Saturday, December 6, 2014

The New Cinerama

Today was my first chance to go to the newly-remodeled Cinerama.  It was quite something.  First off, I saw the latest Hunger Games movie there, which was kind of not very impressive.  The farther they away from kids killing kids, the less I'm interested.  That said, it's not nearly as bad as the Matrix sequels, but it's definitely not great.  You have to care a lot about Katniss et al and I do not.  Sure, I'll see the last, because I've already gotten this far.  But I'll say this, if you haven't seen either of the films or read the books, you will probably hate this movie, because not very much happens.  And the best thing about it is Elizabeth Banks by far.  Anyhow, back to the theater itself.  The Cinerama is at this moment unique in the world as it has this super-HD laser projection system.  It claims that it can show films with greater clarity and definition.  Can it?  Yes, it's pretty stunning.  I'm guessing this is the wave of the future and it's a good thing.  Let's see...what else is new?  Ah yes, new seats.  Behold:
Fewer seats, fewer rows and tons of leg room.  The only thing is that seating is, for some reason, reserved.  You pick your own seat when you buy your ticket.  It was weird seeing people evicting other people from their seats during the previews.  I didn't have that trouble, as I sat where I always sit: right and up.  At first, I thought the seats would be very uncomfortable, as their backs recline in a semi-awkward way, but I was wrong.  They are very comfortable - not sleep-inducing comfortable, but quite nice.  And they're also very wide, built especially for the zaftig movie-goer.  Me, I had at least half a foot to spare.  So basically, if your ass is wide, this is your theater.  Did I mention that there's a lot of leg room?  Here's a different shot:
OK, so this doesn't show that there's around two feet between you and the next row, but there is.  If there was this this much space on your average airliner, passengers would be overjoyed beyond belief.  
This is a bad shot, but it gives you a good idea of the mad speakerage in the place.  There are three speakers just in this small patch of wall and balcony.  I thought that the old system was just fine: loud and rumbly when needed, soft and stereophonic when necessary.  This is much better.  It may be one of the best sound systems anywhere.  Previously, dialogue would get swallowed up in noise during films like Godzilla or Pacific Rim.  It's very clear now.  So there's a lot of noise in the film.  You can still hear the dialogue.  I guess that's thanks to the zillions of speakers all around.

The Cinerama remains my favorite theater in the whole world.  The upgrades in technology really do make a difference.  But be forewarned, every show will cost you 15 bucks.  Since I was seeing a matinee, I kind of took exception to this.  The theater guy explained that they were advised to charge $25 per ticket, but instead it's going to be $15 no matter the time of day.  The thing is that the quality is $15-good for a mediocre film.  It's not $25-good on a Saturday morning at 11:45.  I would pay $25 to see a great film.  Case in point, I'd pay that much to see The Shining or a gigantic version of Citizen Kane or Casablanca.  Absolutely, I would.  But not for Hunger Games - Mockingjay, Pt. 1.  Nope, $15 is my limit and with that film, just barely.  I look forward to seeing many more good films there.  In the past, they've had film festivals that have genuinely stirred my soul.  Seeing Flash Gordon there a few years ago was one of the best entertainment experiences I've ever had.  Let's hope they keep doing that.  Anyways, all hail the Cinerama!      

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