Reader comments about a Nov. 30 news story headlined "Barkley theater neighbors disturbed by movie noise" by Bellingham Herald Business Editor Dave Gallagher:
"Turning down the volume seems the logical first step; other than that, would an additional sound wall similar to what has been installed along I-5 help resolve the situation?"
"The city rarely makes wise decisions and I can only guess that there are dollars involved. Infill, really not a good idea ... Planners probably live in posh areas that are never infilled. As to the theater, show me where the $500,000 they spent to fix it went."
"Try turning the volume down for starters. I enjoy the impact of loud soundtracks, but the last few movies I've seen there have been too loud. My wife wears earplugs to the theater and we avoid the IMAX because of the volume."
"Surprise! Infill is great."
"We recently went to see 'Gravity' in the RPX theater, and could not believe how incredibly loud it was inside the theater. I guess it's been quite a few years since we had been to a theater, and haven't kept up with all the new technologies, but man, we thought it was awfully loud ... in our opinion.. I can understand that there might be residual sound coming from them."
"The movie theater is between a rock and a hard place. The movie industry has a specific set of standards that IMAX theaters must adhere to. They have to use certain speakers placed in a certain location. The auditorium has to have certain acoustical properties, and they have to play the movies at a certain volume, etc. It is a very exacting set of standards that the theaters have to comply with. An individual theater can't just decide that it's going to turn down the volume or the bass a little bit, because then they wouldn't be allowed to show IMAX movies."
"Boy do I ever agree! The police should come out and shut down the theater once the volume reaches a certain decibel level outside the building. Sound meters are cheap and provide objective evidence of an infraction."
"What I find intriguing about all of this is the fact with all the money Bellingham/Whatcom threw into study groups, this potential for a problem was missed? Could have been alleviated by placing the theater more to middle of the land available and putting parking spaces backing up to the homes."
"The theater is no different than a sound studio. The floor needs to be floated so it does not have any contact with the foundation and substrata. The walls and ceiling need to be floated as well so there is not contact with exterior walls or roofs. There is no easy fix to this situation, but it does indeed need to be fixed. I have owned live performance venues, and tv/film production studios. It was my responsibility to insure that the sound was fully contained inside my buildings. I empathize with the residential neighbors. IMAX needs to resolve the issue sooner than later."
"Welcome to the ugly side of infill that no one talks about. Wait until you find out that the city takes no responsibility for the impacts of its poor planning decisions. A better environmental review process would have recognized and addressed the problem. It is much harder to address after construction. Someone needs to bring a constructive eviction suit against the city to make them take these impacts more seriously."