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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Strohmaier, Sep 14, 2018.
That does sound too good.
The Uptown, where 2001 had its world premiere in 1968, used to be a great venue. Seeing LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, VERTIGO, MY FAIR LADY, and others in 70mm was incredible. In the last years of using film projection, they got rid of union projectionists and predictably quality suffered. I have not returned there since they went digital but your report mirrors what I have heard. At one time it was worth driving the 100 miles to see a movie at the Uptown. Sadly this is no longer true.
Compared to analog it really does not take much effort to get digital projection right but you can always count on somebody being up to the task of messing that up, too.
Last night the Dome was spectacular with a perfect presentation of It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World. I saw the film in its re-release decades ago and have not seen it on a big screen since. Only with the purchase of VHS, the wonderful Laser, DVD, Blu-Ray and finally the Criterion Blu-Ray, so seeing on the huge dome screen was a magnificent experience.
Thanks for that -we worked very hard to make the Dome Birthday screenings look and sound great on the full Cinerama screen. The complements we got at intermission and after the show last night about the image and sound quality, not to mention the old fashioned roadshow showmanship, were heart warming to both John Sittig myself, and the projection team. Karen Kramer, Sandy Hackett and actress Barrie Chase had some funny stories to tell.
We had a few important Arclight executives attend who were also amazed with the sold out crowd and had quite big smiles on their faces. Visitors from New York City, New Orleans and even Sweden got on planes just for this show. Now we have to figure out what to do for next fall, or perhaps sooner!
I saw BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY at the Uptown as well. While its sound system didn't disappoint, I am surprised that the owners have not adjusted the masking since they replaced their film projectors with a digital system. It's been at least eight years now! (Image is of a pre-show advertisement, not the movie, and is intentionally overexposed to show the full screen area)
Are you saying that is an accurate representation of what Bohemian Rhapsody looked like in that theater - that is shameful and why I don't go to movie theaters anymore. And it looks from the size of the audience that others are just like me.
Sadly yes, that is what both BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY and, three weeks ago, A STAR IS BORN looked like on the Uptown screen. (I mentioned that the image was not from the feature film only to keep 20th Century Fox lawyers off my back - the pre-show trailers and the feature all use the same projector)
Prior to around 1981, the Uptown would manually install masking for 35mm anamorphic and 35mm spherical images, but improved technology allowed them to show 35mm on the full screen starting I believe with Milos Forman's RAGTIME. So adding supplemental masking for what is now the new screen image shouldn't be out of the question.
As for the lack of customers, I attended weekend matinees both times and sat in the front row of the balcony so I couldn't see all of the audience downstairs. But I suspect that the era of lines around the block at the Uptown are over.
Having said all that, if you ignore the ill-fitting masking, the digital image quality for both RHAPSODY and STAR was pretty good, and the Uptown still has an ambience all its own.
I'm sorry... that ill-fitting masking just can't be ignored. There's no excuse for the sorry lack of showmanship in today's movie houses.. My past experiences in theatres such as the Uptown were so magical that I don't want to sully my memories by seeing the sad state of moviegoing today. I'll stay home and get a more satisfying experience. And that's so sad.
Which version did they show, the general release (154-166 mins.) or Restored (182-197 mins.)?
It was a 179 minute version with the police call intermission. The DCP was corrected to show perfectly on the Dome’s screen filling it completely as if this was a Ulta-Panavision 70mm print. The wizardly work of David Strohmaier and his group should be applauded. The presentation, I think, was as close to the premier 55 years ago as it could get.
So it was a DCP of the 163 minute version plus the music-only segments and police calls?
Glad to hear you liked it that much and you can be happy that the geometry is a lot better now than it used to be. Back then a substantial part of the frame got cut off in the screen center as it was at a much bigger distance to the projector lens than the sides and today it is possible to correct for that in the digital domain.
I would have really liked to see that on the big screen
You think that's bad, most new theaters have screens that are natively 1.85 ratio with NO masking whatsoever, so all scope movies are letterboxed, reducing the theatrical experience to a glorified home projection system. The two dome theaters we had in Sacramento that originally had grand wide screens (which were both split in half in the 70s) were recently torn down and replaced with a new theater all with those type- I'd prayed for years that the domes would be properly restored and to have them replaced with that is purely insulting. But I guess only Los Angeles deserves nice theaters now.
If we actually had a good theater here I'd go to it weekly regardless of what was playing. As it is now, I don't go to theaters at all anymore (seeing The Last Jedi letterboxed with a ridiculously dark picture was the last straw. I enjoyed it a lot more at home.)
And I need to add that digital got the scope format COMPLETELY wrong- it works the same way as home formats- it's letterboxed on a native 1.85 frame. 35mm of course used anamorphic lenses, and digital should have either done that or used a native 2.35 frame. At theaters with proper 2.35 screens showing digital, it's actually zoomed losing a bit of resolution in the process.
Grand Prix in Bradford was also corrected for the Cinerama screen which also looked fantastic.
I am looking forward to Ice Station Zebra.
I saw Bohemian Rhapsody at Seattle Cinerama and it was perfect - and every seat was taken. I would have so loved to see Mad...World in Hollywood, sounds fantastic.
This was an excellent presentation. I had planned a vacation in California that included this date, and I rearranged a couple of hotel stays so I could attend. Two friends from Redondo Beach came up to see it as well. Interestingly, one of them lived in Hollywood 54 years ago and saw IAMMMMW at the Dome late in its original run (I think it ran for over a year).
Congrats on an artistic and commercial success. Hopefully it will open the door to more of these special events at the Dome. How about some screenings of the original Star Wars trilogy - I bet those would be huge.
Were there any difficulties in getting proper corner-to-corner focus with the curved screen?
The Hateful Eight in glorious Ultra Panavision would be cool on the Cinerama screen.
I just posted in" streaming" that the newly restored versions of THIS IS CINERAMA and WINDJAMMER are now available in HD smiledboxed boxed on iTunes.