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Author Topic: PLEASE WILL THE LAST PROJECTIONIST TURN OFF THE LIGHTS
Den Brown
Master Film Handler

Posts: 271
From: London, UK
Registered: Apr 2007


 - posted June 23, 2012 06:21 AM      Profile for Den Brown   Email Den Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
.

2 hours, 49 mins, 37 secs....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01jxvnq/Today_22_06_2012/

http://www.thelastprojectionist.co.uk/

.

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Desmond Godwin
Film Handler

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From: Ireland
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted June 23, 2012 05:38 PM      Profile for Desmond Godwin   Author's Homepage   Email Desmond Godwin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I believe that this film is being shown in Digital format which kinda defeats its purpose. In the last year or so most of my local cineplexes have been converted to Digital and so im reluctant to go to these cinemas anymore. Big screen video does nothing for me. Going to the cinema is all about watching celluloid film being projected onto the screen and put up there by the mechanical working projector machine. Nothing compares to it. That enjoyment has now been slowly taken away from me. Im just happy that up to now i have lived through an era where 35\70mm film was king. I believe that digital cinema's won't last. Like the film projectionist the magic is gone...


[Frown] Desmond

[ June 23, 2012, 07:25 PM: Message edited by: Desmond Godwin ]

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Hugh Thompson Scott
Film God

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From: Gt. Clifton,Cumbria,England
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 - posted June 23, 2012 06:48 PM      Profile for Hugh Thompson Scott   Email Hugh Thompson Scott       Edit/Delete Post 
It's a sad fact of life Desmond that nothing stays the same,along
with technology moving the rate it is,this new fad of dvd in
cinemas will be superseded by something else that can make
even more money for the suits in tinseltown.What they don't
realise,or don't want to,is the mystique of moving pictures and
the magic that is created,or used to be,by the skills of the
projectionist and his team.I know in my own trade how skills
have been devalued or lost through so called "modernisation"
They have lost the knowledge that the ancient races had on
how to make proper concrete,the Romans made concrete that
has lasted for millenia,whereas modern concrete lasts but a
couple of hundred years at best."Damascus steel" was made
in the Middle East from 1100 to 1750,but they lost the
technology,this was a highly tempered but flexible steel for
sworsds etc that could cut through stone and inferior metals.
The same thing is happening now,new techno,somehow is seen to be better than what you had so junk it.All those beautiful
projectors that will be destroyed and the men who used them
chucked onto the scrapheap of life.In less than fifty years the
public will have forgotten film ever existed.

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Desmond Godwin
Film Handler

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From: Ireland
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 - posted June 23, 2012 08:08 PM      Profile for Desmond Godwin   Author's Homepage   Email Desmond Godwin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hugh, yes time and technology march on but as you point out down the ages its not always for the better! I agree with you that tinsel town sees more money in the new digital formats and
they are bringing it on to the detriment of the 'genuine' cinema
lover (like myself) and countless others who enjoy going to the cinema to see 'film' projection and not millions of square pixels produced from a DPL chip or an LCD panel! Give me the fluid motion of film anytime. The knowledge that every frame you see is passing thru the projector gate and the amount of work the projectionist and his team have done to put it out there. Now the local manager at the cineplex can pop in the disc
push the play button and go back to his office and look over his revenue savings since he put the film projectors and the
operators on the scrapheap!

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Brad Miller
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From: Dallas, TX, USA
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 - posted June 23, 2012 10:02 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Now the local manager at the cineplex can pop in the disc
push the play button and go back to his office and look over his revenue savings since he put the film projectors and the
operators on the scrapheap!

Nothing could be further from the truth. Digital costs more. There are no discs. You can't just pop the movie in and press play. There are now all sorts of security steps that must be taken.

Seriously, you have no idea how far off the mark you are.

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Claus Harding
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From: Washington DC
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 - posted June 24, 2012 12:15 AM      Profile for Claus Harding   Email Claus Harding   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have heard some stories of the "time lock" functions on the files where you have 15 mins before a screening to unlock/check things when you hit the right code...to me, that is just bizarre. Everyone is a criminal now?

--------------------
"Why are there shots of deserts in a scene that's supposed to take place in Belgium during the winter?" (Review of 'Battle of the Bulge'.)

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Maurice Leakey
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From: Bristol. United Kingdom
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 - posted June 24, 2012 03:11 AM      Profile for Maurice Leakey   Email Maurice Leakey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The hard drive for a feature delivered to a cinema has an inbuilt knowledge of its showing location and the date period of its licence to be shown.

There is no checking method to run a film until the date comes round, and even then it still needs a code inserted which is sent direct to the cinema manager via an email.

By the way, the trailers and the advertising "reel" arrive on USB sticks.

--------------------
Maurice

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Michael O'Regan
Film God

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From: Essex, UK
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 - posted June 24, 2012 03:51 AM      Profile for Michael O'Regan   Email Michael O'Regan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
There are now all sorts of security steps that must be taken.
Well..."security steps" ain't film projection.
[Wink]

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David M. Ballew
Expert Film Handler

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From: Burbank, CA USA
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 - posted June 24, 2012 04:13 AM      Profile for David M. Ballew   Email David M. Ballew   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Although I respect every opinion I've read here, I have to say that for me, the play's still the thing. Not the storage medium, not the projection format.

I am a huge movie buff, but like most every casual moviegoer, I go to the movies looking for an interesting or amusing story told clearly and creatively. I'm also looking for compelling personalities: charismatic actors and actresses playing well-written and stimulating characters.

Although I am well aware of technical and aesthetic nuances in the direction, the photography, the music, the editing, and the various mise en scène elements of a film, to me the joy of cinema lies in having my mind and my heart engaged by a rewarding narrative, be it fictional or factual, and by people who speak to our shared humanity.

I will add that I'm the biggest film geek I personally know. I've collected Standard 8, Super 8, and 16mm over the years, and I worked as a projectionist in several fine multiplexes during my college days. As some of you know, humble Standard 8 silent still holds a special place in my heart.

But we must surely concede that digital projection, for all its perceived faults, has all but eliminated bob and weave, tramlines, reel-change cue marks, emulsion blotches and dust. And even the greatest film purist here must surely recognize harsh economic reality: not many cinemas can justify sequestering an employee in the projection booth in this era of advanced automation, when there is so much to be done in concessions and on the floor.

Last of all, let us remember that one reason film projection required such intensive training and professional commitment in decades past was because there was an overriding safety issue. In the days of nitrate film, an incompetent person in a projection room could very well mean fiery disaster for a theater, and injury or death for its patrons. Happily, all this is now a thing of the past.

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Hugh Thompson Scott
Film God

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From: Gt. Clifton,Cumbria,England
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 - posted June 24, 2012 04:20 AM      Profile for Hugh Thompson Scott   Email Hugh Thompson Scott       Edit/Delete Post 
Michael,that's it in a nutshell.People that are the mainstay in the
running of a cinema,are the first to be jettisoned in the name of
progress.Brad,don't try to kid us digital costs more,the whole
argument of the pro digital boys has been the cost of 35mm
film prints.

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Michael O'Regan
Film God

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From: Essex, UK
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 - posted June 24, 2012 05:22 AM      Profile for Michael O'Regan   Email Michael O'Regan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
But we must surely concede that digital projection, for all its perceived faults, has all but eliminated bob and weave, tramlines, reel-change cue marks, emulsion blotches and dust.
I have to say that none of these things have ever spoiled a film for me, ever.

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Hugh Thompson Scott
Film God

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From: Gt. Clifton,Cumbria,England
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 - posted June 24, 2012 06:23 AM      Profile for Hugh Thompson Scott   Email Hugh Thompson Scott       Edit/Delete Post 
All the things that make a film worth watching!

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Brad Miller
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 - posted June 24, 2012 01:34 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Everyone is a criminal now?
As far as the studios are concerned, yes.

quote:
The hard drive for a feature delivered to a cinema has an inbuilt knowledge of its showing location and the date period of its licence to be shown.
Again, absolutely not true. The hard drive that contains the files for the movie are exactly the same between every theater running the same version (language) of the film around the world. It is only the decryption key that is specific to each server for each auditorium that is different.

quote:
There is no checking method to run a film until the date comes round
The servers do this on their own, however I've found GDC servers to fail at this. Sometimes you can have a corrupted ingest and the GDC has no idea until it starts playing the movie and then you refund the auditorium.

quote:
and even then it still needs a code inserted which is sent direct to the cinema manager via an email.
That is the decryption key, or KDM. It isn't always sent to the manager via email, but in some cases it is. The good systems out there the manager doesn't have to deal with it at all.

quote:
By the way, the trailers and the advertising "reel" arrive on USB sticks.
Nope, only the occasional last-minute trailer will arrive this way. (Each advertising company is different, so there is no rule on that.) Most trailers are about 4GB each, so you can typically only send one trailer per USB stick. The good systems download trailers (and most movies) via satellite and hard drives are simply used as backup if needed. Most systems out there though receive a hard drive each week with the latest trailers on it, just like how dts used to issue a new disc each week to 35mm theaters with all of the latest trailer audio on it.

David Ballew's post is dead on the money. Very well written David.

quote:
Brad,don't try to kid us digital costs more,the whole
argument of the pro digital boys has been the cost of 35mm
film prints.

What I wrote was: "Nothing could be further from the truth. Digital costs more."

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Hugh Thompson Scott
Film God

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From: Gt. Clifton,Cumbria,England
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 - posted June 24, 2012 03:55 PM      Profile for Hugh Thompson Scott   Email Hugh Thompson Scott       Edit/Delete Post 
Well Brad,where is the benefit of the digital age,where complexity
seems the order of the day,I like the bit about "refunding the
auditorium".Once upon a time,if there was a breakdown in the
programme,a cartoon or newsreel would be shown until order
was restored,and the show resumed,now it appears its easier to
"refund the auditorium" and if someones evening out has been spoiled,what the hell.A case there of film and an operator being
superior to a preset machine,but then the paying public must
take what they are given.I still can't figure if digital costs more
why junk film?

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Graham Ritchie
Film God

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From: New Zealand
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 - posted June 24, 2012 07:27 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Out here the switch to video projection from film for the exhibitor is an expensive exercise. At the moment its roughly around NZ$80.000 per screen. Compared with a brand new Kinoton 35mm projector complete wth automation and lenses "the lot" is around NZ$40.000. A Xenon lamp for the Christie video projector the local multi-plex uses, is about $1800 for a life of only 500hrs. Compared with say a Kinoton 35mm xenon lamp eg the "XL" extreme life is about $800 and thats a lamp that will last you at least 3000hrs plus.

Those prices will change, the video projectors and lamps will come down in price but at the moment the running cost is much higher compared with film. The thing is the film companys still charge that % "their cut" for every seat sold wither its film or not. Those folk, the film companys are the ones that make the money, especially with a new big budget movie where that % is high, with older movies a lower % is better money wise for the cinema if the numbers coming are good.

The cinema makes its $$$ with the popcorn and all the other unhealthy stuff they sell "not so much with the movie" As far as realability is concerned, in the 12 years of projecting film we only ever refunded once and that was because of a power cut to the mall, we never lost a session and had to refund and that must run into many "thousands" over the years with the film projectors themselves. They just ran and ran and still would have been going if we had not closed down [Frown] with video only time will tell [Roll Eyes] . The biggest crime an exhibitor can make out here is to loose a session and have to "refund", thats a "no no" situation.. unless you want a lynch mob chasing you. [Smile]

Graham.

PS. About 99% of people that go to the cinema think its a video projector and dvd...pop the disc in...and press play and thats why I used to enjoy showing folk around the projection room, a working museum sort of speak [Smile] it was a lot of fun and always folk would say.... Wow [Cool] .... thats interesting and it was [Frown]

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Desmond Godwin
Film Handler

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From: Ireland
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 - posted June 24, 2012 07:42 PM      Profile for Desmond Godwin   Author's Homepage   Email Desmond Godwin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Seriously, you have no idea how far off the mark you are.
[Smile] [Smile] Desmond..

[ June 25, 2012, 02:45 PM: Message edited by: Desmond Godwin ]

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John Hourigan
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From: Colorado U.S.A.
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 - posted June 24, 2012 10:25 PM      Profile for John Hourigan   Email John Hourigan       Edit/Delete Post 
I've found the difference between the casual film goer and a film collector is that the casual film goer watches the movie while the film collector watches the movie projector! [Smile]

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Graham Ritchie
Film God

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From: New Zealand
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 - posted June 24, 2012 10:39 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There are movies that in my "one eyed" view, should only ever be shown on a film projector. A good example of that, were the films of David Lean we projected last year "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Doctor Zhivago" in particular. Even though the prints were old, they were amazing to watch and probably for the last time projected here in NZ on the big screen on film [Cool] . I wonder how all that fancy video automation stuff could or would handle the Overture..the Intermission...the music, the lights, etc etc that needs to be done just right for that kind of presentation. [Roll Eyes]

Graham.

PS. John when I was very young growing up in Glasgow as a kid I was fasinated just by the fact the light from the projector ever reached the screen through all the smoke, "cough cough" as almost everyone back in those days smoked...there were some real dumps [Big Grin]

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Brad Miller
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 - posted June 25, 2012 12:44 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
I like the bit about "refunding the
auditorium".Once upon a time,if there was a breakdown in the
programme,a cartoon or newsreel would be shown until order
was restored,and the show resumed,now it appears its easier to
"refund the auditorium" and if someones evening out has been spoiled,what the hell.

Remember, the studios think everyone is a pirate. As such they have devised this system as a false sense of security for themselves to "prevent" bootlegging. When something goes wrong, the studios just write it off as a business expense in a manner of speaking. "It happens." The blame in this example would go to the theater owner that bought the GDC server since it has so many quirks to it. Had they bought Dolby, the problem would have never existed in the first place.

quote:
I still can't figure if digital costs more
why junk film?

Because the studios are tired of paying billions a year into making film prints that the theaters damage when they can simply pay next to nothing to distribute via hard drive AND gain the false sense of security about "preventing piracy".

quote:
A Xenon lamp for the Christie video projector the local multi-plex uses, is about $1800 for a life of only 500hrs. Compared with say a Kinoton 35mm xenon lamp eg the "XL" extreme life is about $800 and thats a lamp that will last you at least 3000hrs plus.
Those numbers are not accurate. Let's use Christie as an example, and let's choose their most expensive bulb.

A CXL-60 was originally designed for film, but works just fine in a digital projector.

A CDXL-60 was originally designed for digital, but produces more light in a film lamphouse (just like how it produces more light in a digital projector). It costs about $100-200 US more and burns for a couple hundred hours less than the CXL-60. (I don't have exact prices handy.) However at the end of the day, if the screen or 3D requires the extra light, the option is there for BOTH foramts. Remember, a bulb is not a bulb. Some are brighter.

Yes the CDXL-60 bulb costs more, but the fact of the matter is EITHER bulb will be brighter in a DLP Christie projector than in a film lamphouse. The problem with your comparison is you are not comparing fairly. It sounds as if you are comparing a 3000 watt film bulb to a 6000 digital bulb. If the digital screen is running 3d, of course it will need a larger bulb (just as 3d film would). But from the sound of it in this example the film system was simply under-spec'd. So what's the issue here? Digital DOES produce more light using the same bulb (of any size or type) than 35mm.

Your comments about the film companys making a ton of money at the first of the run vs. the end of the run are of course spot on. If you want to see some fun with film, watch this video:

Studio Movie Grill Arlington

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Michael O'Regan
Film God

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From: Essex, UK
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 - posted June 25, 2012 02:35 AM      Profile for Michael O'Regan   Email Michael O'Regan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
I've found the difference between the casual film goer and a film collector is that the casual film goer watches the movie while the film collector watches the movie projector!
Love it [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

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Lee Mannering
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From: The Projection Box
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 - posted June 25, 2012 03:28 AM      Profile for Lee Mannering     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
THE PLAZA SUPER CINEMA at STOCKPORT will be screening it on 13th July. The cinema will be projecting a film copy of this flick at 2:30PM and 7:30PM. As mentioned before a visit to this cinema is a step back in time when presentation was everything, its even equipped with a delightful cafe and Compton theatre organ which will be played before the film.
Happy days!

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Desmond Godwin
Film Handler

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From: Ireland
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 - posted June 25, 2012 04:19 PM      Profile for Desmond Godwin   Author's Homepage   Email Desmond Godwin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
There are movies that in my "one eyed" view, should only ever be shown on a film projector. A good example of that, were the films of David Lean we projected last year "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Doctor Zhivago" in particular. Even though the prints were old, they were amazing to watch and probably for the last time projected here in NZ on the big screen on film . I wonder how all that fancy video automation stuff could or would handle the Overture..the Intermission...the music, the lights, etc etc that needs to be done just right for that kind of presentation.

Graham. I agree with you when you say certain films should only be viewed in their film format. Im happy to say that the ones you elude too i have seen in the cinema and if i might include 'The Ten Commandments' and Ben Hur. Tho they now go back some years i can still see them bright sharp and steady images on the 'Big' screen. At that time there was a 2 projection set-up and the projectionist was kept busy but never was there a flaw with picture or sound, these people were professionals! The curtains would close for the intermission
and the overture would play. Take me back there...
To-day would i go to the Cinema to see any of the above classics in 'Digital' format? the answer is no.

Desmond

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Graham Ritchie
Film God

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From: New Zealand
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 - posted June 25, 2012 05:44 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Brad
The price tag of NZ$1800 was given by the folk who service the local Reading cinema. The screens are of average size and for the most part still running Kinoton 35mm as well as the one Christie digital projector. What surprised me, when I was told of this by the tech guy that services the place was the short "500hr" lamp life. During the school holidays the place is doing well but outside of that the numbers during the day are low. When I went to see Hugo in 3D there were only a dozen folk watching it, which in my view makes running a projector like that, lamp wise either in 2D or 3D expensive to run. If they went digital in all screens that cost would add up even more than if they stuck for the most part with 35mm.

I like the video, thats one nice projection room, what was the reason behind having all the platters in one place rather than placing them next to the projectors? when the place went digital what happend to all the projection equipment?

Graham.

PS. Brad has any of the manufactures of digital projectors ever given any indication of the expected life of these things?

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Hugh Thompson Scott
Film God

Posts: 3063
From: Gt. Clifton,Cumbria,England
Registered: Jan 2012


 - posted June 25, 2012 08:11 PM      Profile for Hugh Thompson Scott   Email Hugh Thompson Scott       Edit/Delete Post 
What really annoys me with all this digital,computerised crap,
is the way people who have worked unsociable hours in these
establishments are cast aside in the name of progress,because
profit is the watchword regardless.Well we all know that these
so called safeguards and codes are soon cracked and overidden
in Gt Britain it's one of the things we're really good at.It's high
time that there was a law passed that made companies who make people redundant for corporate gain,eligable to pay their
unemployment benefit for a set period of time.I hope they lose
money hand over fist,and if their protection codes are anything like the one that Sony used to encript their dvd releases with
for anti piracy,that took a whole 15 mins to crack.

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Brad Miller
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From: Dallas, TX, USA
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 - posted June 26, 2012 01:16 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Most manufacturers won't quote an expected lifespan, but the general off-the-record number is 10-15 years, which I personally agree is reasonable given the technology.

Obviously film equipment lasts MUCH longer, but that is because it is purely a mechanical system. It was only a matter of time though, as the studios are so paranoid about people copying their (crappy) movies and they don't want to spend the money on making film prints that this was inevitable.

All of the platters were put into the center of the booth because the theaters can fit more shows in a day this way. As soon as it drops in one auditorium, it is re-threaded into the next auditorium where customers are already seated. The films rarely sat "not moving" for very long. It also made interlocking super easy, as it was essentially "built in" to the system. This became a pretty standard setup for our installs, although each platter array was slightly different due to the constraints of the booth.

We also did "delayed interlocks" for those cases when a studio wouldn't release 2 or 3 copies of the film to the theater, we had a design that could hold 4000 feet of film in 1000 foot increments to have multiple auditoriums with staggered showtimes.

That's one thing digital certainly helped out on though...it makes that sort of scheduling effortless. Those booths with the platter arrays required TRUE professional projectionists because there were so many things that could be done wrong.

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