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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinema Yak   » projection systems

   
Author Topic: projection systems
Roger Katz
Member

Posts: 339
From: Thomaston, CT
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted February 13, 2003 07:48 PM      Profile for Roger Katz   Email Roger Katz         Edit/Delete Post 
I photographed two cinemas today including the projection booths. Both had a platter system for their films. I have read that there is another kind of system besides a platter for moving a film along, but all 3 active projection booths I have been in have platters. My question is, what else is there besides a platter?

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Paul Linfesty
Member

Posts: 64
From: Bakersfield, CA
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted February 13, 2003 07:57 PM      Profile for Paul Linfesty   Email Paul Linfesty         Edit/Delete Post 
There are towers (giant reels that hold around 2.25 hours) and are usually mounted vertically behind the projector. And of course there's the old change-over system, utilizing two or more projectors.

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Roger Katz
Member

Posts: 339
From: Thomaston, CT
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted February 13, 2003 09:01 PM      Profile for Roger Katz   Email Roger Katz         Edit/Delete Post 
You'll have to forgive me for asking basic questions, but I do not work in the cinema business.

How does a changeover between two projectors work? At a second-run cinema near me I think they do this and they can never seem to get it to work right and the movie ends up conking out for anywhere from 5 seconds on a good day to 20 minutes on a bad one.

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Scott Norwood
New Member

Posts: 40
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted February 13, 2003 10:08 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood         Edit/Delete Post 
Don't overlook endless-loop platters, loop cabinets, and a bizarro contraption called a Xetron Loop-matic. None of these is really appropriate for a typical commercial theatre, though.

Changeover systems can be either manual (common) or automated (rare). I've only dealt with manual changeover setups, personally. It's really trivial to learn how to watch the screen for the cue marks at the end of each reel and operate the motor and changeover switches.

My feeling is that single-screen theatres should have changeover systems (or, better yet, two machines with a platter) for flexibility and redundancy, and multiplexes should use platters (with possible exceptions for small [2-3 screens] plexes where automated changeovers with 6000' reels might make sense).

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Paul Linfesty
Member

Posts: 64
From: Bakersfield, CA
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted February 13, 2003 10:12 PM      Profile for Paul Linfesty   Email Paul Linfesty         Edit/Delete Post 
Projector B is loaded with the leader countdown set up at 10. When the first changeover cue on the reel shown by projector A (upper right hand corner of frame), projector B is started. When the second changeover cue (cigarette burns if you believe FIGHT CLUB [Big Grin] ) appears, the switchover button is hit on the control panel that synchronizes both projectors. This causes the dowser to open on projector B at the same time the dowswer closes on projector A. At the same time the sound output from Projector A is switched to the sound output of projector B.

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Adam Martin
Administrator

Posts: 1090
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted February 14, 2003 03:50 AM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin         Edit/Delete Post 
In Daryl's photo below, you can see a changeover setup using 6000-foot reels. The near projector is about to run out of film, so it's the "outgoing" projector. The far projector has the second half of the movie on it, so it's the "incoming" projector.

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Since this really isn't about a specific theater, I suppose I should move this to Cinema Yak. Time to find out if this moderator control panel thing works ...

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Daryl C. W. O'Shea
Administrator

Posts: 181
From: Midland, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted February 14, 2003 04:58 AM      Profile for Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Email Daryl C. W. O'Shea         Edit/Delete Post 
First off, this isn't my messy booth. I only run here one night a summer so the owner can take his wife out for their anniversary.
You can tell it's a drive-in booth by the upward projection angle.

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Top Left: 'Zipper' changeover douser solenoid, with backup manual pull rod.
Top Right: Sound Format Selector (Mic / Non-Sync / Film)
Middle Left: Lamphouse hand douser.
Middle Center: Sound changeover switch.
Middle Right: Solar cell pre-amp control.
Bottom Left: Projector motor switch.
Bottom Right: Changeover button (for picture).

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Brad Miller
Member

Posts: 122
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted February 14, 2003 11:44 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller         Edit/Delete Post 
Here's a sneak preview of my room during construction.

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Robert L Bradley
New Member

Posts: 2
From: Richmond, VA
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted February 19, 2003 06:48 PM      Profile for Robert L Bradley   Email Robert L Bradley         Edit/Delete Post 
The picture of that booth brings back a lot of memories. I spent 30 years as a union projectionist, starting with 2000 foot reels, manual changeovers, and carbon arc lamps, to platters with xenon lamps. In your picture I recognize those Ultra Panatar anamorphic lenses. Most of the theatres I worked at had Bausch & Lomb CinemaScope lenses. Two theatres had the huge ones that required a rod with a wheel on top of the lens to support it, as it was too heavy to stand unsupported in the projector. My favorite setup was a pair of Simplex X-L heads with Peerless MagnArc lamps.

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Scott Norwood
New Member

Posts: 40
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted February 20, 2003 12:34 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood         Edit/Delete Post 
Many theatres around here are _still_ using the smaller B&L lenses, usually either black with silver rings or silver with red rings (is there a difference?). These lenses are pretty decent if kept in good shape.

Robert--where do you work in Richmond? I was at the Williamsburg Theatre from about 1998-1999. It's been renovated since I worked there; I have some pics from that time period on the Film-Tech site.

Personally, I like Century projectors (C, SA, or JJ), and many types of lamphouses (current-model Christie, Super Lume-X, Cinemeccanica X4000H, Brenkert Enarc, and Peerless Magnarc).

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Robert L Bradley
New Member

Posts: 2
From: Richmond, VA
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted February 21, 2003 06:05 PM      Profile for Robert L Bradley   Email Robert L Bradley         Edit/Delete Post 
Scott:
I no longer work in theatres. Regal Cinemas threw out all union projectionists about four years ago when our contract came up for negotiation. Up until then I had worked at the Towne, State, Colonial, Byrd, Capitol, Westover, Westhampton, Bluebird, Crater, Loew's, Southpark, Broad St. Cinema, Ridge, Cloverleaf, Genito Forest, Willow Lawn, Lee, Glen Drive-in, Broadway Drive-in, Plaza Drive-in, Airport Drive-in, Bellwood Drive-in, Beacon, and Trans-Lux. I've never been in the Williamsburg Theatre, but I've seen it from the outside. I've always loved the theatre business, and when I travel, I seek out old single-screen theatres. My favorite is the El Capitan on Hollywood Boulevard.

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Bob Allen
Member

Posts: 79
From: Toledo, OR
Registered: May 2003


 - posted May 01, 2003 12:42 PM      Profile for Bob Allen   Email Bob Allen         Edit/Delete Post 
Hey Adam!

Is the Crest Theatre still operating in Sacramento? When I lived there in '68 I was a union operator and worked the Crest (which had three projectors), the Mather Drive-in and some all-day house downtown that had bats in the attic. I went home after my shift smelling like guano. I thought the Crest was one of the nicest theatres I had ever seen. It had about 1500 seats and a stadium type balcony. I saw the first automated multi-plex come into the city. I was in a shopping center near Cal Expo.

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Adam Martin
Administrator

Posts: 1090
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted May 01, 2003 12:52 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin         Edit/Delete Post 
The Crest has been restored and has two additional screens in the basement of the building next door. I really should walk the block and a half and take some photos.

The Esquire here was partially demolished and rebuilt as an Imax theatre. The Studio next door to the Esquire was also demolished in the Esquire Plaza project and a restaurant sits there now. Across the street, the entire block was demolished to make way for the Hyatt hotel. There's a pizza joint where the Times used to sit.

The list of theaters in Sacramento should be fairly complete. I'm sure it'll take you down memory lane. [Smile]

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