Thursday, July 24, 2008


I saw Back to the Future at the Continental Theatre in Denver on 07/23/08 in Auditorium 9.

I was very disappointed that the Flashback Features films are not playing on the Continental's giant 78-foot wide screen. Regal should work with the studios to allow classics screenings to interrupt current releases for one showing each week. It's in the interests of the studios to know that their best films will get fantastic presentations for years to come, and it's in the best interests of Regal to make sure their flashback screenings are really worth leaving home for.

I sat next to a mother who was there with her children and a friend. She commented, with no prompting from me, about how disappointed she was that Back to the Future wasn't on the big screen. This wasn't some film geek, this was a mother! Maybe she will come back to other flashback screenings, but she began the evening feeling and expressing disappointment. Regal, take note.

Now that I have gotten that out of the way, I will acknowledge that the screening was a terrific experience. Not as great as it should have been, but terrific nevertheless. As the film ended, someone behind me commented about that even though he owns the DVD and can watch it at any time, it's even better to see it in the theatre.

The print was beautiful. There were a few vertical scratches near the beginning of the Enchantment Under the Sea dance, but otherwise, it was almost flawless. It was neat to see the original version, without the "To Be Continued..." tag at the end.

The screen in Auditorium 9 was about 50 feet wide. Very adequate, but again disappointing compared to Auditorium 5. Unlike many new auditoriums, the screen featured side masking instead of top & bottom masking. Bravo!

Projection was bright, focused, steady, well-framed and beautiful. Sound was dynamic and expansive across the front, but with little surround presence, likely due to the content of the film. Volume was just right.

The theatre was crowded and the audience was a blast, laughing and cheering at all the right moments. Also, outside there was Delorean outside that had been modified to match the one in the film.

On the negative side:
A low rumble was audible from another auditorium a few times. It wasn't disruptive, but it was there.

Also, the auditorium lights were left on during the opening credits. I was just about to call the theatre and discretely tell them to "turn off the lights in auditorium 9" when they went off.

Finally, we were subjected to annoying pre-show advertisements before the film.

Auditorium 9:
Cinema Grade = B

Upcoming Flashback Features at the Continental


Anonymous said...

Yes! so happy to see a major local denver theater playing classic does the esquire but its equipment is in need of maintenance and the seating isnt as good. Wish id known about it sooner. Thanks for the review...

Jonesy said...

Hope to see you at Raiders of the Lost Ark on Wednesday!