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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinema Yak   » Any old GCC shadow box screens left? (Page 2)

 
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Author Topic: Any old GCC shadow box screens left?
Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted March 25, 2007 11:12 AM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
For George or Brad or anyone:
In the pictures on the FilmTech website:
http://www.film-tech.com/
In the picture of the big auditorium there is a blue glow around the screen and that lights up lines of what could appear to be a GCC trademark "Shadowbox"/"Picture Window" screen. You told me it was blue felt masking the screen. However was that blue felt applied to a shadowbox screen with fixed 2:35 masking or is there no shadowbox and instead a standard adjustable aspect ratio masking that happens to be made of blue felt?

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Dan Roben
Member

Posts: 155
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted March 25, 2007 06:12 PM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
Mark,

As I recall at my one visit to the shadowbox theater at the old Renton Village I II III, there was no masking at all. The entire screen area was white including the "sides." The screen was bathed in standard GCC blue lighting.

This design was dropped by the early 70's. When the Aurora I and II opened in 1973, there was not a shadowbox screen to be seen.

Of course the question comes to mind as to those shadowbox screens. Why?

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted March 25, 2007 06:31 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
Dan, the Villa Plaza in Lakewood/Tacoma was identical to the Renton Village. I saw many films on the Shadowbox Screen including Tacoma's exclusive engagement of Return of the Jedi. They had E.T. as well which was not a scope picture, revealing the drawbacks of having no masking on a 2.35 Shadowbox screen (fuzzy sides to the picture).

Still hoping somebody has an answer to my Dallas Northpark mystery question 2 replies up...

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Michael Coate
Member

Posts: 56
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Feb 2004


 - posted March 25, 2007 09:11 PM      Profile for Michael Coate   Email Michael Coate         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
They had E.T. as well which was not a scope picture, revealing the drawbacks of having no masking on a 2.35 Shadowbox screen (fuzzy sides to the picture).

Mark:
Theatres equipped with Dolby Stereo that ran "E.T." back in its original 1982 engagement were encouraged to leave their screen masking set for scope. I happen to have a copy in my collection of the original "Projectionist Notes" enclosure for "E.T." that was sent along with the film prints.

quote:
Dear Projectionist,
A special audio and visual concept went into the design of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. I need your help to present this film with the maximum dramatic impact and highest quality sound and picture quality that your theater can offer.

The film is unusual in that it is a 1.85 flat visual presentation with a stereo (normally 2.35 widescreen) soundtrack. This means that special stereo sounds and music will emanate from the left and right loudspeakers behind the screen. Most likely these speakers will lie outside of the edges of the 1.85 projected image. Therefore it is of the utmost importance that the screen masking not be moved into the edges of the projected image because they will cover the outside speakers and absorb and muffle the sound.

The film frames themselves are printed with a 1.85:1 hard matte and should present the proper aspect ratio on the screen. Assuming the aperture plates in your projectors have the proper dimensions and are kept clean, the lack of screen masking tight on either side of the projected image should not be objectionable to the audience. I would rather have the presentation of full sound with an image with slightly gray edges on the right and left of the screen rather than an image with a uniform black border and a muffled track. Please examine the parameters in your own set-up and arrange the optimum method of presentation for your theater. I've included some notes from Dolby Labs about 1.85 flat presentation with stereo sound that give the details. It might also be helpful to show these notes to your operations manager.

I am relying on your cooperation and expertise in helping to make E.T. and entertaining and enjoyable experience for your audience.

Sincerely,
Steven Spielberg


quote:
Still hoping somebody has an answer to my Dallas Northpark mystery question 2 replies up...
I bet your odds of getting an answer will improve if you ask the question on the film-tech forum rather than here or Cinema Treasures.

[ March 25, 2007, 11:15 PM: Message edited by: Michael Coate ]

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Adam Martin
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From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted March 25, 2007 09:28 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
those shadowbox screens. Why?
Supposedly, to reduce eye strain.

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted March 25, 2007 09:51 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Michael. I'd better join Film Tech (if they'll let me!) and ask in their forum. Interesting note about the E.T. presentation. Luckily for Universal and Mr. Spielberg, in the Northwest, E.T. was primarily booked into GCC theatres with Shadowbox screens without masking or Moyer's "Luxury" Theatres (quotes intentional) where masking was an afterthought. The latter had no stereo sound anyway so what's the point? At least GCC had stereo in the big auditoriums...

Adam, something tells me that economics had a lot to do with the GCC shadowbox screens. All their theatres I saw in my youth were in theatres built from cement cinder-blocks and walled with currogated metal with sound deadening perforations. However, I do have to hand it to GCC for being one of the first theatre chains to establish their own visual corporate identity. (the "Cinema" signs being the first hint).

My quest is still on to answer my Dallas Northpark question 5 replies up. I will attempt to join Film Tech tomorrow if they will let a production-end person in...

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Dan Roben
Member

Posts: 155
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted March 26, 2007 01:59 AM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
Mark,

I'm going to take a stab on the Northpark Question, though I've never been there (damn!).

As I looked at the photo, my first reaction was "what shadowbox?" But upon closer inspection, I can see the "sides" of the box, although it doesn't appear to be as deep or pronounced as the ones we're familiar with. It seems to me that the blue is caused by the standard GCC blue lights and that the masking is most probably black. I believe any masking color other than black would be visually off-putting (although not as bad as no masking, come to think of it).

I come to this conclusion by noting the blue hue that covers the screen as well.

Just a guess on this one.

Dan

BTW,I completely forgot about the updated 80s version of the GCC snipe. Almost makes me want to build cheap corrugated metal walls around my home computer workspace and replace my comfortable leather chair with one of GCC's original pushback models to get that total GCC effect!

Everyone remembers the Candy Band snipe, but does anyone remember the GCC "Timmy the Trash Can" clip? It came out sometime in the 80s but before the Candy Band. I'd love to see that one again!

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