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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » Which is better? Platters or reels?

   
Author Topic: Which is better? Platters or reels?
Brian Paymer
Film Handler

Posts: 31

Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-13-1999 12:02 AM      Profile for Brian Paymer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Most theatres have platters now. I know everything used to be run on reels with two machines. Most people I talk to say they like platters but all the older projectionists say reels are better.

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Ken Layton
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1452
From: Olympia, Wash. USA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 06-13-1999 01:29 PM      Profile for Ken Layton   Email Ken Layton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Whether to have platters or reels depends on 3 factors. Number one is the numbers of screens in the theater. Number two is the number of times the film would be shown. And number three would be your theater's budget.
If you had 16 screens, yes get platters, but if you had a single screen, then reels would be fine. If your film is only shown just once or a few times, then reels again would be a choice. If you were showing a film 5 shows a day for 7 days a week, then platters would be the choice. Platters are expensive so that must be taken into consideration in your theater budget.
One other thing I just thought about too is the physical size of the platter system. If you have a small booth, will it fit? You have to also take into consideration the size of the makeup table with the platter. They must be used together in the booth. Is there room for both at the same time as in building a print?
Personally, I like reels because I work with a lot of single screen theaters. I remember a few showings of Rocky Horror (in one of the older theaters) that was saved when the film showed up TEN MINUTES before showtime. I ran it right from the shipping reels with the show right on schedule at midnight. You can do things like that with reels.
The best compromise is large reels: only one changeover per show. The cost of a set of large reel arms for the projector and a few large reels is reasonable for those on a budget.

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17590
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 06-13-1999 02:01 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Brian,

Are you asking in reference to just "which is better" or are you asking as in planning to set up a booth?

Ken's comments are pretty much right on the money. The only point I wanted to make is if you are starting from scratch, one projector/lamphouse/platter is far cheaper than two projectors/two lamphouses running reels. Again, the big thing here is whether your shows will be run more than a couple of times before shipping them back out. If yes, go with a platter.

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Brian Paymer
Film Handler

Posts: 31

Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-20-1999 12:58 AM      Profile for Brian Paymer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was just wondering. I've seen alot of posts on the history in a can site about which is better. Since film tech is more technically oriented than the other one, I figured I would ask it here. I have never ran reels and I own a few prints and want to set up a mini theatre at my house. I wanted to use platters any way but figured I would check you guys first to make sure. Thank you.

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Greg Mueller
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1687
From: Port Gamble, WA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-20-1999 08:21 AM      Profile for Greg Mueller   Author's Homepage   Email Greg Mueller   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think it depends on the application. If your booth is for home use then I would suggest 36" reels, if for commercial use, then a platter. I use the 36" reels (always looking for more, got any?). With reels you can easily pull out any of the movies you own and run one in a couple of minutes, and when done rewind it and put it away in another couple of minutes. 36" reels work great for storing the film also. A commercial theater has no need for these advantages, as obviously one feature will run on the same screen (mostly) during the whole time the theater posseses it. I have seen commercial booths use big reels, but they gave up on reels and went to a platter system. (and I got their reels). Since it sounds like you're intent is for home use, I would suggest reels. Two 24" or 26" reels per film would give you one intermission. I like my 36"ers a lot.

[This message has been edited by Greg Mueller (edited 06-20-99).]

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9390
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-28-1999 05:33 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Even in very large multiplexes reels are usually less overall work for the projectionist since eacj of the 6000' reels are already threaded at intermision so ther is time to clean equipment,(not have the show end rethread and press start) and maybe grab a coffee
in Manager operator theatres the manager can be on the floor during intermission not up in the booth rethreading

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17590
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 07-14-1999 11:05 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Interesting point, Gordon. I hadn't thought of having that first reel threaded and ready to go during intermission...but I won't be giving up my platters without a fight.

Then again, there's that interesting thread going on about converting a 35mm print into two 16mm prints.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9390
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-16-1999 05:24 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A little off topic but considering the image stability problems on new christies maybe we should always install a pair of them with alternating jitter and weeve patterns and run them overlapping and in sysnc so the jump will null out
:-)

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