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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas in the News   » Desert IMAX losing 15/70 film, going digital.

   
Author Topic: Desert IMAX losing 15/70 film, going digital.
Rob Alexander
New Member

Posts: 20
From: Palm Springs, CA
Registered: Oct 2010


 - posted July 22, 2011 09:56 AM      Profile for Rob Alexander   Email Rob Alexander         Edit/Delete Post 
It is sad that this little IMAX theater that charges $12 bucks for a 3D Hollywood film, is now adding Digital projection, im sure at a much higher price. It will be nice to see more then 4 films a year here, but still....

http://www.mydesert.com/article/20110722/NEWS01/107210374/IMAX-gets-new-film-equipment

IMAX gets new film equipment
A new digital film projector that sparked controversy over its pricetag is being installed at the Desert IMAX Theatre and may be ready to show a variety of films as early as September.

Cathedral City leaders agreed in September 2010 to spend about $498,000 on the modernized equipment using redevelopment agency money.

As expensive as the projector may be, city officials say it could pay off in the long run because it will enhance IMAX's offerings and attract customers.

No longer will the local IMAX at 68-510 E. Palm Canyon Drive be limited to only showing documentaries and occasional seasonal blockbusters.

“Since this equipment will provide us the opportunity to be more flexible, we will be better able to have more films, thus more revenue,” Cathedral City Administrative Services Director Tami Scott said this week.

Although installation is taking place now, the new equipment won't be used until after the theater finishes its showings of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” in about five weeks.

The movie premiered early Friday and raised about $20,000 during its opening weekend.

Theater staff said this week that fans continued to watch the movie in the ensuing days, with most people visiting at night.

Cathedral City has relied on major summer and winter films to pay off an annual $300,000 subsidization of the theater that has been ongoing for about a decade.

The subsidy for fiscal year 2010-2011 is expected to remain intact, even though “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” raised $64,413, while “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” collected $54,940, Scott said.

Neither film came close to matching the revenue from “Avatar,” which generated $631,543 two years ago due to unusual circumstances, including the film's extended availability of about four months. Desert IMAX

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Danny Baldwin
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Posts: 130
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted July 26, 2011 09:45 PM      Profile for Danny Baldwin   Author's Homepage   Email Danny Baldwin         Edit/Delete Post 
Has anyone seen digital projection in a "real" IMAX auditorium? Is it similar to the LieMax setup of dual 2K projectors, or is it much more intensive (I'm guessing so given that price tag)? I'm curious.

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Rob Alexander
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Posts: 20
From: Palm Springs, CA
Registered: Oct 2010


 - posted July 27, 2011 01:58 PM      Profile for Rob Alexander   Email Rob Alexander         Edit/Delete Post 
I have been thinking the same thing, as stand alone IMAX's around the country are converting to digital. Some of them are dumping IMAX and just adding in 4K DLP machines, according to the Giant Screen Association. I cannot find any information on a Digital IMAX system that is not the two 2K Christie set ups. The new IMAX in Wichita at the Warren is close to 100 feet wide, and that is digital. How the heck do they do that with 2K? I am hoping that the steep price tag includes new seats..and a new screen. Since the screen is 70 feet wide, that seems to be the limit for the Digital set up, I am hopeful it will not be a dreadful image. I am going there tomorrow to see HP again, and will try and find someone who can answer questions. Since they are at the mercy of the City, many of the staff just have no clue.

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Rob Alexander
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Posts: 20
From: Palm Springs, CA
Registered: Oct 2010


 - posted July 31, 2011 12:18 PM      Profile for Rob Alexander   Email Rob Alexander         Edit/Delete Post 
I went to the Desert IMAX to HP again, and the digital projectors are on TOP of the SR 15/70 film projectors. They are keeping the 70mm, and just added digital. I think they blew out two more windows from the booth.

NICE!

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Eric Gieszl
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Posts: 57
From: Las Vegas
Registered: Sep 2006


 - posted August 18, 2011 05:39 PM      Profile for Eric Gieszl   Email Eric Gieszl         Edit/Delete Post 
How can you say nice to digital IMAX?

I recently went to the Santikos Palladium in San Antonio to see Harry Potter on IMAX and was disgusted to see that they've swapped out their IMAX 15/70 MPX projector with the digital IMAX projectors. It took me seconds to figure it out since the image was on the screen was too stable and colors too vivid.

I've been curious to see if a digital IMAX conversion could actually fill a true IMAX screen vertically and sadly I can report that it cannot.

I'm used to the fact that IMAX Hollywood DMR release are banded on the top and bottom of the screen, but the giveaway and failure was the fact that the IMAX feature presentation trailer no longer filled the screen vertically. What a scam. The proof that Digital IMAX sucks was right in front of me.

So that begs the question. What's the point of Hollywood filming portions or all of future movies with the IMAX cameras? The Dark Knight's IMAX segments were impressive and there was a trailer for another upcoming release with portions filmed with IMAX cameras, but if they can't get the height with digital IMAX then who gives a damn!

I dislike digital projection, but I detest digital IMAX for ruining a superior format. I figured with the digital conversion, IMAX would be the last stand for seeing movies projected with film. I guess not!

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Rob Alexander
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Posts: 20
From: Palm Springs, CA
Registered: Oct 2010


 - posted September 06, 2011 12:46 PM      Profile for Rob Alexander   Email Rob Alexander         Edit/Delete Post 
just noticed your reply. I did not say nice to the digital projectors...I said NICE to reflect the odd fact that they are keeping their SR 15/70 machines and blew out additional port windows for the new two 2K Christie machines.

I have never heard of an IMAX theater that has both formats.

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Chris Utley
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Posts: 631
From: Torrance, CA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted September 06, 2011 02:45 PM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
I've been curious to see if a digital IMAX conversion could actually fill a true IMAX screen vertically and sadly I can report that it cannot.

If you tested this theory on the 2:35:1 widescreen Harry Potter 7.2, I say TEST AGAIN on a film actually shot using IMAX cameras! Everybody knows that 2:35:1 widescreen movies cannot vertically fill an IMAX screen. They all end up sitting smack dab dead center of the screen.

As for my personal experience, I saw "Avatar" in digital IMAX - which James Cameron specifically created IMAX prints for - and it did fill the screen both vertically AND horizontally.

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Danny Baldwin
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From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted September 06, 2011 11:52 PM      Profile for Danny Baldwin   Author's Homepage   Email Danny Baldwin         Edit/Delete Post 
Chris, "Avatar" didn't fill the screen vertically and horizontally... It was presented in 1.78:1 Windowbox for IMAX, which left a little space at the bottom and a VERY small amount of space on the sides.

Eric, as for the FP trailer... it could be that the IMAX digital projectors actually change format, hence the 2.35 Feature Presentations trailer. In traditional locations (and the dual 2K LieMax sites, I believe), everything is projected 1.44:1 with black bars actually printed at the top and bottom. But this could be different with digital... I wouldn't be so sure until you've seen an actual 1.44 presentation; it would be hard to fathom IMAX allowing a scenario where the projector couldn't project their ratio.

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Chris Utley
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Posts: 631
From: Torrance, CA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted September 07, 2011 09:40 AM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
My bad. You're right. Yet and still, it used more of the screen than the other DMR presentations.

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Chris Utley
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Posts: 631
From: Torrance, CA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted October 05, 2011 03:29 PM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
@Eric: You should test your theory again when Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol opens in December. It's got 30 minutes of scenes shot with IMAX cameras (ala The Dark Knight).

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Rob Alexander
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Posts: 20
From: Palm Springs, CA
Registered: Oct 2010


 - posted February 03, 2012 11:36 AM      Profile for Rob Alexander   Email Rob Alexander         Edit/Delete Post 
This confirms that the Desert IMAX kept their SR 15/70 IMAX film machines and looks like they just added two 4K projectors as well instead of replacing......whew....

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120131005299/en/Media-Brings-4K-Dig ital-IMAX-Cathedral-City

January 31, 2012 08:05 AM Eastern Time
Be Media Brings 4K Digital and IMAX Together in Cathedral City

Veteran Systems Integration Firm Overhauls Giant Screen Facility to Allow Both 70MM and 4K Digital Projection

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Be Media and Cinema Group announce the convergence of traditional IMAX and state-of-the-art 4K digital projection from the same theater booth window in the new and improved Desert IMAX Theater of Cathedral City, California. The project is considered to be one of the first digital 4K projection systems in the giant screen format (15/70). Citizens of the Coachella Valley are now of very few in the world with access to the highest quality and largest presentation of first-run movies, education films, XPAND 3D, gaming consoles, and laptop content.

David Sayah, Be Media’s vice president, describes the project: “We were given the task to convert the community’s treasured landmark to digital while also maintaining the current IMAX systems in a way that would utilize the entire 70-foot by 52-foot screen, be as bright and beautiful in both 2D and 3D, and be easily controlled and maintained by any member of the theater’s staff. It was the perfect undertaking for Be Media and we are extremely proud of the results.”

Of special note, the theater has been engineered to display untraditional auxiliary content such as video game consoles, laptops, and microphones and in which all sources are controlled via touch panel. In addition, to enable both IMAX and digital content to be available at any given time, Be Media customized a special platform, cooling system, and control interface. To ensure the longevity of the 4K digital system, Doremi Lab servers, Christie 4K projection, and an XPAND 3D active system were installed.

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Danny Baldwin
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Posts: 130
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted February 03, 2012 05:26 PM      Profile for Danny Baldwin   Author's Homepage   Email Danny Baldwin         Edit/Delete Post 
So I guess that means they'll be playing non-IMAX content some of the time.

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Rob Alexander
New Member

Posts: 20
From: Palm Springs, CA
Registered: Oct 2010


 - posted February 06, 2012 03:50 PM      Profile for Rob Alexander   Email Rob Alexander         Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, they are playing non IMAX content. I was able to see The Lion King and HUGO on the large screen with XpandD 3D. I will be kind and just say that I hope they are working the bugs out. Even with two of those projectors going, the 3D image was quite dark.

Star Wars 1 opens there Friday in 3D, I might check it out when they offer the Tuesdays discount.

Its great to have the IMAX screen not sitting there with the same movie for 4 or more months. At least it is being used, and from what I have seen from UltraStar, they are really taking care of the premises better then SR ever did.

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