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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas and Theatres   » AMC Oak Tree 6 Seattle goes digital? (Page 0)

 
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Author Topic: AMC Oak Tree 6 Seattle goes digital?
Dan Roben
Member

Posts: 155
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted October 29, 2010 09:41 PM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
I was one of those who were predicting the Oak Tree would either close or become a bargain house. I'm glad I was wrong. It's only a fifteen minute walk from my house and it's my go-to theater when they've got something there I want to see.

AMC manages to get some big-name titles booked here (The Social Network, The Town) and they've really kept up the maintenance on the old place (always a good sign). Now going all-digital means they are in it for the long haul (even better). I'll put aside my dislike of digital if it means they will stay open.

This theater does not need stadium seating. SRO was smart to put a steep slope in two of the large theaters and a shallower but still significant slope in the other two large houses. The two small houses are almost flat, but the screens are high enough to to avoid head-blockage. I so much prefer sloped seating to stadium.

Now if they could replace the seats that Loews installed just before they were bought out, I'd be one happy customer. These gray-colored seats are so rigid and uncomfortable (I believe they came from a shuttered Loews theater somewhere back east).

At the time of the merger, AMC said they would be keeping the Loews name (and by extension Cineplex Odeon) as a brand within AMC, so that explains the signage being left as is. There are only four Lowes-Cineplex houses left in the Seattle-Tacoma market, the Oak Tree 6, The Factoria 8, the Uptown 3 and the Lakewood 12 in Tacoma.

I always thought the Uptown would be the next to close, but now that AMC is no longer operating the Cinerama, they are using the Uptown to book major product in conjunction with Pacific Place while still using two of its screens for their AMC Independent films. The Uptown lives on.

Speaking of the Cinerama, it's scheduled to reopen under independent management in November with (I'm guessing) the new Harry Potter film. Once the renovation is complete, it may be the only theater in America that will be equipped to show every format available (16mm, 35mm, 70mm, digital, 3-D, and of course three-panel Cinerama) except Imax. I'll do an extensive review of it once it opens.

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted October 29, 2010 10:05 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
Dan, aren't the seats in the big 3 south-facing auditoriums Cineplex Odeon seats? Can't remember if the fabric is purple but if it is that would be a dead giveaway. They seem exactly like the seats that Cineplex put in the 2 big houses at the Century Plaza (RIP).
http://www.cinematour.com/tour/us/2112.html

I am fond of the original SRO low-back rocker seats that still remain in the 3 smaller auditoriums. Looking back at my pictures, this really was a well designed cinema with 4 of the 6 houses being decent size and the largest house THX certified (Seattle's first!). The only pain is the bathrooms. The concessions stand used to be in a round island in the middle of the lobby (an SRO staple design that was also seen in in the Tacoma West, Tacoma South, Totem Lake, Sehome, Southcenter etc.) but Cineplex moved it to the wall and tiled over the area, making the neon design above it oddly placed.

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Dan Roben
Member

Posts: 155
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted October 29, 2010 10:39 PM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
Mark, the seats I'm referring to look exactly like the ones in the late, great Century Plaza (I wouldn't be surprised if that is where they came from). But they are gray or silver in color, not Cineplex purple. Did the seats at the Century Plaza rock? The ones at the Oak Tree do not, and they force you to sit straight up...like I said, very uncomfortable.

I'm not sure if all the seats at the Oak Tree have been replaced. I always seem to always end up at the house that is closest to the supermarket (it's the theater where they have all the invitational screenings, it's the farthest north, and the screen is on the east side of the building). I like the low back rockers that SRO used as well. They're still at the Uptown, my favorite remaining SRO theater.

I remember those snack-bar-in-the-round installations. A friend of mine was a manager at SRO and she hated them. She said they were confusing to customers and line control was difficult. Apparently, Cineplex Odeon hated them, too, since they were the ones who got rid of them.

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted October 29, 2010 10:56 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
Yup. Century Plaza's were bolt upright and very uncomfortable. Cineplex purple fabric. And a little claustrophobic as they had higher backs. I don't have very good pictures of the seats of the big 3 at Oak Tree, but they do look the same. I do, however, have great picture or that northernmost auditorium you speak of because they left the house lights on.
http://www.cinematour.com/tour/us/2586.html

I am curious which auditorium they put the 3D in. Since exhibs tend to use medium sized auditoriums for 3D so as not to waste empty seats on a 3D title long into its run, I am betting it is the middle or right auditorium on the larger, southern screens.

Oh-can anyone confirm if the now-shuttered 82nd Ave Cinemas in Portland, OR was a twin to the Oak Tree? I think SRO made a brief move into that market, but it soon became an Act III and then shuttered when something bigger opened up nearby. It was all THX, whereas Oak Tree only had the big house THX.

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Dan Roben
Member

Posts: 155
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted October 29, 2010 11:24 PM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
Mark, I have an answer to your 82nd Ave Cinemas question. Yes, it was to be SRO's first and only foray into the Portland Market and it is an exact copy of the Oak Tree. I don't believe they ever operated it, though. Evil Tom Moyer and his equally evil "Luxury Cinemas" chain bought it out while still under construction. Tom didn't like outside competition (witness the fascinating feud between him and his brother Larry's smaller competing chain of equally bad theaters) that showed just how crappy his own theaters were.

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Dave Felthous
Member

Posts: 186
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted November 01, 2010 10:29 PM      Profile for Dave Felthous   Email Dave Felthous         Edit/Delete Post 
The Oak Tree opened all-digial last weekend, with one 3-D screen showing Resident Evil, which Regal's Thornton Place had already played for weeks and had pretty much played out.

The Oak Tree needs to open a 3-D before their investment can prove itself viable.

Next weekend's 3-D is Megamind, which Regal has by virtue of its IMAX capability.

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted November 01, 2010 10:32 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
Dave - know which screen they installed the 3D in?

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted November 03, 2010 01:26 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
The Oak Tree will be getting another 3D move-over Friday with "Legend of the Gaurdians" and will be playing that and "Resident Evil" in 3D.

So I guess that makes 2 3D screens.

Pardon my ignorance but when chains do these upgrades they only do a handful of screens 3D right and not every theatre? Can 3D equipment be moved screen to screen?

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Dan Spaulding
New Member

Posts: 12
From: Bothell, WA
Registered: Jul 2010


 - posted November 03, 2010 02:57 PM      Profile for Dan Spaulding   Email Dan Spaulding         Edit/Delete Post 
My understanding is if the theater is digital they can show 3D in it. So any of the 6 screens should be able to have 3D. 1 more sign of support for the Oak Tree is they have added late night shows during the weekdays. Up until last week they were not listing any shows after 8pm like the Uptown & Factoria currently do except on Fri & Sat. They also have there $5 AM Cinema shows starting before noon on Fri now

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted November 03, 2010 03:04 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
I wonder if that is a move to get better bookings. What would any distributor pick the Oak Tree over the Regal if the Regal offers 2 evening shows on weeknights vs. Oak Tree's old policy of 1 show.

Regarding the 3D - don't they need silver screens in all auditoriums then? Or is that only for certain 3D....

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David Pulido
New Member

Posts: 27
From: Fort Worth, TX
Registered: Aug 2010


 - posted November 03, 2010 05:06 PM      Profile for David Pulido   Email David Pulido         Edit/Delete Post 
No, once a projector is set...its set. The projectors cost too much to convert a multi-or-megaplex to all digital overnight. My theater is getting them in waves before the company makes every screen in all theaters digital in 2012.

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John J. Fink
Member

Posts: 123
From: Buffalo, NY
Registered: Aug 2005


 - posted November 03, 2010 10:01 PM      Profile for John J. Fink   Author's Homepage   Email John J. Fink         Edit/Delete Post 
Depending on the system (it looks like Real D is the dominate player) 3-D requires a silver screen. I know little about this but I believe it depends on how the image is polarized, the Dolby digital system doesn't. I think from there it would be moving the 3-D polarizer from house to house - but I assume that changes depending on the system (I think Master Image allows for it, it may be more complicated with other systems).

Today I saw a pretty crappy digital projection at Cineplex Niagara Square mostly because they didn't remove the Real D polarizer from the last show, it's passable for trailers but over an hour and a half film the color reproduction was distracting and off.

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Dan Roben
Member

Posts: 155
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted November 03, 2010 11:44 PM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
Mark, don't forget that four of the six theaters have more seating than the largest Thornton Place house. Even the the two small houses have more seating than many of the screens at Thornton. Also, at least for now, tickets are a dollar cheaper at the Oak Tree. Finally, maybe it's because the Oak Tree is a better theater, (at least, I think so, even with the uncomfortable seats).

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Dave Felthous
Member

Posts: 186
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted November 10, 2010 08:30 PM      Profile for Dave Felthous   Email Dave Felthous         Edit/Delete Post 
A belated reply about the Oak Tree.

No, 3-D can't be moved about the building. It requires silver screens, for one thing. It doesn't seem likely that AMC installed six silvers, especially since, so far anyway, their only 3-Ds have been move-overs from Regal.

As long as 3-D films are also in the IMAX format, which Regal has, the Oak Tree won't get the new ones. AMC wouldn't be allowed to put in IMAX because it's in the same booking zone as Regal.

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted February 08, 2011 10:58 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
So the Oak Tree received the 3D installations on screens #1 and #6 (the outer theatres). #1 is the smallest of the big 3 and #6 is the medium one on the far left toward the market. (I posted a lot of pictures of #6 pre-digital on Cinematour). Over the holidays they had Yogi Bear (still playing) and Gullivers Travels and first run 3D. Not exactly Tron Legacy from a booking standpoint. Ironically as a second-tier cinema to the Oak Tree's booking are very similar to the Chinese and Chinese 6 in Hollywood (which is suffering because of the Arclight).

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