I live in a pretty small town and until two weeks ago, the nearest commercial DLP theater was almost four hours away. I’m a pretty big movie fan and I’ve wanted to see a commercial DLP presentation for a long time, but that’s an awfully long way to drive for a movie. However, Regal Cinemas just opened a new 18-screen flagship theater about 12 minutes from my house, and one of the auditoriums is equipped with a DLP projector.

They were showing “Revenge of the Sith” (2005) on the DLP, so Joy and I went to check it out (along with my dad, which was fun). The movie itself was, in my opinion, pretty mediocre (but Joy seemed to like it). The presentation, however, was pretty darn good. It definitely doesn’t look like film, though. The absence of scratches and grain makes it look more like a television image than a movie. Of course, it looks like an extremely high quality television image, but it definitely had that “look” to me. Now part of that might be the fact that Sith was shot on digital video instead of film, so at some point I need to see something originally shot on film on the DLP to see what that looks like.

I’ve seen lots of home theater DLP projectors, and the commercial version produces a similar overall image, though certainly with a bit more color depth (probably due to the 3-chip vs 1-chip design). I think the image would have been noticeably better if they had just turned down the wall-mounted exit lights in the theater. Good grief, were they trying to guide a plane in to land or something? A theater needs to be dark!

Anyway, being in a smaller town, we don’t really have any theaters here that do film projection “right”, with quality equipment and proper setup, so the digital presentation was a step up from what we can normally see here locally. I have my doubts that a DLP presentation would beat out a top notch film presentation, but since we aren’t going to get that around here, I’m pretty confident that the DLP presentation ends up being the best movie experience available in this area. I can’t wait for the next Pixar film!