Showing 1 - 25 of 106 comments
I read that starting in 2018 they were starting a rollout to convert 85 IMAX theaters in the USA to 4K Laser Projection. I’m hoping that the Neshaminy 24 is one of them. IMO it would seem like the Neshaminy would be a natural choice for 4K Laser as it’s one of the larger Digital IMAX theaters and has a nice big screen as Digital IMAXs go plus the Neshaminy 24 is apparently one of the highest grossing megaplexes in the US. With the way technology is moving forward, I wonder how soon other companies like Barco, Sony and Christy will start rolling out their own 4K projectors in regular auditoriums? I have read that the new THX Ultimate Cinema may even surpass Dolby Cinema in sound and picture quality.
Hmm….my experiences with the Dolby Cinema have been very positive (except for a showing of Thor Ragnarok where one of the projectors went down with about a half hour to go in the film; we were able to see the rest of the film, but the picture quality really suffered but they did give everyone free passes and let us know what was going on at least). Don’t recall any issues with the house lights, etc. I do like the fact that Neshaminy has the 2.39 to 1 common height screen (unfortunately no side masking for 1.85 to 1). It’s been a little while since I was in the Neshaminy IMAX but I have seen films there since the renovations. Anybody know if they have converted the IMAX from the dual 2K Zenon projectors to the new IMAX single 4K Laser Projection or better yet to the Dual 4K Laser or if there are any plans to do so?
I just read that the IMAX is getting 4K Dual Laser Projection. I would assume there are some other renovations going on as well.
When I was in London a few years back, the projectionist at the BFI IMAX told me they couldn’t get Laser Projection because IMAX would not put in 4K Laser in theaters which still had 70mm IMAX.I wonder if that policy has changed or if KOP is loosing 70mm…that would be a shame.
I just read that the IMAX at the UA King of Prussia is getting dual 4K Laser Projection. I wonder if there are any plans to upgrade the IMAX at the Neshaminy to 4K Laser?
Finally saw a movie a couple of weeks ago at this newest area theater. A saw Once Upon A Time…..In Hollywood in Aud #7. Decent sized room with comfy recliners. Sound and projection were very good and the screen bathed in different colors of light prior to the pre-show, etc was a nice touch. My only real complaint was while the screen was large and nicely proportioned to the auditorium size, it was a 1.85 to 1 aspect ratio screen with no movable masking. I am not a fan of 1.85 to 1 screens that are top masked for scope, but with proper masking I am ok with it; with no masking, watching a 2.39 to 1 ‘scope ratio film in a theater with bars at the top and bottom is frankly a second rate presentation that distracts from the experience of seeing a film in an otherwise nice theater.
That’s interesting. I’m kind of glad they are keeping the main auditorium intact as it may be large by today’s standards but it is still under 500 seats. That being said, IMO, with all the upgrades in sound and projection (and the addition of 70mm capability) I really do hope they put in a new permanent screen that can take advantage of most of the width of that stage. At 32' wide the current flying screen is smaller than the screens in the big rooms at Riverview Plaza. No question that width stage and size auditorium should have at least a 50' wide screen (if not wider) especially if they want to do justice to any future 70mm screenings. I’m not sure, but I am guessing that if they are going to be installing Dolby Atmos Sound, a new permanent screen would be a must considering the number of speakers behind the screen.
Thanks for the update. Apparently the main auditorium will be getting Dolby Atmos Sound, 4K, 35mm and 70mm projection (and I hope a new permanent screen with side masking). The dividing of the main auditorium appears to be the same configuration as what was done to good effect at the Ambler. I’m not familiar with the Ballroom Auditorium at the Prince. I wonder if that would just become another small screening room or a somewhat larger 100-150 seat room. No matter, this is great news for Philadelphia area film goers. The idea of being able to see 70mm again is going to be a real treat.
The Regal Huntington Valley 14 (which is now an LA Fitness) opened as part of that shopping plaza back in 1991 and closed in 2001. The old Regal 14 only had two nice big auditoriums with large screens w/ side masking and at some point, THX sound, etc. The rest of the auditoriums were pretty small. In fact, as I recall, the mid sized rooms were fairly long and narrow w/ top masking which was a bit odd and regressive for a ground up build in those days. The Penn Cinema is apparently part of a small regional chain of “boutique” cinemas. Haven’t been there yet, but took a look at the seating charts for all the auditoriums and it looks promising.
I still wish the IMAX had been upgraded to dual 4K Laser Projection.
More good news re The Ventnor Theater. In an interview on Downbeach Buzz from mid April, one of the new owners indicated the following: The theater will be gutted and more than likely end end up as a 3 screener. All screens will have State of the Art projection and multi-track (7.1) Dolby Digital Sound. There will be one what he termed “large format” room with a 50 ft screen. The apartments above the theater will be converted into a “Burger Bar” and a separate bar. Food/drinks will not actually be sold in the auditoriums but patrons may bring in food/drinks from the Burger Bar and Bar. Another adjacent building is to be torn down which will open up plenty of parking in a large lot behind the theater. The theater will be re-named the “Ventnor Square Theater” and is expected to be open by Spring 2019 and remain open year round.
Your memory of the Ventnor Twin is accurate. The theater on the right was much narrower than the larger on the left. The smaller theater had a 2.40 to 1 screen with side masking that was positioned pretty high on the wall and the seating rows had an odd slope…kind of like an S. The last film I saw in the smaller theater was in 1997 (Conspiracy Theory)and I do recall that the picture quality was dark and murky and the sound tinny mono. I don’t recall whether the larger theater on the left had masking (the last two films I saw there were in ‘scope) but the screen was really big and appeared to have an aspect ratio of around 2.2 to 1. At some point the larger theater had Dolby sound installed but not Dolby Digital.The last two films I saw in the big room were Forrest Gump and True Lies. As I recall, the projection for both films was quite good. I would guess that whatever renovation is done, it will include digital projection and digital surround sound.
The guys who bought it have the Harbor Square Theater in Stone Harbor. Based upon what they did with the Harbor Square they will gut the theater and completely renovate. It will be interesting to see if it remains a two screener or if they divide it up into more screens. The larger auditorium at the Ventnor as I recall is quite wide and had a very large screen.
If left intact dimensionally that large room could potentially be one of the best places to see a film at the Jersey shore.
Very, very good news for folks at the Jersey Shore and fans of the old Ventnor theater. In an unrelated article (it was about the Margate beach front issues)in today’s Phila Daily News there was a blurb “the long decrepit but historic and much loved Ventnor Twin was purchased by the owner of the Stone Harbor boutique movie theater who plans a similar bar-theater- restaurant complex”. Sounds promising to say the least.
UA Oxford Valley apparently is no longer using screen masking, at least in Aud #14. Was there Sat night to see The Shape of Water which is 1.85 to 1 and no side masking was used on the 2.40 to 1 screen. It’s just a bad look. With TV’s getting bigger and bigger you would think the theaters would try to preserve the uniqueness and superiority of the theater experience instead of aping TV. Anybody can go over to a store and buy a recliner and plop it down in their TV room. I will avoid seeing any more non-scope films at this theater for now on in the auditoriums that had side masking at this theater.
Only been in the IMAX for Dunkirk and it was a very good experience. Can’t comment on the masking issue. The last time I was at UA Oxford Valley and UA Grant Plaza (within the last 3-6 months) they were still using the masking at both complexes. In fact, prior to the 2.39 to 1 films begin they pulled back the side masking. Kind of reminded me of when there were curtains. I always loved the effect of the side masking being retracted…it was a nice effect. The current trend of no masking IMO, is just a tacky cost saving measure. I wish some film makers and studios would take a stand with the theater chains. It just cheapens the whole experience. If I want the black bars I can stay home and watch my 55" Sony.
Was very impressed with the Dolby Cinema. The Atmos sound is very immersive and the dual 4k laser projection system achieves levels of detail, clarity and color contrast that gets awfully close to 70mm film. The other nice feature of the Dolby Cinema at the Neshaminy is they kept the 60' wide 2.39 to 1 ratio screen unlike other Dolby Cinema conversions that utilize a 1.85 to 1 screen that displays the ‘scope ratio with bars at the top and bottom. I couldn’t tell if the screen had movable side masking as both films I’ve seen there were 2.39 to 1. The new recliners are a bit narrower than others but were still very comfortable.
I wish that the Prince could survive as a film only venue with a 60' wide permanent stage width screen instead of the present 32' flying screen. It is pretty sad that in a city as large as Philadelphia that there are so few screens in Center City. At least with the Prince showing movies there is a decent venue for more mainstream films. I have read of a possible small multiplex in the Gallery renovation but I’ll believe that when I’m actually sitting in one of the theaters waiting for the show to begin.
According to the Prince website they are showing Dunkirk in both Digital Projection and 35mm. Apparently it was erroneously noted in an article in the Sunday Inquire that the Prince was showing it in 70mm.
Thanks for the heads-up re the road work…the seats in the IMAX are reserved so I don’t have to get there too early, but I’ll give myself a little more cushion time-wise just in case.
Hopefully the seats I chose are good; it’s a little tricky with a theater I have never been to. I went middle row, middle seats which is generally a good spot just about anywhere.
Just bought tickets to see Dunkirk in IMAX 70mm at KOP. It will be my first time at this theater. My only other experience with IMAX 70 was at the BFI IMAX in London which has a huge 85'x 65' screen. The scenes filmed in IMAX 70 were stunning. From what I have read, 100 minutes of Dunkirk was filmed with IMAX 70 cameras so it should be quite the visual experience. I read that IMAX screen at KOP is 74'x54'. It’s no BFI but it should still be pretty awesome.
“Steel Pier featured every great entertainer of their day from Frank Sinatra to Al Jolson to The Beatles”. The Beatles never played Steel Pier (unless you count their films, Hard Days Night and Help). The Beatles did play Convention Hall. I wonder what the current owners have in mind when they say “restore to its former glory”? I would doubt we will ever see the return of movies, big name live entertainment, etc to the Pier….but you never know. Except for the IMAX at one of the Casino/Hotels there are no more movie theaters in Atlantic City (or Ventnor or Margate). I don’t think that is going to change anytime soon.
I really appreciate all the info re the Pier. It was also a big part of my growing up in Atlantic City and Ventnor in the 60’s.
When the Ventnor was first twinned the projection appeared to be fine in both auditoriums. In its latter years as a twin the projection in the smaller room was really bad. I actually believe toward the end the Ventnor Twin was leased to someone else who ran the theater but it was in pretty poor shape by then.
Re the Ventnor twinning, the much larger auditorium on the left was wide and had a really big scope screen but no masking and Dolby Stereo wasn’t installed until most other theaters had DTS, etc. The other smaller auditorium was a bit of a strange affair, the screen had movable side masking but the screen was unusually high off the floor. Toward the end, the projection in the large auditorium was generally pretty good but the projection in the smaller room was pretty awful.
That’s a good question. I didn’t think to look for the speakers. The sound was definitely louder or “bigger” than in the past. The Ass’t Manager I had a brief chat with when I was going into the theater as I recall did mention that the sound system had been upgraded. The film, the new Pirates of the Caribbean, was reformatted to fit the taller 1.9 to 1 IMAX screen and the projected image was very bright, sharp and clear (especially for 3D) with no visible pixilation. I am not a big fan of 3D, but I must say that the 3D was excellent for this film and actually an enhancement. Regarding the upgrade to Laser Projection, it might not be up to AMC as IMAX itself apparently calls the shots on a lot of stuff. When I was in London at the BFI IMAX I asked the projectionist if they would be upgrading to Laser and he said that since they still had IMAX 70mm film that IMAX would not do the Laser upgrade.