A review of L.A. and Gotham venues used most frequently

As award strategists and voters decide what to screen and where, Daily Variety offers a review of the venues used most frequently

LOS ANGELES VENUES

Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
Location:: 8949 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, Samuel L. Goldwyn Theater
Specs:: 1,012 seats. Screen size: 57′ x 25′. Formats: 16mm, 35mm, 70 mm, Digital Projection, most video formats Sound: THX-certified, Dolby A, Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D, Dolby EX DTS, SDDS, Mono. Throw: 105′.
Rates:: $600/hour-$4,500 flat fee.
Review:: Still the best movie theater in L.A. — and quite possibly anywhere else. No expense or detail has been short-changed in this elegant facility, from the wonderful rotating lobby exhibits to the gigantic screen that is curved just enough for widescreen films but doesn’t cause distortion
Contact:: (310) 247-3000.

Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
Location:: 5230 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, Leonard H. Goldenson Theater
Specs:: 600 seats. Screen size: 54′ 4” x 23′ 7”. Formats: 16mm, 35mm, 70mm, 1”, ¾”, Beta SP, Laserdisc. Sound: Dolby A, Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D, SDDS, DTS. Throw: 103′.
Rates:: Call theater
Review::: This gem is nearly in the class of that other Academy theater. A huge screen, given the seating arrangement, makes for terrific viewing.
Contact:: (818) 754-2800

Artisan Theater
Location:: 2700 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica
Specs:: 49 seats. Screen size: 19′ x 8′. Formats: 35mm, HDTV, ¾” video, VHS, DVD. Digital Projection. Sound: Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D, DTS, SDDS. Throw: 49′.
Rates:: $125-$225/hour
Review:: A swank room that deserves more attention. The sound system is especially outstanding. Very comfy seats.
Contact:: (310) 255-4000

Charles Aidikoff Screening Room
Location:: 150 S. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills
Specs:: 53 seats. Screen size: n/a. 3-D screening capability Formats: 35mm, VHS (NTSC, PAL, SECAM), Beta SP, ¾”, digi-Beta, high-def. Sound: Dolby A, Dolby SR, DTS. Throw: 60′.
Rates:: $240/hour-$600 flat fee.
Review:: The family-run room charms visitors with its wet bar and goodies spread, but provides a generally mediocre viewing experience. It’s plagued with atrocious sightlines and a rake that makes only the front and back rows suitable for viewing.
Contact:: (310) 274-0866

Clarity Screening Room
Location:: 100 N. Crescent Drive, Beverly Hills
Specs:: 114 seats. Screen size: 22′ x 12′. Formats: 35mm. Sound: Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D, DTS, SDDS. Throw: 55′.
Rates:: $250-$275/hour.
Review:: Like the Aidikoff, this room is in the heart of Beverly Hills agent country, but vastly superior. Formerly an inhouse cinema for now-defunct USA Films, the Clarity may be rented by any company, and should be in hot demand as it’s aces in every technical department.
Contact:: (310) 385-4092

Culver Studios
Location:: 9339 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, De Mille Theater
Specs:: 49 seats. Screen size: 24′ x 10′. Formats: 35mm, VHS, Beta SP, ¾”, Laserdisc. Sound: Dolby Stereo, Dolby SR. Throw: 40′.
Rates:: $150/hour-$900 flat fee.
Review:: Set pieces from DeMille’s “Ten Commandments” stand like sentries on either side of the screen, adding a Hollywood touch to an outstanding room. Seating rake is ideal, projection illumination even more so — all of which raises the question: Why isn’t it used more for press and industry screenings?

The Ince Theater
Location::
Specs:: 119 seats (wheelchair). Screen size: 25′ x 11′. Formats: 8mm, 35mm, VHS (NTSC, PAL), Beta SP, ¾”, Laserdisc. Sound: THX-certified, Dolby Stereo, Dolby SR, Dolby SRD, SDDS, DTS. Throw: 70′.
Rates:: $150/hour-$900 flat fee.
Review:: One of L.A.’s best screening rooms, yet underutilized during award season. Thanks to the screen size, seating prox-imity and first-rate presentation, movies simply look and sound bigger and sharper than in most rooms.
Contact:: (310) 202-3253

Directors Guild Theaters
Location:: 7920 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles
Theater One
Specs:: 584 seats. Screen size: 48′ x 22½’. Formats: 16mm, 35 mm, 70 mm, various video formats. Sound: THX-certified, Dolby A, Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D, DTS, SDDS. Throw: 102′.
Rates:: $4,000-$4,400.
Review:: From its outstanding acoustics and exacting projection staff to its exceptionally large screen, there are many reasons why DGA 1, as it’s known, is a favorite with festivals and guild members. A huge lobby, feeding all three DGA theaters, doesn’t hurt either.
Theater Two
Specs:: 150 seats. Screen size: 32′ x 15′. Formats: 16mm, 35mm, various video formats. Sound: THX-certified, Dolby A, Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D, DTS, SDDS. Throw: 55′.
Rates:: $1,850-$2,035.
Review:: Mistakenly thought by some as the lesser of the two main DGA rooms, this intimate space is brilliantly designed for optimal sightlines and a screen that’s as proportionally large as any in town.
Theater Three
Specs:: 43 seats. Screen size: 13′ x 9′. Formats: various video formats. Sound: THX-certified.
Rates:: $625.
Review:: Exclusively set up for video screenings, this comfortable small room is equipped to deliver the best possible video image and sound.
Contact:: (310) 289-2000 s

Harmony Gold Theater
Location:: 7655 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles
Specs:: 385 seats. Screen size: 47’x23′. Formats: Super Dimension 70mm, 35mm, high-def, 24p, VHS (NTSC, PAL, Secam), Beta SP, Digi-Beta, ¾”, DVD, Hi-8. Sound: THX-approved; DTS, Dolby SR-D, Dolby SR, Dolby A, Mono. Throw: 77′.
Rates:: $2,000-$2,600 flat fee.
Review:: One of the few privately owned-and-operated screening rooms that’s a bonafide theater, complete with newly reno-vated outdoor entry and lobby. With a screen size comparable to the DGA’s largest theater and a THX-approved sound system, this is a room that deserves to be near the top of one’s list for ideal viewing venues during the awards season. Pluses include underground and surface parking lots, and a location on Hollywood’s west edge.
Contact:: (323) 851-4900

Interactive Screening Room (formerly USA Interactive Screening Room)
Location:: 8800 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
Specs:: 54 seats. Screen size: n/a. Formats: 35mm. Sound: Dolby A, Dolby
SR, DTS. Throw: 40′.
Rates:: $175-$325/hour.
Review:: A popular room for leading-edge foreign and indie films, and a technical presentation equal to the caliber of art onscreen. Most seats rock too much, but the rear armchair seats are the swankiest in town.
Contact:: (310) 360-2300

MGM
Location:: 10250 Constellation Blvd.. Century City
Theatre 1
Specs:: Seats: 124. Screen size: 24½’ x 11′. Formats: 35mm, high def, DVHS playback, Digi-beta, Beta SP. Sound: Dolby A, Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D, DTS, SDDS, all mag formats, double system digital playback. Throw: 56′.
Rates:: $200-$400.
Theater 2
Specs:: 46. Screen size: 20’x9′. Formats: 35mm, high def, DVHS playback, Digi-beta, Beta SP. Sound: Dolby A, Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D, DTS, SDDS, all mag formats, double system digital playback. Throw: 39′.
Rates:: $165/hr-$400/hr.
Review:: The Lion’s move from Santa Monica to Century City has had some unexpected surprises, not least of which are a pair of superb screening rooms that opened in August and vastly improve on the old facility. Sightlines, illumination and sound are outstanding, but the clincher is the seating, which is the best in town. Upholstered in faux leather and packed with thick, space-age foam that fits to the body’s form, these are the kind of tush-savers you’ll want to take home with you.
Executive Theater
Specs:: 16. Screen size: 13’x6′. Formats: 35mm, high def, DVHS playback, Digi-beta, Beta SP. Sound: Dolby A, Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D, DTS, SDDS, all mag formats, double system digital playback. Throw: 28′.
Rates:: n/a.
Review:: Although we were unable to view a screened image here, this is a brand-new, snazzy-looking room on the 15th floor for those intimate affairs, complete with high-backed, brown leather chairs. Booth is as impressively decked out as one for a much larger theater. Never rented out.
Contact:: (310) 449-3000

Miramax Screening Room
Location:: 7966 Beverly Blvd..Los Angeles
Specs:: 31 seats. Screen size: 15′ x 8′. Formats: 16mm, 35mm, VHS (NTSC), Beta SP, ¾”, DVD. Sound: THX-certified, Dolby A, Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D. Throw: n/a.
Rates:: No rentals.
Review:: Inexplicably designed for maximum discomfort. Substandard seats combine with a microscopic screen positioned so high on the wall that only the back row of seats provides an adequate view. Miramax’s films are poorly served by this quasi cinema, yet the company uses it heavily during awards season.
Contact:: (323) 951-4246

New Line Screening Room
Location:: 116 N. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles
Specs:: 53 seats. Screen size: n/a. Formats: 35mm, VHS (NTSC), Beta SP, ¾”, digi-Beta. Sound: Dolby A, Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D, Dolby SR-DEX, DTS, SDDS, Mono. Throw: n/a.
No longer renting room.
Review:: Among the many smaller rooms around town, this is a solid entry, with a good sound system and fair screen illumi-nation. Fine sightlines, but entrance adjacent to the screen can cause distractions.
Contact:: (310) 854-5811

Ocean Screening Room
Location:: 1401 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica
Specs:: 45 seats. Screen size: 8′ x 18′. Formats: 35mm; Beta SP; DV, ½”, ¾”; DVD. Sound: Dolby A/SR/SRD, Dolby 5.1. Throw: 32′.
Rates:: $125-$350/hour.
Review:: Given its terrific coastline locale in Santa Monica’s heart, this room could rank higher. But problems abound, from highly uneven projection performance to difficult seats (especially in the rear rows).
Contact:: (310) 576-1831

Paramount Theater
Location:: 5555 Melrose Ave., Hollywood
Specs:: 522 seats. Screen size: 55′ x 28′. Formats: 16mm, 35 mm, all video formats. Sound: Dolby A, Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D, DTS, SDDS. Throw: 108′.
Rates:: $220/hour-$2,400 flat fee.
Review:: The jewel of studio lot main theaters, and a fabulous showcase for Par’s movies, from the elegant entrance and ro-tunda lobby to the superbly raked auditorium. Widescreen viewing is especially memorable.

Paramount Studio Theater
Specs:: 284 seats. Screen size: 18′ x 36′. Formats: 7omm, 35mm, Beta SP, Digi-Beta, VHS, DVD. Sound: Dolby EX, Dolby A, Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D, DTS, SDDS. Throw 75′
Rates:; $170/ hour-$1550 flat fee.
Review:: Certainly the lesser of the studio’s two main rooms, the old-school Studio Theater is dwarfed in every way by its younger, bigger brother. Screen image and sound are first-class, while the sightlines are better in the rear, straight-backed seats. When it gets crowded, this room can get awfully stuffy.
Contact:: (323) 956-5000

Raleigh Studios
Location:: 650 N. Bronson Ave., Hollywood , Chaplin Theater
Specs:: 150 seats. Screen size: 24′ x 11′. Formats: 16mm, 35mm, Beta SP, digi-Beta, high-def. Sound: THX, Dolby A, Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D. Throw: 60′.
Rates:: $250-$450/hour.
Review:: By far the best room on Raleigh’s lot in terms of image and sound, but seating can become awfully tight if there’s a crowd. Nice downstairs cafe for catered receptions.

Fairbanks Screening Room
Specs:: 24 seats. Screen size: 15′ x 6′. Formats: 16mm, 35 mm, Beta SP, Digi-Beta, high-def. Sound: Dolby A, Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D. Throw: 35′.
Rates:: $150-$175/hour.
Review:: This room’s problems only begin with the lack of an adjustable mask, and go on from there to include a truly dinky screen. Alas, it’s commonly used for press screenings.
Pickford Screening Room
Specs:: 33 seats. Screen size: 20′ x 6½’. Formats: 16mm, 35 mm, Beta SP, Digi-Beta, high-def. Sound: Dolby A, Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D. Throw: 33′. Rates:: $150-$175/hour.
Review:: Also lacks an adjustable mask, but the screen is at least marginally bigger. Not the best projection room performance.
Contact:: (323) 466-3111

Sony Studios
Location:: 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City
Backstage Theater
Specs:: 105 seats. Screen size: 23½’ x 10½’. Formats: 35mm, 70mm, all video formats. Sound: Dolby A, Dolby SR, Dolby SRD, SDDS, DTS. Throw: 51′.
Rates:: Day: $158/hour-$1,900 flat fee.
Review:: Center seats are preferable to those on the sides, but the sound system is a knockout no matter where you sit. Steep outdoor entry staircase can be a real challenge to the less physically able.
Jimmy Stewart Bldg. Screening Rooms 23 and 24
Specs:: 94 seats. Screen size: 22′ x 10½’. Formats: 35mm (Room 24 also has 70 mm). Sound: Dolby SR, Dolby SRD, SDDS, DTS, Mono. Throw: 53′.
Rates:: $158/hour-$1,900 flat fee.
Review:: These are extremely comfortable rooms, with fine sightlines, superb illumination and ultrapro projection. Scope and other widescreen formats look especially good.
Thalberg Bldg. Screening Rooms A-F
A: Specs:: 40 seats. Screen size: 18½’ x 10′. Formats: 35mm, all video formats. Sound: Dolby SRD, SDDS, DTS. Throw: 48′. Rates:: $163/hour-$2,100 flat fee.
B: Specs:: 28 seats. Screen size: 13′ x 9′. Formats: 35mm, all video formats. Sound: Dolby SR. Throw: 37½’. Rates:: $163/hour-$2,100 flat fee.
C: Specs:: 39 seats. Screen size: 16½’ x 10′. Formats: 35mm, all video formats. Sound: Dolby A, Dolby SR. Throw: 48′.
Rates:: $163/hour-$2,100 flat fee.
D: Specs:: 40 seats. Screen size: 16½’ x 10′. Formats: 35mm, all video formats. Sound: Dolby A, Dolby SR, SDDS. Throw: 48′.
Rates:: $163/hour-$2,100 flat fee.
E: Specs:: 28 seats. Screen size: 13′ x 9′. Formats: 35mm. Sound: Dolby A, Dolby SR. Throw: 37½’.
Rates:: $163/hour-$2,100 flat fee.
F: Specs:: 40 seats. Screen size: 18½’ x 10′. Formats: 35mm. Sound: Dolby A, Dolby SR. Throw: 48′.
Rates:: $163/hour-$2,100 flat fee.
Review:: Decent rooms all, these don’t provide the exceptional viewing and listening experience of Sony’s other excellent rooms. The rocking seats tip a bit too much.
Contact:: (310) 244-4000

Sunset Screening Room
Location:: 8730 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
Specs:: 37 seats. Screen size: n/a. Formats: 8mm, 16mm, 35mm, VHS, Beta SP, 3/4″, digi-Beta. Sound: Dolby A, Dolby SR, DTS. Throw: 35′.
Rates:: $125-$300/hour.
Review:: One of the workhorses of the screening circuit, Sunset’s locale on the Strip is its real plus, since it makes for easy pre- and postscreening noshes. Like the Aidikoff, though, only front and rear rows are suitable for viewing.
Contact:: (310) 652-1933

20th Century Fox Studios
Location:: 10201 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles
Darryl F. Zanuck Theater
Specs:: 525 seats. Screen size: 44′ x 19′. Formats: 35mm, 70mm, VHS, Beta SP, 3/4″, digi-Beta, Laserdisc, DVD. Sound: THX-certified, Dolby A, Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D (5.1, 6.1), DTS, SDDS, Mono. Throw: 93′.
Rates:: $232/hour-$5,047 flat fee.
Review:: A simply terrific full-size theater in which to take in big Hollywood movies — a recent unspooling of the sound-enhanced director’s cut of “Alien” allowed the Zanuck to gloriously strut its stuff. Well worth the wait to re-open after a long-term retrofitting and thorough upgrading. One of the best, most comfortable theaters on any studio lot.
Little Theater
Specs:: 120 seats. Screen size: 27′ x 11½’. Formats: 16mm, 35mm, VHS, Beta SP, ¾”, digi-Beta, Laserdisc, DVD. Sound: THX-certified, Dolby A, Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D (5.1, 6.1), DTS, SDDS, Mono. Throw: 60′.
Rates:: $180/hour-$2,938 flat fee.
Review:: The second-best room on the Fox lot, from its plush seats to flawless sightlines and powerhouse sound system.
William Fox Theater
Specs:: 53 seats (wheelchair). Screen size: 18′ x 7½’. Formats: 16mm, 35mm, VHS, Beta SP, ¾”, digi-Beta, Laserdisc, DVD. Sound: THX-certified, Dolby A, Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D (5.1, 6.1), DTS, SDDS, Mono. Throw: 45′.
Rates:: $154/hour-$2,203 flat fee.
Review:: Cushy black box theater, but the screen is positioned higher on the wall than it should be for optimal viewing.
Contact:: (310) 369-1000
Universal Studios
Location:: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City
Screening Rooms 1-3
Specs:: 100 seats. Screen size: 24′, 8” x 11′ (for 1); 23′ 8” x 9′ 8” (2 and 3). Formats: 16mm, 35 mm, 70 mm, ¾”, ½”, Beta SP. Sound: Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D, SDDS, DTS. Throw: 60′. Rates:: $165/hour-$1,525 flat fee.
Review:: Good, functional rooms, but far from the most comfortable of their type on other studio lots. Depending on where you sit, you can feel awfully far away from the screen.
Screening Room 488
Specs:: 35 seats. Screen size: 19′ x 7½’. Formats: 16mm, 35mm, 70mm, ¾”, ½”, Beta SP. Sound: Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D, SDDS, DTS. Throw: 37′. Rates:: $165/hour-$1,525 flat fee.
Review:: Intimate, more comfortable than U’s bigger rooms. Close to a true black box, this place packs a punch in the sound department.
Contact:: (818)-777-1000

Walt Disney Studios
Location:: 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank
Frank Wells Building Screening Room
Specs:: 115 seats. Screen size: 26′ x 11½”. Formats: 16mm, 35mm, all video formats, DVD. Sound: Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D, SDDS, DTS. Throw: 37′ 2”.
Rates:: $1,175-$1,750.
Review:: Very classy, intimate room with comfy seats and a first-class sound system. Especially bright projection makes for prime viewing of Disney’s animated works.
Old Animation Building Rooms 11 and 12
Specs:: 56 seats. Screen size: 17′ 2” x 7′ 9”. Formats: 35 mm. Sound: Dolby SR, Dolby SR-D, SDDS. Throw: 33′ 7”.
Rates:: $165-$725/hour.
Review:: Long rows of luxurious seats are positioned a bit too close to the screen, making for difficult sightlines for viewers on the side watching widescreen releases.
Contact:: (818) 560-1000

Warner Bros. Studios
Location:: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank
Screening Room 5
Specs:: 113 seats. Screen size: 22′ x 11½’. Formats: 35 mm, ¾”, ½”, Beta SP, digi-Beta, high-def, DVD. Sound: Dolby A, Dolby SR, Dolby E, Dolby SR-D, SDDS, DTS. Throw: 60′.
Rates:: For info, call (818) 954-2144.
Review:: As with some other studio lot rooms, steep outdoor stairs pose difficulties for less physically able viewers. Inside, it’s state of the art in every department.
Steven J. Ross Theater
Specs:: 516 seats. Screen size: 40′ x 21½’. Formats: 35 mm, 70 mm, ¾”, ½”, Beta SP, digi-Beta, high-def, DVD. Sound: Dolby A, Dolby SR, Dolby E, Dolby SR-D, SDDS, DTS. Throw: 103′.
Rates:: $130-$1250
Review:: Though it isn’t in Paramount’s palatial league, Warners’ big theater on the lot serves up a large screen image, with sta-dium-style seating. Loud action pics sound great.
Contact:: (818) 954-6000

Wilshire Screening Room
Location:: 8670 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills
Seats: 43 seats. Screen size: 18′ 7” x 9′ 3”. Formats: 35mm, VHS (NTSC, PAL), Beta SP, Beta SX, Digi-Beta, DV, high-def. Sound: Dolby SR-D, Dolby SR, Dolby A. Throw: 38′.
Rates:: $200-$400/hour.
Review:: Formerly the executive screening room for Dino De Laurentiis, this ’80s-era venue became an immediate hit with the press when it opened as a regular screening room in early 2003. Wood-lined walls, comfy (almost sleep-inducing) back-row seats, a warm ambience and a central Beverly Hills location are some of the features here, along with first-rate masking and sightlines. No room is more heavily booked through January, and with good reason.
Contact:: (310) 659-3875

Writers Guild Theater
Location:: 135 S. Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills
Specs:: 541 seats. Screen size: n/a. Formats: 35mm. Sound: Dolby Digital, DTS. Throw: 90′.
Rates:: $500/hour-$4,000
Review:: Consistently pro presentation, excellent central location, spacious lobby and a nice balance between scale and inti-macy makes this a top-tier theater — a step up from a mere screening room.
Contact:: (323) 951-4000

NEW YORK VENUES

The Lighthouse
Location:: 111 East 59th St.
Specs:: 215 seats. Screen size: 32′ x 14′. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, most video. Sound: Dolby Digital X and analog. Throw: 65′. Rental: N/A
Review:: The Academy completely refurbished the basement auditorium of the Lighthouse, the venerable institution for the blind, to exacting Academy standards. The space now does double-duty as an inhouse theater for Lighthouse functions and a state-of-the-art Acad screening room. Less-than-ideal rake is only partially helped by newly staggered seats, but the clearness of the sound and luminosity of the image on the huge screen more than compensates for a little neck-bending.

Bryant Park Hotel
Location:: 40 West 40th St.
Specs:: 70 seats. Screen size: 18′ x 9′. Formats: 35mm, most video. Sound: Dolby Stereo Digital, Sony DDS, Dolby Stereo Digital SVAA and SR, 5.1-channel sound system. Throw: 41′.
Call for rates.
Review:: This basement facility is designed more to keep businessmen awake for illustrated seminars than to cradle moviego-ers in comfort. Steep rake and a good sound system don’t offset high-backed rigid seats that make slouching impossible and just about any position untenable.

Broadway Screening Room
Location:: 1616 Broadway, 5th Floor
Specs:: 40 seats (10 additional). Screen size: 18′ x 8′. Formats: 35mm, super 35mm, 16mm, Beta ¾ DigiBeta, DV, D1, D2, HD. Sound: Dolby SRD, DTS, Dolby SR, Dolby A, LTRT. Throw: 42′.
Rates:: $250-450/hour.
Review:: This gem in the historic Brill Building is a delight, from the art deco elevators to the plush blue velvet seats. Excellent sound, flawless projection, good sight lines are all pluses in a room that manages to feel both spacious and intimate.

DGA
Location:: 110 West 57th St.
Specs:: 454 seats. Screen size: 29′ x 17′ Formats: 16mm, 35mm, super 35mm. Sound: Dolby SR-D, DTS, SDDS, JBL tri-amped 5-channel speaker system. Throw: 75′.
Rates:: $1,400/hour.
Review:: Always an excellent venue, the DGA theater has poured a lot of money into a recent four-month renovation, includ-ing a state-of-the-art sound system and a reglassed projection booth with spanking new equipment. Shallow rake has been some-what deepened and seating more staggered, and numerous adjustments have been made to improve general acoustics.

Disney
Location:: 500 Park Ave.
Specs:: 55 seats. Screen size: 14′ x 8′. Formats: 35mm, super 35mm, all video formats. Sound: Dolby Digital, SRD. Throw: 40′.
Rates:: $250-$300/hour.
Review:: Virtually alone on the East Side, Disney’s has become the workhorse of midtown screening rooms, favored by indies and studios alike for out-of-house screenings. Somewhat characterless, apparently in a bid to avoid looking “Disnified,” facility, is generally viewer-friendly.

Goldcrest Post
Location:: 799 Washington St. (at Horatio)
Specs:: 54 seats. Screen size: 13′ x 6½’. Formats: 35mm, Super 35, DigiBeta, Beta, DV cam, Mini DVD, any HD formats. Sound: Dolby SRD, SR, A and SDDS. Throw: 30′.
Rates:: $300-$350/hour for 35mm; $200-$250/hour for video.
Review:: Near the Hudson River in the West Village, this well-appointed post house room gets the majority of its calls for video screenings, though it is well equipped for 35mm. Pleasant bar and refreshment area.

Magno Sound Screening Rooms
Preview #9
Location:: 1600 Broadway, 9th Floor
Specs:: 67 seats. Screen size: 12½’ x 6½’. Formats: 35mm, 16mm and S16. Sound: Dolby A, Dolby SR, Ultra Stereo. Throw: 50′.
Rates:: $150-$300/hour.
Review:: In a building that once housed Betty Boop and the Flesicher cartoon studio, this old-fashioned room has a vintage feel. Unfortunately, it also has little leg room and less rake, making viewing difficult for the short and tall alike. Revamped sound system is a bit much for the room, causing some reverb and slight tremors.
Magno Review: #1
Location:: 729 Seventh Ave., 2nd Floor
Specs:: 68 seats. Screen 15′ x 8′. Formats: 35mm, S35; 16mm, S16; 70mm; VHS, SVHS, ¾”, D2, Beta, DVD, DVCam, HD. Sound: DTS, SR/D, SDDS, Dolby A, Dolby SR, Ultra Stereo Throw: 40′.
Rental: $200-$300/hour.
Review:: Across the street from 1600 Broadway, modernized room features comfortable seating in curiously railing-enclosed rows. Sound is OK, but the projection is sometimes maddeningly out of focus.
Magno Review: #2
Location:: 729 Seventh Ave., 2nd Floor
Review:: Smaller than Review: #1, this more traditionally configured room is afflicted with fewer projection problems. Along with the Broadway Screening Room, the Magnos recall the glory days of the midtown film industry, increasingly moving down-town to Tribeca.

MGM
Location:: 350 Avenue of the Americas
Specs:: 88 seats. Screen size: 22′ x 11′. Formats: 35mm, DVD, ¾”, Beta SP, DVHS. Sound: DTS, Dolby Digital. Throw: 58′. Rates:: $300-$500/hour.
Review:: MGM lays claim to being one of the larger studio screening facils. Its main floor location and high ceilings allow ex-cellent rake in a commodious room with fine sound and projection. Snarling gilt lion heads on the walls start a leitmotif that carries through to the “Lion” and “Lioness” bathrooms.

Paramount
Location:: 1515 Broadway
Specs:: 72 seats. Screen size: 27½’ x 10′. Formats: 35mm, 70mm, virtually any video. Sound: Dolby DTS, SRD, DV40. Throw: 50′.
Rates: $350/hour.
Review:: Maroon plush as far as the eye can see, this lovely “floating” room (suspended on shock absorbers with space on all sides) is the most recently built of the big studio screening spaces, with a lot of air between rows and seats, and perfect sightlines. Illumination and sound are superb.
Turn to page A18

Planet Hollywood
Location:: 1540 Broadway
Specs:: 49 seats. Screen size: 19′ x 8′. Formats: 35mm, DVD, VHS. Sound: Dolby Stereo SR. Throw: 29′. Rates:: $300-$350/hour.
Review:: With almost no rake, several broken seats and indifferent sound, this is not the most sought-after venue in Gotham. Its main attraction (and drawback) is that it is situated behind the franchise restaurant, and food and drink are readily available.

Sony
Location:: 550 Madison Ave.
Specs:: 72 seats. Screen size: 23′ x 10′. Formats: 35mm, 16mm. Sound: Dolby Digital SR, SDDS. Throw: 53′. Rates:: N/A, in-house only.
Review:: Entering Sony’s Philip Johnson-designed edifice, dubbed the “Dark Star,” one must next be beamed up from ground level to the soaring Sky Lobby (where matching “Northern Sky, Southern Sky” fresco murals by Dorothea Rockburne hold sway) before one can access further elevators to a distant screening room that matches its estimable setting. Some scramble to get dibs on the couches, but there is no bad seat in this elegant theater.

Sound One (formerly Todd-A-O)
Location:: 259 West 54th St., 8th Floor
Specs:: 40 seats (plus 10 at the console and 10 on couches). Screen size: 31½’ x 15½’. Formats: 35mm, super 35mm, 70 mm. Sound: SDDS, DTS, Dolby Digital SRD, SR, LTDDT. Throw: 65′.
Rates:: $400/hour.
Review:: In the heart of the theater district, this large, spacious room, with warm-toned curved wooden walls, generous rake and plush stadium seats, is the pearl of post house screening rooms. State-of-the-art audio system (as befits a sound studio) and a finely proportioned ratio of width to height to length make for a space that is definitely conceived “outside the box.”

Sweetland
Location:: 41 West 56th St.
Specs:: 58 seats. Screen size: 15′ x 9′. Formats: 35mm, super 35mm. Sound: Dolby Digital, 5.1 channel sound system. Throw: 40′.
Rates:: $250-$350/hour.
Review:: Pale wooden walls and dark seats give this theater a strangely unfinished look, and there is little that is welcoming or relaxing in the decor. Sound and illumination, though good, are not first-rate in this recent addition to the midtown film scene.

Technicolor
Location:: 321 West 44th St.
Specs:: 25 seats (+ 5 at console). Screen size: 11′ x 6′. Formats: 35mm, 16mm. Sound: SDDS, SRD, SR, Dolby Mono, DV 40. Throw: 25′. Rates:: $175-$700/hour.
Review:: Small, comfortable, journeyman facility is a fun venue for anyone nostalgic for the feel of watching dailies in a working lab.

Tribeca Film Center
Location:: 375 Greenwich St.
Specs:: 72 seats. Screen size: 22′ x 9′. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, most video formats. Sound: Dolby, Dolby Digital SRD. Throw: 49′.
Rates:: $329-$500/hour.
Review:: An integral part of the Tribeca film complex, the room boasts an excellent rake, comfortably wide, cushy seats and plenty of legroom. Sound and illumination, though adequate, are nothing to write home about — better suited to smaller indies than to widescreen Hollywood epics.

Tribeca Grand Hotel
Location:: 2 Avenue of the Americas
Specs:: 100 seats, Screen size: 17′ x 9′. 35mm, super 35mm. Sound: Dolby DTS, SRD, SDDS; 5.1 Channel sound system. Throw: 50′.
Rates:: about $300/hour.
Review:: Unlike the Bryant Park Hotel, the Tribeca Grand built its downstairs facility with movies in mind. A beautifully de-signed, sumptuously appointed theater with a large screen, good illumination and an excellent sound system, this Tribeca venue is rapidly becoming a favorite.

Universal
Location:: 666 Fifth Ave.
Specs:: 74 seats. Screen size: 21′ x 13′. Formats: 35mm. Sound: DTS, SRD, SDDS. Throw: 60′. Rates:: $250-$500.
Review:: All gray velvet, this spacious, classy screening room has opted for a wide open space between its large screen and the first row of seats. Excellent rake provides for unrestricted sightlines from anywhere in the theater in a room clearly dedicated to the enjoyment of films, the bigger the better.

Warner Bros. Screening rooms
75 Rockefeller Plaza, 8th Floor
Specs:: 103 seats. Screen size 23′ x 10½’. Formats: 35mm, ¾”, Beta SP. Sound: Dolby SRD. Throw: 48′.
Rates:: N/A (inhouse only).
Review:: A sumptuous beige room that seems far too intimate to seat 103, with wide armchairs, a gentle but decided rake and a level of luxury bordering on the opulent. Equally posh adjoining reception area has self-service cloakrooms.
1325 Sixth Avenue, off the Lobby
Specs:: 70 seats. Screen size: 22′ x 10′. Formats: 35mm, ¾”, Beta SP. Sound: Dolby SRD. Throw: 45′.
Rates:: N/A (inhouse only).
Review:: More traditional than its Rockefeller Plaza sister, this room has the laid-back, slightly retro feel of an old movie pal-ace, with a pronounced rake, unobstructed sightlines and excellent sound and projection.

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