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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinema Yak   » My Trip to Seattle: Attention Seattle Area Folks (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Author Topic: My Trip to Seattle: Attention Seattle Area Folks
Chris Utley
Senior Member

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


 - posted December 07, 2005 02:45 PM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
I'm coming to Seattle for New Years Weekend (Dec 30 through Jan 2) for a conference hosted by Hollywood Jesus - a Christian based film review website that YOURS TRULY writes for (www.hollywoodjesus.com). The conference will have various film seminars and film showings at night. I have made my friend (who lives in Seattle) promise me that she'll take me to the Cinerama. I suppose they'll be showing Narnia or Kong while I'm there.

I won't have time for theatre tours (not my thing anyway) but if anyone wants to hook up for a flick, let me know!

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Mark Campbell
Member

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


 - posted December 07, 2005 03:26 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
Hey Chris, if you only have one shot at catching a flick, definitely do the Cinerama. I think they will have Narnia. If you want to go more artsy and funky, check out the Neptune, Egyptian, Guild 45th, Harvard Exit or Seven Gables. Enjoy my old stomping ground!

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Dan Roben
Member

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


 - posted December 08, 2005 01:02 AM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
Chris,

Yes, be sure to visit the Cinerama, but with this bit of advice: Sit below the crossover aisle that separates the upper and lower portions. Often times, your sightline is obscured (badly) by those sitting directly in front of you if you sit in the upper half.

I agree with Mark's list, but would especially advise you to see something at the Harvard Exit, Seattle's original "art house" featuring a wonderful lobby your grandmother would feel right at home with. By the way, all the theaters he listed except for the Cinerama are operated by Landmark. AMC manages the Cinerama, and so far has not screwed it up, yet!

I'm not sure you'll have enough time, but a special theater near and dear to my heart is the Edmonds Theater located in my home town of Edmonds, about a half-hour north of downtown Seattle. Owned and operated by a local family, this 1923 vintage cinema has managed to keep its charm, while updating with the times. If you want to remember what moviegoing used to be like, check it out.

One more cinema worth noting is the independently operated first run Majestic Bay in the Ballad neighborhood just north of downtown Seattle. The two small upstairs theaters are okay, but the main downstairs house is perhaps the best stadium seating theater in Seattle (and this coming from someone who generally can't stand stadium seating). If you sit in the back row, not only do you get great leg room, but your view of the screen is dead straight ahead, not looking up or down. An added plus is the beautiful waterfall curtain that remains closed until the film begins. In other words, no advertising!

Shoot me an email with your schedule, and perhaps we can meet.

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

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


 - posted December 08, 2005 09:55 AM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
Just how good is their "regular" 68 foot screen in comparison to the 90 foot Cinerama screen that's behind it. Is it curved or flat? Does it make for a spectacular projection or just a mediocre one? Or have they decided to show all their films on the 90 footer? I'm asking because, as everybody knows, the Cinerama Dome here in LA plays EVERYTHING on their 86 foot screen.

As far as my schedule goes, I'll be attending seminars and sitting on a panel (or 2) during the conference. There are gonna be some film screenings in the evening - presumbably at the church where the conference is held. Somehow, I will sneak away from the conference and scurry on down to the Cinerama. I doubt if I'll have time to take tours or visit art-house joints.

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Dan Roben
Member

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


 - posted December 08, 2005 05:47 PM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
I'm of the school of thought that their "standard" 68 foot screen is perfect for any film (especially in scope) other than a true Cinerama release (How the West Was Won, etc.) or Super-70 (2001, etc).

It is slightly curved and very in-your-face, and it is nearly wall-to wall and floor-to-ceiling. The reason I prefer it for flat and scope films is that there is little or no distortion. When these types of films are played on the 90 foot 148 degree curved screen, there tends to be distortion at the left and right portions of the screen, and focusing can be a real problem.

Just my two cents...

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Dave Felthous
Member

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


 - posted December 09, 2005 10:10 PM      Profile for Dave Felthous   Email Dave Felthous         Edit/Delete Post 
The Harvard Exit was not Seattle's original arthouse. That honor goes to the Ridgemont, which was at N. 77th and Greenwood and opened with foreign films, after a long closure, in the mid-50s.

I saw my first sub-titled movie there, and also the "notorious" Brigette Bardot film "And God Created Woman," with la Bardot nude in several scenes. I wasn't 21 -- they checked ID carefully -- but I went with older friends and I got in with no trouble.

It was a Scope film, but the Ridgemont had a tiny, cramped screen, so the sides were cut off a bit. But I don't think we missed anything, er, important.

It was so crowded that we ended up in the tiny, hot mezzanine, on either side of the booth. We had to pee, but the downstairs men's room line was out the door. Fortunately, one of my buddies was dating the daughter of the projectionist, so we got to use HIS urinal. Truly a highlight of my life! :-)

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Dan Roben
Member

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


 - posted December 09, 2005 11:45 PM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
Dave,

Thanks for setting me straight. I had completely forgotten about the Ridgemont. I believe it had a very long (over a year?) run of the infamous "I Am Curious Yellow" in the late 60's/early 70's.

Even my beloved Edmonds Theater in the 60's had a similar booking policy, not surprising since it was owned by the same owners of the Ridgemont.

I must be getting old...

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

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


 - posted December 15, 2005 02:38 PM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
I see that the Cinerama is currently showing "Narnia". Do you think they'll switch over to "Kong" in the next few weeks. I hope so...however, knowing how zealous Disney is with their booking requirements, I suspect I'll be seeing "Narnia" there instead.

That's not a bad thing. "Narnia" was pretty good.

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Dan Roben
Member

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


 - posted December 15, 2005 06:04 PM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
It's not gonna happen, Chris. Loews Meridian 16 has Kong instead. Still, if you want to experience cinema mediocrity at its best, then by all means see it there!

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

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


 - posted December 16, 2005 09:27 AM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
I'll pass...I'll be at the Cinerama for my second helping of "Narnia", thank you very much. I suspect the fact that AMC and Disney are in cahoots has to do with "Kong" not playing at the Cinerama. Oh well.

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George Gates
Member

Posts: 55
From: Providence, RI
Registered: May 2005


 - posted December 16, 2005 01:21 PM      Profile for George Gates           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
It's not gonna happen, Chris. Loews Meridian 16 has Kong instead. Still, if you want to experience cinema mediocrity at its best, then by all means see it there
Reading this griping is helping me understand the sort of folks who might be happier watching a DVD on an LCD monitor. Me? I'd rather go out.

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Mark Campbell
Member

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


 - posted December 16, 2005 05:25 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
Kong won't be at the Cinerama unless the Loews/AMC merger goes through quicky. Loews has the Meridian 16 downtown and AMC has the Pacific Place 11 (former late '90's GCC and actually a really good theatre) and the Cinerama. AMC will book films at both Cinerama and Pacific Place at the same time. Meridian does not share product with AMC. It will be interesting to see how they book after the merger. AMC will then have the Cinerama, Pacific Place 11, Meridian 16 and the Uptown in the same zone. Does anyone know when the merger will be finalized?

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Dan Roben
Member

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


 - posted December 16, 2005 06:21 PM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
George,

Regarding your post, nothing could be further from the truth. I don't even own a DVD player! It's just that when I'm asked to spend $9 on a ticket, I'm not going to subject myself to a sub-standard presentation while having to endure up to 20 minutes of commercials. I will drive out of my way to see "film done right," and I do that approximately 150 times a year (the number of films I typically see in a theater in a given year). Luckily, Seattle has plenty of good to excellent theaters, so I do not have to subject myself to the Meridian.

Mark,

I'm not sure when the AMC/LOEWS merger will take effect, but I'm almost certainly sure it will be after King Kong plays out. I wouldn't be surprised if the new AMC will be asked by the Justice Dept to divest itself of one of the downtown Seattle plexes. I have no inside information on which one it might be, or if it will even happen. It's just a hunch.

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Dave Felthous
Member

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


 - posted December 18, 2005 01:06 PM      Profile for Dave Felthous   Email Dave Felthous         Edit/Delete Post 
Hallett, which took over Regal's Bellevue Galleria in November, supposedly is looking for other Seattle-market spots. It might grab a downtown plex if it were available.

Loews has finally shuttered the crummy Grand 8 in Lynnwood (they were putting plywood over the windows the other day); maybe Hallett will take a look at that, too, although it needs a multi-million-dollar makeover.

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Mark Campbell
Member

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


 - posted December 18, 2005 02:24 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
Wouldn't there be too much competition in Lynnwood already? I am surprised they took over the Bellevue Galleria knowing the Lincoln Square was opening with 16 screens just blocks away. You know The Galleria will get all the 2nd rate bookings now that Lincoln Square is open. Can any older and smaller theatre survive with a massive modern megaplex as competiton?

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