Carl Spence, the artistic director of SIFF, says that the festival has been listening to audience complaints about the poor quality of the filmgoing experience in the renovated Neptune space and they've been working to fix them. (I wrote about my Neptune SIFF experience here.)

The first thing SIFF did was address the complaints about the sound system. "We did a full acoustic analysis," Spence says, and they determined that the new space "wasn’t producing an ideal filmgoing experience." When the Neptune was a movie theater, there was a sound wall behind the screen to improve the acoustics. As Seattle Theater Group prepared to transform the building into a live music venue, the wall came down, leaving a "cavernous" space that diffused the sound. A sound wall has been reinstalled, along with other nerdy A/V tweaks—apparently, the white noise levels have been checked and re-checked on every speaker—to tune the system up to Dolby specifications.

And as of tomorrow morning, the folding chairs will be no more: SIFF sent a driver to Park City, Utah to pick up temporary theater seats on loan from the Sundance Film Festival. Spence calls this "a really good solution." The seats are used at film festivals like Sundance and Telluride to modify a non-traditional venue "into a bona fide movie theater." Though the seats will be flat on the ground, Spence says "the [seats] in the front row are angled more and as you get further back, they’re angled less," providing improved sight lines. They'll also help with sound absorption as well. "By Friday showtimes, everything is going to be exactly the way we want it to be," Spence says