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Author Topic: Second/Third Run Houses
Andrew McCrea
Jedi Master Film Handler

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


 - posted 02-11-2001 07:03 AM      Profile for Andrew McCrea   Author's Homepage   Email Andrew McCrea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I just wanted to know if second or third run houses around u\you use surround sound. We have 1 second run and 2 third run. The second run uses stereo and the third run uses Dlby Surround. Do your local second/third run theatres do this?

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Andrew McCrea

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

Paul G. Thompson
The Weenie Man

Posts: 4718
From: Mount Vernon WA USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 02-11-2001 07:56 AM      Profile for Paul G. Thompson   Email Paul G. Thompson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There are very few mono houses left, unless you are in the boonies of Montana or South Dakota. And then, those may be analog stereo by now. Everything I have seen lately were stereo or mono-surround either by Dolby, Ultra Stereo, or Smart. Once in a while you will find a "home brew" stereo system in a theater that sounds like crap.

Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7966
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 02-11-2001 08:11 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dolby Stereo or equvalent seems pretty standard now. Unfortuantely, most of the late-run houses don't get the maintenance that they should and the alignment is usually way off.

I'd much rather see a film in a theatre with a really good-sounding mono system than a crap Dolby/Ultra/Smart installation, but that doesn't seem to be the opinion of the general public, unfortunately.

Darryl Spicer
Film God

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


 - posted 02-11-2001 10:24 AM      Profile for Darryl Spicer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Our local second run theater has 10 screens it uses 8 DTS setups and 1 Dolby Digital and 1 SDDS setup. It also has 4 THX auditoriums. Pretty damn good for a second run theater. Now if they could just stop starting 10 movies within fifteen minutes they may have a better opperation.

Jonathan M. Crist
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 522
From: Hershey, PA, USA
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 02-11-2001 04:07 PM      Profile for Jonathan M. Crist   Email Jonathan M. Crist   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Whether it be first run, second run or third run, the presentation at any venue(including both picture and sound) has less to do with the equipment than the care and attention to detail of the booth operator.

In my area the second runs tend to be independent fellows who are in it for the love of the business. The presentation quality is always superior to the high school 'booth ushers' who are a staple of the local first runs.

George Roher
Master Film Handler

Posts: 266
From: Washington DC
Registered: Jul 99


 - posted 02-11-2001 04:36 PM      Profile for George Roher   Email George Roher   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
General Cinema has a first run theatre in my area with 4 mono houses (and six digital houses). At least those screens were still mono the last time I visited that theatre which was a few months ago. When I was there last, they had recently installed one of those captioning systems for the hearing impaired and had added a DTS player to one of the mono houses to supply the captions. But there was still only one speaker in the auditorium. Glorious DTS mono.

Paul G. Thompson
The Weenie Man

Posts: 4718
From: Mount Vernon WA USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 02-11-2001 08:55 PM      Profile for Paul G. Thompson   Email Paul G. Thompson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Scott, I have to agree with you on the mono systems. I thought about saying that, but you said it for me.

Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12395
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 02-12-2001 05:26 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 

Not all theatres in the "boonies of Montana" are running mono. I'm in a town of 2200 people. My single-screen theatre was the third one in the state to install DTS. (Yes, we have real 6-channel sound to go with it!) We were at least a year ahead of Billings, Missoula, Bozeman....all the "big" cities. (Of course they're all Carmike towns, which explains a lot.)

We installed DTS in summer '94. A week after us, the theatre in Hardin (about 90 miles away), another small-town single screen, put in DTS as well. It wasn't until the next summer that some of the bigger towns in Montana got onto the digital wagon. In fact, Billings had only one DTS screen (out of 21 total screens) from 1995 to 1999, when Carmike opened a new all-DTS 10-plex there.

Our processor is an Ultra-Stereo...say what you want, but our sound is good, just ask John Eikhof, who seems to be spending more time here than he does working these days !

In fact, out of all the other indies I know around the state, I can only think of a couple that are running mono right now...although I do think that Hardin and us (and Malta) are the smallest to have DTS. So some of us are trying to keep up...none of us is perfect, but when you're in a small town you just keep throwing dollars at it as you can spare them.

Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7966
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 02-12-2001 06:31 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For the sake of clarification, I will add here that in my original comments I was not trying to say that Ultra-Stereo, etc. were intrinsically worse than mono. That's not the case.

My point was that poorly installed and maintained matrix stereo sound systems can sound really bad, and that the theatre owners could have better utilized their limited funds by not upgrading to matrix stereo and instead putting the money into maintenance on a good mono system.

Sean M. Grimes
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 247
From: Lunenburg, MA
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 02-12-2001 06:38 PM      Profile for Sean M. Grimes   Author's Homepage   Email Sean M. Grimes   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
ahh but what about mono with those wonderful Kelmar block amps with a voice of the theater stage speaker in deadly need of a re-cone job? welcome to two second run and an art house theater all within twenty minutes of each other - and even though Syracuse may be small we are definitely not in the boonies!!!

Bob Maar
(Maar stands for Maartini)


Posts: 28608
From: New York City & Newport, RI
Registered: Feb 2001


 - posted 02-21-2001 08:50 AM      Profile for Bob Maar   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Maar   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The window is begining to tighten on the Video releases, they are going to hurt the underbelly runs. I it won't be long before the distributors' start releasing videos sooner cutting into the second run theatres playtime especially in the larger markets. NATO need to get the lobbists working in Washington, to force the window between theatrical release and video release wider not shorter.


Bill Enos
Film God

Posts: 2081
From: Richmond, Virginia, USA
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 02-21-2001 03:52 PM      Profile for Bill Enos   Email Bill Enos   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We have surround at the Byrd. We're the only second run left in town, the others having lost leases, or let their presentations get so bad that they lost their audience. Just because it's cheap doesn't mean they'll keep coming back to a poorly done presentation. Our picture is bright and big, the analog sound is good.



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