After a couple of delays in our availability we were finally able to head up to CityWalk to check out the all new Universal Cinema.
It's definitely a much needed makeover of the theater which brings the entire complex in-line with the "Epic Transformation" of the entire Universal Studios Hollywood property over the last 5 years.
We'll also take a look at the recently opened Margaritaville as well as a small park update.
Written by Gregg Condon
The all new Universal Cinema featuring IMAX
The entire lobby has been redone and it's supposed to invoke the Universal Logo that you see before every Universal movie. The lights here are the stars.
An all new Market Place for your movie goodies and it's all "grab and go" which is awesome.
Coke Freestyle FTW!!
Lots of cool spots for movie displays, the cool thing is they aren't all out in the middle of the floor, they actually built in spots for them so they look very cool and not out of place at all.
It's not all about Universal movies either
That's one big hand
Because the theater now has assigned seating you don't have to stand in line and are free to chill out before your movie begins.
Seriously, if you've never gone to a theater with assigned seating you are totally missing out. It's incredible.
Let's head into one of the theaters
This is definitely one of the smaller ones, but looks and sounds amazing. All of the seats have recliners and are incredibly comfortable.
You can even lift up the arm rest and make it a love seat.
Chilling out and watching a Toyota commercial. ;)
Considering the last movie my wife and I saw at this theater was Casper (when we were just dating) I'd say we're due for a return visit. And we'll do that soon.
Some info on the technology inside the theaters
All-New Next Generation Technology
All 18 auditoriums are equipped with Christie RGB laser projection. Delivering the best color reproduction of any display system in the world with incredibly bright on-screen images, Christie’s 4K resolution creates sharper, detailed visuals for the best in movie-going viewing.
The projectors, located within the largest auditoriums, were relocated into air conditioned “pods” hidden on each balcony to enhance and improve projection angles.
Projectors located within the all other theatres were also repositioned to improve projection angles. 11 of the 18 theatres are equipped with 3D technology.
The recent upgrade to the IMAX theatre features next-generation 4K laser projection and 12-channel sound systems designed to enhance the entire movie-going experience and provide audiences with sharper, brighter, clearer and more vivid digital images than ever.
All 18 auditoriums have been upgraded to Dolby ATMOS immersive surround sound utilizing Christie Vive Audio system and enhanced with Digital Signal Processing.
The new Cinema features more than 700 new speakers, with each auditorium equipped with approximately 40. Each screen also has three sub-woofer speakers located behind the screens to further enable 360-degree audio.
The Universal Cinema is the first laser-multiplex in the United States to utilize the Christie Vive Audio solution which further allows for precise audio fine-tuning of each auditorium.
All 18 theatres are outfitted with new, state-of-the art screens, perforated to enable 360 degree audio.
All 18 auditoriums were completely remodeled as sleek and elegant “black boxes” to create the ultimate immersive environment. Every theatre is tonal black on black – black walls, speakers, seats and flooring – to reduce any light interference and allows movie-goers to focus on the movie-watching experience.
Deluxe & Loveseat Recliner Seats
The complete renovation of the split level structure includes the installation of plush deluxe recliner seats with retractable leg rests to all theatres —the equivalent of those found in Hollywood screening rooms, making every seat, the best seat in the house. The theatre also features extra wide loveseat recliners, measuring 59”. The seats measure 32” in width with the inclusion of the armrests on either side each measuring 5”.
The Universal Cinema provides reserved seating, with real-time seating charts. Collectively, the Cinema comfortably seats up to 2,000 movie-goers at one time.
While you are chilling out waiting for your movie to begin you can have a drink. And you can take them into the theaters located on the top level which is very cool.
A bit more of the "Universal Logo" layout. Can definitely tell here.
Themed drinks are all the rage these days. This one is guaranteed to be better than the movie it's themed after. ;)
We also got a chance to go into one of the projection rooms, this is a "laser" projector.
We did also get to see the IMAX projector, but no pictures sadly. Let's just say that thing is as big as my Kia Soul.
The renovated theater isn't the only new thing open on CityWalk, Margaritaville is open as well.
Definitely more bright and lively than Jillians was.
Spend the day at the park, have dinner at Margaritaville with some live music and then go see a movie at Universal Cinema. Sounds like a fun day to us!!
Hey, we ordered the large!!! =)
After dropping the good camera off in the car we decided to head into the park for a bit, it was raining.
Some work going on around the globe.
There's really not many parks that handle rain better than Universal Studios Hollywood
Looks like some more work going on on New York Street on the upper lot.
Kind of odd, yesterday there were some wraps on these walls, next day back to bare. Weird.
It was stormy, but it would get worse later in the day.
Again, Universal handles rainy days amazing. And the hot chocolate was delicious!!!
Alright, that's going to wrap it up for this update. Thanks to Universal for inviting us out on a tour of the new theater. We'll definitely report back when we see a movie up there. We'll have to make it something loud and crazy to fully get the impact of the IMAX.
Yesterday we were invited out to Universal Studios Hollywood to check out their always great Lunar New Year Event and once again it didn't disappoint at all.
Back are all of the amazing character interactions, great food and beautiful backdrop. As you'll see below it was an absolutely beautiful day at the park.
We'll also take a look at some of the many projects going on around the park.
Written by Gregg Condon
Happy Lunar New Year!!
It's the year of the Rooster
New characters this year are Tigress and Po from Kung Fun Panda.
Tigress is ready to fight, Po is just Po.
For fans of the films there are a few Easter Eggs
Once again you can leave a message in one of the trees, a great touch that we did. Sadly not in Mandarin. We're a bit rusty. ;)
Mandarin Megatron is back and awesome as ever.
Sorry your store got torn down Woody (more on that below) but it's always great seeing you out in the park.
Moving on. There are no major new attractions coming to the park this year, but that doesn't mean that there aren't a plethora of smaller projects going on at the park right now.
Cartooniversal has been completely removed as we showed you in our last update, but we figured we'd take a closer look this time since crowds were light.
Taking advantage of these views that we won't get to see forever.
In addition, Waterworld is closed for refurbishment.
Some cement work going on outside of Shrek
It was an absolutely beautiful day to take in the Studio Tour
From the tour you can see all the work being done to add in the 4th Starway escalator
If you haven't seen Kubo yet you really need to. It's so amazing.
Boo, no HHN maze. :(
We saw this a LOT during our Tour. This was the busiest I'd seen the lot in years. So much so that our tour really only lasted about 35-40 minutes.
Not much change in the former location of Stage 28
Sorry for the weird shot here, wasn't expecting Jaws to be closed, but here it is. If you look at the details you can see the shark fins and more. Looks to be a pretty extensive refurb which is odd because it just had one maybe 1 1/2 years ago?
Moving back to the park, work continues for the new Starway
Which means an update for the Mummy Lockers to make room
One last note, they are doing some work on the stage in Hogsmeade.
As always, we absolutely love seeing the characters at the park.
"There's nothing better than a cigar lit with a hundred dollar bill!"
It was a beautiful chilly day in the park which of course meant Hot Butterbeer!!
This was also our first chance to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey with the 2D 120 Frames Per Second and we LOVED it. Absolutely no nausea for any of us, the sets and screens blended perfectly and it was a great experience. I love that they are making little tweaks to improve an already amazing ride experience.
Out in CityWalk, work continues on Margaritaville.
Do have to say, the sign is in a weird place, you really can't see it until you are right in front of it due to the iFly right next to it. But we do hope the restaurant does well.
Finally some work being done on Voodoo Donuts!!
We can't wait for this to open!!
Now that the Christmas Tree is gone we can see the full outside of the new Universal Cinema. It looks amazing!!
Alright, that's going to wrap it up for this update, we hope you enjoyed it.
Be sure to plan some time to check out Lunar New Year. It runs now through February 5th. You can find out more information about the event here.
As we ease into the New Year we're starting to get back into our general update pattern and today we've got our first Universal Studios Hollywood Update of the new year.
Even though we know/have heard of a lot of new things coming right now it seems that most everything is kind of small. We don't really like to say definitively what's coming until we know 100% but that doesn't mean it's not fun to speculate. ;)
If you haven't used Metro to the park yet, it's really easy and the new pedestrian bridge makes it super easy to do.
Wizarding World always looks great, but I think we can all admit there's something special about seeing it in the rain. Maybe because this is really the first time we've been able to see it in the rain was just within the last few weeks?
The 5 minute waits for Forbidden Journey don't hurt either.
The employees in this shot almost equal the amount of guests.
Krusty's mouth ... the ride.
A new Starway is being added to bring guests up and down the hill. For future capacity or something or other. ;)
Imagine that, a park taking advanced steps and improving their infrastructure before crowds show up.
Of course, any time you have construction and rain you get mud. Wheeeee!!!
Everything is so green in CA right now, it's so nice for a change.
Down at the bottom you can see all of the work being done to add more Starway capacity.
I mean, it's already raining, might as well. =)
Seriously, even cell phone pics of Wizarding World look amazing in the rain.
The cold and rain make cool effects on the CityWalk fountain
Speaking of CityWalk, these pics are a few days old but we figured we'd include them here.
Work is FINALLY being done on Voodoo Donuts.
Margaritaville is also looking great, they've been hiring so if you're looking for a job at CityWalk be sure to follow @ushjobs on Twitter.
Alrighty, that's going to wrap it up for this update. We should hopefully be back at the park soon for the Lunar New Year which is beginning soon. We'll be sure to get more pics of the park projects when we do.