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IMAX Cinemas - How loud is too loud?

IMAX Cinemas - How loud is too loud?

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Silver Smudger

Original Poster:

2,697 posts

84 months

Saturday 29th November 2014
quotequote all
I spent almost the entire last quarter of the film Interstellar in my local IMAX with my fingers jammed in my ears as the sound was turned up beyond my pain threshold - This was our first visit to their new IMAX screen, although we have been to that cinema many times before with no issue.

I was not the only customer cowering in their seat from the blast during the space / launch / chase scenes - I complained during the adverts, and again during the film - By the time we left, our ears were ringing as they did leaving nightclubs years ago, and were still ringing 6 hours later.

Is this normal?

mikerons88

239 posts

30 months

Saturday 29th November 2014
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No

FussyFez

963 posts

93 months

Saturday 29th November 2014
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Never been to an IMAX but that certainly doesn't sound normal.

These things must be regulated some how surely?


Baryonyx

15,165 posts

76 months

Saturday 29th November 2014
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Scared by a visit to an IMAX screen, whatever next?

zygalski

4,084 posts

62 months

Saturday 29th November 2014
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Interstellar was mixed really badly at the IMAX I saw it at. Effects & music were on 11, dialogue on about 4 or 5 by comparison. Was the studio deliberately trying to hide a weak script? Several scenes had dialogue which you just couldn't hear. Pointless.
Whatever, the film was massively overblown & average at best, regardless of being incredibly LOUD.
Oh, and dozens of gaping plot holes too.
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sticks090460

679 posts

75 months

Saturday 29th November 2014
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As long as it covers up the sound of the mouth-breathers eating their popcorn/nachos who cares?

BrettMRC

638 posts

77 months

Saturday 29th November 2014
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You should have seen Through The Never at IMAX....that was appropriate volume! biggrin

thetrash

1,747 posts

123 months

Saturday 29th November 2014
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It can never be too loud, feeling a thump in the chest when the Enterprise entered warp in the last Star Trek film was an experience.

soad

27,523 posts

93 months

Saturday 29th November 2014
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But it did help mask the noise from the people a few rows back, who talked through most of the film, right? wink

ReaderScars

2,350 posts

93 months

Saturday 29th November 2014
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If your ears are ringing then yes, it was too loud. You've got physical evidence of it in terms of the hairs in the inner ear being broken due to the sound pressure waves damaging them, causing the ringing. Can't be disputed.

bloomen

514 posts

76 months

Saturday 29th November 2014
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Interstellar was fine on Imax for me. The last section of the Dark Knight Rises had me blocking my ears for the whole way.

ecsrobin

6,876 posts

82 months

Saturday 29th November 2014
quotequote all
zygalski said:
Interstellar was mixed really badly at the IMAX I saw it at. Effects & music were on 11, dialogue on about 4 or 5 by comparison. Was the studio deliberately trying to hide a weak script? Several scenes had dialogue which you just couldn't hear. Pointless.
Whatever, the film was massively overblown & average at best, regardless of being incredibly LOUD.
Oh, and dozens of gaping plot holes too.
According to the director it was a deliberate mix as in space that's what it would sound like apperently. He responded last week after lots of negativity regarding the sound.

PF62

356 posts

90 months

Saturday 29th November 2014
quotequote all
Silver Smudger said:
I spent almost the entire last quarter of the film Interstellar in my local IMAX with my fingers jammed in my ears as the sound was turned up beyond my pain threshold - This was our first visit to their new IMAX screen, although we have been to that cinema many times before with no issue.
It is the film, not IMAX, I experienced the same issues at a normal screen.

From the comments from the director, it was meant to be like that. If so (and I still believe he is covering up for someone screwing up), the only conclusion to be drawn is that he wanted to damage the audience.

Silver Smudger

Original Poster:

2,697 posts

84 months

Sunday 30th November 2014
quotequote all
FussyFez said:
These things must be regulated some how surely?
Not regulated as far as I can find online - Anyone know different?

zygalski said:
Interstellar was mixed really badly at the IMAX I saw it at. Effects & music were on 11, dialogue on about 4 or 5 by comparison.
Weirdly, I think the mix was OK, muffling the noise with fingers in ears, we could hear the voices better

thetrash said:
It can never be too loud, ...
I disagree - An 'involving experience' is one thing - Noise induced hearing loss is another

soad said:
But it did help mask the noise from the people a few rows back, who talked through most of the film, right? wink
We went to a mid-day show - There were probably only 20 people in there in total -

I am wondering if more sound absorbing bodies in there might have helped but I believe a THX certified cinema (as this was once upon a time) had seating calibrated so an empty seat absorbed the same sound as an occupied one - Do IMAX screens get the same design? - - EDIT - Answered this question Here

ReaderScars said:
If your ears are ringing then yes, it was too loud. You've got physical evidence of it in terms of the hairs in the inner ear being broken due to the sound pressure waves damaging them, causing the ringing. Can't be disputed.
This is what I was thinking, but the local manager is insisting that the 'screening of Intersellar was shown as intended with the sound levels set at the levels it was designed to be played at.' and at the same time, cannot tell me what that sound level is.

We paid £15.15 each for this (never mind the stupid popcorn prices) instead of £8.20 for the Ultimate Movie Experience and it was just painful, and the best offer so far (offered 4 times) is free tickets to go again.

So my choices are -
A) Go and see the film again in IMAX for free - Nothing will have changed so expect the same result

B) Go to see something in standard format, having paid double what anyone else in the cinema has paid

C) Hold out and escalate until I get my ticket price refunded

Am I being unreasonable to choose C ?

Silver Smudger

Original Poster:

2,697 posts

84 months

Sunday 30th November 2014
quotequote all
Also - I was told by a manager after the showing that the volume was adjusted after my second complaint - Looking at the graphic below, it seems that the local cinema staff are not trusted to touch the volume knob and adjustments will be over-ridden by engineers at the IMAX Network Operation Centre!


GetCarter

23,559 posts

196 months

Sunday 30th November 2014
quotequote all
I don't visit the cinema without these: http://www.djmmusic.com/p-2673-acs-elacin-er-20-hi...

Mastodon2

12,448 posts

82 months

Sunday 30th November 2014
quotequote all
Silver Smudger said:
Also - I was told by a manager after the showing that the volume was adjusted after my second complaint - Looking at the graphic below, it seems that the local cinema staff are not trusted to touch the volume knob and adjustments will be over-ridden by engineers at the IMAX Network Operation Centre!

Tbh, it sounds like a good system. I've always been blown away by IMAX sound because it really is incredible. If the cinema started fiddling with the levels because some sensitive Sally typres started asking to have their own preferences put on the system it would spoil the effect, so at least the IMAX remote monitoring can put it back to how it should be.

I think you might be lucky to get a refund though, as you've had a film out of them already, and if you didn't like it you could have left in the middle of it.

Silver Smudger

Original Poster:

2,697 posts

84 months

Sunday 30th November 2014
quotequote all
Mastodon2 said:
Silver Smudger said:
Also - I was told by a manager after the showing that the volume was adjusted after my second complaint - Looking at the graphic below, it seems that the local cinema staff are not trusted to touch the volume knob and adjustments will be over-ridden by engineers at the IMAX Network Operation Centre!

Tbh, it sounds like a good system. I've always been blown away by IMAX sound because it really is incredible. If the cinema started fiddling with the levels because some sensitive Sally typres started asking to have their own preferences put on the system it would spoil the effect, so at least the IMAX remote monitoring can put it back to how it should be.

I think you might be lucky to get a refund though, as you've had a film out of them already, and if you didn't like it you could have left in the middle of it.
I complained during the film, was told it would be adjusted (which I now find out is impossible!), the middle of the film was quieter, so I thought it had been sorted and wanted to see the ending but the final section was worse than ever.

Silver Smudger

Original Poster:

2,697 posts

84 months

Sunday 30th November 2014
quotequote all
GetCarter said:
I don't visit the cinema without these: http://www.djmmusic.com/p-2673-acs-elacin-er-20-hi...
I see you are in the music business, so can't afford to damage your hearing, but should there really be a risk of damage in a trip to the cinema?

GetCarter

23,559 posts

196 months

Sunday 30th November 2014
quotequote all
Silver Smudger said:
GetCarter said:
I don't visit the cinema without these: http://www.djmmusic.com/p-2673-acs-elacin-er-20-hi...
I see you are in the music business, so can't afford to damage your hearing, but should there really be a risk of damage in a trip to the cinema?
Unfortunately some of the cinemas I've been to (esp in the West End) are STUPID loud.

Louder isn't always better.