriums that have standard optical Dolby Stereo audio are kept in such good condition that the lack of digital sound is not as apparent as it is in other theatres that lack digital sound.

The audio quality in auditorium 6 (the DTS one) has always been outstanding.

I've never noticed an exit sign being too bright or throwing too much light onto a screen in any auditorium here.

The manager does a good job of taking care of people who are disruptive or who do illegal things. Examples: cell-phone users in the theatres, cigarette smokers who smoke in the theatres.

I feel that the security is very good in this theatre. In fact, there is usually always a policeman in the lobby, and I have seen policemen walk into the auditoriums when I have been watching a movie.

The management and staff have always been very professional and friendly.


Evans A Criswell

Huntsville-Decatur Movie Theatre Info
http://home.hiwaay.net/~criswell/theatre/


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Scott D. Neff
Theatre Dork

Posts: 919
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Oct 1999


 - posted 02-04-2001 11:58 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Author's Homepage   Email Scott D. Neff   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hmmm -- favorite theatres.

The ORINDA THEATRE in Orinda, CA.
I don't know much about the presenation, but the environment is GREAT. I wish I had pics of the booth so I could post them for y'all to see. The theatre is GORGOUS. The lobby has a $25,000 carpet and a gold foil ceiling. Popping popcorn on-site is forbidden as it would ruin the carpet and ceiling. The main auditorium is the orignal 900 seat theatre with the loge "stadium" seating at the back, and the traditional sardine can rows at the front.

As far as my other favorite place -- I dunno -- usually my preference falls to those theatres that are just ABSOLUTE ATROCITIES to the business. I love carved up little multi-plexes that were created out of necessity for MORE SCREENS! The UA Berkeley is the perfect example. One of the original "United Artist" theatres -- ONE SCREEN chopped VERY VERY creatively into 7 screens. The lobby was SOO big they decided to turn a portion of it into a theatre. Same goes for the upstairs balcony lobby.


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Thomas Hauerslev
Master Film Handler

Posts: 432
From: Copenhagen, Denmark
Registered: Aug 2000


 - posted 02-05-2001 02:01 AM      Profile for Thomas Hauerslev   Author's Homepage   Email Thomas Hauerslev   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mine is the long gone 3 Falke Bio in Copenhagen. In fact, I wrote a story about it in my magazine "The 70mm Newsletter" in 1998.

You can read and see more here, http://hjem.get2net.dk/in70mm/magazine/backissues/1998/52/3_falke_bio/3fb_gb.htm

All the best, Thomas.


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John Eickhof
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 582
From: Wendell, ID USA
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 02-05-2001 09:43 PM      Profile for John Eickhof   Author's Homepage   Email John Eickhof   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have to agree that the Northpoint is on the top ten list of mine, but I think my favorite is the Washoe Theatre in Anaconda, Montana!
It sports a three projector booth! Two Supers with Xenon and one Super with a Peerless Magnarc! Not to mention the absolutely unbeleivable auditorium! including gold leaf accents, and a full stage! Owner Jerry Lussy is the third generation operator since it was built! Second on the list is the Wilma in Missoula Montana, it is a perfectly preserved
1150 seat house with pipe organ and the charm of a typical 1920s stage house! Third on the list is the Egyptian Theatre in Boise!
See pictures of them at my website at www.nteequipcom

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John Eickhof President, Chief Slave
Northwest Theatre Equipment Co., Inc.
P.O.Box 258
Wendell, ID. 83355-0258
208-536-5489
email: jeickhof@nteequip.com

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Aaron Haney
Master Film Handler

Posts: 265
From: Cupertino, CA, USA
Registered: Jan 2001


 - posted 02-06-2001 03:28 AM      Profile for Aaron Haney   Email Aaron Haney   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My favorite theater was the Northpark #1-2 in Dallas, TX. Movie theaters just don't get much better than that. Sadly, it is no longer in operation, although the building is still there. Picutres of it are on this website, so thankfully, there is some record that it existed.

My favorite theater where I live now in Northern California is the Century 25 at Union City (near Oakland). It's a 30-45 minute drive each way from where I live, but it's worth it. They do an excellent job. Projection is always bright and steady, film is kept very clean (even after a movie has been playing for over a month), and the sound is always terrific. My only complaint is that it is one of those annoyingly designed stadium-seating theaters where each auditorium is "maxed-out" for a 1.85 film, with top masking for a 2.39 film. Still, it's a great place to go, and one of the few theaters I've seen that has all of its auditoriums THX-certified.

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Aaron Haney
Professional Complainer
Apple Computer, Inc.

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Evans A Criswell
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1579
From: Huntsville, AL, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 02-06-2001 09:08 AM      Profile for Evans A Criswell   Author's Homepage   Email Evans A Criswell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My favorite theatre that I mentioned earlier, the Regal River Oaks Cinema 8 in Decatur, has top masking (heck, it's better than no adjustable masking at all like the Huntsville Regals) in all but one of its auditoriums which has a 40 foot screen (scope) with side masking. This theatre isn't my favorite because of the facility, but because of the way it is run. I know when I go there that the image quality is going to be bright, very well focused, properly aligned, and the print will be clean and free of scratches, and last but not least, the sound systems will be well-maintained and will deliver excellent sound, even thought only one auditorium has digital sound (all others are Dolby Stereo).

The manager can't do anything about the shortcomings of his facility, but he certainly gives the best presentations possible with what he has. That counts more than simply having a nice facility.

It doesn't matter how nice a facility is if the sound systems are out of whack and the images aren't aligned and are misframed a significant part of the time, and if the optics aren't kept clean, hurting contrast. I'll prefer a less-fancy facility with management and staff that really put the effort into keeping presentation quality high to a fancier facility with sloppier presentation any day.

Evans


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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 02-06-2001 09:53 AM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Evans said: "The manager can't do anything about the shortcomings of his facility, but he certainly gives the best presentations possible with what he has. That counts more than simply having a nice facility.

It doesn't matter how nice a facility is if the sound systems are out of whack and the images aren't aligned and are misframed a significant part of the time, and if the optics aren't kept clean, hurting contrast. I'll prefer a less-fancy facility with management and staff that really put the effort into keeping presentation quality high to a fancier facility with sloppier presentation any day."

Well said!!! In other words, "Film Done Right" and "Showmanship".


------------------
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services, Entertainment Imaging
Eastman Kodak Company
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7419
Rochester, New York, 14650-1922 USA
Tel: 716-477-5325 Cell: 716-781-4036 Fax: 716-722-7243
E-Mail: john.pytlak@kodak.com
Web site: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion

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Aaron Sisemore
Flaming Ribs beat Reeses Peanut Butter Cups any day!

Posts: 3061
From: Rockwall TX USA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 02-06-2001 10:42 AM      Profile for Aaron Sisemore   Email Aaron Sisemore   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
>>My favorite theater where I live now in Northern California is the Century 25 at Union City<<

A **DRIVE-IN** [the Union City 6] was demolished to put that multiplex there! Blasphemy! Bah!


Aaron


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Scott D. Neff
Theatre Dork

Posts: 919
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Oct 1999


 - posted 02-06-2001 09:31 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Author's Homepage   Email Scott D. Neff   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Aaron (not Sisemore) -- the Great Mall 20 just opened in Milpitas -- it's probably a bit closer to you than Union Landing -- and it's the exact same complex with better seats and less gaudy of a lobby and 5 less screens.

I COMPLETELY forgot about the MOST beautiful theatre in the world. The Fremont Theatre in San Luis Obisbo. I wish I had pics of their booth the day I got the tour... but I have pics of the OUTSIDE and the lobby. The auditorium is GREAT -- seats 900 people... has purple NEON inset into swirly recesses in the ceiling. It truly looks like "The Abyss" inside. If you're ever traveling through... just ask to look inside... it'll take your breath away.

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Scott D. Neff
"Biding My Time"

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Aaron Haney
Master Film Handler

Posts: 265
From: Cupertino, CA, USA
Registered: Jan 2001


 - posted 02-09-2001 02:40 AM      Profile for Aaron Haney   Email Aaron Haney   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Scott, I've been to Century's 20-plex in Milpitas (at the so-called "Great Mall") a few times, and I've been pretty disappointed. I think it will be a while before they see me again.

The last time I was there I saw two movies, both of which had base-side scratches on them. Ugh. On the other hand, I've seen movies there on other occasions that did not have any scratches at all. However, every single time I've been there, the framing has been misaligned just slightly, so that one side of the picture has a soft, unsharp edge. I would have complained, but it didn't look like anyone who worked there would have cared in the slightest, assuming of course they would have had actually understood what I was talking about, which I seriously doubt.

Also, there is one problem that they can never fix -- many of the screens are just too small. If I sit close enough to where the apparent size of the image is big enough to satisfy, then the perforations in the screen become objectionable. Unfortunately, they would have to rebuild the theater in order to fix that.

The Century 25 at Union City, on the other hand, has never, ever let me down. Every time I've gone, the picture has been absolutely perfect. Someone who works at that theater really knows what they are doing, and obviously cares about their craft. For that, they get my business.

I do have to agree, though, that the seats at the Century 20 "Great Mall" are nicer.

Thanks for the info about the Fremont Theatre in San Luis Obispo. Next time I drive down that way I'll check it out!
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Aaron Haney
Professional Complainer
Apple Computer, Inc.




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