In this issue's My, What A Busy Week!, we recommended people check out Man of Steel. But when it came to recommending where people check out Man of Steel, we did something a bit different: Instead of just telling people it was at "various theaters," we pointed them toward one theater in particular, the Roseway (7229 NE Sandy).
There are a few reasons why: The Roseway's picture and sound are top notch, the theater's locally owned, and both concessions and tickets are cheaper than at most first-run theaters. (Day or night, a ticket to see Man of Steel at the Roseway costs $7; elsewhere, you'll be charged significantly more.*) But there was another big reason: The Roseway's only showing the 2D version of Man of Steel, not the unneccessary, post-converted 3D version that's at most of Portland's chain theaters.
That's because all summer long, the Roseway is showing everything in 2D.
The Roseway's owner, Greg Wood, says there were a few reasons he decided to go all 2D this summer, including his customers telling him they preferred 2D and national box office trends "clearly showing 2D outgrossing 3D for some movies." And there was something else, too: "It occurred to me that I haven't watched a movie at my own theater in a long time," he says. "Reason being, I dislike 3D."
"Studios clearly make more money with [3D], so they keep pushing it," Wood says, but he points out that while international audiences prefer 3D, "it's apparent in the numbers" that domestic audiences are tiring of the trend. Still—since studios like being able to make more money by charging more for 3D tickets—switching to all 2D can be difficult for theater owners, who have to negotiate with studios and distributors. "At the Roseway, it was simply our decision [to book 2D], as it's pretty low-profile," he says. But Wood also manages one of Seattle's best theaters, the Cinerama. At a higher-profile theater like that one, it was a bit trickier. "Up there," he says, "we started doing '2D Tuesdays.'"
While the Roseway will me making less money by showing 2D, Wood isn't concerned. "I think the additional amount of people coming will make up for it," he says. "We try to do what is right for our customers rather than trying to do anything for a buck."
Wood says that if ticket sales do well this summer, he'll consider having the Roseway go all 2D indefinitely—with a few exceptions. "Certain movies, such as Avatar, deserve 3D, as they're filmed with 3D cameras," he says. "I would imagine when that rolls around again, we would show it in 3D, as it is a technical achievement. Everything since then... well, not so much, in Hollywood's post-conversion meltdown."
In the meantime, he's stoked to see some moves at his own theater again. "I'm very excited to see Man of Steel," Wood says. "And [even] more so, Elysium in August."
*A matinee ticket for Man of Steel at Regal's Lloyd Center 10 theater costs $8 (or $11.50 for 3D), while a nighttime show costs $10.50 (or $14 for 3D). And if you want to see it on Lloyd Center's not-even-actually-IMAX IMAX screen, you're looking at—jesus—$17 per ticket.