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Yes, that would get me back into the theater also. Unfortunately, unless some minor miracle happens, it probably wouldn't be directed by Peter Jackson, in which case I would have to think twice about seeing it.

Bob
If Peter Jackson doesn't do it, I don't think I'd be interested either. With someone else directing, it would have a totally different "feel" to it. It needs to be the same, or don't do it at all. They could easily make two movies, out of that story. They'd all make so much money, I don't see why they have a problem.......:dunno:
 

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I go several times a year. I have Mondays and Tuesdays off and my wife's a stay at home mom. So we go to the early shows on these days. Rarely anyone else in the theater, tickets are half price and there's always a deal at the snack bar. We can get by easily on $20. Normally one of the grandparents watches our youngest so no babysitting fees.

mech
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I like to take my son to the theater. I sometimes go by myself. It gets me out of the house. I like the movies.

In Kitchener (town next to Waterloo) they make DLP projectors for movie theaters, they're by Christie. There is a theater in Waterloo that shows movies on a DLP projector by Christie. I generally go to that one to see movies that were shot digitally like Sin City, 300, Star Wars.
 

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I still like going to the theatre, the local one in winter haven is fine, and i still like to see a movie when its just come out, if they released it on dvd at the same time, id buy the dvd (well, hd dvd/blurry)

Sound and picture in a cinema will always be better than 99.9999% of the generals populations home equipment, but those 99.9999% probably dont care, for us that bother to hook up rew, will a theatre ever realy match the sence of pride and satisfaction of playing a movie on your own setup? probably not.

as an aside, i estimated over 5 years, i spent close to £7000 on home theatre equipment in the uk, at close to £6.50 a ticket to the cinema, so £13.00 for my wife and i, thats 538 trips to the movies (twice a week for 5 years), not including the cost of my 400 plus dvds :R (obviosly these are uk prices, probably somewhat different here in the us)

edd
 

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I despise public theaters. For me it is the horrible service, the sticky seats, and the 25 people talking on their phones or holding crying babies in a rated R film. I guess it is the people that ruin it for me. Nothing beats my HT...
 

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I finally went to the theaters recently after not having gone for over 1 year. I took my wife and 2yr old daughter to see Ratatouille. It was lots of fun and a great experience for my little girl(her first movie at the theaters). It was refreshing to see how excited she was from the "Whole Experience" of it all. Sometimes we forget about the little things in life, and just "big" things can be. A home theater can't match the experience of being in public with the crowd. Of course, that is something that can annoy people if all they focus on is the movie. But, what will keep the theaters in business is that its something that gets you "Out and about", mixing with people and socializing.

That said, I still much prefer to spend most of my movie cash at home, but I will mix it up a bit more with going back to the theaters more often than I have.
 

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This last post reminded of something that does make movie theaters special to me - its those "first" experiences. I remember the first movie I went to at a theater: 101 Dalmations. And I remember the first movie I saw alone (this is not a bad thing since it's a memory related to growing as an independent person): Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
(I just realized both of these movies have been remade.)


Mitch
 

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Mitch,

Actually this is a rather interesting sidebar to the thread. Now I'm much older than
most people here (49) so my firsts will be quirky...


I have close to a photographic memory (pun intended) for movies and where I saw them. I even
saved the newspaper ads in some cases.


Way back in the early sixties, it was cheaper for families to see films in a drive-in than an indoor
theater. Variety referred to them as 'ozoners' and 'hard tops'. Children under 12 were free so
my parents put my sister and I in the back of our station wagon practically every week in the
summer. The first double bill I recall was "Bon Voyage" and "Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation" both
in 1962. I was six years old but still recall MacMurray getting lost in a sewer in Paris and wiggling
his finger in a manhole for help and James Stewart trying to get a rusty pump to work in a run
down cottage. Silly movies but funny for a child.

The first indoor movie I recall seeing is "The Sword and the Stone" in 1963. It was mildly entertaining
but I didn't admire Disney until I saw the later re-issues of his previous classics like "Snow White and
the Seven Dwarfs", "Pinnochio", "Peter Pan" and "Cinderella".

Jumping ahead, I remember the first "G" rated movie and the first "M" rated movies.
When I was eleven, the industry abandoned the Production Code and replaced it with the classification
system. No one knew what this was supposed to mean since most families were used to
'going to the movies' which were suitable for all ages even if some had content that was a bit risque
and went over the heads of small children. In 1968 we saw "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" which was
advertised as rated "G". I thought that meant "Good". What did I know. Other than the neat
car and catchy theme song it was a bore. The "M" rating confused my parents. 'Suggested
for Mature Audiences' made it sound worse than R or X. I had read the book "Secret of Santa
Vittoria" in 1969 and enjoyed it, persuading by parents to let us see it. Very tame by today's
standards. A few swear words and that's all. Because of the confusion, they later changed
"M" to "GP" and later "PG".

My first "R" rated movie I saw with my father which was the re-issue of "MASH". I guess it was the
raunchiest movie I had seen up to that date. Two nuns sat in front of us which made it more surreal.


Now here's a quirky 'first'. I recall vividly my first 'red band' trailer. From 1968-1969 they didn't rate
coming attraction trailers. Movies that were rated R and X had very explicit trailers. When they
were shipped to theaters they had either 'green bands' (cardboard coverings) indicating they could
be shown with G or M films and 'red bands' for R and X movies. Needless to say, once the cardboard
covers were removed the projectionists got confused. When our family went to see a G rated movie
in 1968 (I think it was a re-issue of "Stop the World, I Want to Get Off"), they accidently played a red band trailer of the X rated "Killing of Sister George" that had topless nudity in it. My parents and many others complained to the management. I also saw red band trailer for "The Wild Bunch". This became such a problem that the MPAA later requested that trailers be 'G' rated so they could play before any movie. The green and red bands were abandoned.


Here's another 'first' regarding classification. "Night of the Living Dead" was released in that interim
period before the elimination of the Production Code and Classification. It was never rated and just
booked without classification. Although it was released in 1968 by Continental (Walter Reade Theater
subsidy), it gradually gained in notoriety and continued to play in double bills through the seventies. After reading about it in "Castle of Frankenstein"
magazine, I talked my folks into dropping me off at the cinema to watch it alone.
I saw it in the strangest venue. In the Las Vegas Cinerama Theater as the second feature on a double
bill with "Ben" the lame and tame sequel to "Willard" in 1972. "Ben" was rated GP. Therefore whole
families were in the enormous theater. Then came "Night of the Living Dead" which really shocked
the unsuspecting viewers. After the cannibalism scenes, parents were dragging their children out
in mass. Fortunately, I got to see the whole feature.
It gave me re-occuring nightmares for years. It had a real impact on me at age 15. The only other
film that had people walking out was "Salo" in 1975.



The first "X" rated film I saw was "Deep Throat". A group of high school friends and I traveled to New Jersey to see it in a strip club. It had been banned as obsene in New York State. We were all underage but they let us in anyway. After all the hoopla, we had to admit the movie sucked...pun intended. Just a bore not withstanding Linda's sword swollowing capabilities.


My first good X rated film and first 3-D film was "Andy Warhol's Frankenstein" the next year. Once
again, despite the rating they let underage teenagers in. It was the most outrageous movie I'd ever
seen. It's still one of my favorites. Unfortunately, the 3-D was a mess. The wide shots were great
but the close ups a real eyestrain due to convergence problems with the StereoVision system.
Convergence is the separation of the superimposed stereo pairs. They're supposed to be slightly
overlapped, not on opposite sides of the screen. In any event it was an inspiration for my own
3-D film in 1995 entitled "Run for Cover". I was very careful not to have extreme convergence or
eyestrain like the Morrissey film.


The first movie I saw in single strip Cinerama was "2001: A Space Odyssey" in 1976 and again in 1978
in 70mm at The Rivoli Theater in New York City. An awesome experience. The deeply curved screen made you feel as if you were actually in space. I got a second hand high from all the patrons toting
up during the last scene. The theater reeked of pot afterwards but no one was evicted.



In 1997 the New Neon cinema in Ohio installed a curved screen and three projectors for the earlier
three panel Cinerama experience with "This is Cinerama" and "How the West Was Won" in a double bill.
A spectacular show although you definately saw the panel joins on screen. The most expensive film
I ever saw since I had to travel to the state by plane and pay for a hotel room just to screen it.
I still thought it was worth it since the opportunities for seeing three panel Cinerama were non-existent
from 1964 through 1996.
 

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Does anyone consider the lenght of a movie as a reason for not going to the theater? I noticed that the Simpson movie which is only 87 minutes, had a pretty good opening. For me, I like a movie that's at least two hours long which in some way eases the pain of the high ticket price, not to mention that hopefully, it gives a better chance for a decent plot development. That being said, I still have not been to a theater since Peter Jackson's King Kong.

Bob
 

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Overly long (imo) films actually put me off, some films just seem to drag for me, things like spiderman 3 that ran for 140 mins make me want to wait for dvd, where i can sit for over 2 hours in comfort and press the pause button on the almost ineveitable toilet break.

There is a very rare occasion where length will not put me off, LOTR: ROTK was one example, but i made the effort and went to a cinema with electric recliners and a bar :bigsmile:

edd
 

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The key is pacing. A long movie will not seem long if it's edited for maxium impact.
Movies like "Patton" and "Gone with the Wind" are very long but maintain interest and keep the
story moving rapidly. Conversely, a bad movie will seem like it takes forever to get to the climax
regardless of length. I've always found it fascinating how movies alter your perception of time.



In terms of bathroom breaks, you're out of luck for new films in megaplexes. There's no projectionist
and they play the movies on 'platters'. A platter is a large plate that the entire feature is spliced
onto and twisted into the gate of the projector (causing it to become scratched). Film is meant for
vertical projection, not horizontal. Once the machine is turned on, there's no one there to turn it off for an intermission. That's why movies that needed intermissions don't have it in most cases. I still recall seeing "Titanic" 10 years ago. I enjoyed the film but needed to go to the bathroom halfway through (as does anyone who drinks a coke) and rushed to it just before the ship hit the iceburg. There were other guys in there rushing in and out around the same time which was funny. If the movie was shown in the pre-1975 reel to reel method, the projectionist would've shut down projector #1 at the 'Intermission' sign to give the audience a break. Then there would be an 'entre'acte' on projector #2 to indicate it was time to return to your seat and then the second half of the movie would be shown. They still have these on DVDs but not in most theaters today. Automated showmanship doesn't work.
 

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Man, I missed a good thread. And a :clap: to Mr. Haines -- very interesting read/information. A lot of stuff an outsider wouldn't know. I also need to see some of your movies in a theater -- those are the kinds of movies that are best seen in a theater because it becomes a group experience.

Which will bring me to my anecdote:

Picture a small car with 5 teenage boys -- and definitely of the nerdy/dorky variety. It's the summer. It's about 9pm. We're driving around without a CLUE of what to do. We decide to go to the movies.

We go to the closest theater -- a small theater that I think had 6 screens. We look and I don't recognize ANY of the shows. One of the guys in our group says "Evil Dead II.. I think I heard that was supposed to be good". Good enough for us. We go to our designated theater not expecting much -- one of the smaller ones in a smallish group -- and note the crowd is pretty decent, I'd say about 75% full.

So then the movie starts up and the magic begins. The whole crowd is screaming at the screen, making jokes, etc. Certainly a classic film (I really mean that by the way) but this was probably the BEST movie experience of my life. There are several other movies that I like better (Godfather, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Arc, etc), but nothing has beat that experience and could never be replicated at a home theater.

That being said, 95% of the movies, I'd much rather see at home for the reasons already mentioned. The prices are high, but really what is for me is that there are so many rude people that go to a theater. Talking during the movie (when not appropriate), kicking the seats, etc. I like the group atmosphere when people are courteous, but (maybe I'm just getting old) it just seems like they never are anymore.

JCD
 

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JDC,

Thank you for your kind words.


I think the decor, atmosphere and general showmanship in a cinema tend to dictate behavior. If the
place looks like a real 'theatre' with curtains that open when the movie begins and the architecture is plush or at least doesn't look like a basement, audiences will behave accordingly. If you leave the lights
on during the commercials and the sound is too loud, why should viewers behave as if
they are in a legit theater. My experience is that in IMAX theaters or the surviving large screen movie
houses (i.e. Lafayette in Suffern, Ziegfeld in NYC), the audiences behave much better than in your
standard generic megaplex. Then again in an IMAX cinema they are selling you the 'experience'
which is not the case in a multiplex where they are selling you junk food and local commercials as opposed to the movie itself. On DVD they are selling you a top quality transfer of the movie along with all kinds of suppliments (in the best case scenario). It all comes down to what each venue is offering and/or selling the consumer.
 

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...snip
On DVD they are selling you a top quality transfer of the movie along with all kinds of suppliments (in the best case scenario). It all comes down to what each venue is offering and/or selling the consumer.
As I'm sure you know, not all are the greatest transfer quality. I picked up Robin Hood Prince of Thieves at Sams Club. It was the two disc special edition, and I must say it was the worse transfer I have seen since the first DVD release of Mad Max The Road Warrior! (Thank God they got the BD version right!)

I do agree though, some movies are definitely group events, but the megaplexes have degraded the quality in my opinion.

Another reason we tend to forget about is dates. Movies can be the worse thing for a date in the respect there is no interaction for ninety minutes to two hours (and no I'm not a prude and don't remember the make out days ;) ). But a great movie and then a bite to eat afterword's is a conversation experience.

Other than that though, I just can't get pulled out unless it's something epic or something I am a huge fan of. It could be that I'm older now too, but the last movie I went too I sat through Mountain Dew commercials and some commercial for a vacuum cleaner... we dropped cable over two years ago because of commercials, I really don't want to go see them in a theater! Now the slide show for the early folks doesn't bother me.

Richard, you may know this theater, but for the life of me I can't remember the name... actually there were two- one in Chicago, and one in Milwaukee that were old time movie houses with the marble and red carpet... and yes, people did behave very differently because these were very classy places.

BTW, I got your DVD of the trailers and they were a blast to watch!
 

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wblassett,

Glad you liked the trailers. Remind me to send you the latest one, "What Really Frightens You" when it's finished a few months from now. Very soon I won't be logging on as often because I'll be doing round the clock editing sessions to get my movie ready but it's been lots of fun and I appreciate that there doesn't seem to be hecklers on this site. You wouldn't believe the nasty characters I've run into on other sites.

In terms of dates, my wife won't let me date but I do recall the large screen theaters in the past with the balconies and of course the passion pit drive ins of the seventies. It certainly was a lot more fun going to pictures with dates back then because you had some privacy that you don't have in the megaplexes.

One of the movie palaces in Chicago that you might be thinking of is the Music Box. I booked my film, "Space Avenger" (the three strip Technicolor sci/fi comedy) there in the early nineties. It's a great cinema giving the classic 'moviegoing experience'.
 

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The key is pacing. A long movie will not seem long if it's edited for maxium impact.
Movies like "Patton" and "Gone with the Wind" are very long but maintain interest and keep the
story moving rapidly. Conversely, a bad movie will seem like it takes forever to get to the climax
regardless of length. I've always found it fascinating how movies alter your perception of time.



In terms of bathroom breaks, you're out of luck for new films in megaplexes. There's no projectionist
and they play the movies on 'platters'. A platter is a large plate that the entire feature is spliced
onto and twisted into the gate of the projector (causing it to become scratched). Film is meant for
vertical projection, not horizontal. Once the machine is turned on, there's no one there to turn it off for an intermission. That's why movies that needed intermissions don't have it in most cases. I still recall seeing "Titanic" 10 years ago. I enjoyed the film but needed to go to the bathroom halfway through (as does anyone who drinks a coke) and rushed to it just before the ship hit the iceburg. There were other guys in there rushing in and out around the same time which was funny. If the movie was shown in the pre-1975 reel to reel method, the projectionist would've shut down projector #1 at the 'Intermission' sign to give the audience a break. Then there would be an 'entre'acte' on projector #2 to indicate it was time to return to your seat and then the second half of the movie would be shown. They still have these on DVDs but not in most theaters today. Automated showmanship doesn't work.
Richard,

Excellent points. When I saw LOTR, almost no men took a break and when the movie was over, there was a rush to the men's room. It was the first time I ever experienced a waiting line in a men's room but I thought it was a good indication of how much people were into the movie. Now I know how the ladies feel waiting in a rest room :rolleyesno:

Bob
 

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Bob 99,

On the other end of the spectrum, there are some movies that work quite nicely with a
leisurely pace. "Lawrence of Arabia" is one of my favorite movies but also one of the longest
and slowest. A major advantage is the cinematography by the great Freddie Young.
It's so spectacular you feel as if you're in the desert on location, especially if you see it in
70mm. Less so on DVD unless you watch it projected on a DLP. Another slow movie with
spectacular visuals is "2001: A Space Odyssey" which must be seen on a large
screen to work.
 

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Bob 99,

On the other end of the spectrum, there are some movies that work quite nicely with a
leisurely pace. "Lawrence of Arabia" is one of my favorite movies but also one of the longest
and slowest.
I can testify to that one.

I had to pleasure of watching this movie in an old restored theater (Stanford Theatre) in Palo Alto, CA. They play only the oldies such as Citizen Kane (8/25) Casablanca (8/11), Creature from the Black Lagoon (8/22). Anyway, it has a big screen and in a classic old style movie house (they even have an organ up front). Anyway, I watched the entire movie and never had that squirmy "itchy pants" feeling of "when is the movie EVER gonna end". Watching this movie at home on my big screen (65" widescreen) would have been awful in comparison. But in that movie house, with that big screen, it was just luxurious.

JCD
 

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Wow, great thread, also some great info from Richard W. Haines, thanks for that. My vote would have to go to Home Theatre. I have never been a great movie goer, probably only going a few times a year, I would normally wait for something to come out on DVD and then watch at home using a regular tv. I purchased a projector about two years ago and in that time have been to the cinema once to see 'Walk the Line'. I loved the movie and it was a good experience though a bit pricey. Picture was ok and the sound was so so. I have better sound at home by far!! My biggest complaint about going to the cinema would be subtitles. I live in Finland, English is my first language but I am fluent in Finnish. Going to the cinema any non Finnish movie is obviously subtitled, unfortunately a lot are done badly though not as badly as American or British tv programmes are. I find myself automatically reading the subtitles, I just cannot ignore them and end up getting very irritated at some of the horrible translations where the entire meaning is lost or distorted, also conversions are done very badly, 100mph can become 250 kmh. A lot of dialogue is also left out, I understand that not everyting can be included, people do not read at the same speed as they listen, but it still bugs me. At home I do not have a problem, movies on dvd do have subtitles but almost always there is an option to disable them, a few have forced subtitles however, thankfully they are few and far between and so I rarely feel the need to shout 'you idiot' or 'that is not what she said' at my screen.
 

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I believe that age plays a part in this discussion. I'm 49 so I was able to see movies in 70mm and Cinerama at The Rivoli, Cinerama I in NYC in the seventies. I recall "2001" and "The Thing" at the former and "Road Warrior" at the latter.
I also saw "Star Wars" in 70mm at Loews Astor Plaza. In 1981 they
had a 3-D festival at the 8th Street Playhouse and showed a brand new print of "Dial M for Murder" and an original Technicolor print of "Kiss Me Kate" in the dual projector format. At the Museum of Modern Art they projected nitrate prints of David O. Selznick and Michael Powell classics. As an adolescent, I saw "The Sand Pebbles" and "Ben Hur" at drive ins with their enormous screen towers.
I saw "Napoleon" and "A Star is Born" restorations at Radio City Music Hall.
As previously mentioned I traveled to Ohio in 1997 to see "This is Cinerama"
and "How the West Was Won" in Technicolor in the three panel process.
These were all spectacular moviegoing experiences and that is my reference for quality exhibition rather than a contemporary megaplex. No home theater can compare these places.


If all you've seen are multiplex presentations then you're going to prefer home theaters which have better picture and sound. I have a nice home theater
myself but still miss those palaces and drive ins, most of which have been
demolished.
 
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