I had some time to kill earlier this afternoon, and decided to catch a 4K restoration of Chinatown at the Film Forum. I was hoping, naturally, for a “bump” effect — an upgrade from how the Bluray looks when I watch it on my 65-inch Sony 4K HDR.

No dice, no bump — it looked exactly like my 1080p Bluray does at home. Worse, the sound was set at whisper level — just loud enough to be able to hear the dialogue, but no more than that.

Cheapskate theatre owners do this all over to save on sound-system wear and tear. Which is why seeing a classic film at a revival-repertory house almost always pisses me off. Don’t theatres like the Film Forum realize they’re competing with home systems? The last time I saw Chinatown in my living room it sounded a helluva lot better than it did today. I have a fairly nice sound system, complete with a heavy bass woofer. Jerry Goldsmith‘s thunky piano chords sound beautiful.