Fascinating! I suspected something like that, with certain sounds off FAR to the right or left. It was either really good imaging or this rather unique setup. Did you talk to someone at the theater with that information?
I must say the sound ALONE (well, in combination with the image) had me in stitches the whole time! Wish I could go back once more...
I wish I could find the time to make one more trek into the city.
My info comes from this link:
http://www.in70mm.com/news/2003/playtim ... ration.htm
"Sound format: Special venue DTS, 5 screen channels, no surround and no sub. Tati did not use surround for "Play Time" in 6-track magnetic stereo. But the 5 screens channels were very important to guide the patron's attention on a particular part of the picture. The Gulliver team decided for this new mix to use the surround channels for RC/LC. The sound diagram is R/RC/C/LC/L, no surround and no sub."
I concur with your comments on the spaciousness of the presentation. I am quite sure that there were no rears used at the show I attended. I wish I could say that I noticed what was projected left versus left center or right versus right center but I could not. It will be interesting to find out (at some point) though.
Certainly nothing compares to a well presented theatre experience. The size of the room and the space between speakers alone provide an experience unrivaled. I noticed many people laughing or giggling at the ticket attendant using the microphone/speaker system at the airport. The theatre and speakers created a terrific and fun spacial moment.
Just such a moment would be a good example for the use of surrounds for home DVD. Other sounds, such as at the party, are going to be harder choices for a sound engineer to present well on DVD. Many sounds at the restaurant are clearly meant to come from your left and right (just like you would hear things at a real restaurant).
The question I wished I asked at the theatre was whether the rumbling truck sound I heard was merely the ability of the commercial qualiity speakers at the theatre or whether their electronic system kicks sounds to subwoofer (by default) when the bass might damage/overwork the speakers.