Movie Theatre sound system

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Matt J L, Jun 25, 2002.

  1. Matt J L

    Matt J L Auditioning

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    I finally got around to seeing Sum of All Fears this evening (well sort of). My father and I went to the Regal at Warrington Crossing in PA. From the very beginning of the movie, There was somethign wrong with the sound. It was almost unbearable (I wanted to tell them, but I didn't want to miss any of the movie). It sounded as if we were listening to an audio tape that had been in a car's glove box for a few years. Very evident on the soundtrack...tones sort of faded in and out. I'm not sure if it's related, but the picture shook. Anyway, about 5 minutes into the movie, the left main channel started to buzz, loudly. At this point I did get up to tell them. About 10 more minutes into the movie, they got it working, but they kept it rolling, so everyone missed the dialogue for 10 minutes in the beginning of the movie, as the plot was being set up.

    We ended up walking to a different screen and saw the Bourne Identity from the beginning instead.

    Here's my question: if we go back tomorrow night to see Sum of All Fears, will the audio still be "poor". I'm sure that the issue with the buzz is resolved - I'm concerned with that "tonal fade". It's only showing on one screen there. Is there something wrong with the film or do you think that it was a one time issue.

    Thanks....
    Matt
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    If the picture was shaking, it's likely that the optic in the projector could not read the DD/SDDS soundtrack that was being used properly, so that's what was causing your dropouts.
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Matt:

    Once the audio dropped out, you had the right to demand your money back--or, at least, another screening. The establishment owed you and your father the movie you paid for. Insist on that next time. Seriously.

    JB
     
  4. John Thomas

    John Thomas Cinematographer

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    Matt, I went to see this movie on opening day and had a similar experience. However, the sound track was barely audible throughout the first five minutes of the movie. I ended up getting up and going to the front counter (and had about 10 other people get up and follow me), demanding my money back. The manager ended up informing us that there was a problem with the loading of the audio and that he was on the phone with Sony.

    I ended up going to see it at another theater and it sounded great (though the movie wasn't). There may be some issue with this particular movie's audio. Gurus/experts?
     
  5. Dennis_HT

    Dennis_HT Agent

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    I recently had a similar experience seeing Attack of the Clones. When the movie started you could barely hear the bass or surrounds. I had to get up and inform a manager. They fixed the problem. After the movie ended, I saw the manager and said "Thanks." He said "No problem ...the volume was just too low." I wish they would have checked that before the movie started.
     
  6. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I asked to raise the volume once during Gladiator.

    I always get nervous when the previous play lower than the norm (which is often). But more often than not, the volume returns to normal. It might be because a lot of trailers are in DPL instead of DD/DTS/SDDS.

    --
    Holadem
     
  7. David Rogers

    David Rogers Supporting Actor

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    Once a theater has a major technical problem like that, I remember it. I usually stop going for a month or two. When I return, if I see/hear any other problems, never again.

    One theater here, haven't been there in over five years now, that had one screen that was basically a large screen tv (sized). Sorry, not buying ticket unless inform ahead of time I'm basically watching x2 my living room.

    The theater closest to me used to be a UA, now is a Regal (bought out recently); still has screen damage on several screens, still has MAJOR digital sound problems as evidenced when I foolishly saw AOTC there. I didn't enjoy my AOTC experience fully until I saw it later in the opening weekend at a real theater.

    The basic requirements are intact screen (no holes, no major huge spots of discoloration), projector turned up and running properly, and sound that works and isn't either very low or vibrating the marrow out of my bones. Seems lots of theater managers can't manage this though.
     
  8. Matt J L

    Matt J L Auditioning

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    The sound wasn't dropping out every once in a while, it's better described as the tone was fluctuating (like going from a C to a C sharp) every second or half second. The volume remained level, but the sound itself was distorted.

    Had we gotten our money back, we would have just bought a ticket for another movie, since we weren't going to have sat through a half hour of commercials for nothing. Knowing that if we waited for the refund and then bought new tickets, we would have missed the beginning of Bourne Identity, we decided to save the hassle and just walk into a different theatre. Plus, the kid giving out the refunds did not appear to have the authority to give away anything but a refund or maybe a coupon for free milk duds with a $20 popcorn/soda purchase.
     

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