Movie Theaters, Audiences Report Sound Issues with ‘Interstellar’

By Will Ashton

As Christopher Nolan’s new sci-fi epic Interstellar came into theaters last week, the conversation was muted when it was revealed several theatergoers experienced sound difficulties during their viewing experiences. Turns out, as far as the theaters are concerned, the problems result from the movie itself, not from any malfunctions from the theater sound systems.

As Slashfilm reported last week, several people lining up to see the latest Nolan movie in IMAX theaters had trouble hearing lines of dialogue throughout the movie as it was overpowered by Hans Zimmer’s booming score. Across the country, movie theater patrons took to Twitter to address their concerns, many believing that it was the fault of the theaters.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, though, in light of receiving complaints both in person and online about their supposed sound malfunctions, Cinemark theaters have issued the following statement in front of their box offices:

“Please note that all of our sound equipment is functioning properly,” the statement reads. “Christopher Nolan mixed the soundtrack with an emphasis on the music. This is how it is intended to sound.”

A picture of the sign, taken in front of the Cinemark Tinseltown USA and IMAX theater in Rochester, New York found itself scanning across the Internet today after a Twitter used posted the picture to the site.

What makes this news all the more puzzling is that Nolan reportedly visited several IMAX theaters across California and other states to check them out for themselves and make sure the film sounded and looked the way it was intended. So, jokingly, many are wondering if the director is having hearing problems, and some, in a more serious manner, are wondering if this is a problem of poor sound mixing.

The sound problems have not been reported in digital theaters, or in theaters showing the movie in 35mm. So it seems to be more of a problem within the IMAX setting. But there seems to be other problems in theaters playing the movie in 70mm too.

As FilmDrunk reports, their screening of the movie was interrupted during the climax and, after several times to fix the problem, resulted in them having to be sent home without seeing the end. This is not the only report of this happening, and it does bring into question the longevity of 70 mm.

Some say this may bring film projection down from bring seen in the near future. If that is true or not will have to be determined in due time.

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