Posts Tagged ‘Titan XC

23
Jun
10

Brisk Titan XC Ticket Sales for Midnight Showing of Eclipse

Long lines at Ward for the midnight showings of The Twilight Saga: New Moon. We will have a repeat next week?

Remember back in November when New Moon came out and a ton of fans turned out for midnight screenings? With only a week to go till the release of the The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Wednesday, June 30), it’s only a matter of time before Twilight mania re-enters the public consciousness. As curiosity got the best of me I kinda wanted to gauge local TwiHard fandom as well as the new ticket ordering for Consolidated’s Titan XC so I ventured online to Fandango to check it out.

Ticket Sales

I got about what I expected when I clicked on the link for the Tuesday night (aka midnight) screening for Eclipse (all images and information referenced are current as of 10AM Wednesday, June 23):

Theater map for the midnight showing of Eclipse in the Titan XC.

As you can see from the image, a little over half the theater is sold out for the midnight show. Keep in mind now that we are still a week away so there is still A LOT of time for people to fill up the theater. As I mentioned, I wasn’t too surprised by how full the theater is, but it does show that a select group of people are being smart about their Eclipse viewing and are taking advantage of the Titan XC’s reservation system. Truth be told there are still a number of good seats to be had in Ward’s theater 8.

Can’t make it to the midnight screening of Eclipse or just not that big of a fan, but you still want to see it on opening day? Don’t fret, the 7:45pm screening on Wednesday is still wide open (current as of 10AM, Wednesday, June 23):

Theater map for the Wednesday 7:45pm screening of Eclipse in the Titan XC.

Or if you’re a morning person, the first showing in the TItan on Wednesday morning at 11AM only has 22 out of it’s 450+ seats sold.

Reservation System

I have to say, reserving your seat in the Titan XC theater is pretty easy. Just log on to Fandango, search for theaters in Honolulu and click on Titan screening times at Ward and a map of the theater (like the ones pictured above) pops up prompting you to select your seat. It’s pretty similar to selecting your seats on airlines or for sporting events. As you can see, it shows you which seats are taken, and which ones aren’t. Just click on the ones you want that are still available and off you go. Luckily Eclipse is a non 3D movie so you pay the cheaper Titan XC ticket price of $14.25 for adults and $11.00 for children or seniors.

Are you seeing The Twilight Saga: Eclipse on opening day? You might want to get your tickets for the Titan XC soon or wait in line like everyone else.

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Addtional Reading:

THR’s Risky Business BlogTotal ‘Eclipse’: Twi-hards take over the L.A. Live courtyard

MTV.com‘Eclipse’ Fans Camp Out For Days Before L.A. Premiere

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17
Jun
10

First Look: Consolidated’s Titan XC

The entrance to Consolidated Ward's theater 8, the Titan XC.

This post is going to consist of two parts. The first part will be a relatively quick “first thoughts, reaction, and feeling” of the new Titan XC theater at Consolidated Ward for those who just want a quick read. Following that, the second portion of this post will go into greater detail of my experience in the newly renovated theater.

Quick Review ::

If you want a good movie experience, then Consolidated Ward’s new Titan XC will have one to offer. However, moviegoers should be informed about the moviegoing experience that they can expect to have. First up, so we can get it out the way really quick, this IS NOT an Imax theater. The image quality on screen simply cannot match that of the Imax format. Is the image quality bad? Hardly, this is a relatively brand new projector (installed in about April) and it does a nice job of showing bright and crisp images–it just doesn’t show the high “HD like” quality that Imax does.

Second, the sound. Consolidated amped up the volume by installing a bunch of new speakers, most noticeably on the sides and ceiling of the theater. This did make for a much louder experience, but it was hard to gauge the effectiveness with a movie like Toy Story 3. Was the sound louder? Yes. Was it loud enough to drown out the crying child in the row behind me and three seats over? No.

Third, the screen–while it is wall to wall and does make for a more dramatic presentation, I personally didn’t think it added that much to the viewing experience.

Fourth, the seats–while they are nice and new, I overheard an employee mention that they are pleather seats. Still they are comfortable just the same as the old ones. Although, one plus is that all of these seats recline a little (like the ones in the first few rows). Also all rows and seats are now numbered so you can properly find your reserved seat.

Fifth and finally, the glasses. These are the bulkiest of the 3D glasses I have ever worn and if you wear regular glasses, I hope you have a small pair as I fear larger frames may not fit under the XpanD 3D glasses. Also, for some reason, the on screen images are darkened when wearing the glasses so expect a slightly muted presentation for 3D showings.

Overall, I think you’ll get a decent experience with Consolidated’s new Titan XC. I just don’t think it will be as “world class” as is being advertised. I still say that the biggest selling point of this new theater will be the reserved seating. Want to see Eclipse on opening night AND be able to show up just 20 minutes before the movie starts? This will be the way to do it!

Detailed Review ::

Consolidated Ward’s Titan XC in theater 8 definitely had the “new theater smell” like when you get a new car. Here’s more of what you can expect from each of some of the new theater’s features and an introduction from theater management.

SEATING

The new seats showing the row and numbering system.

As mentioned previously, all the seats are brand spanking new (hence the new theater smell). As far as comfort levels go, I really couldn’t tell the different between the old seats and the new ones. What I do like though is all of the seats recline a little (about 3-4 inches backward). As noted in the images above, all seats are are now numbered. The numbering starts at #1 on the left side of a row (if you’re facing the row) and works it’s way up as you move to the right across the row. Rows are numbered by letters. I know that the upper portion of rows in theater 8 are double lettered (AA, BB, CC, etc) and increase as they work they’re way up. I forgot to check while we were there, but I’m not sure if the rows in the lower level are double lettered or single lettered. Though I suspect they are single lettered to differentiate themselves from the top portion of seats. The row numbers are illuminated so you will have an easier time finding your row in the theater if the lights are off. I only hope they have new cleaning supplies as well because once food or drinks start falling on seats, it will definitely be more noticeable than with the old ones.

SCREEN

You can make out the slight curvature of the screen from this vantage point.

One aspect of the Titan XC experience that delivers as advertised is the wall-to-wall screen that now fills the entire 66 feet width of the theater. At first glance it doesn’t seem too big of a difference. After all, Ward’s big theaters (#7-10) already had bigger screens when compared to Dole, so what do a few more feet add? Well, you know the saying, “bigger is better,” it still applies. Those few feet do make a difference and make the theater that much more new and different. One noticeable improvement though is that now the screen is concave or curved away from the audience. This is done to negate the effects of distortion from the projector. One thing to remember though is that with bigger screens you need to sit farther back to enjoy the experience. I would recommend sitting in the upper portion of the theater if possible for the optimal experience.

SOUND

Huge JBL speakers line the walls of the theater giving it 7.1 audio channels.

One of the first things you notice when you walk into the Titan theater is that there are a lot more speakers than there were before. JBL speakers line both sides of the theater and the ceiling. I’m sure there were speakers on the wall before the renovation, but they have been since upgraded to the more noticeable JBL ones now installed (9 on each wall, 14 on the ceiling). Also part of the upgrade included doubling the subwoofer power behind the screen. All this leads to an extra 2 channels of audio in the theater. Theater standard is 5.1 surround. Consolidated went above and beyond to upgrade the theater to 7.1. Now does this translate to a better movie experience? The jury is still out on the audio with Titan. The sound was noticeably louder in the Titan theater, but I’m not sure if I was really that much more immersed in the seven channels of audio. Probably a better measuring stick would be a movie like Saving Private Ryan or some other action movie. As it stands right now, Titan’s roar is louder, but not necessarily more intense.

PICTURE QUALITY

As I opened up with in the quick review section of this post, picture quality in the Titan theater is marginally better than other theaters. The image is clean, clear, and crisp, but it’s no Imax. As mentioned in their press release, the theater is operating an NEC digital projector. A quick web search of NEC’s offerings for digital projectors show industry standard projectors, a standard that is below that of Imax. However, Titan is a digital theater so it does have a leg up on other film theaters. If you have an option of seeing a movie in a digital theater or a film theater, opt for the digital one. With digital projection, the film print does not degrade from multiple viewings (this results in faded images and lots of artifacts, or spots, seen when viewing). Since Titan is indeed digital, the picture will look as good from the first viewing to the 100th. A positive note about this NEC technology is that their website states that later this year, their models will be able to upgrade to higher resolutions–hopefully Consolidated can implement this.

GLASSES

This is probably one aspect of the Titan XC experience that affected me the most–their 3D glasses. I’ve used 3D glasses for Imax, Dolby 3D, RealD, and now XpanD. Out of all of them, the XpanD’s have been the bulkiest. Now I usually don’t mind the glasses. This time though, I had to wear my glasses underneath the 3D glasses and while it wasn’t irritating, I definitely “felt” the weight of the glasses on my head over my own glasses. Another moviegoer in my party mentioned that they didn’t like the XpanD glasses and that the Imax one’s are better since they are lighter and easier to fit over your glasses. Another somewhat negative aspect of the glasses were that they really darkened the picture image on screen. Without them on, the picture was bright and the colors vibrant. When put on, there was a significant change in picture brightness. Don’t know exactly what the story is with that, but it’s another reason why I probably wouldn’t see another 3D film in this theater.

PRICE

Adult – $14.25 :: Child/Senior – $11.00 :: Adult 3D – $16.25 :: Child/Senior 3D – $13.00
I still believe that the biggest selling point of this theater will be the fact that you can reserve your seat. For an extra $3.50 (regular Ward ticket prices start at $10.75 for adults) you can see a movie on opening weekend without having to worry about coming early, standing in lines, and then fight the crowd to get a good seat. And I like how there are two prices for films in the theater, one for 2D and another for 3D (Dole’s Imax has a single price for both 2D and 3D movies). In the end, Consolidated was smart my making their Titan XC price points lower than those of Dole’s Imax.

IN SUMMARY

As I theorized in my previous blog post, a lot of the “experience” of the Titan XC theater at Ward can be chalked up to marketing by Consolidated. It’s not a bad experience, in fact it’s a pretty decent one–it’s just not as great as an experience as advertised. However, this shouldn’t stop people from going to check out the Titan XC experience for themselves. We’re all different so you might come up with your own assessment of the theater. As with all things, be informed about your movie viewing choices.

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Additional Reading:

Hawaii News Now Feature on Titan XC

Urban Mix Plate at the Titan XC debut

Hawaii Blog – Consolidated Theatres’ Big Play

Star Advertiser – Audiences prepare for splash of this Titan

15
Jun
10

Clash of the Titan XC

This week Friday (June 18, 2010) Consolidated Theatres will debut a new moviegoing experience with the opening of their new Titan XC (extreme cinema) screen at their Ward location. They have taken one screen (theater 8) and have renovated the entire theater and will feature (from Consolidated Theatre’s press release):

  • A wall-to-wall screen 66 feet wide and 35 feet tall
  • Pristine digital images with “the most advanced 3D”
    • a new “state-of-art,” NEC digital projection system
    • XpanD 3D system
  • Unsurpassed Sound
    • Dolby Surround, 7.1 audio channels
    • 75,000 watt digital sound system
    • 18 speakers on the walls, 14 in the ceiling, doubled the number of subwoofers
  • Leather Seating
  • Reserved Seating

While it all sounds nice and fancy, I’m going to hold judgement till after I take in Ward’s Titan XC myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for improving the moviegoing experience here in Hawaii and I’m a big fan of Ward Theaters, but let’s face it . . . Ward needed to do something to keep up with the IMAX theater at Regal Cinema’s Dole location.

Since opening last year, Dole’s IMAX has definitely been a money maker for them with a number of films coming out in IMAX (most notably James Cameron’s Avatar). With the only commercial IMAX theater on the island, and tickets for the theater being sold at $17 a pop (compared to a $4 3D surcharge on top of normal ticket prices) it’s easy to see that Ward has been losing out on a niche that only Dole has been capitalizing on.

There are several stumbling blocks that Ward will need to overcome for the Titan experience to be successful. Perhaps the biggest problem is that Titan XC is not something that moviegoers recognize. It’s not a name brand like how IMAX is. Everyone remembers when they were younger and we had a “real” IMAX in Waikiki or having gone to the mainland and seeing big IMAX screens there. We know what it is. IMAX is a name brand, and more importantly it’s a format that Hollywood is formatting their films for (select scenes in Transformers and The Dark Knight were shot in IMAX). Sadly the “Titan XC” brand is something that moviegoers are not familiar with and as far as I can tell, not a format of any sort. Hence the marketing campaign which has been going on for the past two weeks. In order for people to know about something, you have to tell them about it. And if you’re going to tell them about something, make sure you tell them it has all the newest bells and whistles.

The NEC NC3200S digital cinema projector. Is this the driving force behind Ward's new Titan XC?

The second problem I foresee is the technology itself. The digital projectors used in theaters currently conform to Digital Cinema Initiatives specifications as set forth by the Big 6 studios (Warner Bros, Sony, Disney, Universal, Paramount, Fox). Currently these standards seem to be below the resolution presented by digital IMAX. Simply put, unless this new NEC digital projector is indeed “state-of-the-art,” I don’t foresee the projection quality being better than it would be in IMAX (not sure which model Ward is installing, but the newest NEC projectors will be able to upgrade to a higher resolution standard than what is required–possibly at a later time). If this turns out to be the case, Ward could have a tough time selling moviegoers on this technology once word gets out. Again, I’ll need to reserve judgement until I can see the technology in action.

However, Ward’s new Titan experience does have two things going for it:

  1. Reserved Seating–Cavemen had the wheel, Edison had his light blub, Bell had the telephone, and now Hawaii finally has reserved seating for movies. How would you like to not have to hassle with waiting in line on opening night? Just show up 20 minutes before the show starts, buy your food and sit down without having to worry about finding a seat? Sounds so easy right? I mean really, sports and the airline industry have been doing it for decades, why not the theaters as well? This semi new feature (Ward previously did have a concierge service that allowed for reserved seating–as a subscription service) is a great selling point as it will take some antagonism out of the movie going experience. The downside–it’s only for one theater.
  2. Price–For about two weeks after Consolidated announced Titan XC I was very hesitant as no where did they announce the ticket prices for this new “experience.” However last week they finally set the ticket prices and I have to say that they’re really trying to do their best to compete with Dole. Take a look:
  • Adult – $14.25
  • Senior/Child – $11.00
  • 3D Adult – $16.25
  • 3D Senior/Child – $13.00

Compare these prices to Dole’s IMAX where ticket prices are $17 for adults, $14 for kids, and $13.50 for seniors (in either 2D or 3D) and Ward is definitely undercutting Dole. This will definitely turn the tide in Ward’s favor if the technology is as good or better than Dole’s IMAX. If not, you still have the consolation of paying about $4 more than a regular Ward ticket price for the amenity of reserving your seat–still, not a bad deal.

After it’s all said and done though, having more viewing options for moviegoers can never be a bad thing. I just hope that Consolidated hasn’t rushed blindly into competing with Dole by giving us window dressing in the form of Titan XC. Hopefully I can check out the new Titan XC experience this weekend. And if I do, expect a follow up post to hash everything out.

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Additional Reading:

The Titan XC webpage on Consolidated’s website, with a link to their press release and ticket prices.

Rachel Gibson of Consolidated Theatres talking about Titan XC on Wake Up 2Day




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