Last night I attended the Fathom Events theatrical screening for the Star Trek: TNG 2-parter, "Best of Both Worlds." I was, of course, excited to attend the event and experience one of my favorite television shows on the big screen with fellow fans by my side raucously cheering it on. Although, I entered with some trepidation and lower expectations due to a disappointing previous experience: I attended the first TNG Fathom Event which was a screening of some of the special features and episodes from the upcoming season one blu-rays. It was in one of those generic mega-theaters, packed to capacity and you could tell immediately that the air conditioner was mysteriously turned off. It was already a bad start. Then, when the famous credits began, with the Enterprise swooshing across the screen, it was quickly evident that only two speakers (in the front) were being utilized. Instead of experiencing Star Trek in beautiful 7.1 surround sound in a giant theater, it was standard stereo that I could easily get at home from a 25 year old television.
So... as I walked into this different (and smaller, more intimate) theater, I hoped they would not make the same mistake. Unfortunately they did, and I experienced The Best of Both Worlds once again, only in stereo. I'm not sure if this is just the way they have to screen this in theaters, as in the copy of the show they provide to theaters just simply is not a surround sound version, or if the theaters are just doing it wrong... What did you experience?
Besides the disappointing sound, the rest of the show was fantastic. At the time the show was about to begin, they aired Star Trek TNG trivia, focusing mainly on the Best of Both Worlds. This allowed the audience to become involved and interact with each other a bit before the main movie began. The trivia was intermittently interrupted by the strange photos that Star Trek fans submitted of their faces on Borg bodies. This would have been fine and even amusing if it was explained at all. Most of the audience was confused as to why they were being forced to look at what seemed to be badly photo-shopped images.
Another pre-show feature was the showing of various stills from the upcoming season 3 blu-rays. It would show the original broadcast version of a still from the season, and then with a wipe transition show a still of the remastered version. Some of these were absolutely striking, while others were barely noticeable. I still wonder why they decided to include the stills that had barely any noticeable difference from original to remastered... An odd choice.