Cinema Projection FAIL

I know it may come as a surprise, but I don’t go to movies that often. I have a theater rig at home and with three kiddos the time, expense, and hassle of going to the theater to see a movie is just…well, not that often. We went this past Friday to see Despicable Me 2 and decided to take the whole entourage….we had a $25 gift card and the matinee is cheap anyway. After shelling out another $25 for snacks/popcorn/crud we sat in pretty maxed out stadium-style seats just off-center-right. I watched the previews and noticed that all the text was either drop shadowed or just out of alignment. I looked up to the booth and saw that they were indeed using two projectors- definitely out of convergence. For a minute I thought maybe they’re set for some sort of 3D setting and when the feature came on they would be in line. Not so. The Feature was just as fuzzy. I thought- OK, I’ll just watch and enjoy. But I kept going back to it- it was making me crazy!

Really? In a modern theater that uses what I think are decent digital projectors- out of alignment? Maybe my off-axis viewing was the culprit- but I don’t think so. I don’t think that Regal would shell out the dough for an auto-align system…so I found myself thinking about the theaters in the past with actual operators that would ensure a clean, beautiful presentation- devoid of (holy-crap-I-can’t-believe-their-projectors-are-not-converged) alignment errors. Do they occasionally go through and align the rig? Wait- I paid a crazy amount of money to watch a feature- and it’s out of alignment????

Needless to say I won’t be seeing any movies at the cinema too soon. I’ll watch them on my properly tweaked, single gun system at home. And when I do have to use my two projectors at work, I’m going to make it a point to make sure they are not only properly converged, but razor-sharp. I sent an email using Regal’s lame “contact us” web-form, but you can only submit 255 characters, so I don’t think I got my point across. It’ll probably end up in some cyber-trashcan anyway.

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