Roger Ebert has been railing against 3D movies because, amongst other things, you’re only getting half the light on the screen. And in some situations, it can be 85% darker. Now he’s discovered that it’s bleeding over into 2D films as well. The primary culprit is Sony (big surprise), who has built a popular 3D-ready digital projector with an interchangeable lens system.1 You have to change the lens to go from 2D to 3D and vice versa, and thy have made this a complex process that requires more skill than your average projectionist has. It’s so complex and time consuming that even Sony Studios didn’t remove it for an industry screening of The Social Network in their flagship auditorium. But either way, what ends up happening is that they put he light-reducing 3D lens on, and then leave it on for 2D pictures! At the end of his article, he quotes Mike Humphries of Geek.com, who shares how you can tell if you’re getting screwed:
- The title of the movie listed by the theater will have a “D” after it if it is being shown on a digital projector (Note: Fandango will write “digital projection” to make it clear.)
- If you are in a D movie, look at the projector window when seated. If you see two stacked beams of light it is a Sony projector with the 3D lens still on.
- A single beam of light means no 3D lens, or a different make of projector that doesn’t have the issue
- If you see the two beams, then get up and go complain. You paid good money to see the movie, so make a fuss until they either give you back that money or remove the lens. Seeing as that’s an involved and time-consuming process, expect a refund.
I realize most won’t leave, but it’s good to know. I used to lean toward the showing with the digital projector, but now I’m going to think twice and try to find out which of my local theaters have the Sony’s and are too cheap to properly configure them between shows.
- As some commented there, you can have a single lens 3D system with a filter, but apparently it’s much easier to raise and lower that filter than it is to change the lens on a Sony. [↩]