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How Many of You Don't go to Commercial Theaters Anymore?


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#1 of 204 OFFLINE   ChrisA

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Posted January 21 2002 - 03:09 AM

The last movie I went to see in a commercial theater is GLADIATOR. Ever since I got my HT in full swing, I have lost all desire to go to a commercial theater. The experience at home equals or even far exceeds even the best commercial theaters in all aspects: 1) Sound (far exceeds), 2) Tactile (not an option at commercial theaters-- although 'Hollywood' needs a discrete tactile track 0-600 Hz). 3) Video-- for all intensive purposes about equal (perhaps only *slightly* inferior in terms of pitcure quality--but the magnitude is there with a 100 inch screen at 11 feet viewing distance). 4) More comfortable 5)Better and more affordable food 6) No lines 7) No distractions 8) No parking 9) You chose the time 10) Double and triple features whenever you want!

The most important thing is that the quality of experience is better, or at least can be better in the home than even at the best commercial theaters. The affordabilty of course determind by how nmuch you can do yourself. How do you feel about home theater vs. commercial theater?

Should Hollywood be concerned? Hardly. At least for me, I've watched MORE MOVIES and I've SPENT MORE MONEY ON MOVIES because of HOME THEATER. There are so many movies that I would not have watched or gone to the commercial theater to see, which I have purchased the DVD. Of course If I am forced to WAIT long periods of time to purchase the DVD, this will change. I do not do the rental thing anymore. I'd much rather PREORDER the DVD and watch the DVD at my convenience in my movie 'library'. I do not have time to deal with the hassle of renting. I most certainly will spend a lot less money and will not purchase DVD movies if for some reason they are only available for purchase long after the release. I will gladly pay my $16.00-$22.00 per move as long as the movies are released in a timely fashion. There are SO MANY movies which are average, which if were not available in a timely fashion after release at a commercial theater, I would not purchase or rent at a later date.

In any case, how many of you stopped going to the commercial theaters? I watch on average 3-4 movies per week whether all on one Saturday or Sunday, or interspersed all week. I know what I want to preorder based on various on-line reviews like DVD-talk, Amazon, The Digital Bits, The Home Theater Forum, AVS Forum, etc... Of course I just look for the general review without reading details becuase I like to know as LITTLE about the movie as possible. I gladly take my chances. I don't even like to see trailers/previews. I purposely change the channel when I see a movie preview.

I simply could not wait for Gladiator to come to DVD, and it was before DVD really became as strong as it is today. As tempted as I was to run to see "LORD OF THE RINGS" I now have the confidence to see it when it comes to DVD. I want the experience to be the BEST the FIRST TIME I see it and that is HOME THEATER. Another good example is the DIRECTOR'S CUT of "PEARL HARBOR". I did not see this at the movie as curious as I was to see it right away. Further, I am holding out for my FIRST viewing of this movie UNTIL THE DIRECTOR'S CUT IS AVAILABLE. While I know this movie was not widely held in high regard, I want the FIRST experience to be the best. HOME THEATER IS WHERE IT IS AT!!!

In my opinion of course,

Chris
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#2 of 204 OFFLINE   Clinton McClure

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Posted January 21 2002 - 03:17 AM

The last movie I went to see was Lord Of The Rings which should have been called Cinemark's Lord Of The Crying Babies, Talking Teenagers And Cell Phone Extravaganza. I'm not making this up...there was an elderly blind couple who came to the showing and happened to sit two rows behind me. All through the movie, I could hear the man asking the person sitting next to him, "What's going on now?"

The last movie I went to see before that was The Fast & The Furious.

#3 of 204 OFFLINE   BarryR

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Posted January 21 2002 - 03:26 AM

I went to see GOSFORD PARK because I couldn't wait until the DVD; I pretty much limit my moviegoing to "must-see," which rarely exceeds 3-4 times a year. Fortunately, the GOSFORD PARK audence was well behaved. Posted Image

#4 of 204 OFFLINE   John Stone

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Posted January 21 2002 - 03:33 AM

I have not seen a movie in the theater since the original Mission Impossible (1996). I used to go to the theater 2 or 3 times a week for many years, but something snapped that day and I said NO MORE! Thanks to HT and DVD, I don't miss the theater at all.

#5 of 204 OFFLINE   Jeff Ulmer

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Posted January 21 2002 - 03:35 AM

I can't remember the last film I saw in a theatre, but it has to have been 15 years ago.

#6 of 204 OFFLINE   PhilipG

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Posted January 21 2002 - 03:41 AM

Then again, cinema presentations don't suffer from edge enhancement, MPEG mosquito noise, half-second layer change pauses, FBI warnings, or (most importantly) lo-def picture resolution. And you can listen at reference-level sound without annoying your neighbours.

Sure, if the DVD is well-mastered, you may get the better overall experience at home; if it isn't you're sunk, and have lost out on seeing the film at its best.


#7 of 204 OFFLINE   Jeremy Anderson

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Posted January 21 2002 - 03:48 AM

I went to see Lord Of The Rings in the theater, but that was quite a rarity for me since I got my HT together. I can't stand people talking during a movie, and it seems that all the theaters around here are run by ree-rees. Hell, the only reason I went to see LOTR was because I was off work and the theater was all but deserted at the noon showing.

So if I bother to see a movie, it's usually during the day when everyone is at work and kids are at school. In fact, I think I'm gonna' go see Black Hawk Down in an hour, unless the parking lot looks too full.

#8 of 204 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted January 21 2002 - 03:55 AM

I can certainly understand why someone balancing all the pros and cons would come out in favor of watching movies exclusively at home. I did just that throughout the 80s and the early 90s. In those days, most of what was available was P&S VHS, but I still preferred the overall viewing experience at home.

In 1993, the advent of digital multitrack sound lured me back to the theater, and I realized that I'd become so acclimated to video that I'd forgotten what a visually impoverished medium NTSC video is. Even today, with top-notch DVDs and good progressive scan players, there is simply no way that lo-res NTSC can approach the detail, texture, density and color variation of film. There's simply no comparison.

Now, there are so many great things about home theater that I can't fault anyone for choosing to pass up the visual splendor of a film presentation in order to spare themselves many of the bad things about contemporary movie theaters (most of them have already been covered here). But, with all due respect, anyone who thinks that NTSC video, even at its best, is "equal to" or "slightly inferior" than film either hasn't seen much film or is simply fooling themselves.

If you're going to make the trade-off, you should know what you're gaining, but you should also know what you're giving up.

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#9 of 204 OFFLINE   ChrisA

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Posted January 21 2002 - 03:58 AM

I don't see too many new DVD's that are poorly mastered to the point of being 'significantly' degraded, although you make a good argument for HD-DVD, which I hope comes to fruition ASAP! HD-DVD is a must.

Something tells me that when I see the LORD OF THE RINGS on DVD, I'll get to a possibly improved version, with possible longer version. I'll also ge to see it with all of the advantages described above, including tactile feedback (hopefully Hollywood will deliver on a discrete tactile track sooner than later). The sound will be far superior, that is 100% of the case in EVERY movie. The picture is reasonably comparable to film and also is similar magnitude of the big screen considering viewing distance and aspect ratio ..., although HD-DVD would make a necessary improvement. This is one of the reasons I fear DVD -- DVD must not STAGNATE in its current form of 480i .... WE NEED HD-DVD to appear ASAP with backward compatabilty (perhaps) to DVD.
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#10 of 204 OFFLINE   Chuck Anstey

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Posted January 21 2002 - 04:03 AM

I have been seeing only one movie a year for the last few years. Last year I saw X-men on opening weekend and this year it was LOTR:FOTR (Dec 24th, just made it) and that will be the last one. Now that commercial theaters are showing 10 minutes of COMMERCIALS!!!, which is worse than the FBI warning, why bother. Plus the fact they kept using/not using the anamorphic lens and gates at the start of the movie so it started at about 4:1 aspect ratio for the first 3 minutes. I guess alot has changed from July 2000 to Dec 2001.

I upgraded from a 400Q/stand-alone DVD player combo to a G70/HTPC so I get every bit as much picture quality as your average THX approved theater using 2nd generational prints after opening weekend.

Chuck Anstey

#11 of 204 OFFLINE   MikeAW

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Posted January 21 2002 - 04:13 AM

The last film I went to in a theater was "Rush Hour 2" and that was the first time in two and a half years. Matinee prices, and I discovered that one could have semi-classy dinner there, instead of just popcorn ! It still didn't sell me on making it a regular experience...too expensive and just too bothersome with the noise.

I just can't bother with going to a theater anymore and dealing withe The People Problems. They think they are in their homes and not in public...so they act accordingly. A bunch of mentally deficient people, if you ask me. I don't understand why they can't make the distinction and act accordingly.

What's up with that ?

#12 of 204 ONLINE   Dick

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Posted January 21 2002 - 04:24 AM

Certain films need to be seen on a large screen, I feel. The two this year for me were HARRY POTTER and LOTR. POTTER's focus was soft, and my complaints led to no improvement, so I'll have to wait for DVD to see a sharp image. LOTR, in the same cinema, was dynamite. Clear, sharp as a tack, great sound. But there was a time when I used to go to theaters twice each week, and saw what seemed to be about half of all movies released. This was pre-Dolby and everything. Movies were better then, though (screenwriters actually had talent), and the chances of having to share an auditorium with disruptive hoodlums were far less than now. I find home theater generally preferable, except for the aforementioned two or three films a year which cry out for BIG SCREEN viewing.

#13 of 204 OFFLINE   Matt Stryker

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Posted January 21 2002 - 04:29 AM

Michael-
I'll have to agree with Chuck. Film is the superior medium compared to a 480p signal, but only in a pristine or near pristine form. Every movie house I have been to in the last 5 years with the exception of an IMAX has had severe damage to the exhibited print. Scratches, hair, sound dropouts as well as projectionist/owner errors such as improper matting, incorrect lighting, and uncalibrated sound.

It is no longer worth the time, money, or trouble for me to see feature films in the theater.

#14 of 204 OFFLINE   Dave Scarpa

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Posted January 21 2002 - 04:37 AM

I just went to See Black Hawk Down, but I really do not go all too much, I only went to that because my Brother in Law was down and wanted to see it. Before that I saw LOTR's. I mostly go to "Event" movies now. Although I think I will go see the new Swartzenegger flick next month. And I always do Matinee.
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#15 of 204 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted January 21 2002 - 04:49 AM

Quote:
Film is the superior medium compared to a 480p signal, but only in a pristine or near pristine form.
I think that's overstating it, Matt. While I tend to see films shortly after release, just because I'm usually eager to do so, lately I've been catching up with many of the late-2001 releases several weeks after they've been released here. If the print arrives in good condition and is treated properly, it holds up fine -- maybe not for years, but certainly for a month.

Now I grant you that many theaters don't respect either their software or their hardware. But one of the advantages of going more frequently is that you quickly learn which theaters are well-run and which aren't.

Let me repeat: Especially with today's technology, I think the decision to stay home is an eminently sound choice. I just don't see any reason to overstate the advantages. Purely as a visual medium, film is still better.

M.
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#16 of 204 OFFLINE   paul_v

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Posted January 21 2002 - 04:59 AM

DOn't forget a big advantage of home theater....you can pause the movie if you have to use the restroom! I've seen LOTR 3 times in the theater and each viewing I had to use the restroom at the same exact point...when the fellowship arrives at Rivendale. I haveyet to see that scene all the way through hehe


I only go to the theaters for event films. I saw LOTR 3 times though...first time on opening day....2nd time I took my niece and nephew....third time my girlfriend wanted to see it again (she hated it the first time because all the evil made her uncomfortable. She liked it better the 2nd time after I explained to her the Christian themes in the story).

I told my girlfriend that I hate going to movie theaters but she said "Well it gives us a chance to go out and do something". *sigh* guess that means more movie theater visits.
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#17 of 204 OFFLINE   Dave Scarpa

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Posted January 21 2002 - 05:19 AM

Hey I know the "Extra Large" Soda is only a quarter more but get the small and maybe you'll see the parts you missed.
I have no problems I have "Kidneys of Iron !"
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#18 of 204 OFFLINE   Guy_K

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Posted January 21 2002 - 05:43 AM

I go about once a week.. I never have problems with the audience, I guess I'm either too busy putting all my attention on the movie and not the little things (such as minor problems with the screen), or I've been extremely lucky my whole life.

#19 of 204 OFFLINE   Bill Balcziak

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Posted January 21 2002 - 06:11 AM

I finally returned to a theater after a three-year absence to see The Royal Tenenbaums. I just couldn't wait for the DVD release.

I don't have anything against the theatergoing experience, per se, but I have had some really rotten encounters with chatty, noisy people who can't seem to understand they're not sitting at home. It's a curious phenomenon, that's for sure.

The single biggest reason I stopped going to movies is the cost. For the price of two tickets, a soda and a snack (not to mention a sitter), I can easily buy the DVD. And since I tend to not buy and hold a library of DVDs (I sell a LOT of titles off after one or two viewings), I can actually see several DVDs for the cost of a single movie in the theater.

My wife likes going to movies in the theater a lot more than I do, so she takes the kids to the new releases, and sees a few films with friends when the mood strikes.

#20 of 204 OFFLINE   Shawn C

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Posted January 21 2002 - 06:36 AM

My wife and I still go to the movies in Vegas. Vegas is a GREAT place to go to the movies! 99.9% of the theaters are in casino/hotels and they are generally clean and new. The theater I go to has all stadium seating with carpeted floors.

Not having to go to a mall or stand-alone theater helps out alot.