The future of the Cineplex…

My wife and I went to see Sherlock Holmes on Valentine’s Day at a local Cineplex.  It was the first movie I have seen at a Cineplex in a very long time; I dare say almost a year.  The last movie I went to see was Transformers 2 on the very big IMAX screen at the Pacific Science center in Seattle.  That experience was amazing.  Larger than life, and several scenes that utilized the full screen, Transformers battling on a five story screen is hard to beat, and my favorite part of the IMAX experience is before the movie even starts when they brag about their 5.1 surround sound system with their gigawatts of power, makes any man tremble…

To be honest I was greatly disappointed at the Cineplex on Valentine day, I contemplated leaving in the first 5 minutes of the movie to get my money back.  The movie itself was good, I thought it was well directed and had a good story line that kept me entertained.  However the problem was in the technical aspect of the feature. The picture itself was in focus but it was as if the projector was pointing at too high of an elevation.  The bottom of the picture was not a flat line.  The picture actually skewed up on the sides and was a big distraction.  In fact a couple of scenes I felt I could get nauseous from the skew.

A few months back at an Epson Training we learned about contract ratios which heightened my disappointment while watching this movie.  I learned that at typical Cineplex you only experience a contrast ratio of about 100-150:1, because of all the safety lights required by city codes.  I watched Dark night at home, and wondered how it would be at the Cineplex.  It was hard to see any contrast in many of the dark scenes in Sherlock Holmes.

Some movies simply sound better at home on a Disc. The rising costs of the Cineplex and their high priced concession stands can hardly compete with the comfort of being at home on your own couch with a pause button. I think the Cineplex has a long way to go to lure movie watchers away from the home theater. I really wonder if 3D movies will get people back into the theater.  I for one am not convinced, this is the third time producers have tried it in 40 years or so.

I have been installing home theaters for a number of years, and have been impressed by each one in the overall experience, the picture quality, and the comfort. My recent visit has just proven to myself why I am doing this all over again!