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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Large Format Forum   » Zion Canyon Large Format Theater Now Digital (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Zion Canyon Large Format Theater Now Digital
Mark Gulbrandsen
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 - posted 06-25-2008 12:38 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Zion Canyon Cinemax Theater located right at the entrance to Zion National Park in Springdale Utah has officially retired its 15/70 Iwerks system and is now digital. The system is based around a Christie CP-2000SB and Doremi DCP2000 server. The screen brightness is consideralby higher than the 15/70 system could provide. The theater will go 3-D later in the year with the addition of a second CP-2000SB projector and a new Silver screen. This will allow the theater to play all the upcomming Hollywood stuff as well as all large format material in high quality 3-D. The system will also operate in stacked 2-D mode if desired.

This may make this theater the first full time "Digital Large Format Theater".

Mark

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Scott Norwood
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From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
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 - posted 06-25-2008 12:54 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
How is the new system "large format"? Didn't they just replace a 15/70 system with an "almost as good as 35mm" 2k DLP system? The picture may look great and audiences may be happy with it, but that does not make 2k DLP into "large format" anything.

Or am I misunderstanding something?

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Mike Olpin
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 - posted 06-25-2008 01:35 PM      Profile for Mike Olpin   Email Mike Olpin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hmmm, I always thought they were an official IMAX, not an Iwerks. Did they convert to Iwerks? I remember seeing the official Zion Canyon film and Everest there.

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Dick Vaughan
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 - posted 06-25-2008 05:12 PM      Profile for Dick Vaughan   Author's Homepage   Email Dick Vaughan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mike

Zion Canyon has always been Iwerks. Went to see it in 1995 I think it was.

"Everest" is a MacGillivray Freeman film and "Zion Canyon; Treasure of the Gods" was made by Keith Merrill specifically for the theatre therefore neither of them are IMAX Corp productions.

There are a number of ex IMAX screens in Germany most notably Frankfurt which run two Christie CP2000 projectors screening 3D material.the films are I think all available as traditional 15 perf 70mm prints. It's not full 1.43:1 IMAX ratio.

Scott

One of the things that we are trying to do in the Giant Screen Cinema Association is to define what constitutes a giant screen.

We are trying to get rid of the Large Format tag as it doesn't mean much to your average Joe Punter.

This has recently become more of a priority as IMAX introduce their new digital 3D system with the weeny 1.9:1 ratio and we need to differentiate between "classic" IMAX format and IMAX "light" [Roll Eyes]

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Phil Hill
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 - posted 06-25-2008 05:46 PM      Profile for Phil Hill   Email Phil Hill       Edit/Delete Post 
Zion was an Iwerks project and my 1st 1570 system/projection/audio/show control design and installation. If I remember right, that was in 1993-1994. It had a 7kw lamphouse, an 82ft wide screen, a 22kw 8-track Digital audio system, and a crude 1st version of my touch-screen PC-based show control design.

The projector was supplied by Neil Johnson and the lamphouse from Dick Niccum.

I guess a 14 year run is pretty good.

Edit: Corrected the lamphouse wattage.

[ 06-27-2008, 12:32 AM: Message edited by: Phil Hill ]

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Mark Gulbrandsen
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 - posted 06-26-2008 01:22 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Phil... Yea, 14 years and the projector was down only once for a seized bearing. It is only on it's second set of belts too. After having removed it from service and then out to storage I can atest to how well built this projector and platter are. Neil did an excellent job!

The screen there is still 82X60 feet. Technically as per the letters on the front of the building its called the "Zion Canyon Giant Screen Theater". They are putting together a new version of their film which will be closer to an hour long. Since they shot several million feet for the movie and alot of that footage in several other well known parks they are going to include more of that. The 15/70 negs have been carefully stored and are being scanned at 4K rez. They are running a version that came from an HD tape format and was converted to JPEG 2000 D-Cinema format by DTS to play till the new version arrives. The digital projection system is considerably brighter than the 15/70 system could muster out which was just over 2 foot lamberts vs close to 9 foot lamberts for the CP-2000 running a standard 6kw short gap.

We also rebult all the QSC power amps on site... all new electrolytics and bench tested them to be sure they meet specs. Many of the main caps were in the beginning stages of leaking electrolyte. All new McCauley drivers were installed in the BGW subs as well. The dry climate having taken its toll on the cones.

A small trivia about the film... The free fall sequence done by Nancy Fagan had 13 takes!!! If you've seen the film that is quite an incredible feat.

Phil... If you want that Touch Screen System for the Hill Museum let me know.. its still in the store room. It was replaced by an AMX system about 6 years ago.

Mark

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Scott Norwood
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 - posted 06-26-2008 08:25 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
But how is this large format? I can take a super-8 projector into an Imax theatre and put a picture on the screen, but that isn't large format either.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
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 - posted 06-26-2008 10:51 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here is a pic of the booth.

 -

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Mike Olpin
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 - posted 06-27-2008 02:18 AM      Profile for Mike Olpin   Email Mike Olpin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Nice lense.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

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 - posted 06-27-2008 06:32 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So....is the CP2000 filling the entire 4:3 screen or does it just have a 1.89 rectangle in the middle?

2fL out of a 15/70 system on that sized screen indicates a problem with the set up, not the format...I've certainly seen them MUCH brighter with similarly sized screens. Then again, they were IMAX screens, not IWERKs...I have not personally seen one of their installations.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
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 - posted 06-27-2008 08:25 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We are filling approximately 87% of the existing screen at 1.37 aspect ratio. The stock Konica/Minolta wide convertor will not allow us to use the largest 1.37 area on the DMD's with the 1:1 ratio lens due to vignetting. A custom wide convertor is in the works and just a couple of months down the line. It will be physically larger in diameter and and allow full use of the DMD area available at that apect ratio with this particuluar lens. Oddly Christie had Konica design a physically larger wide convertor but it never went into production.

The Iwerks projector while still servicable needs quite a bit of work done. The single biggest thing that caused the removal of the 15/70 was Neil Johnson himself. But overall, it's seen 14 years of daily use and has been very trouble free. It needs rotor segments re-chromed, new reflector, new sprockets and in/out giudes, and a complete tear down and clean up underneath. It only has a 7kw lamp capacity so I suspect this system was never all that great in the lumens department on this huge of a screen to begin with. Even if it had double the light output when new it'd be just 4fl. Certainly it could have been rebuilt for less than the final cost of this place going 3-D but then they'd have still been stuck with very limited 15/70 programming and a low light level. It should have been 15kw at the beginning as his later 15/70 systems were!!

The digital 3-D system will allow very flexible programming and needless to say a huge cost savings on digital vs. film prints. Digital prints for Large Format titles typically run about 3 to 4K dollars vs. 25K for a 40 min 15/70. Once the touristy season slows down they will close for several days in order to hang the new Silver screen and we'll install the 2nd projector on the stacking frame and then they'll be set for 3-D.

Mark

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Gordon McLeod
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 - posted 06-27-2008 11:52 AM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
the original IMAX "classic" aircooled machine was 4kw and some were upped to 7k and that is effectivly what the IWERKS/World Odessey-Ultra70 clones were a copy of the air cooled classic and the water cooled 15k classic machine
Something must be wrong if they were getting only 2fl Remember that large format films are timed for a lower light level often around 8fl

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Bobby Henderson
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 - posted 06-27-2008 11:55 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Scott Norwood
But how is this large format?
I guess you're not going to get an answer to that question.

Apparently 2K digital is just as good as IMAX since it is "digital."

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Phil Hill
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 - posted 06-27-2008 04:18 PM      Profile for Phil Hill   Email Phil Hill       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Gordon McLeod
Something must be wrong if they were getting only 2fl Remember that large format films are timed for a lower light level often around 8fl
Yeah Gordie, I agree. My notes indicate the original install had 10fl. By the time Mark measured it, the reflector must have been "beat to hell"...a technical term. [uhoh] [Razz]

And yes, films for 1570 and 870 venues are printed lighter for the available projector light output to fill the big screen.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
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 - posted 06-27-2008 05:40 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yea, the reflector was literally shot(another highly technical term [thumbsup] ) after many lamp explosions over the years. That is certainly one item among many others that'll have to be replaced if anyone else is ever going to use this projector.

The real reason for replacing the system was solely to be able to go 3-D and also to have access to a bunch of other content some of which is not available on film. I have also seen the installation at the St.Louis Arch and I woldn't write home bout the light levels there either. I have always been much more impressed with the 15kw Rentec lamphouse.

Mark

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