This is both a pity and a contradiction. A pity because the OMA's overpowering dimensions attract buffs who still believe that the essence of cinema has something to do with scale, and a contradiction because scale is exactly what the studios sell hardest these days (imagination has deserted to the video game). Big budgets mean big movies, not only in the action genre (the forthcoming Schwarzenegger vehicle True Lies) but, increasingly, comedy. Witness The Flintstones. Yet as the movies return to the scope they once used to fight off television, the screens that show their product are shrinking towards TV size. Go figure.
That London should be losing not just another big screen but its biggest is a shame. I saw Total Recall there at a late-night screening with an audience who obviously went to the movies so that the movies could go after them. The atmosphere was blissful, despite the ratty carpets and hard seats. A multiplex will no doubt be more comfortable with all that the new technologies can provide in terms of picture clarity and sound quality. But the picture will be a postage stamp and the sound the shriek of pipsqueaks, not the roar of lions.Reuse content