Angry filmgoers accuse cinema of showing domestic DVDs

By Errol Kiong

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Art-house cinema Rialto Newmarket is under fire for showing movies from DVD-type formats that lack the picture and sound quality of film.

Moviegoer Richard Hodges said espionage film Breach had "ordinary" sound and "terrible" picture quality when he saw it last week.

"It seemed to me that we were watching a movie off DVD," he said.

"I asked [the manager] if this was advertised, and she said no, it was up to the public to ask." She offered Mr Hodges two passes to come again.

"I found myself asking, how can the Rialto charge top dollar - $15 - to see a movie on a smaller screen with inferior sound and vision, when other screens in Auckland charge the same for big-screen, state-of-the-art sound, picture and comfy chair?"

Matthew Liebmann, general manager of SkyCity Cinemas and Rialto, said there was an issue with the copy of Breach provided to them, which was replaced with a 35mm film print from the distributor.

"Digital is the future of cinema, as spearheaded by directors James Cameron and George Lucas, amongst others," he said.

But moviegoer Richard Dale, who in January lodged a complaint with the Commerce Commission over two similar experiences at the Rialto, said: "There is a difference between high-quality digital cinema and just screening a domestic DVD."

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