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   » Ground Level   » Marcus Announces UltraScreen Addition to Elgin Fox in IL

   
Author Topic: Marcus Announces UltraScreen Addition to Elgin Fox in IL
Scott Jentsch
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1001
From: New Berlin, WI, USA
Registered: Apr 2003


 - posted 06-05-2003 10:41 AM      Profile for Scott Jentsch   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Jentsch   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
MILWAUKEE -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- June 5, 2003 -- Marcus Theatres Corporation, a division of The Marcus Corporation (NYSE:MCS), today announced plans to build its fourth UltraScreen(TM) auditorium in Elgin, Illinois. This will be the company's first UltraScreen in the Chicago area. The new auditorium will be a 500-seat addition to the company's 14-screen Elgin Cinema.

Read the complete press release at:

http://www.bigscreen.com/News_Events/20030605_MarcusUltrascreenElgin.php

They claim that, at 70'x30', their UltraScreen will be "one of the biggest traditional movie screens in the Chicago area." I know that McClurg Court measures about 75' wide, are there any others in the Chicago Metro area that are similar? How much company will this new screen have in the "wider is better" crowd?

I have not been to the Madison or Appleton locations, but their Milwaukee UltraScreen installation at Westown took quite some time before they were able to project what I would consider an acceptable image. Hopefully, they have it figured out and this new one won't suffer the same startup problems.

 |  IP: Logged

Steve Kraus
Film God

Posts: 3987
From: Chicago, IL, USA
Registered: May 2000


 - posted 06-05-2003 06:47 PM      Profile for Steve Kraus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Interesting. Mark G. and I did the installation of the original independent pre-Marcus Elgin Fox (I believe it's been significantly remodelled since then). It was all Christie projectors and Kneisley consoles as built except for #1 where my JJ found a home. THX and CP200 on that screen too. I wonder if the JJ is still there.

 |  IP: Logged

Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 15887
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-06-2003 05:51 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They have also converted it to all Stadium Seating as well. Alot of folks that came there loved the big screen there in Theatre 1, but it also caused the problem that if it was not playing on that screen they didn't want to see the film unless it was....... Theatre one has one of the few Full frontal, wall to wall, floor to ceiling, baffle walls ever built. Estimated weight of that wall was 12 tons! Now thats a very dead wall! Going inside the wall was the equivelent of being in hell.....

Anyway I think Marcus has thrown egg on their own face with that large of a screen, plus the article is so misleading that its sick..... From the article...."The UltraScreen, with its razor sharp three-story tall picture, crystal clear digital sound and comfortable stadium seats, will be Marcus movie magic at its best." I guess if Marcus thinks thats movie magic they obviously no nothing technical about movies. The fact it that ya can't get razor sharp images with 35mm film blown up that large!! Even wet gate print would barely look decent at that image size. This is nothing more than a similar that Edwards has done for quite a few years. Every one I've seen looks like crap. Your average 35mm release print, especially flat 1.85, simply does not withstand that much enlargment without falling apart.

When we designed the original theatre we felt that the 55 foot screen was about as big as one could go with 35mm release prints, so the building was pretty much designed for that size screen. They never did run any 70mm there.

Interestingly Steve forgot to mention that we made a good attempt to get the 60 foot wide strip screen frame from the Cinestage Theatre before it was to be gutted, but the City Of Chicago to-do's decided the building was too dangerous for us to attempt removal of it. Ok, there were long poles supporting sections of the ceiling.... All but the facade was later razed.....

McClurg Court lost its large 70 foot wide curved screen when Cineplex Oderon took it over and tri-plexed it. This happened luckily almost pretty much with the demise of 70mm release prints. The replacement screen was far smaller, between 50 and 60' wide, and pretty without any curve. They were limited because of extra exits installed during the tri-plexing and lens limitations for the short throw they were now faced with. This large screen had a pair of 35/70 X-L's on it in which one machine looked great and the other always had a very annoying jiggle to the image that was never cured. They always had bad wow in the sound as they insisted on running double reels of 70mm film on them.
It was a typical Cineplex destructive mess [puke] after it was split up.
Mark

 |  IP: Logged

Steve Kraus
Film God

Posts: 3987
From: Chicago, IL, USA
Registered: May 2000


 - posted 06-06-2003 07:10 PM      Profile for Steve Kraus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Scott, you should be aware that Loews Cineplex's River Oaks #9 in Calument City (SE suburb) is an original Dimension 150 house with an (I think) 85' screen.

http://steve.filmteknik.com/rivoaks.html

 |  IP: Logged

Cory Johnson
Film Handler

Posts: 46
From: La Crosse, WI USA
Registered: Aug 1999


 - posted 06-12-2003 09:49 PM      Profile for Cory Johnson   Email Cory Johnson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The reason that Marcus keeps building these theatres are simple:
They make money. They make money because normal patrons love the big screen and the stadium seating. Its almost a 'OmniTheatre' type of experience but in a traditional theatre.

I work for Marcus and yes, the screens are not as bright as they could be and the 35mm film isn't as sharp as it could be. However, the main point is 98% of movie goers love this type of theatre. And because of this, they continually come back to the UltraScreens, many times traveling miles across towns to see it in an UltraScreen. They have THX certified sound and the capacity is a good size for a theatre in the markets they are in. Equipment wise, there isn't the expensive 70mm or iMax to invest in - there is just a 5K buld and a normal 35mm projector. Marcus has plans to continue building these theatres where the market condition is right for one small fact: They are a very good cash source.

 |  IP: Logged

John Pytlak
Film God

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


 - posted 06-13-2003 08:10 AM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have no problem with theatres trying to offer customers the "big screen" experience, as long as they try to have "Film Done Right". However, you are pushing the limits of physics trying to force enough energy through a postage-stamp size frame of 35mm film trying to properly light a screen larger than about 25 x 60 feet. That's one of the often overlooked reasons 70mm prints are still needed:

http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/newsletters/pytlak/dec98.shtml

http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/newsletters/pytlak/march99.shtml

http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/newsletters/pytlak/fall97.shtml

http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/newsletters/pytlak/winter97.shtml

http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/newsletters/pytlak/spring98.shtml

Unless theatres install 70mm projectors for these huge screens, it will be impossible to ever convince distributors there is a need for making 70mm prints again. It can be done -- as noted in my article, some European and Japanese theatres have been able to negotiate getting 70mm prints of films that had only 35mm prints in North America.

 |  IP: Logged

Scott Jentsch
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1001
From: New Berlin, WI, USA
Registered: Apr 2003


 - posted 06-16-2003 10:51 AM      Profile for Scott Jentsch   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Jentsch   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
However, the main point is 98% of movie goers love this type of theatre. And because of this, they continually come back to the UltraScreens, many times traveling miles across towns to see it in an UltraScreen.
I would agree that many people are willing to overlook (or not notice) any flaws in a presentation because of the very large screen in front of them, but I have spoken to quite a few people that have yet to return to Westown's UltraScreen because of the problem that they had on that screen for well over a year with focus and jittering (not sure of the exact term for this issue).

I saw Matrix Reloaded on Westown's UltraScreen in its first week of release and it was pretty good, but it took me hearing quite a few reports from others saying that the presentation issues were fixed before I went back after a horrible presentation of Gladiator (and one other film I can't recall).

People do notice presentation flaws, but they are only going to be able to relate to what is standard in their own experiences. A typical presentation in this area could very well be considered sub-par in other areas while above-average in others.

For the Milwaukee area, the Westown UltraScreen's current presentation is about average for all the Marcus theaters in the area and the wider screen and sound system make for a better way to spend $8.50.

If I lived in Madison, the choice would be different I think. Marcus Point has an UltraScreen, but Star Cinema - Fitchburg (a couple of miles away) has done a really good job with the presentations that I've seen there. I would choose a better presentation over a wider screen, but the difference has to be noticeable for the general public to do the same.

 |  IP: Logged

Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 15887
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-19-2003 09:18 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Scott,
I would agree with you about presentation quality at all of the Star Cinemas in general. These people were customers of mine a number of years back and I can attest that they definately know the meaning of "Film Done Right" The people working their locations also seem to care alot more about the particuluar location they manage than most of what I have seen going on at Marcus. I guess I'd have to say that Star also knows the meaning of "Customers Treated right" [thumbsup]
Mark

 |  IP: Logged

Darren Briggs
Master Film Handler

Posts: 371
From: York, UK
Registered: Dec 2001


 - posted 06-20-2003 12:45 PM      Profile for Darren Briggs   Author's Homepage   Email Darren Briggs   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think the more big screen venues, the more likely are the chances that the distributors will release 70mm prints, 70mm dts is the way forward for large screen cinema. Imax is doing a great job with the DMR process, so why not release 5/70 release prints, and at a fraction of the price of the Imax DMR route.
There are alot of cinemas still out there with 70mm machines and platters, so a quick upgrade to dts 70, and suddenly lots of venues capable of screening high quality 70mm blow-ups on large screens.

Darren

 |  IP: Logged

John Pytlak
Film God

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


 - posted 06-20-2003 12:51 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Darren --- lots of agreement about the need for 70mm prints on very large screens. [Cool] I love 15-perf 70mm and 8-perf 70mm systems, but as you note, 5-perf 70mm does a fine job for feature films, with a large number of projectors already in place.

Kodak carries 65mm and 70mm films as stock items, and labs around the world still print and process it. [Smile]

 |  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.