Monday, June 20, 2005

Mann Village theater fails

My favorite theater in LA, the majestic Mann Village in Westwood, has failed me and the movie-going public terribly.

The failure is described in my email to Mann Theatres, copied here for your edification:

The screening of Batman Begins at the Mann Village theater on Friday, June 17th, 10:30pm suffered from audio problems.

The dialogue was very difficult to hear and understand whenever there was musical score or other noise in the scene. Other members of the audience expressed similar difficulties understanding the dialogue. This is obviously unacceptable.

Being something of an audiophile, it seems to me that your front/center speakers are being overwhelmed by the side/surrounds. The left/right front channels will carry some of the dialogue, but without a strong center channel the result is what we experienced Friday – dialogue that is difficult to understand or dialogue that is completely drowned out by other noises in the mix.

This was also a problem, though to a lesser degree, with a screening of Episode III at that theater on May 27th, 7pm.

This is terribly disappointing as I had previously considered the Mann Village the best theater in LA. I now hand that title to the Arclight with The Bridge coming in a close second.

If you address this problem at the Mann Village, I’ll be happy to give it another chance. But I will not be spending any money there until I hear that this has been addressed. I will also make this message publicly available on the Web. If and when a response is received I will be happy to publish that response as well. Hopefully this story will end with me congratulating you on your swift attention to the matter.

If you have also experienced this problem at the Mann Village, I encourage you to contact both Mann Theatres ( and - more importantly - THX at

One email to Mann corporate won't do much, but THX wields some significant influence. If they start receiving complaints about the same theater, they'll definitely press the owners to fix the situation.


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