Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Rafael Film Center

1118 4th Street, San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 454-1222 (Recording)
(415) 454-5813 (Live Human)
Rafael Film Center

Comment from dirtyblackbird on 03/22/07

Theater 2 and 3 at the Smith Rafael Film Center are equiped with Dolby Digital Sound as is theater 1. All three rooms are THX certified and are re-certified each year (unlike many theaters). Theater 1 is an historical restoration and was built originally in 1920 and has a beautifully painted art deco percenium with the screen set-back from there.

The screen masking is variable width and height determined by aspect ratio. Each room has state of the art DLP projection for special filmmaker events and for pre-show advertising of up coming shows...but no commercials!

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Jonesy says: Thanks for the clarification about the sound in #2 & #3. I corrected my review below.

As for the masking, I believe they bring IN the top & bottom for wider films (based on the fact that The Host was only 1.85:1 and appeared to use the full width of the screen). In an ideal set-up, the side masking should open out wider for films with wider aspect ratios.
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Saw The Host in Auditorium 1 on 03/14/07

Projection was steady, bright, and focused. The screen is protected by a curtain between shows, and there were no slides or commercials.

The image was projected off-screen about a foot on the top, bottom & right. The screen appeared to be constant width, instead of the preferred constant height.

The screen is not huge, and is set back from the stage, making the front rows preferable for anyone seeking to fill your field of view.

Dolby Digital Surround sound was dynamic and enveloping.

Auditoriums 2 & 3 are extremely small.

Auditorium 1: Cinema Grade = B

Room for Improvement
The Rafael should advertise which showings are in each auditorium.
Projection alignment should better match the screen dimensions.

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