Chatsworth theater premieres San Fernando Valley’s largest movie screen

Ashley Soley-Cerro

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Courtesy of MCT

Chatsworth’s Winnetka 21 Theater recently premiered the largest movie screen in the San Fernando Valley.

Audiences could experience the largest movie screen in the Valley for the first time midnight May 6, for the opening weekend of Thor 3D.

The screen measures at 71 feet by 41 feet 9 inches and is Pacific Theaters’ first large screen format auditorium, according to Eddie Garcia with Allison PR.

Winnetka has screens of varying sizes in their theater, but the average movie screen size is 30 feet by 70 feet, according to a comment on ChaCha.com posted April 4. It would take 20 elephants stacked side to side and on top of one another, or 340 50-inch Plasma televisions, to fully cover this large movie screen, according to Richard Lambakis, representative for Pacific Theatres.

“This screen format is exactly what the audience in the San Fernando Valley, and local students at Pierce and CSUN, want. It creates a larger than life experience,” Lambakis said . “They will appreciate this big experience, and it is great for watching action and comedies.”

The screen is a curved, floating screen instead of flat and fills the entire space, wall to wall. A curved screen creates more clarity and focus for the entire audience and will make them feel as if they are inside the film, according to Lambakis.

“The curvature simulates the feeling of being ‘surrounded’ by the display and helps retain a geometrically perfect picture over a wide viewing cone. Moreover, it enhances the perceived image uniformity. Why? Simply because all projected light is reflected straight back to the viewer, including light at the edges that otherwise would reflect outwards and away from the viewer on a flat screen,” according to DNP.com, the world’s leading supplier of optical projection screens.

In addition to the larger screen, the theater has a new audio system, image projector and luxury seats, according to Garcia.

The new audio system has post-production audio quality and uses the same equipment that movie soundtracks are mixed on. The audio equipment is made by Meyer Sound, the industry standard amplifier and speaker system used in post-production.

New dual digital NEC projectors double the light output for all 3D films. These are the biggest and best NEC projectors available. A brighter image means it will appear crisper to audiences, according to Lambakis.

The luxury seats are 20 percent wider than standard seats at Winnetka. They also have new upholstery, not the traditional vinyl cloth but rather a leatherette material, according to Lambakis. He said the seats are “comfortable and relaxing,” and still have traditional cup holders.

Pacific Theater employees worked quickly to assemble the large movie screen. They renovated the largest auditorium in the theater, took out the front row of seats and made the screen bigger.

“We did a lot in a short amount of time,” Lambakis said. the whole conversion took two weeks.”

Their intention was to make the audience feel immersed in the film.

“People most often choose to watch IMAX. We wanted to create an experience that was more than that,” Lambakis said.