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When theaters play movies too loud.....


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25 replies to this topic

#1 of 26 OFFLINE   Tom_Mack

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Posted July 15 2003 - 09:47 AM

I went to see the Matrix:Reloaded in IMAX in King of Prussia, PA over the weekend and the volume was WAY too loud! While I never watch a full movie at reference level, I have run some tests at reference level and this theater was playing at ABOVE reference level. The sound was clean, but just because they can play it that loud, doesn't mean they should play it that loud! Any scenes with glass shattering HURT! Many people were covering their ears! I have a mild case of tinnitus, so I left during the movie and got some tissue paper to stuff in my ears. After that the volume was better, but dull sounding due to the upper frequencies being cut off. After the movie many people were complaining about the sound levels. Unfortunately, I have had trouble with the managers at this theater and I know that nothing will be done about it. Has anyone else had an experience with volume levels being too loud at a theater and ruining the experience????

#2 of 26 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted July 15 2003 - 09:52 AM

If enough people complain the management would do something. This could be liability issue as well. Not good to bring harm to the patrons' hearing abilities.

#3 of 26 OFFLINE   Richard Kim

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Posted July 15 2003 - 10:21 AM

I just watched Pirates of the Carribean, and I had the exact opposite problem. The volume was too soft! I found it hard to make out much of the dialogue. I also believe that the sound was in Dolby Surround as opposed to 5.1, as I couldn't make out any discrete surround activity.

#4 of 26 OFFLINE   MatthewLouwrens

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Posted July 15 2003 - 01:13 PM

There was some outrage here in Wellington, NZ, about the volume of the Lord Of The Rings. Peter Jackson apparently requestsed that all cinemas turn the volume up louder than usual for LOTR. The Embassy (PJ's favourite cinema and the location of the worldwide premiere of ROTK) had so many complaints about sound levels that they eventually turned the volume down for earlier screenings, but some screenings (usually the last of the day) would be advertised as full volume.

#5 of 26 OFFLINE   Chad R

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Posted July 15 2003 - 01:26 PM

IMAX have particularly powerful systems, and are very loud regardless of the movie. I'm sure with the levels for matrix it could have gotten painful. I'd reccomend staying away from IMAX theaters if you have tinnitus.

#6 of 26 OFFLINE   Jeff Kleist

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Posted July 15 2003 - 02:42 PM

Chad is correct, given that I saw it in the same theater as Tom. IMAX has MASSIVE subs and surrounds that normal theaters just don't have, and I believe they mixed it specifically for earth-shattering surround for IMAX

#7 of 26 OFFLINE   ChrisR

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Posted July 15 2003 - 03:47 PM

I know exactly what you're talking about Tom. I have tinnitus too and I put cotton balls in my ears when I go watch a movie. I saw T3 last weekend and it was quite loud. The loudest movie I ever went to was The Scorpion King. I literally had to plug my ears with my fingers from the opening credits to the closing. It was friggin ridiculous.

#8 of 26 OFFLINE   Steve_Tk

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Posted July 15 2003 - 04:39 PM

I thought my ears were going to start bleeding during T3. Very annoying.

#9 of 26 OFFLINE   Brian W.

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Posted July 15 2003 - 05:23 PM

The only time I thought the sound was so loud it interfered with my enjoyment of the film was at the special theatrical screening of the extended Fellowship of the Ring last November. It was RIDICULOUSLY loud. Such a shame... It was a beautiful DLP presentation, too.

#10 of 26 OFFLINE   Jason Harbaugh

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Posted July 15 2003 - 05:26 PM

I would love the chance to say "turn it down" at a theatre now. My last few outings have had such poor sound, low and no surrounds, that they ruined the movies for me. This is in brand new theatres as well. I'm getting sick of having to walk out and complain about it.

#11 of 26 OFFLINE   Tom J. Davis

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Posted July 15 2003 - 05:54 PM

Been there. I can remember the dialog hurting my ears when I went to see the original X-men movie. I almost walked out of that one. Fingers in my ears the whole time. Most people tell me I listen to movies way to loud in my home , but it seems as of late I've been to several movies where I almost couldn't stand it.

#12 of 26 OFFLINE   john doran

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Posted July 15 2003 - 08:23 PM

[quote] I went to see the Matrix:Reloaded in IMAX in King of Prussia, PA over the weekend and the volume was WAY too loud! [quote]
you lost me - the movie was way too what?

imax schmimax. you guys should listen to movies at my place Posted Image Posted Image
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#13 of 26 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted July 16 2003 - 02:00 AM

Never had this problem. As with Richard and Jason, my usual problem is the sound is way too low.
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#14 of 26 OFFLINE   Gruson

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Posted July 16 2003 - 04:19 AM

If you are in Texas, PLEASE let me know where you find movies too loud!!! I cannot believe how low most theaters have the volume...it drives me crazy! However, I listen to all my movies at REFERENCE level and enjoy "feeling" the explosions, etc. I like them LOUD, the way they were designed. I would hate to be the sound effects guy and walk into a movie I helped make, only to discover they are playing it so low you cannot even hear/feel the explosions the way I designed them!!! Theaters are horrible at presenting a film the way they were made to be shown. I am the guy who tells them to CRANK the theater before the show.

#15 of 26 OFFLINE   Seth_L

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Posted July 16 2003 - 04:37 AM

I saw Reloaded in an Imax theatre. The sound was excellent, but not too loud. The surround effects were more distinct, cleaner sounding, and the Imax subs have much better low end extension than your typical theatre. I've seen a lot of movies in a lot of theatres and I can't ever say I've thought a movie was too loud but once. I do listen at reference at home and it's not too loud. Rock concerts are too loud, reference is not.

#16 of 26 OFFLINE   Jeff Kleist

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Posted July 16 2003 - 04:40 AM

Guson, I have to agree there. Every other theater in that complex EXCEPT the IMAX is too soft

#17 of 26 OFFLINE   JoeMKal

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Posted July 16 2003 - 04:46 AM

this thread reminds me of a line from Airheads, "if its too loud, you're too old" Posted Image or something to that effect

I personally have only experienced excessive loudness a couple times, when you guys refer to reference volume how do you know, is that a THX thing?

#18 of 26 OFFLINE   Robert Floto

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Posted July 16 2003 - 04:49 AM

The loudest movie I had ever been in was XXX (the Vin Dielsel thing, not an adult film). Still, I must have the same problem as a lot of you. As it is, certain sounds make my left ear "buzz" and it is very irritating. Now I always put cotton in my ears when going to the movies. This doesn't actually solve my problem in some cases, but it definitely makes it more tolerable. If it turns out that the film is not that loud, then I simply take the cotton out.

If the movie is particularly loud during the trailers, I will often tell the management, but sometimes the trailers aren't as loud as the film (and vice versa). Once the movie starts, it has to be pretty damn loud to get me out of my seat. Thus the cotton...

Perhaps those of you who are complaining about the sound being too low have already had your hearing destroyed by the earlier, louder films Posted Image
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#19 of 26 OFFLINE   Hunter P

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Posted July 16 2003 - 04:46 AM



:b I gotta ask. How did you piss them off before?

Well, although I don't want people's ears to be bleeeding from watching a movie, I really like it when the theater is loud. It helps drown out the annoying noises and conversations of the audience.Posted Image
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#20 of 26 OFFLINE   Tom_Mack

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Posted July 16 2003 - 04:59 AM

[quote] Rock concerts are too loud, reference is not. [quote]

That is why I believe that they may have been playing Matrix above reference. It was just as loud as most of the rock concerts I have been to. The only event that I have been to that was louder than this movie was Pink Floyd's last tour when I was in the 8th row right in front of the 2 story speaker stack. They were at veteran's Stadium in Philly and a friend of mine about a 1/2 mile away cound hear the concert from her house!


Jeff, I can't say I agree with you that ALL the other theaters in the complex are too soft, but they are extreamely inconsistant. When they first opened a few years ago 2 of the theaters were THX certified and the levels were perfect, IMHO! But since then they have dropped the THX license and some theaters have been good and some have been awful! I saw Finding Nemo opening night and the video and audio were great and so was Pirates of the Carribean last week, but I also saw T3 soon after opening and the audio was low and the sub was OFF. The worst was two years ago when I saw Lord of the Rings and the video was washed out, no sub, and the sound was extreamely bright!




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