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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » "Lights Down" levels (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Author Topic: "Lights Down" levels
Ken Lackner
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1875
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Sep 2001


 - posted 07-27-2004 11:33 AM      Profile for Ken Lackner   Email Ken Lackner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Every theater I've been to has the house lights at a bare minimum glow during the feature. Is there some law or fire code that prevents them from turning them completely off? I imagine there are regulations on lighting levels in the theater, but it doesn't seem that having the lights barely glowing like that provides any real light, especially compared to the light coming from the screen. Is it more of a decorative issue than a safety issue?

The reason I bring this up is because someone mentioned to me that they would like to see the lights go all the way OFF during the feature, and it got me thinking whether we are allowed to do that or not.

(I put this in FHF because it deas with the dimmer, but feel free to move to GL if you feel it would be more appropriate there.)

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Floyd Justin Newton
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 559
From: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Registered: Jun 2002


 - posted 07-27-2004 11:45 AM      Profile for Floyd Justin Newton   Email Floyd Justin Newton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ken--

House lights should never be lower than what the local code
allows, if any.

fjn
Local 294 Ret. [Smile] [Smile]

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Kyle Watkins
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 185
From: Stuart, FL, USA
Registered: Sep 2001


 - posted 07-27-2004 11:58 AM      Profile for Kyle Watkins   Email Kyle Watkins   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I work at 6 different theaters here in FL and all we had the lights go down to OFF. So i dont think FL has one on the the lights down for the movie but they do have one for credits. Not sure about local codes.

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Eric Hooper
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 530
From: Fort Worth, TX, USA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted 07-27-2004 12:43 PM      Profile for Eric Hooper   Email Eric Hooper   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In my experience, some theatres/auditoriums the lights dim down to a glow, and then some theatres/auditoriums the lights go all the way off. Even different auditoriums at the same theatre complex each have a different experience.

What bothers me the most though, is when the lights do not dim down enough, and it's distracting.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9443
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-27-2004 01:21 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Most building/firecodes have a requirement for minimum safe ilumination in a public place during a presentation
Step floors have different requirements than say a slopped floor and are often at the un challenbgable opinion of the local building inspector or firemarshal

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6410
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-27-2004 01:28 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So long as there are proper exit signs and appropriate pathway lighting, I don't think there are any requirements for minimum light levels in a theater... At least in Pennsylvania or the few other states I have worked in.

One of the venues I am in charge of has stadium seating and there are no pathway lights on the stairs. There are two dimmers that control the house lights: The main overhead lights and some can lights over the stairs & walkways. The can ligts are pre-programmed to never go below (I think) 30% brightness even if you push the fader that controls that dimmer all the way to 0%.

This theater has no projection facilities. It is mainly a lecture/recital hall. There are few, if any, issues with stray light from those cans affecting the performance.

Thus, the reason I say that IF you have pathway lighting and exit signs there are no requirements for minimum light levels.

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Steve Scott
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1300
From: Minneapolis, MN
Registered: Sep 2000


 - posted 07-27-2004 01:33 PM      Profile for Steve Scott   Email Steve Scott   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Our settings are slightly different in each auditorium, but 25-30% is the norm for the dim setting at Lakeville. And this is with dark red curtains and purple carpeting... no earth tones here [Smile] If I ever have to adjust the dim level, I'm trying to slightly illuminate the aisles, without leaving a distracting amount of light on the walls.

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John Pytlak
Film God

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


 - posted 07-27-2004 03:11 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If you do have to have some level of ambient light for safety, remember the lights should NOT shine ON the screen. Direct the light ONLY where it is needed for safety.

Kodak Projection Pointers

quote:
Conquering Contrast Killers
People with eyeglasses sometimes have difficulty with reflections from overhead lighting in their eyeglass lenses.

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Paul Cassidy
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 549
From: Auckland, New Zealand
Registered: Aug 2001


 - posted 07-27-2004 03:20 PM      Profile for Paul Cassidy   Author's Homepage   Email Paul Cassidy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I personally do not like to have any lights on during a Film as it distracts from the Illusion that you are transformed to another place that the Director wants to take the audience , even EXIT signs under the screens are ugly ..... but there are times when low lights are a benefit and that is when you are showing films to children who are not used to seeing movies in the Dark , I remember a parent who had to take a small child out of the cinema because the child was scared of the dark and was not comfortable even with the light from the screen .

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Edward Jurich
Master Film Handler

Posts: 305
From: Las Vegas USA
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted 07-27-2004 03:28 PM      Profile for Edward Jurich   Email Edward Jurich   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've been helping a small theater put in 3 new screens. The owner wants the lights up a fair level during the show to "show off" her auditorium decor. So there is too much light during the show but she usually doesn't listen to anyone. I guess it's a good thing for someone if they don't like the movie they can bring along a book to read [Big Grin]

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Mike Olpin
Chop Chop!

Posts: 1852
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 07-27-2004 06:55 PM      Profile for Mike Olpin   Email Mike Olpin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Before our theatre became a part of a larger chain, we ran all features with auditrium lights compleately off. There was sufficient isle lighting to safely allow patrons to enter or exit the auditorium. Now, our current company requires all lights to be at a minimum of 20% brightness durring the feature. This is especially distracting at our theatre, since our "decorative sconses" were not designed to be on durring the movie. The small bulb is visable, and catches the eye easily.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7966
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-27-2004 07:52 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In nearly all of the theatres where I have worked, the ceiling lights (and chandelier, if present) stay off during the film and at a low level during trailers and credits. Only the wall sconces (which almost all theatres seem to have) stay on during the film, and they are either at a low level or have colored bulbs (usually red) which stay on and do not shine on the screen, but make it possible to navigate the aisles.

Oh, let's not forget the obligatory super-bright red or green "EXIT" signs that many theatres have on one or both sides of the screen....

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Paul Cassidy
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 549
From: Auckland, New Zealand
Registered: Aug 2001


 - posted 07-27-2004 07:54 PM      Profile for Paul Cassidy   Author's Homepage   Email Paul Cassidy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
While I was thinking about this .... I remembered that the CIVIC Theatre here in Auckland has it's roof lights on during the films, this is a Southern Star Constellation and it is quite calming as it is like watching a movie outdoors under the Stars. [Cool] and if the movie Sucks you can always watch the Stars twinkle .
 -

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Dean Kollet
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 591
From: Florida State University
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted 07-27-2004 09:02 PM      Profile for Dean Kollet   Email Dean Kollet   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree that it's awesome to have no lights during a show, but from a safety standpoint you need some. Especially when someone needs to use the restroom or spend more money in concession....do you really want to deal with someone falling on your clock?

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Paul Cassidy
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 549
From: Auckland, New Zealand
Registered: Aug 2001


 - posted 07-27-2004 09:13 PM      Profile for Paul Cassidy   Author's Homepage   Email Paul Cassidy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well Dean , hopefully No One falls on my Clock [Big Grin]

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