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Another Reason To Not Go To The Movies: Digital Glitches


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#61 of 70 OFFLINE   Wayne_j

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Posted July 10 2014 - 09:55 PM

Just got home from seeing Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in 3D RPX, the movie started playing in 2D.  I went to the lobby and reported the problem, I've never seen a theater manager run so fast.  They stopped the movie about 5 minutes in and the manager announced that "The computer decided to play the 2D version".  After about another 5 minutes they restarted the movie in 3D.



#62 of 70 OFFLINE   Josh Steinberg

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Posted July 11 2014 - 01:10 PM

Wayne, glad to hear they were able to fix it quickly.  Amazing, though, that even though they charge about $20 a ticket, that they don't have someone assigned to sit in the theater until the first few minutes of the movie play, to make sure that it all is playing properly.  I realize it's too much to ask to have a full-time projectionist in every booth in every screening room, but the RPX is supposed to be Regal's super-premium line of theaters.  I think whenever a particular screen is designated to being the best in the theater and they charge an extra price for it, whether it's IMAX or RPX or ETX or XD, it should be perfect every time.  And part of that perfection should include the theater managers keeping an extra eye on it to ensure that it's perfect each and every time.

 

Were you the only person who got up to say something?  I'm amazed at how many people will just let something like that go.  Last time I ran into a situation like that, it was for the opening night of another Fox film, "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" -- they had the apparently programmed it wrong in the ticketing computer, so that everyone who bought and was charged for a 3D ticket were mistakenly sent to a 2D showing, and everyone who bought and was charged less for a 2D ticket were mistakenly sent to the 3D showing.  When the movie started in 2D, it was at least half full, and everyone there just took their glasses off.  No one said anything, no one got up to complain, amazing that there were a hundred people who each paid an extra five dollars and no one cared.  When I went out to find a manager, I could see that the people who had bought 2D tickets but were being shown the movie in 3D had run out into the hallways, knocked over one of those RealD recycle containers, and taken all the used glasses and run back into their theater.  Finally got to speak to a manager, and after much protesting and grumbling, he stopped the showings, went in and apologized, and offered anyone who wanted to see it in 3D the chance to walk over to the next auditorium.  Most people opted to remain in the 2D room, even though they weren't credited the price difference.  Meanwhile, people who paid for 2D only were allowed to stay for 3D, and only a handful decided to switch to the 2D showing they had paid for.  I'm not quite sure what this says about human behavior, that the people who willfully paid more to see it in 3D were fine with then not seeing it in 3D but still paying more, while the people who only paid for 2D were (mostly) more than happy to get that extra dimension for free.  I'm convinced if I hadn't said anything, no one else would have gotten up, and that they wouldn't have even noticed that their ticketing system wasn't matched up with the right screens until the next day.



#63 of 70 OFFLINE   Wayne_j

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Posted July 11 2014 - 02:04 PM

On my way back to my seat another customer was leaving the theater, he asked if I mentioned the lack of 3D, I said yes and we both went back to our seats.



#64 of 70 OFFLINE   cinerama10

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Posted July 11 2014 - 04:44 PM

Wayne, glad to hear they were able to fix it quickly.  Amazing, though, that even though they charge about $20 a ticket, that they don't have someone assigned to sit in the theater until the first few minutes of the movie play, to make sure that it all is playing properly.  I realize it's too much to ask to have a full-time projectionist in every booth in every screening room, but the RPX is supposed to be Regal's super-premium line of theaters.  I think whenever a particular screen is designated to being the best in the theater and they charge an extra price for it, whether it's IMAX or RPX or ETX or XD, it should be perfect every time.  And part of that perfection should include the theater managers keeping an extra eye on it to ensure that it's perfect each and every time.

 

Were you the only person who got up to say something?  I'm amazed at how many people will just let something like that go.  Last time I ran into a situation like that, it was for the opening night of another Fox film, "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" -- they had the apparently programmed it wrong in the ticketing computer, so that everyone who bought and was charged for a 3D ticket were mistakenly sent to a 2D showing, and everyone who bought and was charged less for a 2D ticket were mistakenly sent to the 3D showing.  When the movie started in 2D, it was at least half full, and everyone there just took their glasses off.  No one said anything, no one got up to complain, amazing that there were a hundred people who each paid an extra five dollars and no one cared.  When I went out to find a manager, I could see that the people who had bought 2D tickets but were being shown the movie in 3D had run out into the hallways, knocked over one of those RealD recycle containers, and taken all the used glasses and run back into their theater.  Finally got to speak to a manager, and after much protesting and grumbling, he stopped the showings, went in and apologized, and offered anyone who wanted to see it in 3D the chance to walk over to the next auditorium.  Most people opted to remain in the 2D room, even though they weren't credited the price difference.  Meanwhile, people who paid for 2D only were allowed to stay for 3D, and only a handful decided to switch to the 2D showing they had paid for.  I'm not quite sure what this says about human behavior, that the people who willfully paid more to see it in 3D were fine with then not seeing it in 3D but still paying more, while the people who only paid for 2D were (mostly) more than happy to get that extra dimension for free.  I'm convinced if I hadn't said anything, no one else would have gotten up, and that they wouldn't have even noticed that their ticketing system wasn't matched up with the right screens until the next day.

In cinema complexes they  do not have a 'separate' booth for each cinema. Usually it is  one huge booth for all  cinemas on the same level. Probably only one or  two projectionists run the  entire number of screens. Today it is all about automation and cost savings  and NEVER  about presentation like  we  had in the  days of roadshows . People had  to train  for  a couple of years before they could be  called projectionists. I have even seen a  single screen  and  fully automated  cinema being run from the ticket/candy counter. A one man operation!



#65 of 70 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted July 11 2014 - 05:11 PM

I've run an entire theater on my own. A 15 screen theater including and Imax screen. But it was all automated. There is no "projector" it's all computers with a project or built into them. We had three managers and one of them was the person who programmed the schedule. I had some training to fix errors but it was easy enough to fix most things beyond a complete hard drive meltdown. As mentioned above by... Hmm I thought we were required to have at least a first name there, anywaythe projectors are upstairs on one floor that you can walk from one to the next. There really isn't enough people to have someone standing in each theater at the start. The ushers are in the rooms that the movie is ending in because they need to clean them. And on off nights/days there is a skeleton crew of maybe half a dozen ushers or less.
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#66 of 70 OFFLINE   Josh Steinberg

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Posted July 11 2014 - 05:44 PM

There really isn't enough people to have someone standing in each theater at the start.The ushers are in the rooms that the movie is ending in because they need to clean them.

 

Understood -- to be clear, in my post, I wasn't asking for an usher or projectionist or supervisor to be in every auditorium at every showtime.  I'm saying, if you have one theater out of 15 where you charge audience members an extra $5-10 just to see a movie on that one screen compared to all the others, I don't think it's asking too much to want that experience to be perfect.  You're paying extra for the best screen and sound system.  The theater is probably aggressively promoting that screen above all others in local advertisements and in-theater ads.  If seeing a movie on that screen is going to cost you as a consumer more (even though in all likelihood it's the same DCP you're seeing on a standard screen, IMAX excluded from that characterization), I don't think it's unreasonable to expect something in return, that something being a quality presentation each and every time you go there.  Afterall, you're not paying extra to see a more expensive-to-make 70mm print or anything, the extra money is solely about the presentation.  So let the presentation be equal to the cost.



#67 of 70 OFFLINE   Wayne_j

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Posted July 11 2014 - 06:34 PM

I agree with Josh, I think theaters would be much better off if there was a projectionist for every 6 screens.  That way people can be assured that errors will be corrected quickly as long as the problem starts at the beginning of the film and there would be no need for any customer to find a manager to tell them that the showing is messed up.



#68 of 70 OFFLINE   Vic Pardo

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Posted July 12 2014 - 06:23 AM

Wayne, glad to hear they were able to fix it quickly.  Amazing, though, that even though they charge about $20 a ticket, that they don't have someone assigned to sit in the theater until the first few minutes of the movie play, to make sure that it all is playing properly.  I realize it's too much to ask to have a full-time projectionist in every booth in every screening room, but the RPX is supposed to be Regal's super-premium line of theaters.  I think whenever a particular screen is designated to being the best in the theater and they charge an extra price for it, whether it's IMAX or RPX or ETX or XD, it should be perfect every time.  And part of that perfection should include the theater managers keeping an extra eye on it to ensure that it's perfect each and every time.

 

Were you the only person who got up to say something?  I'm amazed at how many people will just let something like that go.  Last time I ran into a situation like that, it was for the opening night of another Fox film, "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" -- they had the apparently programmed it wrong in the ticketing computer, so that everyone who bought and was charged for a 3D ticket were mistakenly sent to a 2D showing, and everyone who bought and was charged less for a 2D ticket were mistakenly sent to the 3D showing.  When the movie started in 2D, it was at least half full, and everyone there just took their glasses off.  No one said anything, no one got up to complain, amazing that there were a hundred people who each paid an extra five dollars and no one cared.  When I went out to find a manager, I could see that the people who had bought 2D tickets but were being shown the movie in 3D had run out into the hallways, knocked over one of those RealD recycle containers, and taken all the used glasses and run back into their theater.  Finally got to speak to a manager, and after much protesting and grumbling, he stopped the showings, went in and apologized, and offered anyone who wanted to see it in 3D the chance to walk over to the next auditorium.  Most people opted to remain in the 2D room, even though they weren't credited the price difference.  Meanwhile, people who paid for 2D only were allowed to stay for 3D, and only a handful decided to switch to the 2D showing they had paid for.  I'm not quite sure what this says about human behavior, that the people who willfully paid more to see it in 3D were fine with then not seeing it in 3D but still paying more, while the people who only paid for 2D were (mostly) more than happy to get that extra dimension for free.  I'm convinced if I hadn't said anything, no one else would have gotten up, and that they wouldn't have even noticed that their ticketing system wasn't matched up with the right screens until the next day.

 

Great story, Josh. That image of everyone scrambling for the 3-D glasses is priceless. Probably the best laugh I've had on this board. But, yeah, people are such zombies these days. When I'm in a theater where something goes wrong, no one gets up to complain except me. As for why people who paid extra for 3-D won't make an issue of it, I'm guessing that maybe most people don't care one way or the other. To be honest, I tend not to want to see things in 3-D anymore. I'm kind of tired of it, but sometimes the only convenient showtimes for me are 3-D showings so I reluctantly go in to those screenings. If I went in and saw that it wasn't 3-D I'd be grateful and wouldn't complain, so maybe that's a factor for some of the behavior at your screening.

 

I remember the days when audiences would yell if something went wrong and the projectionist had damn well better be up in that booth to respond. And, truth to tell, things went wrong a lot back in the day. But of course I went to way more movies then so the odds of things going wrong really shot up. And I'm thinking mainly of the 1970s when reels would get mixed up, the framing would be off, the film would go out of focus, the film would freeze in the gate and melt, and projector bulbs went dim or went out altogether. More recently, in 1991 I remember people stormed the lobby of the Criterion in Times Square when the bulb went out in the projector during one of the first major confrontations between the Terminator and his antagonist in TERMINATOR 2. The projectionist was out and when he came back, I saw him quietly slip back through the door to the booth and lock it behind him while the manager was dealing with all the complaints and offering people tickets to come back.

 

The last time I saw an audience get upset and confront the manager was when the projector went off during the end credits of 300. Since the end credits were done in a creative manner, the audience was staying for them. About 10 or 20 seconds into them, the projector shut off and the lights went on and a group of young fans seeing the movie together was furious. The manager gave them all--and me--tickets for another visit.



#69 of 70 OFFLINE   andySu

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Posted July 13 2014 - 04:33 PM

 

As if ticket and concession prices weren't high enough and fellow patrons couldn't possibly get any ruder, this is yet another reason to avoid the theatergoing experience: Glitches. For the 3rd time this year (2nd consecutive occurrence for me in as many weeks), I've had to sit through portions of the film while there were digital errors present onscreen. What the heck?? Movie theaters have turned into giant "home theaters" with pixellation, digital artifacts and other problems. Today we missed most of the trailers and a few minutes of Captain America because of glitches. Last week it was no picture at all, only sound! And all we got was  a "sorry for the inconvenience" - what happened to free tickets? I see this happening more frequently as digital projection continues to take hold. I thought technology was supposed to improve things, not the other way around. 

 

 

Oh, I so absolutely agree.

 

Home THX cinema is cheaper and better and way, way more fun than overpriced digital cinema.



#70 of 70 OFFLINE   andySu

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Posted July 13 2014 - 04:34 PM

 

I try to avoid the Empire 25 but not because of frequent technical mishaps. With 25 screens it's like playing a game of Russian Roulette: which theater am I going to get - the tiny postage-stamp sized screening room, the medium-sized one or a non-IMAX/ETX large screen regular? I don't like watching movies on small screens so I always go to the 34th Street AMC, where every theater has a large screen. Bigger is better. I don't always need IMAX, though. 

 

I avoid lieMax at Empire London, I see no point in spending £20.00 and not getting enough change to buy a decent cod & chips, not that I seen a decent fish & chips shop in Leicester Square?

 

I stay at home now its far more exciting that going to the cinema. I mean the film is released on bluray within 4 to 5 months. Its the owners choice to buy it blindly or pass on it.






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