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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » Theatre money plight not as bad as it looks (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Author Topic: Theatre money plight not as bad as it looks
Neil Di Scala
Film Handler

Posts: 17
From: Santa Cruz, CA, USA
Registered: Sep 2000


 - posted 09-20-2000 12:53 PM      Profile for Neil Di Scala   Email Neil Di Scala   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In reading the filing information, the leases that the various companies have signed are included in the filing. For example, a 10 year lease at $10,000./per month will show up as a LIABILITY OF $1.2M.
The total needs to be included as a liability in order to have it dismissed. I would guess that while the totals are still huge, this constitutes the majority of the filings' debit base. Consolidation is inevitable, and the movie pipeline appears to have fewer 'blockbusters' in it than today, meaning next year...

We are still in a desperate situation, as a whole.

Unlike a store filled with tv's that go down, these big boxes are a negative with little other use (urban campus?) and no tv's to sell when they crash.

I would be happy with a reduced # of screens with better presentation.

Hey, has anyone ever considered that the reason some prefer carbon arc is that the reflector gets cleaned everyday and the arc focused constantly? Dirty, poorly adjusted lamphouses produce dark, poorly focused images. Maybe it is just a coincidence.

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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 09-20-2000 01:13 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Neil said: "Hey, has anyone ever considered that the reason some prefer carbon arc is that the reflector gets cleaned everyday and the arc focused constantly? Dirty, poorly adjusted lamphouses produce dark, poorly focused images. Maybe it is just a coincidence."

IMHO, it's not a coincidence. Bean counters often confuse "low maintenance" with "NO maintenance". Technically skilled people and service contracts are often the first to go when cutting costs.

One of my real concerns about Digital Cinema is that people will believe the hype that the equipment is almost maintenance free. Some are even proposing eliminating the projection room, and putting the digital projectors in relatively inaccessable "closets" or mounted near the ceiling.

I've seen enough poor large screen displays on video walls and in sports bars to know that electronic displays require attention to maintain any decent level of quality.

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I think the "human touch" is being eliminated in too many areas that still need it, including projection. IMHO, good projection (regardless of whether it is film or digital) is a skill, and not something that can be done in a closet by remote control.

------------------
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services, Entertainment Imaging
Eastman Kodak Company
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7419
Rochester, New York, 14650-1922 USA
Tel: 716-477-5325 Fax: 716-722-7243
E-Mail: john.pytlak@kodak.com


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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6403
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 09-20-2000 03:54 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Something I noticed today:

I went to a "Race Trac" convenience store this morning to pick up coffee on the way to work. There was a sign in the window that said, "Now hiring! Starting pay $8 / hr."

Anybody wonder why there aren't any good projectionists left? It's because you can make $8 at the "Quikie Mart" and the theatres only pay mimimum!

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Neil Di Scala
Film Handler

Posts: 17
From: Santa Cruz, CA, USA
Registered: Sep 2000


 - posted 09-20-2000 05:15 PM      Profile for Neil Di Scala   Email Neil Di Scala   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
John is absolutely right. The actual point of light is about the size of the head of a pin, and is subject to heating/cooling variables, vibration and dirt. The demands on the light source are even greater for DLP than film. Also, who decides when the light valve needs replacing? Day one it is at peak, then it is a value judgement, based on economics. These are expensive, and with a dirty, unfocused lamphouse this is going to make people stay home.

For theaters now, this is a maintenance item that actually pays for itself. I have gotten 10,400 hours on a Osram 2k, rotating and cleaning frequently. I feel bad if I only get 4,000, even if I have to start at 75 amps (85 max) to light the screen.

Is it my imagination, or do Osram bulbs recently seem to be developing a flicker earlier than they used to ? I still prefer O's, (I guess I get used to white light instead of blue, without naming names), but maybe they could bring back those radioactive anode/diode bulbs that probably shortened your life, but held a great arc.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9435
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 09-20-2000 06:42 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
10,000 hours
I will ot repair any lamphouse i get called to service if I find the offending lamp has more than 20% above its warrantied rating hours on it.
The warranty life is based on what a normal average produces
It is impossible for any lamp to be stable or produce the necessary amount of light much past that point
The electrode spacing has increased and as such ignitions are more difficult and stability is an issue
Also the light out put will be far less than even overdriving it will produce
Also the fact that the envolope will have clouded will reduce the point source effect noticably and as such focus and contrast will be degraded on the screen
You theatre must have a pretty dim picture at 10,000hours as no theatre designs there lamphouse sizing for that old of lamp's light output

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Dustin Mitchell
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1865
From: Mondovi, WI, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 09-20-2000 06:43 PM      Profile for Dustin Mitchell   Email Dustin Mitchell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Can someone post the procedures for cleaning lamphouses and rotating bulbs?

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Jim Ziegler
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 753
From: West Hollywood, CA
Registered: Jul 99


 - posted 09-21-2000 12:41 PM      Profile for Jim Ziegler   Email Jim Ziegler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You can make $8 a the Quickie mart, but in a booth you have a much lower change of getting a gun in your face..

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Neil Di Scala
Film Handler

Posts: 17
From: Santa Cruz, CA, USA
Registered: Sep 2000


 - posted 09-21-2000 02:53 PM      Profile for Neil Di Scala   Email Neil Di Scala   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Huh? Oh, I guess this is the part where I am supposed to defend myself. Having now been ritually eviscerated, castrated, and beheaded by the Light Saber of the Most Holy Jedi Knight of the Jedi Council of Dantooine, all I can do is offer a defense, a few opinions, and go quietly into the night, my head tucked under the right arm, a blackened 2k held defensively in my left.

I am giving my critic all the information (along with the well-developed power of the Force) to fully evaluate this theater. Perhaps a compatriot could surreptitiously spy on the theater, and report back on his shoe phone. If the Jedi Knight would like to visit in person, I am there Friday and Saturday, so any other day of the week would be perfect.

The Signature Theatres Santa Cruz Cinema 9, built in 1995, is an all THX theatre. I am the steward, 20+ years journeyman. The equipment is Xetron XCN Consoles, Simplex 35 heads, matte screens. The aconic reflectors are extremely efficient. Exhaust is 1100 CFM, and I keep the fans cleaned and lubricated. The building transformer sits right in the middle of the booth, and we get a constant 118 volts per leg. I also clean the screens yearly, which is a huge factor.

The XCN/XCD manual specifies a 2000w up to screen size 15’ x 30’. Exhaust is specified at 300CFM.

This auditorium is image size 12’6”x 23’ flat, 9’9”x 23’ scope (vertical masking). Throw is 44’6”. Port glass is coated, supposedly optically pure glass (it was really expensive anyway).

The spec could really be a 1600w for this application, but everything else was a 2k. I ran it at 55 amps for almost 3000 hours. Suggested range is 60-85 amps, as I am sure you know.

I keep a big soft 100% cotton towel in the booth, and a spray bottle of alcohol at every machine. It takes less than two minutes to open the door, spray the bulb and reflector, clean with the towel, and touch up the picture. If bulb rotation is necessary, a 3/32 Allen wrench and another two minutes.

After a while, this became a science experiment. I would clean and rotate it weekly after a while. Yes, there was a loss of resolution and the light started to look yellow, and this was the reason I removed it. I could still hit studio spec on my reflected light meter (for dailies, measuring Foot/Lamberts of course).

The point I was trying to make is that cleaning and rotating the bulb will extend the life of the bulb considerably. The coating of dirt acts like an insulator, reflecting the heat back in and allowing the quartz envelope to get hot. Instead of cleaning and aligning the lamphouse, and cleaning the screen, the easy response is turning up the rectifier. This is the exact recipe to assure a complete compliance with the concept that all bulbs are worthless at 120% of warranty. I guess this is the ‘professional’ way to handle the situation, as it has been pointed out to me. I would never dream of refusing to work on a lamphouse if it had more than 120% of warranty hours on it, although I am admittedly a devout amateur, Democrat, and a sucker for stray animals and redheads.

Also, I do not think that the current generation of bulbs will do that. I think 5500 hours in the same exact lamphouse is likely.

As a whole, I get about 4200 hours average on the 2k’s. There is a loss of focus and screen resolution after a while, but if the bulbs are kept clean, cool, and rotated throughout the lifespan the blackening is reduced considerably.

Feel free to check our compliance with THX, TES, or anybody else who can get you the information. Call the Signature Theatres Head Projectionist. USE THE FORCE, LUKE

These screens are brighter than virtually any plex anywhere.

I own three projectors, six lamhouses (500-2000w), 40 lenses, and a whole lot of other crap. I do sound service and maintenance at several other theaters locally.

Little is more dangerous than a wounded projectionist with a high pain threshold and a grudge…

As this guillotined neck will not arise to be struck down again, perhaps someone else can offer up a sacrifice for the attack gratification committee. I will continue to lurk occasionally, this is an interesting site that I get a lot of information from. It must have felt great, though, to really let the self righteousness rip, kind of like a dose of flaxseed. There is no question that my critic is a technically superior individual that has the advantage of being correct on every single issue. All I have is the power of observation, and a sense of relief that I will never become my semiliterate attacker.



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Pat Moore
Master Film Handler

Posts: 363

Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 09-21-2000 04:35 PM      Profile for Pat Moore   Email Pat Moore   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Neil;
I believe you because I've seen your theatre.

I have also seen similar performance from various manufacturers of equipment operated and maintained by PROJECTIONISTS that make the effort to take care of their equipment, AND that are allowed to do so by factors outside their control (be it management, budgets, poor equipment or environment, lack of knowledge or whatever).

We all know there are situations where, unfortunately, that doesn't happen. Neil's theatre sounds like one where it does. Isn't that a good thing?

Pat


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Kevin Crawford
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 207
From: Sacramento, CA, USA
Registered: May 2000


 - posted 09-21-2000 04:53 PM      Profile for Kevin Crawford   Email Kevin Crawford   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Good God Neil.

By the way the Jedi Council was on Coruscant, not Dantooine. Dantooine was destroyed by the Death Star. My god, I am one of those geeks that quotes Star Wars now. Someone shoot me.

At any rate, I will confirm that Neil does have one of the best presentations I have ever seen. While I am not the head projectionist for Signature Theatres, I will say that I like doing a service call there. Run loops, check SPL and watch the bikini clad women walk by on the street.

Actually, some of the people with Signature joke about Neil's obsessiveness with bulb rotation.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9435
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 09-21-2000 06:49 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I never believe any lamphouse manufacturers specifications on light output
Bottom line over 120% of it lifespan the UV that is being absorbed in the quartz causes it to weaken. The electrode spaceing increases on each ignition.
These are the basics of physics. I don't question you professionalism nor recomend guilotining (any one who laike stary animals and red heads can't be all bad) but I question the light level after 4200 hours on any 2K lamphouse and the overall contrast ratio.
It is false econommy and also down right dangerous

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Gracia L. Babbidge
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 709
From: Bowdoin, Maine
Registered: Aug 2000


 - posted 09-23-2000 01:57 AM      Profile for Gracia L. Babbidge   Author's Homepage   Email Gracia L. Babbidge   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
psst, Kevin!

Dantooine was not destroyed by the Death Star.
Alderaan was decimated by the Death Star, and the Death Star was decimated before it ever had time to destroy Dantooine. Remember, after Alderaan, the fourth moon of the planet Yavin (better known as Yavin IV) was the Death Star's target, being the home of the main base of operations for the Rebel Alliance.

Yes, I am certainly a hard-core Star Wars fan.

~Gracia *The projectionist with the purple hair* Babbidge

------------------
In some cultures, what I do is considered normal.

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Kevin Crawford
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 207
From: Sacramento, CA, USA
Registered: May 2000


 - posted 09-23-2000 11:49 AM      Profile for Kevin Crawford   Email Kevin Crawford   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That makes it even worse, that I misquote Star Wars. Damn me to hell. Someone stop me before I misquote Star Trek.

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Darryl Spicer
Film God

Posts: 3250
From: Lexington, KY, USA
Registered: Dec 2000


 - posted 01-09-2001 11:19 PM      Profile for Darryl Spicer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just reading some old posts and stumbled on to this one. Remember after alderaan was destroyed by the death star they learned later that the princess lied to them about the location of the rebal base. All they found on dantooine was the remains of a rebal base.

When it comes to my health I will change my lamps at warrenty hours plus 25%. Remember the longer the bulb is in use the higher the risk of explosion. Causing personal damage to ones self and equipment. Remember if a bulb explodes during waranty hours any damage to reflectores can be replaced at no cost to you if it is found that the bulb failed because of a deffect not improper cooling or handleing. anything after this period is not covered. I don't care how good the light still is after 10,000 hours. Safty first.

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Michael Pace
Film Handler

Posts: 64
From: Dalby, Queensland, Australia
Registered: Aug 2000


 - posted 01-10-2001 12:27 AM      Profile for Michael Pace   Email Michael Pace   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Having read all of the above can anybody actually quote the number of lamp explosions that seem to be panicing everybody.

I am currently pushing a 2500watt lamp through the 9000hour mark. I do not have any plans to change the lamp at this moment as it is still giving good light and is not unstable at this point in time. The lamphouse is a CFS/Rentec LSX2500 console, vertical lamp system.

I think it may be the last of the ORC lamps that I had in stock. I am currently using Ushio lamps in the other projectors but will be using Osram in the future as our company has standardised its supply for lamps.

The last lamp I had explode on me was a 4000watt lamp on initial strike when I was in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea in the early eighties. (scared the bloody daylights out of me) Didn't lose the mirror as we always took the mirror out for the initial strike just in case.

Regards

Michael.

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