The worldwide motion picture theatre industry descends on Caesars Palace in Las Vegas today for the fourth annual CinemaCon, the official convention of NATO [National Association of Theatre Owners] that runs through March 27.
CinemaCon is the largest annual gathering of cinema owners and operators from around the world, drawing filmmakers, distributors and exhibitors alike for a four-day celebration of the theatres and films we love.
We’ll be celebrating CinemaCon this week by highlighting theatres and the films that will be filling them this coming summer. We start today by looking at five unique, technically advanced or just down right gorgeous theatres in America.
These are the places that remind you why there is simply no substitute for seeing a film in a theatre; whether it’s mind-blowing technology, an unbeatable environment, or the joy of watching a film with hundreds of fellow movie lovers (or a combination of all three), here’s a brief look at some fantastic places to take in a movie.
1. The Hackworth IMAX Dome Theatre, San Jose, California
Northern California’s only domed IMAX theatre can immerse you and 279 of your closest friends in a giant wrap-around screen (four times the size of a typical movie screen) with crystal clear images eight stories high, a projector the size of a Volkswagon Beetle, and 13,000 watts of wrap-around digital surround sound.
2. The Uptown Theatre, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis has long been a unostentatious Mecca for fantastic art, and the Landmark Uptown Theatre fits right into a city that includes the world renown contemporary art center the Walker among its jewels.
Located in the middle of the city’s Uptown District, the historic Uptown Theatre (originally built as the Lagoon Theatre in 1916, which eventually burned down) had a long stint as a repertory theatre, eventually becoming a world class art film theatre in 1985.
It underwent extensive renovations in 2012, and now boasts a full bar, reserved seating, its beloved balcony and the 50-foot tower that was originally a beacon to orient residents that they were, indeed, uptown.
3. AFI Silver Theatre, Silver Spring, Maryland
It’s not surprising that the AFI Silver Theatre is a technical marvel, considering its mandate is “seeing the screen itself as a source of literacy, learning and vision for the future.” The exceptional technical facilities that define the AFI Silver include film formats from 16 to 70mm, high-definition digital cinema video projection, and broadcast quality video recording. The historic Silver theatre was saved from destruction by a partnership between Montgomery Country, Maryland and the American Film Institute.
Due to its namesake institute, the theatre also includes distance learning capabilities via satellite, fibre and the Internet, as well as a moving image exhibition and cultural center. “Whether it’s silent film at the proper frame rate with live musical accompaniment, 70mm wide screen spectaculars or digital cinema, the AFI Silver offers state-of-the-art technology in each of its three theatres — with seating for 400, 200 and 75, respectively,” their website states. It’s one of the premiere theatres, right in the heart of the nation’s capital.
4. The Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles, California
It helps that the Dolby Theatre has access to all the insane technology Dolby creates, including their breakthrough audio experience, Atmos. Atmos delivers the most natural, life-like sensory experience in the world (including last year’s Gravity, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and the upcoming Noah). The theatre doesn’t slouch on the screen, either — Dolby is secretly becoming a powerhouse image technology company, and the Dolby 3D screen here is astounding. The specs of the theatre are massive — 180,000-square-feet and 3,400-seats.
5. The 21st Street Warren Theatre, Wichita, Kansas
This beloved Wichita location has an IMAX theatre, stadium seating, a classic diner and malt shop and even an enclosed ‘Cry room,’ where parents with small children can watch the movie (with their kids’ often unwanted additional soundtrack) with its own sound-system separate from the theatre.
The Credits is a digital magazine presented by the MPAA that highlights the unheralded makers and creators of the movie and entertainment industry.
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