As soon as I walked into the theater and glanced up at the trailers on the screen, I knew that I wasn’t watching film. I immediately suspected that I was looking at the output from a digital projector.
Digital projection was first introduced in many cities a few years earlies, but not in Indianapolis. I wondered how digital would compare to film and if it really was an enhancement or just a method of lowering distribution costs. Make no mistake, the image is superior to film.
What I immediately noticed was the vivid colors on the screen. Images were more saturated without being over-saturated. I thought that film may have a noticeable resolution advantage over digital, but I was surprised to find digital to look sharper than film. The contrast ratio was better and the black levels were at least as black as film, it not just a bit darker. The other advantages are that there is no noticeable flicker (due to elimination of 24 frames/second film) and there are no “cigarette burns” in the upper right-hand corners before switching to a new reel.
I’m not sure the exact projector, but the Christie splash just before the film suggests it may be a Christie CP2000 , which is a 3-chip DLP 2048 x 1080 pixel projector. What ever it is, it make me want to upgrade the Sony LCD projector I have at home!
Theater 1 also had greatly improved sound fidelity. I noticed that during the trailers and I really noticed it during the movie (Mission: Impossible 3). I suspect the sound system was completely upgraded rather than simply recalibrating or improving the source. I saw King Kong in Theater 16 and the sound was absolutely terrible there, with dialog that was often difficult to make out, especially in quiet scenes. Theater 1 is a great improvement.
Theater 1 is not perfect, however. The large screen has about 11 visible vertical lines spaced evenly across the screen. These lines are where the individual smaller panels join together to make one large screen. They were very noticeable from 2/3 of the way back in the seating and continually distracting. The screen also appeared to be causing splotches in the projected image, because the screen was not uniform. (Dirty? Not smooth? Screen color variation? I'm not sure why. . .)
Overall, I’d highly recommend this theater, especially if the screen were upgraded. Digital is the future, for both home viewing as well as movie theaters.
Kerasotes ShowPlace 16
4325 S. Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46217-3441