How can movie theaters compete with your living room? By building a better living room.

Discussion in 'Home Theater Lounge' started by CJ, May 9, 2017.

  1. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    This is kind of a two part article talking about diametrically opposed approaches theaters are taking to stay relevant in the era of soundbars and 70" flatscreens, not to mention TV production values on shows like Game of Thrones that exceed movies from just a decade ago.


    I've never heard anyone say they would go to the movies more but they want more gimmicks. When home electronics manufacturers rush to copy recent theatrical trends (3D) it fails. We don't want these "features".

    I get where the author is going but disagree with the conclusion. A food menu and bar at a traditional 2D theater with traditional seating is not the same as a janky vibrating and pitching and rolling chair that shoots water and smoke at you.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Well it won't. It will be jarring and draw you out of the movie. I've experienced these effects dozens of times at Disney (Mickey's Philharmagic, A Bugs Life, etc.) These effects are jarring or irritating after the novelty wears off, which is about one 12-minute sitting of the attraction.

    I feel like theaters, as described in the second half of the article, are more the norm around here. Sure I live in a mid-size city which tends to tear down and rebuild everything new every 12 years. I know not everyone has access to clean, nice theaters with new sound and projection but the AMC and Marcus theaters here are all really pretty good. I'd hate to see them try to implement these terrible gimmicks. I already actively avoid 3D showings because I hate the experience. Give me a large screen, new digital projection and sound (all properly calibrated), and clean comfortable chairs and nothing more.

    How can movie theaters compete with your living room? By building a better living room.
  2. DustinDavis

    DustinDavis Well-Known Member War Zone Member

    I would go to the movies more if there was simply good etiquette among movie-goers. I don't think it's all explained by my misanthropic tendencies. Technology, individualism, American cultural norms, gun laws... basically they all add up to me wanting to watch at home because that's the only way to have a pleasant, immersive experience. Also I would say having stuff squirted in my face does not get me closer to that goal. Hm, wonder how they would code the experience for the Miggs scene in Silence of the Lambs.
  3. Mike

    Mike Bon Vivant Top Poster

    I now go only for really special films. Otherwise, I can pause it to take a piss, have a drink of my choosing without taking out a mortgage and not have someone lighting up the room with their phone of someones kid screaming and kicking the seat.

    For the price we pay for 2 of us, we can own the movie. But I seldom by anymore either. I use Netflix. Me and about 5 other guys still rent discs. :)
  4. DYohn

    DYohn Well-Known Member Donor

    I still prefer the cinema experience to what can be created at home. But we don't go as often as we used to. Not because of any reason other then laziness.
    CJ likes this.
  5. Rick C

    Rick C Active Member

    Where I previously lived in Upstate NY we had an old 1940's pretty ornate theater that had been broken up into smaller theaters. Many of the viewing locations had been upgraded with large electric reclining seats. It made for a ok viewing experience with no waiting lines and reasonable pricing. The downside was no screen masking, improper screen sizes with haphazard sound and projection.

    Now in SoCal I have traded the previous experience for lines, higher cost, smaller seats and better screening and sound. We still like to go for the outing and to experience special films with a "live" crowd however the live crowd does bring some other issues.

    I agree with you CJ, give me the basics done well, no gimmicks! The idea of more food and more activity, that takes me out of the movie, is not attractive at all.
  6. Carl V

    Carl V Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    Saw "get out" in a Cultural diverse theater crowd.
    The theater was 'ok' but the in seat conversations
    and cell phone use were annoying.

    Years ago I wnet to a home HT demo in a Texas aircraft hanger.
    it was the D'Box. Huge Double 9" CRT PJ Huge Screen
    active seating, killer sound system.$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

    Flash Forward 2017...Prices & quality are pretty darned good.

    For the most part I enjoy my PJ & Big Screen. But like many others
    I still Like a GOOD theater experience on a HUGE screen.
  7. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    That's racist.

  8. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    Maybe this is 40 years late but it never fails when having a conversation with someone or a group of people who saw Star Wars in the Theater, as opposed to a 19 inch TV screen on HBO back in the summer of 1983. I was too young to see the film in the theaters but my two older brothers saw it on the big screen. I eventually saw the "Special Edition" of a New Hope on the big screen in 1997 but the impact of the Blockade Runner being chased down by an Imperial Star Destroyer as both fly overhead simply could not match those feelings of movie goers who witnessed such a phenomena when the "Blockbuster" era was young.

    I guess the same can be said for 2001: A Space Odyssey. When I saw this film in HD and on a newly purchased 47 inch HDTV, personally, this was a jaw dropping moment, as The Discovery, in a much larger scale than what I was used to, flew by on the screen in much richer detail.

    So from a visual point of view, there are some movies, and some events that I believe are much more appropriate to watch on a Larger Screen, IMAX or not.

    The first movie I ever watched in IMAX was Monsters vs Aliens, and in 3D. Never have I witnessed such full immersion into a film. I did see Avatar in a Theater but not an IMAX screen, however this movie, for me at least, was an event that needed to be seen on a larger screen.

    Now many of us here have built home theaters, transformed rooms, upgraded from small systems to large ones, and have come to enjoy the hobby, and it shows when hints of movies being released to the home the same day as in the theaters, streaming companies investing in programming that rivals what we've become accustomed to for decades in a Movie Theater, and so on.

    I know I have asked some of you guys in the past regarding 68 and 70mm films such as 2001 and Lawrence of Arabia, and why we don't see films being made at his scale as often as we did in the past. Money, but I often wonder if these "Scope" films became a normal format for Blockbuster films in these days and times, would it be worth the investment from the Studios or not.
    CJ likes this.
  9. Carl V

    Carl V Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    perhaps....and I was probably one of the oldest
    people in there, so you can accuse me of age bias
    as well.

    large scope films are an expensive Proposition.
    At a BIG theater is translates well. I recall seeing
    a re-release/restoration 70mm print at an art/museum
    theater....and it was nice, but not as nice as on a HUGE screen.
    and HT people used to get annoyed at the Letterbox format
    for those wide scope films.

    I agree with you IMAX screenings are immersive(Height & width).
    3D IMAX is fabulous. The 30fps films were pretty cool and well done
    HUGE screen atmos theaters are quite the spectacle. It's hard to get
    that same Visual at home on 65-105" screen. But it's a compromise
    we all live with.
    CJ likes this.
  10. Randy Rhoton

    Randy Rhoton Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member

    Till this thread I had never heard of this "4dx" thing. So "not the same as a janky vibrating and pitching and rolling chair that shoots water and smoke at you" sounds just like movie night at sea. :D
    However, having seen Star Wars eleven times in the theater back then, and 2001 when it opened in Manhattan, there are just some movies that have to be seen on the big screen. I don't waste my time or money on going out to see comedies and such and will wait to see them on cable. They'll turn up eventually. But I forced myself to drive into Seattle to see the restored Lawrence of Arabia in it's full glory, and it was worth it. The 1959 Ben-Hur qualifies here as well. Saw that in the theater on it's re-release in the mid sixties. Was stunning.
    So I will be going out soon to see Guardians and Wonder Woman etc. My living room is ok for a rewatch, but not a first run. But the newer halls with big comfy well padded seats and stadium type seating so you don't stare at the back of others heads make it worth going. Although I still wait for the crowds to let up, and go to matinees.
    I've only seen one IMAX movie, the documentary on Antarctica. And only one 3d, Monsters vs. Aliens. I found 3d too distracting. And now after my shingles vs. inner ear thing, 3d is out of the question anyway.

    Sidebar on the IMAX Antarctica, for those of you who have seen it, remember the shot of the bulldozer's rear end after it had dropped into a crevasse? Two things of note, -one- it's still there working it's way slowly down and maybe in some thousands of years it'll drop into the ocean, and -two- the driver was my older brother. He and his co-driver were rescued but they spent about 5 cold and very uncomfortable hours while the rescue was being set up. He told me that had in fallen through perhaps 50 yards to the left, the crevasse widened out and they likely would have gone too far down to save.
    DYohn likes this.
  11. Carl V

    Carl V Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    wow about the Bulldozer story...and owow star wars 11 times in the theater back then.

    Seattle still has Cinerama
  12. Randy Rhoton

    Randy Rhoton Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member

    Thread fart on.

    More on the bulldozer, it's a D-8 Cat brand. Originally there were 9 of them shipped down in the early days of setting up McMurdo base. I think maybe one might be left. Another lost one is on the bottom of McMurdo Sound having broken through the ice. It's driver went with it. His name was Williams, and Williams field, the ice runway there is named for him. The dozer in the crevasse was actually towing two large cargo sledges at the time it fell in. They were safely towed out of the way before that shot was taken.
    More of my brother's work was seen for many years during the Mariners baseball games in the now demolished Seattle Kingdome. He was the guy up in the ceiling setting off the home run fireworks. He trained me as a backup, and I did seven games but did not continue as my knees did NOT like the climb up there.

    Thread fart off.
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  13. I rarely go out to the theater anymore, but when there is a film I'm interested in seeing when it's first released, I've been driving the extra 25 miles to go to the FLIX Brewhouse. It really is a great experience. Their setup is such that the waitstaff walking through are low enough that they don't block your view. They serve the food right as the previews are starting, so most are close to finishing up when the film starts. And I enjoy being able to have a couple really good beers on tap. Online seat selection and reservation is my favorite feature, though.
  14. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    That sounds like a blatant copy of the Alamo Drafthouse. Not that I have a problem and I don't think the idea is exactly patentable or anything.
  15. Barry_NJ

    Barry_NJ Well-Known Member War Zone Member

    I prefer my home theater. My visual perspective isn't far off from a movie theater, my eyes are about 11', from a 110", 16:9 screen, I've got better than average sound from my Gallo Reference 3.5 front speakers and Gallo Strada II surrounds, all powered by 150w class A/B (high class A bias) amplifiers, and I can set the volume to a comfortable level, sometimes the theater is just too damn loud. I can pause if I really need a bio break. I have food and beverage of my tastes readily available, and my viewing companions are always enjoyable to view with. I still go every once in awhile, if I really don't want to wait for the Blu-Ray release, but the disc is generally less expensive than 2 tickets, so it's also more economical... YMMV
  16. I actually think they are part of the same ownership group. FLIX adds an in-house craft brewery.
    CJ likes this.
  17. Carl V

    Carl V Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    Just saw WONDER WOMAN.
    Opening day @10AM. BIG DOLBY
    theater. HUGE yet Not 3D, oddly enuff.

    Not a big crowd.
    Mostly well behaved.
    Actually middle aged women
    were more talkative.

    This was an impressive Theatrical Presentation.
    It would be difficult to replicate at home.
  18. Agreed. Went to my (not favorite) nearest multiplex on the spur of the moment Friday night. Ended up with decent seats even though the theater was pretty full. I thought I was going to be p***ed off during the previews, because there were a lot of distractions, people being annoying, talking loudly, etc. But one the movie started, everyone shut up and was respectful.

    And this was a GREAT presentation. Sound and picture were as good as I've seen in this particular theater, though I did notice one dead pixel toward the bottom left. Otherwise, it was flawless. Great movie.
  19. capsuleri

    capsuleri Well-Known Member War Zone Member

    There as a time when 70mm movie shot with Todd AO technology and Dolby sound was the greatest! I remember seeing Lawrence of Arabia when it first came out in the movie theater in the city that was equipped for it. There was scene where a shot was fired from the right edge of the picture and nearly everyone in the theater instantly leaned left followed by a few choice words!!
  20. Carl V

    Carl V Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    indeed those were the early glory years
    Happily we are getting some of that back
    in the form of IMAX, Imax-lite, Dolby theaters,

    I was fortunate to see many of those blockbusters
    in the curved screen Dome theaters and Some
    Cinerama presentations.

    Omaha Nebraska at one time had the INDIAN HILLS
    curved screen of the premier theaters in the

    Many of us should count ourselves lucky to live in a time
    where we have access to our own Screening room HT set ups.
    And we can OWN the Hard Copy of the film.
    What used to be the province/privilege of only the Hollywood elite.

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