Comments from IanJudge

Showing 26 - 50 of 247 comments

IanJudge commented about Encore showings of "The Wizard of Oz" on Nov. 17, but has it peaked in terms of its appeal? on Nov 11, 2009 at 12:03 am

Those 1998 prints are annoying in one regard, in that they printed the 1:37 image in the middle of a 1:85 frame, because so few theaters can show 1:37 anymore… but for those of us who CAN still throw 1:37 on the screen, it makes the image much smaller than it could have been. Oh, to see an old IB Technicolor print of Oz, it really is breathtaking.

The fact that WOO is sooo available is nice, but it is exactly why it isn’t as “special” anymore. I am 32 and we always planned sleep-overs etc around the yearly showing – got to stay up “late” to watch it, and it was a big event, even on TV.

And I mean this jokingly and with all respect & friendliness, but MPol, you manage to squeeze your overwhelming love for West Side Story into every page here on CT! They oughta pay you profit sharing.

IanJudge commented about AMC Loews Harvard Square 5 on Oct 29, 2009 at 12:55 am

Hi Larry, Can’t confirm for sure, but the University Theatre played a lot of M~G~M product, so it is likely that “Oz” played at some point in its general release.

IanJudge commented about Theatre 1 & Space 57 on Oct 25, 2009 at 9:19 pm

I’ve heard this delay was due to installation of projection equipment. All of the film projectors etc. had been removed in 1996 when the cinema first closed, so other equipment for this new operator had to be installed.

IanJudge commented about Theatre 1 & Space 57 on Oct 12, 2009 at 11:23 pm

On a bigger ‘art’ release (like the new Coen Bros film) they would have to compete with Loews/Regal, and on a smaller release usually there is only one run of a film, and Landmark is a powerful chain with a local outlet (Kendall) with proven success. It would be great if they could play WITH Landmark (I mean, it makes sense to me personally) but that is not always how it works. I really hope this theater is a success; the Bramante’s are good operators, and it would be nice to see an alternative downtown.

IanJudge commented about Theatre 1 & Space 57 on Oct 12, 2009 at 3:39 pm

That should be “beat” not “bear”.

IanJudge commented about Theatre 1 & Space 57 on Oct 12, 2009 at 3:39 pm

That’s not a good sign; that movie has been playing at the Kendall Square for a few weeks now, so that is a second-run booking. Maybe they are doing a soft opening. I hope once they are on their feet they are able to bear Landmark Theaters out of a first-run art film regularly.

IanJudge commented about Loew's Jersey Theatre on Oct 5, 2009 at 1:41 am

The name “Loews” is now owned by AMC Theatres, not Sony, which has not had an interest in movie theaters in almost a decade. This theater uses the original pre-1968 name (with apostrophe) “Loew’s”. It was always called “Loew’s Jersey” so why not keep the name? The name “Loew’s” is evocative of the classic era of movie palaces this theater so lovingly maintains.

IanJudge commented about Reflections on the fate of the independent exhibitor on Sep 14, 2009 at 12:34 am

I find digital 3-D to have all of the “headaches, nausea, eyestrain” that regular 3-D has. And nobody is whining here – it’s called a discussion.

IanJudge commented about Reflections on the fate of the independent exhibitor on Sep 12, 2009 at 8:22 pm

I’ll take a physical, electro-mechanical pain in the ass that my trained projectionist can fix 9.9 times out of ten over computer technology that is obsolete nearly as soon as you install it any day of the week. I find film a very easy format to work with. To each his own, though.

CinemarkFan, I agree with your sentiments. We’re just installing 70mm in one of my theaters so that we have at least one house that can play anything. I think that certain markets will still support this programming on a very limited basis, like a museum piece, or the way many theaters (one of mine included) still run silent with live accompaniment on occasion. However mainstream multiplexes will alas be non-film at some point. I think that is farther down the road than the studios and MPAA predict, but the big boys are all on board, and they’ll push it through.

IanJudge commented about Unique seven screen multiplex opening on Sep 12, 2009 at 8:11 pm

That’s pretty cool! Someone bringing something special back to moviegoing – not just endless wall drapes.

IanJudge commented about RKO Boston Theatre on Jul 4, 2009 at 1:21 am

Chuck, I believe that is the RKO Keith’s Memorial (now Boston Opera House) and not the RKO Boston.

IanJudge commented about Paramount Center on Jul 4, 2009 at 1:16 am

I was recently shown photos of the work being done inside the Paramount and I have to say that I was pleasantly astounded at the level of re-creation in what has been built inside the four walls of the auditorium. Certainly the layout of the house is a bit different but the ceiling and side-walls have been rebuilt and decorated to match the original art deco designs and looked fabulous. It may not be original at all (though it appears they saved and reused the grille-work above the proscenium) but it is a damned good recreation, or at least it appeared so in the photos. I had feared the interior would be completely foreign to what had been there originally but it would appear they have gone out of their way to capture what the Paramount looked like. I look forward to seeing it in person when the venue reopens.

IanJudge commented about Astor Theatre on Jun 27, 2009 at 6:45 pm


You might have known another projectionist at the Astor, David Kornfeld? He works for me now at the Somerville Theatre. David swears the Astor was his favorite booth/sound system that he’s ever worked. He loved those Norelco’s! We are actually getting a pair for Somerville’s main booth later this summer and David is thrilled to be working with them again.

IanJudge commented about "Radical Civility" for movie manners on Jun 26, 2009 at 3:38 am

You’d be amazed at how offended some patrons become when we as theater employees ask them to stop texting/using phones. “It’s on silent” they’ll say, as if to assure me that there will be no ringing, to which I explain what a distraction the light is. But still they think I am the bad guy, the rude person. They really don’t think it is wrong to use the phone! I always say “If you want to watch movies and text, you can do it at home – everyone here paid $8 to watch the movie, not your phone!”

It’s just another example of the intense selfishness and inconsideration that abounds these days.

IanJudge commented about Somerville Theatre on May 17, 2009 at 11:56 pm

As part of renovations this summer, we will be totally renovating the projection booth in the main theater, returning it to its original location within/behind the back wall of the balcony (the current booth from 1990 is in front of this back wall.)

We will be reseating the balcony for the first time since 1914! New seats!

We will be installing Dolby Digital sound, and surround sound speakers in the entire auditorium.

We have arranged with Boston Light & Sound to install two beautiful Norelco AA-II projectors that were recently removed from the home screening room of noted film restorer Robert Harris. This will enable us to show archival prints and ultimately 70mm film as well. We will have a much more flexible booth when all is said and done.

Ian/Somerville Theatre

IanJudge commented about Cinema Treasures at ShoWest on Mar 28, 2009 at 8:26 pm

ShoWest is fun, and it is a great way to talk to other exhibitors and see how thing are going, see new products, and so forth. They have been pushing digital on us year after year after year…. each year saying things like “within the next couple of years we expect more and more theaters to convert to digital” all the while most of the exhibitors I talk to personally are pretty much happy with 35mm film. It is the studios who are pushing this agenda since it is their party and their rules. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with total strangers in elevators, etc. during ShoWest where we end up remarking how much we all want to keep 35mm film.

My biggest problem with all the speeches and banquets and awards and all that at ShoWest is that nobody stands up there and puts the truth out there: if AMC and Regal and National and Cinemark and all the rest of the big boys actually gave a crap about the status of moviegoing in America as they claim they do, they, these handful of people, have the power to change it for the better. They have the power to pay their staff a better wage and demand better results from such a policy, they have the power to concentrate on presentation and cleanliness instead of advertising and gimmicks like 3-D, the latest nacho cheese, or digital. These handful of theater chain executives have instead cannibalized and diminished a very special cultural thing – going to the movies – and made it mediocre and generic and taken almost all of the magic out of it.

I like ShoWest, and I like many things about the industry, but once I just wish someone would give a speech and let them have it.

IanJudge commented about Somerville Theatre on Mar 26, 2009 at 10:07 am

Thanks Ron Salters – it was tough!

maaynardian60 – the piano is still in the orchestra pit (holding up the floor that was built directly on top of it) but no voting boxes. The actual dressing rooms were extensively rebuilt in 2005. Very little of the original dressing rooms existed when we began renovations.

IanJudge commented about Emerging Pictures has Hitchcock films available on Feb 14, 2009 at 2:37 am

And sadly many labs today do NOT know how to print B&W properly.

IanJudge commented about Indie cinemas pack houses on Jan 30, 2009 at 6:14 pm

MPol, I think your heart is in the right place, but your statement at 11:41pm is practically nonsensical: what company WOULDN’T follow its own agenda?

IanJudge commented about "What's Up Doc?"...Looney Tunes Marathon on Jan 17, 2009 at 5:58 am

I would love to rent and show WB cartoons before features at my theaters, but they only rent them out in three packs, which when combined with shipping costs are a bit prohibitive. It would be great if they included them with features.

IanJudge commented about National Amusements tied up in family disagreement on Dec 24, 2008 at 1:52 am

Ah but such projects as the Dedham one are years in the making, whereas the financial crisis that has left old Sumner strapped is only a few months old.

I am not hearing that the whole company will be ‘dismantled’ but that many screens outside of New England will be sold to cover debts. This isn’t a matter of NA being unprofitable per se, but an ‘either/or’ one of “which asset do you want to sell to pay debts: CBS and Viacom stock, or NA properties” Clearly Sumner Redstone has stated that he does not want to sell his stock and Shari Redstone does not want to sell NA assets. Thus the internal and public strife.

I doubt this would be the end of NA, just a paring down of the chain. While not perfect by any means, of the majors they run a good show generally. However, my mind turns to think of people like the operators of the little independent West Boylston Cinema, a theater that has suffered tremendously because NA in Worcester, MA has chosen to enforce clearance over them, meaning they cannot play any of the same titles at the same time as Showcase North. The operators of the independent are trying to make a basic (and let’s face it, not so lucrative) living from their theater and have to suffer because of NA… so to think of the Redstones fighting over all these millions (and billions) of dollars and perhaps having some sleepless nights themselves over bills, well, it just kind of makes me smile… and makes me think about Charles Dickens' holiday-relevant words about ‘the chains we forge in life’ weighing upon certain peoples souls.

Merry Christmas!

IanJudge commented about Orpheum Theatre on Dec 23, 2008 at 10:33 am

Nice photos, cameraphone or not. If you have the chance, see what remains of the old projection booth up behind the lighting booth.

The old lobby entrance on Washington Street is now an Aldo shoe store; I knew someone who worked there and he said in the back/storage room the marble stairs to the Orpheum are still there.

The Orpheum seems to be stuck in a place where it is not cost-efficient for the landlord to spend the money to renovate, and the tenant does not feel the need to push for anything like that. It is a mediocre middle ground, but it beats being knocked down for condos (like the Pilgrim) or knocked down for a vacant lot (like the Publix/Gaiety.)

IanJudge commented about 70/70: Laemmle 70th Anniversary Series on Dec 5, 2008 at 1:38 am


The Coolidge in the Boston are has run some nice 70mm features as you are probably aware, and I feel lucky to live in a metro are that still has at least one theater with 70mm capability. But like many of you, I would love to see these screenings.

I would also love to be there to see some pristine 70mm prints and have a chance to laugh in James Cameron’s face should he suggest, as he has done many times, that digital filming and presentation is better than film. How anyone who has seen a proper 70mm presentation could say that and call themselves a motion picture professional is beyond me.

IanJudge commented about Digital Projection Not Always Perfect on Dec 2, 2008 at 12:50 pm

JodarMovieFan highlights why people buy into the “digital presentation is better” mentality: because the major chains have let 35mm film presentation sink so low in quality, people will take a lesser and still unperfected system (digital) just to eradicate the lack of human effort and caring that has resulted in poor film projection. It is a pity, but given the level of mediocrity at the multiplex, I can’t blame the consumer. I do however blame the exhibition industry for cannibalizing and ruining the magical experience of the movies. The digital conversion will happen because 1) the studios save billions, and 2) the majority of theaters don’t even understand the basic nature of the business (film exhibition/presentation) they claim to be in – they are just selling food and advertising now, and if they could get away with just showing slides and selling food, they would do so.

IanJudge commented about Digital Projection Not Always Perfect on Dec 2, 2008 at 12:21 am