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Old May 6 2010, 07:15 AM   #24
Captain Rob
Commodore
 
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Re: Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan in 70mm

Makes you wonder what happens in booth these days to project a film.
It was really sad to see the GCC Northpark get torn down. It had been built in the late 60's and was toen down to make way for the shopping center's expansion. AMC theatres built a huge state-of-the-art theatre on top of the new mall segment. It opened in 2006 and is beautiful. It's now AMC's premier location in Dallas. By 2008 though I started noticing their presentation slipping. Since I have to pay for movies now I usually stick to the best places. I started noticing that their prints were dirty and that the image wasn't stable, with it wandering around the screen a little.
As for THX, I knew when the installation was done because the Lucasfilm engineers put stickers over the adjustment knobs on all of the amps and the equalizer panel. The stickers had initials and dates on them and were put there to keep people from messing with the settings. Our main auditorium had 550 seats and had a custom speaker setup. Everything was JBL and we had at least 10 surrounds in hung cabinets with dual 16 inch woofers and a single horn in each cabinet. I've never seen a setup with surrounds that big. The subs were in three cabinets under the screen each with dual 18 - 20 inch woofers. When we ran "Top Gun" in 70 mm we ran the volume on full on opening night and the subs could rattle your teeth out. The subs were later replaced with a huge Bose accoustical wave cannon at least 16 feet long, which made the previous subs sound pathetic. All of our walls had that icky burlap covering popular in the 80's but the THX auditoriums had alot of sound proofing under the burlap. We also had sound baffles over the AC vents. One of them almost fell on an employee while we were cleaning up after a show.
Our smaller auditorium (500 seat) was converted the following year to a standard THX setup with much smaller surrounds. At least it also had a 35/70 projector.
That was a great theatre to start at. In 86' it was UA's busiest location. It was like being on the front line of the movie business. We were always doing sneak previews, press screenings, and film company events. UA later sold that location and it's now known as the Studio Movie Grille-Addison, even though it's actually in Dallas. It's been the busiest dinner theatre location in the country.
UA was really big with THX sound. I think that they had more THX screens than anyone. After Regal took over in 2003 they did away with the THX certification because it costs money to use the THX logo and to recertify the auditoriums. My last location with UA was the Northstar 8 in Garland outside of Dallas. We had two THX auditoriums that sounded even better when SDDS came out. I was there for 12 years. It's now a sportsbar that's closed most of the time.
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