"if you really want to listen to a sound that is so incredible, that will leave you stunned by its caliber, then the HPS-4000 sound is for you"

"I've never seen praise of this level for any sound system!"
Perry Sun, Editor of the Moviesoundpage.com


Santana B
Posted August 3, 2015


Auditorium #1 at Lexington can now be regarded as having the finest sound system in the entire planet. The clarity and detail heard in this auditorium is unlike anything heard elsewhere, and be prepared for the power of the bass. The amount of AIR being moved by the subwoofers is literally mindblowing. Congratulations to R/C Theatres for installing a sound system of this magnitude in auditorium 1.


From reviews posted on Yelp of an all HPS-4000® 14-plex in a major city, rated 4 1/2 stars by patrons, the highest rating of all theatres in the area.

Review from Edson S.


Clean, never crowded and great sound. I am quickly becoming a fan of this cinema.

Review from Andy B.


The sights and sounds for this new movie theatre, I found to be of high quality.

Review from Kristyne N.


As for the sound.. Whooooaaa horsey! We found our theater sound to be quite loud..and in your face..nice- especially for action movies!! I guess they constructed this to have the stereo sound that we patrons love to have.

Review from Shin San S.


This cinema is awesome!! The seats are so comfortable screens are huge, toilets are clean, no crowds, Sound systems were fantastic.... The seat backs are high, and they rock too!

I guess people haven't realized that this theatre is open just yet??

I'd definitely be back!! Y'all need to check this theatre out!

Review from Myra S.


The sound is awesome. Pricey tickets, but I'm sure we will be back..

From: Kevin Willoughby (audio engineer) Jan 6, 2014

I’m a space cadet, so when the Apollo 13 movie came out, I had some friends drag me to see it in Allen’s reference theater and few days later another set of friends dragged me to see it in a different, THX-certified, theater. Later, I was at the premiere of the IMAX/DMR version of this movie. (It says something that all three of these theaters are within four miles of my home.) Two woofer-buster scenes in this flick: stacking the S-IVB onto the the first two stages of the Saturn V, and the launch of the monster moon rocket. The THX-certified theater was a bit wimpy. IMAX was more solid and deep, but with the liability of butt-kickers (yes, that’s what they are called). Best of the bunch was the HPS-4000 system.

From the manager of a 12 screen HPS-4000® theatre complex:

“Exceptional clarity at all levels.

"We wouldn’t be where we are [in attendance] if it weren’t for our sound.”

From the owner of a private home theatre (HT) with over 100 seats:

Posted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:21 am    Post subject: Sorry for the absence!

Hello Group, Sorry to disappear for over a month...A quick status report:

Sound: On June 27th, John Allen spent the entire day in the theater, first double checking all the connections. He discovered that of the four conductor cable for the main speaker array that made up the two "paired" conductors, the pair selection was not correct, and a few hours of rewiring ensued. The main speakers were then physically tilted and skewed to maximize the coverage over the seating area, as measured by a real-time sound pressure meter. With that done, he then went through a complete equalization and calibration of the system. Everything was meticulously set to exact Dolby specifications for all channels with the CP-650 processor at the reference "7" volume control level. This was then followed by several hours of listening to digital material he had recorded on a Tascam DA-88, and then music Blu-Ray's and finally selected scenes of Blu-Ray feature films.

After VERY careful listening, I can truly say this was one of those rare times when lofty expectations were met 100%...and then some! Three things stick out in my mind: 1) After watching parts of my favorite movies that I had viewed dozens of times before (Fifth Element, etc.), I was very surprised to truly hear things I had never heard before. 2) What I can only describe as both additional "layers" of sound, and a clarity and "difference" to the sound that I had never heard on all the other systems (including my old HT). I know this isn't a very empirical description, but the best way I can express it is like the difference between listening to music recorded on

Quote: "a method which discards (loses) some of the data, in order to achieve its goal, with the result that decompressing the data yields content that is different from the original, though similar enough to be useful in some way".

(such as MP3, AAC, etc) and the same music on SACD. Both methods let you hear an explosion, for instance, but when listening to the HPS-4000 system I could hear so many more components to the effects - the click of a timer, glass breaking, etc. 3) I have never before heard a theater sound system that so seamlessly blended the main array with the surrounds. My usual experience (mainly at commercial theaters) is to hear most of the sound information from the front array, and then the surrounds turn on (quite noticeably) when called for, but always with a perception that the surround information is coming discretely from the surrounds in an almost "gimmicky" fashion. What I found with John Allen's system was a complete sound field that worked WITH the front arrays, and not competing for attention against them. One of my favorite scenes in "Fifth Element" is the Diva's rendition of the Donizetti opera. I assume because all the surrounds are full range and John's fanatical insistence that they be placed no more than 1/2" from their calculated positions, that is why the surround information seems to be an absolute extension of the main array. I'm sure we have all experienced (and I too have been guilty of this) systems where the goal was to maximize the subs and surround effects. John is all about correctness of the program material to exactly match the studio screening room, and I really believe he has done that.

John returned on July 18th to add one more amplifier in preparation to use the 7.1 digital inputs on the CP-650.


Posted by decker, April 18, 2009

If you haven't been to the R/C Reading 11 plex and Imax theatre in Reading, Pennsylvania, you ought to stop by and spend an afternoon there watching great movies with superb digital projection by Christie and HPS-4000 sound. My wife and I drove 2 1/2 hours from our home in NJ to experience this great new theatre. We enjoyed the best popcorn we ever had in a theatre. We saw STATE OF PLAY in theatre 7 with the HPS-4000 4-way screen speaker systems and it was a film that you had to experience in HPS or else it might be difficult to hear the dialogue. Russell Crowe's voice was much easier to hear in this theatre and the bass sounds were great, especially in scenes with helicopters.

We also saw CRANK 2 in a smaller theatre with a 3-way HPS-4000 screen system. It was truly a surround sound bonanza.

We hope that R/C will continue to build such wonderful theatres and perhaps we'll find one closer to us. Wayne Anderson is an executive that understands the value of a great moviegoing experience. None of the theatres in NY or NJ can hold a candle to what R/C is doing with HPS-4000.


From David Ecker, March 22, 2008:

Great Sound in Pennsylvania in 2008

For years the best place to experience a movie in United States was at AMC's Framingham 16 in Framingham, Massachusetts. It is a 4 hour plus drive from {my home in} Northern New Jersey.

Now, the time it takes to get to a wonderful HPS-4000 theatre has decreased by at least 2 hours. Welcome to the R/C Theatres Wilkes Barre Movies 14 in Pennsylvania! The theatre opened in the summer of 2007 and it is the place to experience the latest and greatest in filmed entertainment. Now it is just a short drive to the Pocono Mountains for a great relaxing weekend and reference quality movie sound.

My wife and I needed a break from it all and we went to East Stroudsberg and then took a 1 hour ride up to Wilkes Barre. 1 hour from our favorite area was movie heaven. There were a few great movies playing there on big screens but we were advised to see The Bank Job by the theatre manager and 2 employees. We were originally planning on going to the digital cinema in auditorium 13 but were swayed by the suggestions to see The Bank Job in little cinema 2.

If anyone thinks we should have stayed in the larger auditoriums, they would be surprised to know how powerful our experience was in auditorium 2. The sound was superb and it was not SDDS 8 channels, not PCM (from digital cinema), and not DTS. It was a Dolby Digital print. HPS-4000 sounds amazing in ANY sized auditorium and anyone contemplating a reference quality home theatre shouldn't consider any other brand. Even if the movie isn't a surround extravaganza, the music and dialogue will sound clearer and the experience will never fade from the mind of the moviegoer.

Anyone with a knowledge of quality audio should take a trip to an HPS-4000 theatre and, if possible, see 2 movies! After visiting the theatre, go home and see if your system can match up! Even if your receiver can handle PCM and DTS-HD Master Audio, see if your speakers can reproduce every sound on the track! John F. Allen is the reason why movie theatre sound still reigns supreme.

***Thank you very much David. The Wilkes Barre 14 is an all HPS-4000 equipped theatre complex. Theatres 1, 7 and 8 employ our HPS-4000-XL sound systems with the 545-4 4-way screen speakers. The other theatres use the new 555 screen speakers. I should also note that Pennsylvania movie goers also have another great R/C theatre complex with HPS-4000 sound to attend and that is in Gettysburg, PA. The Gettysburg theatres also include not one but two large DLP projection houses equipped with our flagship HPS-4000-XL sound systems. Later this summer we will be adding 10 more HPS-4000 equipped D-Cinema theatres in R/C Theatre’s new facility in Reading, PA. -- JFA


“Compared to HPS-4000, all other sound systems are like toys.”

Patrik Becker, Director of marketing, Astoria Cinemas, Stockholm, Sweden.

Click here to see Mr. Becker’s formal letter.


Claude Associate Member posted 03-29-2003 08:44 PM            

It does work, everyone!

I just returned from the Ward 16 Theatres when I went there to see TEARS IN THE SUN but unfortunately the movie was not playing in the auditoriums with John's [All Seats Hear Stereo]. I was about forty five minutes early for my movie so I thought there was no harm if I stuck my head in the Steve Martin film. I was VERY impressed! I listened to the sound from the extreme sides almost against the walls from both the right and the left hand sides. I was standing midway between the screen and the rear of the auditorium and could hear everything. When I was on the left, I could clearly hear the sound coming from the right stage speaker and when I stood on the right, I could also hear the left stage speaker. After I saw my movie, THE CORE was on and I did check the sound for that movie too. Because this film has a very aggressive soundtrack, I was sold on the effectiveness of John's new system because from where I stood on the extreme right and left sides of the auditorium, the sound quality was just as good as if I was sitting in the middle.


Dear Mr. Allen:

I would like to complement you on your excellent theatre sound systems. I just returned from watching The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring at the Lorraine Theatre in Hoopeston, Illinois and was profoundly affected by the difference between seeing the movie with the high quality sound system that is available at that theatre. I had seen the movie twice before, but had not had the opportunity to see it at the Lorraine. The HPS-4000 system made it seem like a different film! It was a much more visceral experience. The most startling difference was the scene with the Balrog. I had been impressed by the visual effects of the scene before, but this time, when the Balrog roared I felt it in my bones! Some part of my brain responded to the sensation and I could feel the terror of the character's on the screen. By the end of the scene I was practically shaking from the emotional impact.

Thank you for making the best sound system available for movie viewing (and listening!)

Martin Preslar

Topic:   My HPS-4000 Experience GoCanes posted 01-25-2001 08:09 PM

This past Tuesday, while traveling on business in Illinois, I was finally able to attend a film in an HPS-4000 equipped theatre. I watched "Vertical Limit" in Auditorium #5 of the Foxfield Cinema in St. Charles, IL. I also viewed the previews in Auditorium #4. The film was presented in Dolby Digital (the complex has SR-D and HPS-4000 in all Auditoriums). The overall sound was outstanding. I live in South Florida and have always tried to frequent theatres that have top quality sound systems (including several GCC THX houses until they were closed) but I have never heard a presentation quite like this one. The audio was crisp, clear, powerful and very natural sounding. It's very hard to describe what I heard but I'll start by talking about the two Dolby Digital snipes that I heard. The first was"Egypt" which I had heard many times before and always thought it sounded pretty weak, but this time it was like somebody used magic and brought the trailer to life. I'd never seen the second one before nor do I know what it's called but "twangs" move from channel to channel. What struck me most about this trailer was the quality of the surrounds as the "twang" was played. The surrounds had a crispness to them that I'd never heard before.

Now, I'll get to the feature. "Vertical Limit," although not an academy award candidate, did have a mix that was suitable for evaluating the sound system. It had everything from very quiet passages to loud explosions, helicopters flying, and music passages. The sound just sounded "right." Throughout the film, the system produced all sounds effortlessly. Dialog was perfectly clear, music sounded like a live orchestra, and the Bass was incredible. During the explosions I could feel my pants moving and I was seated roughly 2/3 back from the screen. The most impressive thing about the bass was how clean it sounded. Normally, theatre sound systems sound dull to me (especially in larger auditoriums) but the HPS-4000 system sounded alive! There was never even a hint of distortion even during the loudest passages.

The surround coverage was superior. I was the only one in the theatre for the show so I was able to move around the auditorium. No matter where I was seated, I felt that the surround field was equal. As I stated earlier the surround channels sounded incredible. You'd never know how much Bass there was on the surround channels until you've heard an HPS-4000 system. I have never heard a surround array that sounded even close to as good as this one.

In summary, I'd like to say that it's too bad John F. Allen didn't make "Star Wars," because if he had the money and clout of George Lucas, there would be many more HPS-4000 theatres for everybody to enjoy. The experience was so good that I will probably have to talk myself out of flying to Illinois to see a movie at some time in the future. Yes, it sounded that good! Do yourself a favor and find an HPS-4000 equipped theatre (www.hps4000.com) like I did and listen for yourself.

Lyle Romer

Topic:   U-571 in HPS 4000: WOW!!!! Aron Toplitsky posted 05-09-2000 10:32 AM            

If anyone out there wants to experience U-571 in all of its glory I urge you to see it at Framingham 16 in Massachusetts. I was so amazed by the sound that my jaw dropped during several scenes. Prior to seeing it in HPS-4000 I saw this film at the brand new AMC Empire 25 in NYC. It was a 500+ seat theater with a huge screen. It was their best sounding auditorium. It could not even compare to John Allen's system. The HPS-4000 experience had such incredible deep and ultra powerful bass with absolutely no distortion whatsoever. The surrounds were much more audible, there were sound effects that I did not hear in the AMC theater that were present in the HPS theater. This is my second time experiencing a film in John Allen's reference theater (#6) since Phantom Menace. Hurry up and see this movie at this theater before it leaves this auditorium! I assure it is worth the trip!!

Member posted by gb 02-26-2000 04:53 PM

Much has been said about the good and bad with THX, competent service people at all theatres, and the rest. And I have commented on my HPS-4000 sound system before, in relation to “Episode 1” and my experience with the same picture at a THX house in the LA area. I continue to seek out the best theatres in LA, and most of them are THX. Some have good sound, some don't. The one thing that I find consistent with them is the harshness of the sound, especially at what I’ll call “glass shattering frequencies.” In the worst ones, I hear a razor’s-edge sharpness to sibilant words. I have never heard this in an HPS-4000 equipped theatre.

The really beautiful thing about HPS-4000, (and I have heard many besides the one installed in my theatre), is how NATURAL the sound is. From liquor splashing around in a bottle in “In the Line of Fire” to the sound of feet crunching on snow in “Fargo”, to the unbelievable feeling I got of being with the astronauts in “Apollo 13” whenever they cut from the control center to the capsule, and I felt the size of the room change- I felt as if I was trapped with them as the walls moved in on me...all done with a wonderful mix through the magic of an HPS-4000 sound system. And, the liftoff was huge! I have heard music and much more, that sounded as if it was live, on-stage, almost. I have never heard that with any other sound system. The best sound system is one that lets you experience great sound,as if there was no sound system---so, in my opinion there is just one choice.

posted by Claude 01-07-2000 01:58 AM

Hi Patrick,

The new Dole Cannery 18 theatre complex here in Honolulu are all THX certified with SRD as well as SDDS and DTS. They all sound very good but for theatres that are supposed to sound alike based on THX high quality specs, they do not! For some reason, the Dole does not run the digital film trailers but they do play the THX trailers with each film. Most of the time they do play my favorite that was featured on the deluxe “TOY STORY” laser disc box set. I have found that this trailer never sounds the same in all of the houses that have played it at this theatre complex. If each theatre is supposed to be calibrated to THX “high standards” and is supposed to sound exactly alike, I have found that they do not! I have come to the conclusion that THX is over hyped exactly like George Lucas' other brain child, his latest Star Wars film “THE PHANTOM MENACE” but what more can you expect from the ‘King of hype’? I have found John Allen's HPS-4000 system much superior to THX. It is a great joy to go to the Consolidated Waikiki #1 and #2 theatres to enjoy his wonderful system. I did get the opportunity to see the “THE PHANTOM MENACE” at the DOLE in SRD-EX with THX and the same film at the Waikiki #2 in SDDS- 8/EX with HPS=4000 and the Waikiki's performance was so much better. I have noticed on another post on this forum that several members have been bad mouthing the SDDS sound process. Both the Waikiki #1 and the #2 are exclusive SDDS-8 houses and SDDS makes these two house shine. My post on “ANNA & THE KING” was another one that I had enjoyed in SDDS. I think that all three digital sound formats we enjoy today are all great including SDDS.

Topic:   More HPS-4000 please!
posted by decker 02-24-2000 04:02 PM
This is my opinion. Will somebody look to what the people at Classic Cinemas and the people at National Park Service are doing? I want some HPS-4000 theatres in New Jersey! Could somebody retrofit the Paramus Route Four Ten-plex or The Warner Quad. How about retrofitting one of the non THX auditoriums at the Essex Green 9 or the Loews Ridgefield Park? I hope that somebody somewhere will wake up and do something! We can't keep reproducing only 25% of the magic on those SDDS and DTS tracks! Ticket prices could be as much as 10 dollars soon!

Hi John.

Recently I had a visit from a young lady, working as a recording engineer (German radio symphony orchestra) for a public radio station. After visiting many theatres with a friend of mine, her conclusion was “Movie theatres in general offer the lowest possible sound quality, probably due to low tech.” We treated her to modern movies on my four way system, and for the first time in her life, she “heard decent sound in film,” and could not believe that I was using the same digital processing gear all other theatres employ for that purpose. Playing music on the system led to total excitement on the quality, normally not possible from loudspeaker systems.

Many regards:


Submitted By - John Stockton

Cineplex Odeon Century Plaza Cinemas Century City, CA. Specific Screen(s) -- #2: HPS-4000 equipped 70 mm equipped Digital Sound Format(s) - DTS.

Comments: The absolute finest for sound. While many amateurs like to boast about how many thousands of watts their theatre has, it is the speaker's output in acoustic watts which really counts. The stage speakers in this theatre can deliver 112 plus dB in the middle of the auditorium. The same goes for both surround channels combined. The subwoofers can deliver an unheard of 126 dB, and all of this with lower distortion than anybody else. Other sound systems including the THX system cannot even come close to this level of power and clarity. I have visited all the great theatres in the LA area including the Mann National, the Village, the Chinese, the Cinerama dome and even the majestic Academy theatre in Beverly Hills and Paramount's screening room, and as long as the original tuning done by the system's designer (John Allen) is not tampered with I can honestly say that this theatre can out perform all of them.

Submitted By - David Ecker

General Cinema Framingham Framingham, MA. HPS-4000 equipped Digital Sound Format(s) - Dolby Digital, DTS, SDDS-6, SDDS-8. Comments: The HPS-4000 sound in the Framingham complex is of reference quality. Nothing in the world delivers the richness and clarity of HPS-4000. Dialogue is clear and sound effects are dynamic.

Posted by it is a shame HPS-4000 theaters do not get coverage!!! on April 26, 1999 at 23:01:23:

Everybody out there goes on and on about if THX is the only ideal way to get the presentation intended by the director, that nobody notices a reference sound system that clearly out performs THX in every channel, in all aspects. HPS-4000 sound was created by John Allen way before THX in 1980. From the very beginning Allen insisted on using 3-way speakers and eventually 4-ways. THX and other systems have recently moved up to 3-way. The dynamic range in THX cannot even come close to HPS-4000 as HPS has 8 to 10 times more acoustic power. The modulation distortion is even lower in HPS-4000 up to 90 percent lower. And finally not one HPS-4000 speaker has ever failed ... not one!!!!! I myself have never heard a sound more powerful, more intelligible, and more pure than HPS-4000. If more theaters converted to HPS-4000 more people would get to hear a sound quality that could really be called DIGITAL READY.

Posted by Roger on May 23, 1999, at 03:25:37:

I live in Hawaii and I just arrived in LA after already seeing STAR WARS at Waikiki Twin Theatres. My friends took me the Village Theatre in Westwood known for its THX sound as well as being one of the best presentation houses in the West. Well in a few words, the Village, while being better than most theatres, cannot even compare to the HPS-4000 theatres we have in Hawaii - especially the Waikiki Twin. The sound at the Waikiki Twin is a lot cleaner, more detailed and natural than the Village. When you listen to music at the Village, it sounds manufactured. While at Waikiki, it sounds like the orchestra is right there playing.

The surrounds are also more involving and real at Waikiki. Also I don't know if anybody noticed, but the sound was distorting at times at Village during the peaks. The Waikiki Twin sounded clean and smooth even during the loudest peaks. And finally, the dialogue was a lot more natural and clear at Waikiki.

Having compared the best of THX and HPS-4000 I would have to say that HPS-4000 is more natural and altogether more beautiful sounding than THX. It is not my intention to ruin things for the Village patrons, but to just let everybody know that there is another sound system out there which is far superior.

In Reply to: Re: The sound at the Village pales next to Waikiki Twin.Posted by Reed Edwards on May 23, 1999, at 12:27:29:

(...also I don't know if anybody noticed but the sound was distorting at times at village during the peaks).

Which scenes caused problems for the sound system at the Village? I caught the 3:30 showing yesterday afternoon and I never thought the system was even close to being strained.

Posted by Roger on May 23, 1999, at 21:22:51:

Thank you for your feedback. My friends asked me the very same question. They could not understand what I meant. A very good example is the THX trailer. Listen to it again carefully, while a lot of people cheer and make noise to root for the trailer, it is quite noticeable that the amps are running out of power and the sound makes split second drops. Also it may be difficult for someone who has not heard both systems to realize the difference in quality of sound. The bass during the scenes were the Jedi masters use their mind power to throw people around is another good example. While one might think that the village is handling the bass with no problem, a listen to the bass at the HPS-4000 system in Waikiki proves otherwise. The bass among other things, is so natural and clean at Waikiki that when you compare it to the village you will realize the distortion coming out of the bass channels at the village theatre.

There were subtle effects and sounds that were heard beautifully in Waikiki that were missing or diminished at the Village. Also the surround speakers used at the village, although quite impressive, are not capable of reproducing deep bass. The surrounds at Waikiki are more than capable of reproducing the deepest bass. And finally the HPS-4000 system is the only system that I have listened that the sound from the surrounds matches the sound from the screen. Again you will realize this after listening to a properly maintained HPS-4000 system. I can go on and on but that is the general idea. Hope you get a chance to compare for yourself.

Dear Roger:

On behalf of myself and everyone at Hawaii's Consolidated Theatres, I would like to sincerely thank you for your wonderful comments. I have forwarded them to several people at Consolidated as well as Sony Cinema Products since the presentation you heard is an eight channel SDDS.

There is indeed something special about the Waikiki Twin Theatres. They not only employ our newest woofer systems, as well as our flagship 4-way screen speakers, but also the newest amplifiers from BGW Systems, the Millennium 3-HPS®. There is no question in my mind that our new speakers have given us smoother sound. But these new amplifiers are the best I have ever heard. They make me want to replace every amplifier I have ever installed.

While all of or current HPS-4000® sound systems are comparably equipped, the Waikiki Twins are large theatres with over 800 seats and generous spacing. There is no substitute for a larger room volume (if a sound system can fill it and the HPS-4000® can), so the Twins do have an advantage.

John F. Allen


Wow. I didn't hear anything wrong in Westwood. All I know is that it was a marked improvement to the sound/picture at the Chinese! There is something like 17,000 watts of power for the various loudspeaker systems in the Village. I mean this theater is one of the preferred venues in Los Angeles for 'showcase' presentations because of its pedigree (and size). The THX trailer sounded in no way strained to my ears, no more so than the 'Broadway' trailer usually sounds anyway. I am not prepared to make a comparison with the theater in Hawaii that you speak of, having never heard it (or any other HPS-4000 theater, for that matter), but I am curious about your impressions of the Village. I don't mean to sound pompous, but I am just dumbfounded that anyone could find the Village wanting!

Any leads for where I can find HPS-4000 in the City of Angeles?


Posted by Roger on May 26, 1999 at 010204. In Reply to Re The sound at the Village pales next to Waikiki Twin. posted by Matthew A. Snyder on May 25, 1999 at 211042

Dear Matt:

Let me start again by saying that it is not at all my intention to put down the Village theatre in any way. As I stated I found the Village sounding better than most theatres. But when you compare it to a properly maintained HPS-4000 theatre like the Waikiki Twin it falls short. The 17000 watts of power at the Village that you mentioned is meaningless when it is passed through low efficient speakers that are employed at the Village. The stage speakers at Waikiki are approximately 8 times more efficient than that of the Village. That means the Waikiki can have one-eighth the amplifier power the Village has, but be able to give the same exact output. Not too many people realize that it is the speaker's output in acoustic watts which is the true measure of a systems power not the amplifier watts which you stated. The difference between the subwoofer's efficiency is even more..somewhere around 20 times. The Waikiki Twin has the equivalent power of 14 and one half symphony orchestras. The Village may have somewhere around 5 and is even a bit larger than Waikiki Twin. This difference in acoustic power is no joke and really assures that the sound will be as clear as possible even under the most highest peaks. This among other reasons is why the sound at Waikiki is a lot cleaner and fuller than the Village.

Another reason is the 4-way fully horn loaded speaker design at Waikiki. The Village uses a conventional 2-way. This creates a lot of problems with dialogue reproduction and also cannot compete with the detail and the richness which is available with the 4-way design. All you have to do is listen to dialogue or music in both auditoriums and you will realize the difference.

Sound tuning is another factor. The way the HPS-4000 theatres are tuned is also superior. Other systems including THX tune the sound based on pink noise and steady sound in the back of the theatre where there is a lot of reverberation present. Pink noise is not an accurate way of tuning the sound because it ignores sudden impulses and first arrival sounds. Taking readings in the back of the theatre is also wrong because a microphone does not recognize the reverberation present and adds it to the reading. What you get is a completely polluted response which does not represent what the human ears will hear. The HPS tuning is done towards the front of the theatre and also takes in to account the first arrival sounds. This why the sound at Waikiki is so detailed and contains nuances and effects that are absent at the Village.

I understand that Village theatre has long been hailed as the absolute finest, and like you said used for special venues and premieres. The HPS-4000 theatres have not had the fortune of being as widely recognized as THX, but when it comes to quality, I mean really true quality, they are the best. There have been a lot of audio experts that agree with me on this. Again you might say, I do not see anything wrong with the Village. Well my friend there nothing is. But if you really want to listen to a sound that is so incredible, that will leave you stunned by its caliber, then the HPS-4000 sound is for you.

Posted by John Stockton on May 26, 1999 at 232744

In Reply to Re The sound at the village pales next to Waikiki Twin. Posted by Matthew A. Snyder on May 25, 1999 at 211042

Loews Cineplex's Century Plaza, screens #2,3,4 in Century City are all equipped with HPS-4000 sound. Screen #2 has the 4-way stage speakers and has DTS digital sound. Screens 3 and 4 are smaller theatres and only have Dolby SR. Unfortunately the company has become careless with the sound systems and all the theatres are mis-tuned. I tell you this much, whenever the theatres are tuned by John Allen, no theatre in the LA area can even come close. Screen 2 can easily outperform the best of Westwood and even the Academy of the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' elaborate theatre. I have heard presentations that have left me amazed and speechless. I just hope the company gets its act together and maintain these theatres properly. Also this is the theatre where digital sound was first presented to the public in 1985 with the film 'Fantasia'.

Posted by David O. on June 02, 1999 at 07:20:05:

In Reply to: Re: general cinema Framingham 14 posted by John F. Allen on May 16, 1999 at 09:15:17:

I called over there at the Framingham 14 and talked to the manager. He said that if I wanted the ultimate in sound experience for this movie see it in #6.

I took his advice....and boy was I glad I did....WOW!


(Theatre #6 is the HPS-4000® reference theatre. -JFA)

Posted by Gregory W. Boardman on June 16, 1999 at 00:50:19: In Reply to:Re: The sound at the village pales next to Waikiki twin.

Let me state right at the beginning... I own the Lorraine Theatre in Hoopeston, Illinois. It is an HPS-4000® equipped theatre with both SDDS-8 and DTS. I do not work for John F. Allen, but I do love the sound in my theatre; and as I did before I equipped it so, I go to the best theatres I can find in LA. I want to have the best sound possible, and so I am always listening and comparing. After seeing Star Wars at the Lorraine multiple times, (I spend my vacations in Hoopeston, IL.!) I saw on this forum the comments about the Village. I went to the Village Sunday night, 10:30 PM show. The sound was very disappointing. It was weak from the screen speakers, and not nearly as clean and clear sounding as on my system at the Lorraine.

The side surrounds were heard, but were distracting rather than helping to create a smooth transition from the stage speakers, and little was heard from the rears. (I was sitting in the 16th row from the screen, in the center of the center section.) I never felt like I was 'in the movie' as I do at the Lorraine. The details were missing that I had heard at the Lorraine, and the bass was inferior. Roger's comments about the 'Jedi mind effects' at the Waikiki Twin are exactly correct with respect to my system at the Lorraine...and of course the laser battles and pod race were sorely lacking at the Village.

Let me just say that you have no idea how much you are missing if you heard it at the Village! I wish (George) Lucas could hear his movie at my theatre, in all 8 channels of SDDS through my HPS-4000® system!

I wanted to have the best sound in a movie theatre, and I did not want to ever walk in and be disappointed - and I never have. I have not found anything in LA that sounds as good. Final comment: When I asked the manager which digital sound format was being used, she did not know...and she had threaded up the projector! She gave me a wrong phone number to call the next day too. I managed to reach someone at the Village the next day, that told me that it was in Dolby Digital and Dolby EX.

Posted by Josh Dallas on June 21, 1999 at 17:25:13:

After reading about this system on this forum I decided to take a rather long drive to check the system out for myself. The closest HPS® theatre to me is the Lorraine theatre in Hoopeston, IL.

The auditorium is beautifully modeled and you get the sense that you are in a real movie theatre rather a shoe box multiplex auditorium.

Now to the actual presentation. The first thing I noticed about the sound is how natural it was. I had never heard this much clarity and purity in any other theatre. And as far as power is concerned it was truly breathtaking. The bass at the Lorraine has so much power and is able to move so much more air than other theatres. (You can feel the air hitting you.)

Music and sound effects are played beautifully and the dialogue is amazingly clear and natural. The surrounds were also very dynamic and really did their job by surrounding the audience with a sound that sounded matched to the screen. I never felt distracted or even attacked by the surrounds at the Lorraine.

Over all I would have to say that the sound at the Lorraine is the finest I have ever heard.

Sound: A++
Picture: A+

Dear Mr. Boardman,

I would like to thank you for the truly outstanding cinema experience I had at the Lorraine last week (on Friday 21st, 4:30 pm showing). It was my first visit to the Lorraine, and only the first of many, I promise.

I have been hearing terrific reports of your theater for quite a while, and its a real pleasure to say that it lived up to all of my expectations. I consider myself to be a bit of cinema connoisseur--I am a Home THX Certified Dealer (the first in Central IL, and still one of the few) and one of my professional specialties is home theater design. I have seen movies in many THX houses, including of course, the Stag Theater at Skywalker Ranch --perhaps technically the finest movie house in the world. I think that the technical presentation of The Phantom Menace was on par with the best, and the overall experience was terrific.

A few specific raves: First of all, the theater building is charming. I appreciate that the ticket booth is still used. The whole place is well cared for and looks 'loved'. The staff were all friendly, and genuinely proud of the theater as well. It makes a world of difference from the sullen and disinterested "warm bodies" who staff the multiplexes in this town.

The picture was clear, bright, steady, and flawless, and without distortions. I especially appreciated NOT having to look at a warped picture on a curved screen--something the shoe box theaters are increasingly using. The ambient light level was low enough not to diminish brightness.

The Lorraine's audio is, well...stunning. First of all, the volume was adequate--it felt like THX reference level, which is a rarity, and I applaud you for giving the soundtrack the power it was designed for. Your system handled the volume effortlessly, without sounding strained. It was loud, but entirely comfortable. Front channel imaging was good, and dialog was crisp and intelligible, and musical passages were rich and warm. The bass to subwoofer transition was incredibly smooth. You had plenty of power in the LFE channel, while still having real bass clarity, and without the clumsy LFE crossover sensation of many cheap systems. The surround effects were powerful, and clear, but never glaring or distracting--a sign of a truly superior system. The field was enveloping and comfortable. The timbre match to the front channels was good.

In all, you can tell I had a great time. I'm planning to come back soon with my son to see the movie again (perhaps tonight even), and other movies this summer as well. Do you have a summer schedule on the web site somewhere?

So thanks for your terrific contribution to our area culture. The Lorraine is a great asset. I plan to do my best to make sure people hear about it!

Andy Wiese
Champaign, IL

Anderson Wiese
President Bluestem Inc.

This came from a Movie Sound Page theatre submission form for the GCC Framingham:

“I drove four hours from the Bronx, New York to Framingham, Massachusetts to hear John Allen's HPS-4000 sound system. It was definitely worth the trip! General Cinema in Framingham is a beautiful theater with friendly staff who seem to be knowledgeable about the sound systems. This is very rare.

There are fourteen screens at this theater, twelve of them are HPS-4000 equipped and two are THX theaters. I was told that the THX theaters are ‘the worst sounding.’ The best screen is theater #6 which holds about 400 plus seats with incredible sound played at reference level. The film I saw was ‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.’ Prior to seeing it at Framingham, I saw Star Wars in a THX theater in the Bronx, and at the Ziegfeld in Manhattan, NY. None of these theaters came close to the sound quality of HPS-4000. I heard elements in the surrounds that were not present in the other two theaters. The bass is deep and very powerful with no distortion at all. The scene where Qui Gon rings Watto's bell at his store was so clean and crisp - as if the bell was really in the room. There are smaller auditoriums which feature HPS-4000 and they are the best sounding small auditoriums I've ever heard. Again, played at reference levels.

If you love sound and are frustrated with theaters playing movies at low levels with poor digital sound systems, HPS-4000 is the answer. I hope other theater chains would wake up and give HPS-4000 a chance.”

Movie Sound Page

Posted by John Stockton on July 07, 1999 at 01:15:34:

In Reply to: more accolades for HPS-4000 posted by Perry (MSP) on July 06, 1999 at 17:58:40:

A few months back I decided to speak up and say my opinion regarding this awesome system and I think it is finally happening. People are realizing and getting the message.

The first time I heard the HPS-4000 system was in 1990 at the Century Plaza in LA. (when it was properly maintained) The film was Home Alone in 35 mm Dolby A. From the first moment I could not believe my ears. The sound was unlike anything I had heard before. Mind you this was Home Alone and not necessarily a movie you want to judge for sound. In all aspects the sound was superior to anything else. From dialogue to music to sound effects. After the movie I talked with the projectionist and asked if the film was in 70 mm or at least Dolby SR. He assured me that the film I saw was regular 35 mm Dolby A. I left the theatre amazed and in a way sad, that all those years I waited to hear this incredible system.

What separates HPS-4000 from all others is simple. NATURAL SOUND. When you listen to HPS-4000, it does not sound like it is coming from speakers. If you did not know better you could swear that everything is happening live in front of you and around you. No other system has had that effect on me.

I think it is time to for exhibitors to finally wake up and utilize the ONLY system which can truly be called STATE OF THE ART.

Because of Century Plaza's total carelessness toward the three systems in LA, we have lost the only the HPS-4000 theatres in CA. And I am eagerly, EAGERLY awaiting the installation of a new HPS-4000 in our area.

From: george@hoopeston.com (Timothy M. George)
To: gboardman1@aol.com

My name is Erin George and I'm a senior at Hoopeston Area High School. I just wanted to give you the much deserved and little recognized thanks for the effort and money you put into the town through the Lorraine Theater.

I've lived in many small towns across the country and have never had a theater with the reasonable prices and high quality sound that your screens possess. I wanted you to know that your effort does not go without recognition. My friends and I take every chance we get to see movies in town rather than traveling thirty minutes into Danville for inferior quality and higher prices. Please, don't give up; continue supplying much needed entertainment to this small town.

Thank you once again.

Erin George

Hoopeston, IL

Posted by Terrence on August 04, 1999 at 12:46:10:


I would like to know how I can apply your principle of system setup and e.q. and what kind of speakers would you use for home theater setup. I have read about the HPS 4000 system and had an opportunity to hear the system and there is nothing (including THX) that can touch it for reproducing movie soundtracks. It is the finest system out there. I would like to know your thoughts and ideas about home theater.

Dear Mr. Boardman:

I'm from Cayuga, IN. It's about an hour drive for me but I will go nowhere else! I LOVE the sound system and the people who work there are nice as well. I didn't see it before you fixed it all up. The first time I went there was to see "Apollo 13" and haven't gone anywhere since! I tell everyone I know that they have to go to the Lorraine if they really want to see the movie in all it's glory. "Twister" was my all time favorite! It sounded like the corn was being ripped out of the ground all around me and I noticed others were looking behind them like they expected to see it!

In all honesty, I would pay 8.00 to see a movie there even if the Village Mall was still 6.50. Just wanted you to know you have at least one person spreading the word.

Karla Crawford

Posted by Paul Melby on August 31, 1999 at 14:06:56:

For all of you fans of The Matrix in the Eastern IL/Western IN area, it will be shown at The Lorraine Theatre in Hoopeston, IL starting this Friday. The Lorraine came up a few times during all the Star Wars discussion back in May and June. It uses the large, 4-way HPS system and SDDS. Hoopeston is probably about a 2 hour drive from Chicago, for those of you who didn't check it out for Episode 1.


Submitted By - Claude S. Ayakawa

Cinerama Honolulu, HI. HPS-4000 equipped 70 mm equipped Digital Sound Format(s) - SDDS-6 Comments: This theatre used to be a general second run house until the early sixties when it was converted to exhibit three strip Cinerama for the Hawaii premiere of MGM's "THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM." It was followed with "HOW THE WEST WAS WON' and all of the single projection Cinerama films in 70 mm. Dolby Stereo was introduced to this theatre with the 70 mm presentation of "STAR WARS." In recent years, this wonderful theatre was not used for all of the big pictures because they were all playing in smaller shopping mall theatres and the much larger houses in Waikiki.Now that Consolidated has installed Sony's SDDS (6 Track) Digital sound in this theatre that features a deep 80 foot curve screen, plush drapes with a stage curtain and comfortable seats, the Cinerama is once again showing top notch first run films. The HPS 4000 and SDDS really makes this theatre the ideal place to go for an awesome picture & sound presentation.

Submitted By - Tom Brennan (irishtom@webtv.net)

Tivoli Downers Grove, IL. HPS-4000 equipped 70 mm equipped Digital Sound Format(s) - DTS Comments: This is a restored old movie palace that is the flagship of a small chain of 2nd run houses in the Chicago suburbs. The sound and image are unsurpassed, the price is cheap and real butter goes on the fresh popcorn. On weekends they play the old organ between shows. I think the HPS sound system is better than any THX I've heard and the occasional 70 mm showings are a treat.