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Author Topic: 70mm
Brad Miller

Posts: 122
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Feb 2003

 - posted July 20, 2005 02:16 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller         Edit/Delete Post 
Their SDDS system is capable of playing back 8 CHANNELS of sound, as opposed to 6 from the others. Talk about a missed opportunity here.
Newsflash...dts now has 10 channels available with their XD10 model. [Wink]

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Jim Perry
New Member

Posts: 13
From: Las Vegas, NV
Registered: Jun 2004

 - posted July 20, 2005 11:41 PM      Profile for Jim Perry   Email Jim Perry         Edit/Delete Post 
Sorry - haven't caught up on the latest technologies. 10 channels huh ? Are we talking height/ceiling ones among them ?

As to Tom & Chris' views on SDDS, I've experienced both points of view. Tom is right on one point - it all depends on the theatre & how their equipment is maintained.
A couple of my good experiences - Apocalypse Now Redux at the Century City Plaza in 8 channel SDDS a couple of years back - went opening weekend - the sound was unbelievable ! (On a negative note, the show was supposed to start at 10am but was delayed almost a half an hour & when they did get it rolling, we all had to sit through 15 mins. of trailers - several of them were commercials & ads !!!!!!). A few years before that, when I was living in south Jersey, I saw Con Air at a GCC multiplex in Detford - 6 channel on that one but still good.
On the other hand: same GCC mutiplex showing Empire Strikes Back - the sound kept switching back & forth from SDDS to analoge. Several times I kept going out to the lobby to complain but to no avail (Chris, I do feel your pain!).
Same goes with Dolby Digital: good theatre, no probs - bad theatre, bad probs.
Then again, what about good theatre, bad print ??? Or, interestingly enough, DD not compatible with black & white film stock ? Case in point: the re-release of A Hard Day's Night a few years back. It was shown here in Vegas at the Regal Village Square - I went to the first show on opening day. First couple of reels were fine until reel 3 came on - major switchbackage at this point. So I went & got the manager. Ended up getting a pass for another showing. Long story short, they ended up getting another print & played it in another auditorium - the print was worse - all the reels had faulty DD info ! So for the remainder of the run, they ran it in Dolby optical. Although black & white movies are few & far between, this isn't the first time it's happened, as far as DD goes.

As for DTS, few problems with it, as Tom pointed out, but every once in a while.......... From first hand experience, I have 4 to tell about ! As I said above, I lived in south Jersey - was there from '87 to '99. I was a chief projectionist at 2 UA theatres: the Riverview in Philadelphia from '91 (when it opened - 11 screens at the time) to '94, then I transfered to the Washington Township 14 in Sewell, N.J. - was there until '96. At the Riverview, we ran the re-release of My Fair Lady. Showed it in 2 parts. 35mm DTS print. Now as chief projectionist, one of the things I would do was test-run a print a few hours before the first showing on opening day. For some reason or other, I didn't get a chance to do so on Lady. First show, part 1 runs through - perfect. Intermission. Start up part 2. 5 minutes later, I get a call from downstairs - something's wrong with the sound. Turns out the lab printed up the wrong time code on the reel !!!!!!! Stuck with that reel for a couple of days until a replacement was sent, so what we did was show it in Dolby optical - right before the reel change, slid the cd-rom discs back in the unit & vola, back to DTS.
The other 3 which occured at Washington Twsp are minor but worth noting: had a problem with Braveheart - after the trailers, the unit wouldn't switch over to DTS despite the time code - adjustment to the reader solved that problem.
As for the last 2: now as I remember, the theatre had 4 units connected to Dolby CP65s - volume played at 7 which was/is the norm.
For some odd reason or another, both Goldeneye & "Virtuosity" (not sure if I spelled that right - the one with Denzel Washington & Russell Crowe) had DTS sountracks mixed TOO LOUD! Every show, you had to be on stand-by during the trailers - when they were done, we would have to turn the volume down to 3 - that's HOW LOUD they were!!!

One finaly story (and sorry for all this rambling - talk about a long post here !): anybody remember Cinema Digital Sound ?
The one before the other 3. I came onboard at the Riverview a few weeks before opening day & helped set up the equipment in the main booth. UA bought 2 CDS units for the theatre - one for the big house & one for the smaller one next to it. When everything was finally set up, we did a couple of test runs with each unit, using CDS's short-subject film. Everybody agreed that, sound-wise, it was great (sidebar here: a few months before, I went to N.Y.C. to see The Doors movie - CDS 35mm print at the Gemini Twin, then the 70mm version at the Ziegfeld. As much as I love 70mm, the CDS version impressed me more). Then the bomb hits: right before opening day, we get the news that ORC & Kodak (creators of CDS) cancel the project. Main reason being, among others, because of the 35mm dual inventory dilemma (CDS placed their digital info where the optical track was supposed to be at - therefore, if [A.] a CDS movie turned out to be a stiff at the box office, [B.] you only had one CDS unit at your multiplex & it was for/in your large house, and [C.] you didn't have a back-up optical print to play in another smaller house, you were basically screwed - hence the reason why UA got 2 for Riverview).
However, I can give you another reason why it ultimately failed: THE DAMN THING WAS A BITCH TO THREAD UP !!!!!!! The tension rollers around the soundhead (to keep the film steady) had too much tension, causing major damage to the print after so many run-throughs (the manager at another UA theatre told me about what happened to her CDS print of Terminator 2 - after 2 weeks, she had to get a replacement optical print). So there you have it.

[ July 21, 2005, 04:28 AM: Message edited by: Jim Perry ]

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John H. Colvin
New Member

Posts: 3
From: Fort Worth, TX
Registered: Jan 2005

 - posted August 14, 2005 02:30 PM      Profile for John H. Colvin   Email John H. Colvin         Edit/Delete Post 
Two things. Number 1 the SDDS format is going by way of the Betamax. Sony is not supporting replacement or repairs of there equipment and theatres are going to the much improved dts 10 units. Regal Entertainment Group theatres are going to the more reliable DTS in almost every auditorium that use to house the problematic SDDS format.
Number 2. I was at showest this past March and George Lucas and James Cameron gave us a peak at the "NEW 3D" and i can tell you it will blow you away. The new 3D is in connection with the Digital Projection and George will Digitally enhance all the Star Wars Saga in hopes that More theatres will go Digital.
Oh and James Cameron says he will not make any films that are not in Digital 3D.

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