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A RANT: Open Letter To Movie Theater Owners & Projectionists

How hard can it be to project a proper image onto a movie screen? It doesn't matter how much effort and care and love is put into making a film by the filmmakers, if the movie theaters themselves don't care enough to show a quality image on their screen, our business of theatrical feature films, will continue to decline and we'll all be watching at home on our flat screens.

I suppose those of us who only see movies in the sanctity of Hollywood screening rooms at the Motion Picture Academy or Director's Guild Theaters are treated to a rare privilege, because the image is in focus, the picture is the correct brightness, the composition of the cinematographer is respected, because the entire image, as composed is projected accurately with neither less nor more of the image on the screen. The sound is clear and the left-right orientation of the speakers is correct. But I digress.

Yesterday, I saw a showing of Ang Lee's LIFE OF PI in a public theater in Colorado. Of course, there was the price of the ticket and then, an upcharge for the privilege of seeing it in 3D.

Upchage? OK. Fine. Those new digital projectors do cost money. Fair enough.

BUT! And here's the rant, if the fancy new digital projector is not set up properly, and by properly, I mean so that it can render a viewable 3D image on the screen, what's the point? If the entire audience cannot, using the provided 3D glasses, see a three dimensional image on the screen...

How will you, the theater owners, keep your customers?

I know it's a tough economic climate for you. I understand, I really do. But it's a bit like buying tickets to a play and you can't see the actors. Will the audience come back?

In fairness to this theater, after repeated requests from the audience, the manager was able to find (!?!) the projectionist and he or she corrected the problem.

But isn't it the projectionist's job to check and see if the image is correct in the first place, when the show starts?

Or was he/she busy, instead, selling popcorn or cleaning the bathrooms? Probably. Sigh.

Now about the fact that part of the image was being projected on the back of the seats instead of the screen... oh, never mind.

Please share your experiences viewing movies. I'd love to hear how wide spread this problem is. Well, love is the wrong word.

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