How Movie Theaters Are Ruining Your Movie Experience


[Narrator] Which looks better? This, or that? Well, what if I told you
that you may have been paying a premium to see the worst version. You know those black bars
you sometimes see on the top, bottom or sides of a movie? They occur because movies
are filmed at different frame sizes, or aspect ratios. “Lady Bird”, shot in widescreen should appear differently
than “Star Wars”, which was shot in Cinemascope. A Cinemascope movie on your TV will have black bars on the top and bottom, while a movie theater masks the frame with retractable curtains. These curtains at Night
Hawk Cinema in Brooklyn absorb the light and create a frame around the projected image. But take away the curtains and… – When you don’t have
masking what happens is you’ve got this gray area of screen which isn’t reflecting picture, it’s not reflecting image. It just sort of sits there and looks ugly. There is a move afoot by
some theater circuits, I guess in order to save money, that have decided that,
that’s a waste of money and they’re not gonna do it. [Narrator] That’s Chapin Cutler. He’s been working in the
projection and theater business for over 40 years. The empty screen space can be distracting and takes away from the
immersive experience of seeing a movie on the big screen. Another problem? Projector brightness, which can be affected by
the age and cleanliness of the bulb, along with
any dirt or smudges that may be on the window
of the projection booth. Some “Solo” attendees
reported seeing extremely dark almost unviewable projections with a few saying that
they had to struggle to see what was on screen. – If the standard that’s
been established for the amount of light that is
supposed to be on the screen isn’t there, then not only
does the picture look dark but you don’t see anything
that goes on in the shadows. All of that information disappears. [Narrator] And if there was a 3D showing in the theater before
a standard 2D showing a lens meant only for
3D movies may still be on the projector making
the image two thirds darker than it should be. – Showing something like that
with a very low light level is gonna take away from it. If that’s the experience
you walk away with that’s going to impede
your positive judgment of the film, and that’s
just gonna ruin it for you. [Narrator] Hurting both
the team behind the movie and its viewers, and
possibly creating customers who may not come back to that theater for a subpar experience. These issues aren’t limited to “Solo.” The past few years have
seen numerous reports of theaters not doing enough
to ensure quality screenings. Standard 2D movie tickets
average about $9.00 in the U.S. And almost twice that in
places like New York City. But is the price of admission
worth seeing a movie that is not being shown
the way it is meant to? You can get a full 4K movie for 15 bucks. Why bother with what may be a questionable theater presentation if
you can get cinema-like quality at home? The picture may be bigger,
and the sound may be better but if you’re having a bad
theater experience, take note. If a theater has a dark blurry picture or leaves empty areas
of the screen unmasked try a different theater. Many are still working hard to bring you the best picture possible.

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