Local theater as good as your HT? - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 20 Old 05-07-06, 08:45 PM
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Local theater as good as your HT?

Do you have a theater in your area that you enjoy experiencing a movie at as much as your own home theater?

I have 2 new theaters in my area that I want to visit--both stating they have "new and amazing" dolby surround sound or some such marketing rich description. The newer megaplexes in my area are pretty good, but still do not compare to my living room. My favorite theater before building my own humble system was one that had a very unique layout. It did not have the typical, plastic, fold-down, padded, theater seats, but had a large open area that had huge, overstuffed, very plush leather couches and love seats. They had nice heavy end tables on both sides of your couch. This gave you a nice bit of space for yourself. It added to the illusion of being alone. Plus, the screen is supposedly one of the largest in the region. I think it is 65' across or something like that. Anyway, it is big. Another thing they had going for it was they had a full bar with people waiting on you and bringing you whatever you wanted. You could still get all the usual theater snacks, but I usually got a nice glass of wine or an ice cold beer depending on my mood. Another thing that made this particlar theater so enjoyable to go is the rest of the facility. It has a nice lounge area with music, a bowling alley in the basement complete with food, arcade, pool tables, and ping-pong. Plus the building is very ornate. Just about every square inch is decorated in one way or another--lots of carvings. The main theater room has a domed ceiling with color changing LED lights in it. Also, they only charged the same as every other theater in the area. Even as cool of an experience as this particular theater is to go to, I have found that it still doesn't compare to sitting in my undershorts and laying back on my comfy furniture with my feet up and petting the dog in my own home. Plus, I kind of like to watch a movie with the volume turned up louder than even some of the best theaters can provide. Any one else feel this way?
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post #2 of 20 Old 05-07-06, 10:46 PM
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Re: Local theater as good as your HT?

I've been to one of the theaters in Montgomery, Alabama and the one in Troy, Alabama, where I work. Not even a chance that either could come as close. The one in Montgomery is supposed to be one of those expensive setups but it sounded terrible to all of us who went. The sound was distorted and way too loud. It was ear piercing and we almost couldn't sit through the movie. We all got up and had to take a break it was so bad. The bass sounded like it cut off around 80hz or maybe higher... terrible experience to say the least.

I'm like you... nothing like lounging around in the comfort of your own home theater and when you turn it up loud it actually sounds good, not tiring your ears. Since we got our two SVS subs my wife says I listen louder than I ever have, but we both agree it sounds so good and clean, it's hard not to turn it up.

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post #3 of 20 Old 05-09-06, 07:50 AM
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Re: Local theater as good as your HT?

A large theater certainly has a challenge to fill that huge space with quality sound. I think I've achived much better results on a small budget in my small living room. I only go to the theater if I just can't wait for a movie to come out on DVD.

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post #4 of 20 Old 05-12-06, 12:56 AM
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Re: Local theater as good as your HT?

The last theatre I went to was in Peterborough England, it tried to cram as many cinemas into its building as possible and the result was you could hear the film playing in the screen next door. Awful experience.

Prefer my HT as I cannot hear the neighbours when it is playing
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post #5 of 20 Old 05-13-06, 05:28 PM
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Re: Local theater as good as your HT?

Even my own non-dedicated HT setup that's arranged HORRIBLY is far more enjoyable than any theater that I've gone to lately.

For me, there are some movies that I'm definitely going to want to see at the movies -- LOTR, Star Wars, etc. They truly have to be epic for the hassle, inconvenience, noisy audience, etc for me to go to the movies now. I'm fortuante that the sound systems in my area are generally not too bad. Not as clear, tight, etc as my home setup, but not unlistenable either.

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post #6 of 20 Old 05-16-06, 04:58 PM
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Re: Local theater as good as your HT?

I've only found two theaters near me that can rival or top my own modest setup.

The first is when feature movies come out in IMAX format. Everything about seeing a feature film on an IMAX screen is mind-numbing. Sound is huge, although I didn't feel as well defined, and the screen is e--normous. I do enjoy seeing action flicks there. The other is the Cineroma, a Paul Allen (yes, of Microsoft) pet project. A one-screen very well done theater.

Of course all the usuall downsides to these theaters exist. Noisy/rude people, paying for parking, waiting in line etc...

I only go out to see movies now if there is something I want to see really, really huge.

On a side note, we do have a couple of the beer and a movie joints around. And those can definately be fun to go to as long as you don't care about missing some of the movie experience. It is a good date-night deal because it is a little more laid back and you can talk quietly amongst yourselves without fearing you are ruining someone's experience.
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post #7 of 20 Old 05-19-06, 10:08 PM
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Re: Local theater as good as your HT?

North Park Mall in Dallas had a wonderful theater at one time. No more...progress.

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post #8 of 20 Old 05-20-06, 11:53 PM
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Re: Local theater as good as your HT?

My wife and I have sworn off movies at the theater for good. The sound sucks, the audience laughs at the stupidest and the picture's terrible.

Also, the prices are outrageous.

We'll still take the kids on occasion, but with much lowered expectations.
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post #9 of 20 Old 05-30-06, 09:03 PM
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Re: Local theater as good as your HT?

Funny, we were just talking, as we sat in the local Amstar watching the new X-Men, how great it would be when it was out on DVD and we could watch it at home. Better picture, better sound and all in the comfort of out own home, and the furkids running around. How ' sweet!!!!
post #10 of 20 Old 06-13-06, 07:00 AM
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Re: Local theater as good as your HT?

The family and I always enjoyed going to the movies together. We usually go to the day shows not to be cheap but to avoid the crowds that go at night.

I think the crowds ruin it for me (I hate crowds), whether it is just over crowded or a annoying group that disturbs you while watching the movie. Not to mention that 4 tickets and snacks come out to around $60 for a daytime movie.

I think it will be so much more comfortable to sit together as a family in the comfort of our own house and watch a movie in our own home theater that we all chipped in and helped build, I dont think any theater can top that.

All that being said, I still have never been to an IMAX theater yet (I didnt even know about them till recently, what they come out while I was deployed or something?) and im looking forward to seeing how different it is. Unfortunatly the one near me has been showing movie after movie of things I dont want to see but as soon as they get a good one, I'll be there to test it at least once.
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