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» 8mm Forum   » General Yak   » Digital breakdown suspends cinema screenings

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Author Topic: Digital breakdown suspends cinema screenings
Adrian Winchester
Film God

Posts: 2876
From: Croydon, London, UK
Registered: Aug 2004


 - posted January 04, 2011 10:17 AM      Profile for Adrian Winchester   Email Adrian Winchester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I recently heard another example of the switch to digital in cinemas not being entirely positive. A friend who works opposite the Odeon Cinema in Tottenham Court Road, London, told me that a few days ago he noticed that 3D screenings of 'Tron Legacy' has been cancelled due to a projector breakdown. Digital may represent progress, but if I've ever heard of 35mm screenings being cancelled, it was so long ago that I can't remember it! Anyone heard of this happening elsewhere?

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Adrian Winchester

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Winbert Hutahaean
Film God

Posts: 5415
From: Nouméa, New Caledonia
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted January 04, 2011 12:15 PM      Profile for Winbert Hutahaean   Email Winbert Hutahaean   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Adrian, most likely 35 mm projector will not face the same situation because all theaters use 2 projectors (or even more). In case of a projector breakdown, they can use single projector with interval break every reel changing.

It is almost unlikely 2 projectors breakdown at the same time.

But now, a Digital theater mostly has one projector. However, when the price gets down, or the newest projector installed to upgrade the previous one, the old one will act as a back up. I believe if this thing happen, the cancellation of show because the projector breakdown will also unlikely to happen.

cheers

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Winbert

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Bill Brandenstein
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1624
From: California
Registered: Aug 2007


 - posted January 04, 2011 12:15 PM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, a local cinema turned us away from the title we wanted to see at one point in 2009. This is the same well-equipped theater that I have commented on here in the past because of film damage issues that seem most likely to stem from operator incompetence.

Sadly, all screens are now shifted over (as of the fall) to Sony 4K projectors and no film is used at all. I'm not a frequent moviegoer, and my last two experiences make me feel that the future of cinema is dim indeed -- both for the lack of brightness of the image and the underwhelmingness of the whole thing. That very theater used to be a showcase for the high quality of film (when the print wasn't wrecked).

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Adrian Winchester
Film God

Posts: 2876
From: Croydon, London, UK
Registered: Aug 2004


 - posted January 04, 2011 01:14 PM      Profile for Adrian Winchester   Email Adrian Winchester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Winbert - I had doubts whether a very high proportion of 35mm screens still have 2 projectors because I thought 'cakestands' in quite a few had eliminated changeovers. However I have no idea of the proportion where this is the case, and I suppose that in some instances, it hasn't resulted in one of the projectors being removed.

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Adrian Winchester

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Winbert Hutahaean
Film God

Posts: 5415
From: Nouméa, New Caledonia
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted January 04, 2011 04:12 PM      Profile for Winbert Hutahaean   Email Winbert Hutahaean   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Adrian, at least in Indonesia all 35 mm theaters have to have 2 projectors because they have to share the prints with other theater running with interval 20 - 40 minutes.

So reel changeover is not solely a matter of projector reel capacity but also for the sake of keeping the business to run well (i.e making more money by using more theaters but only with few prints).

I believe the same strategy is also used by other countries understanding that a full feature print will cost $3000 more.

It is very common 1 print is used by 4 theaters in Indonesia and the role of the reel courier man is very crucial here. Even there is a mutual understanding between Police and Cinema association to "allow" this delivery man (courier) commit speeding, double parking, illegal stop, and in some cases run the motor bike on the side walk [Wink] .

cheers,

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Winbert

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Adrian Winchester
Film God

Posts: 2876
From: Croydon, London, UK
Registered: Aug 2004


 - posted January 05, 2011 06:18 PM      Profile for Adrian Winchester   Email Adrian Winchester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Winbert - that's remarkable, I've never heard of that happening. So, does this mean that the start of a particular print could be running at one cinema while the end of the same one is still running elsewhere?

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Adrian Winchester

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Claus Harding
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1129
From: Washington DC
Registered: Oct 2006


 - posted January 05, 2011 07:12 PM      Profile for Claus Harding   Email Claus Harding   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As far as I recall, it was known as "bicycling" in the 20es.
Prints would get sent around town to maximize the profit.

Claus.

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"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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Joe McAllister
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 177
From: London England
Registered: May 2007


 - posted January 06, 2011 03:47 PM      Profile for Joe McAllister   Email Joe McAllister   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have twice been at digital screenings in the west end where the show has stopped due to technical reasons. While I estimate that I have seen some 4000 cine films projected with perhaps half a dozen dark screen moments about 0.1 percent the two digital snafus represent about 10 percent of those screenings.
The thing that really struck me though was that the audience for the film screenings would be jeering stamping and giving a slow clap until it was fixed the digital audiences sat in meek silence until the film resumed.

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Always interested in privately produced amateur and home movies.

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Michael O'Regan
Film God

Posts: 3083
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted January 06, 2011 04:31 PM      Profile for Michael O'Regan   Email Michael O'Regan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've been at one digital screening and the film froze during the opening credits. It took a few minutes to fix but the whole feeling was of being at someones home watching a DVD.

It's unbelievable that this is going to be the new "cinema experience"!!
[Roll Eyes]

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Winbert Hutahaean
Film God

Posts: 5415
From: Nouméa, New Caledonia
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted January 06, 2011 04:42 PM      Profile for Winbert Hutahaean   Email Winbert Hutahaean   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
film froze during the opening credits.
BEWARE of frame get burnt !!!! [Big Grin]

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Winbert

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David Park
Master Film Handler

Posts: 346
From: UK
Registered: Nov 2003


 - posted January 20, 2011 04:06 AM      Profile for David Park   Email David Park   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The cinema I attend has 2 cinemas both have film and digital never experienced technical problems with the digital. Allways bright sharp pictures. (with no scatches, LOL.)
The movies can be at different times of day in either cinema.
When it comes to digital 3D the unit is portable and is moved to the appropiate cimema.
Regarding the stories of using a 35mm print in more than one location was this legal, eg. did they pay for using it this way?
One of the things with digital I'm told is that when booked from the owner a number of screenings is arranged in advance and the digital print is programmed to only play this number.

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Regards,
David

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Winbert Hutahaean
Film God

Posts: 5415
From: Nouméa, New Caledonia
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted January 21, 2011 09:41 AM      Profile for Winbert Hutahaean   Email Winbert Hutahaean   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Regarding the stories of using a 35mm print in more than one location was this legal, eg. did they pay for using it this way?

David, in some countries (what I know is Indonesia but I beleive also happened in many countries), Studios rent the film to a Syndicate. The syndicate owns a cinema chains and can use it as many as they can.

Even in Indonesia, there is such a sub-syndicate where cinemas are divided into 3 classes. At the first month it will be in 1st class cinemas (higher admission). After that move to 2nd class cinema (nromal admission). The last will be on 3rd class where admission is very cheap. And that is using only 1 print.

So you can imagine how bad is the prints (in terms of scratch) shown in 3rd class cinemas. But people pay very cheap admission to go to this kind of cinemas.

It seems to me that it goes by a flat contract between Studio and Syndicate. The value of the contract of course different between one country to another considering the purchasing power of the respective countries.

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Winbert

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David Park
Master Film Handler

Posts: 346
From: UK
Registered: Nov 2003


 - posted January 21, 2011 09:57 AM      Profile for David Park   Email David Park   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sounds like they buy the print then pass it down.
What I was refering to was using the print the same day at different cinema(s) as quoted in another post.
Say starting at 7pm in first then say 7-30 at a second and then say. 8pm at a third. Transferring the various sections by bicycle.

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Regards,
David

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Geoff Kelly
Junior
Posts: 7
From: Home
Registered: Jan 2011


 - posted January 21, 2011 10:01 AM      Profile for Geoff Kelly   Email Geoff Kelly   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The old Cinema days were far from perfect. Breakdowns were common at our local Cinema. Sometimes they were due to mechanical faults but more often due to carelessness. An example of the latter was the night the projectionist played the reels in the wrong order. We found out early in the performance who was guilty but we didn't know what he'd done.

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Winbert Hutahaean
Film God

Posts: 5415
From: Nouméa, New Caledonia
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted January 21, 2011 02:11 PM      Profile for Winbert Hutahaean   Email Winbert Hutahaean   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Sounds like they buy the print then pass it down.

No...definetely no. Because studios must also share with the revenue.

quote:
What I was refering to was using the print the same day at different cinema(s) as quoted in another post.
Say starting at 7pm in first then say 7-30 at a second and then say. 8pm at a third. Transferring the various sections by bicycle.


Yes that is perfectly legal, because as just mentioned above, studio gets share from the revenue.

cheers,

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Winbert

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