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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Would you invest in 35mm today? (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3 
 
Author Topic: Would you invest in 35mm today?
Thomas Jonsson
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 215
From: Bromolla, Sweden
Registered: Sep 2003


 - posted 10-02-2005 03:28 PM      Profile for Thomas Jonsson   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It seems like a lot of theater owners has stopped investing
in 35mm equipment, due to the "threat" of digital cinema.
Everybody is waiting, waiting and waiting.

If for any reason it would be desirable to upgrade your booth
with new 35mm projectors - would you do it? Or would you try
to keep your old machines running until digital happens? If it
happens!

Thomas

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Frank Dubrois
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 896
From: Cleveland, OH
Registered: Mar 2005


 - posted 10-02-2005 03:53 PM      Profile for Frank Dubrois     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Digital....all the way.

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8161
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 10-02-2005 04:00 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Thomas Jonsson
"If for any reason it would be desirable to upgrade your booth
with new 35mm projectors - would you do it? Or would you try
to keep your old machines running until digital happens? If it
happens"

The main denominator in this topic is of course - $$MONEY$$ !

If you got the bucks to go digital, go for it! If you got the business to help you pay back what you spent for digital, then go for it!

Otherwise, be smart and keep what you got, new or old. If new, keep them new. If old and on a budget, keep the old properly maintained-machines will last a quite a long time.

Sad thing is that even with new 35mm projectors, they will still project the same film as with the old ones-just that they run nicer than the old ones.

Digital is way too new still - remember digital projectors are actually high stung computers that LOVE to fail.

Sure, everybody loves new this and new that, but is it worth it in the long run?

35mm has definitely proved itself in all of these 100 years of analog projection. Why stir up the pot if one medium has proved itself.

..but, it's your call and the ball is in your court.

-Monte

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Alan Gouger
Master Film Handler

Posts: 465
From: Bradenton, FL, USA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 10-02-2005 05:04 PM      Profile for Alan Gouger   Author's Homepage   Email Alan Gouger   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As Monte said Digital is still new. New technology suffers very fast depreciation in value. Look at those who bought first generation DLP. That lasted about a year or a little longer to be replaced with 2k machines. Now they are talking 4k machines. A 2k res DLP runs about 150k and up. Sonys new 4K res SXRD/LCos will be half that price. Good ole price wars. Which of the technologies will have the better picture and which will win the technology war. Id wait until the dust settles.
No reason you cannot give a first rate 35mm presentation with well maintained 35mm equipment. Most of your customers will not know the difference or care anyway.

On the Flip side if your backed with big corperate money id go on a shopping spree [Big Grin]

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8161
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 10-02-2005 05:30 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yep, as I said "High strung computers"...remember, as with computers, this market is going to change rapidly. You go by a Christie 2k machine this year, by next year that 2k will be a "dinosaur" in computer terms when the 4k's come out. Then we'll be seein 8k's..are we seeing a parallelism here as with the computer market?

Wow, just think the first generation DLP's could be affordable now since their value could be plummeting with the newer stuff coming out - then one could think of digital on a McDonald's income.

..but still, you're gonna have to pay out the yingyang for the techs to come to your digital theatre to correct a small bug since that stuff is so complex. Whereas with 35mm, you can fix a lot of things yourself- for free.

-Monte

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Richard May
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 994
From: Floral Park, NY USA
Registered: Aug 2004


 - posted 10-02-2005 06:01 PM      Profile for Richard May   Email Richard May   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As Monte said, if you have old 35MM machines, just maintain them. I have done many renovations in the last 10 years. I have yet to replace an old projector. I have repaired the ones that needed to be repaired. They will last forever if you maintain them. I'm still not convinced that digital projection is going to take over anytime soon.

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8161
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 10-02-2005 06:19 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Course, please don't think of me as an old fuddy-duddy since I'm being cautious of new things that is coming out. One has to look on a very long term on such an expensive investment.

Is it going to be worth spending such for such results - which has both the potential to be massively successful with little worry, or is it going be a pain in the neck due to complications with upkeep and upgrades.

Granted, Digital is nifty, nice, pretty, shiny and absolutely GREAT!! Filmmakers love it due to the reduced expense of shooting, editing and final release product. No film stock to purchase. Yes, Digital has its pros.

Let's just wait until prices come down comparitively to a new 35mm setup sans platter system and see if this market can equal or even be superior to 35mm presentations to where it would be profitable for the mass format change.

Maybe, they'll come out with a unit that will replace just the head of our existing machine(s), mounted on either pedestal or console where we could use our existing light source, to where if we want to revert back to 35mm, a 15 minute changeout of heads would all it have to be. A head that were the soundhead assembly could be left mounted on the console/pedestal bracket - as with the Century and the Simplex models.

Also, having the same, or even lesser price of a projection head to entice the conversion to this medium a lot more.

..in which all of this could take almost a generation of time for the results to be the same.

By then, must of us would have retired to forget about all of this, or be "pushing up dandelions" for our new hobby. (LOL)

-thx Monte

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Olivia Coleman
Film Handler

Posts: 53
From: Bend, OR USA
Registered: Jun 2005


 - posted 10-02-2005 06:43 PM      Profile for Olivia Coleman   Author's Homepage   Email Olivia Coleman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Alan Gouger
Most of your customers will not know the difference or care anyway.
Yep most don't know the difference. I work a Regal that has had the digital content 'commercials' for a year and half... Many a time I've had a call over the radio that there's something wrong with the picture in 'X' auditorium "The picture froze..." Yeah, that's cause I haven't started the FILM yet! [Wink]

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Louis Bornwasser
Film God

Posts: 4397
From: prospect ky usa
Registered: Mar 2005


 - posted 10-02-2005 08:50 PM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
With financial managers firmly in control of everything technical in the large circuits, the only words you need are REVENUE STREAM.

It is factually true that an all new 35mm projector is a good deal less money than the Digital; will last longer than it, and will be operational with less fuss. 99+% of all revenue is generated with film projection.

Smart money is still on film until Digital "settles down." This is a bit of an unfortunate situation since even film had a "shaking out" period which ended when the big money stopped.

Note that nowhere did I mention quality. I think fellow film-techers are the last bastion of this. The money men are driven solely by the bottom line. The showmen are relics of a bygone era. Louis

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David Stambaugh
Film God

Posts: 4007
From: Eugene, Oregon
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 10-02-2005 09:24 PM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Regal is opening a new 15-screen here in 2006. It will go head-to-head with Cinemark's very successful 17-screen. Wonder if Regal will install any digital projection systems as a possible competitive move. Naw, probably not - Nobody cares! [Wink]

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7867
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-02-2005 09:53 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Even if the price of [dlp] were to be reduced from $100k to $0 tomorrow, there would be issues with manufacturing capacity (in another thread, someone points out that even making 200 units by the end of the year would be too much for Christie). And, even if that issue were to be resolved, there is still the issue of product availability. How many films are even available for DLP? What about the last 100 years' worth of motion pictures? Many theatres show older films, at least occasionally. How long will it take for these films to be made available for DLP (if ever)? How many high-res film scanners even exist in the world? If they were all to be run 24/7, would they even be able to accommodate digitizing 100% of current product?

I'm confident that 35mm will be with us in some form for a very, very long time to come, regardless of what happens with [dlp] . Look how many theatres _still_ haven't converted to red-LED soundheads. That was a < $1k modification five years ago. I guarantee that it will be years before we see theatres being built which don't have 35mm equipment installed next to the [dlp] machine.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 15885
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-02-2005 11:20 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Louis is correct in everything he says. Film projection will be around for at least another 15 to 20 years and will live side by side with digital for some time after that. Production of enough units in this day and age is also certainly an issue as is built in obsolescence. I have a largish circuit based here in Salt Lake City that desperately needs to replace some first generation Christies and very old Ballantynes down in southern Utah but I doubt they will because of all the "Digital hype" thats being generated these days. These guys can afford even new film equipment but they certainly cannot afford even one digital projector at the moment!

I met with one customer a couple of weeks ago in Eastern Utah that swore to me that his theatre would be all digital within 5 years... what on earth are they telling these theatre owners at the conventions... its pretty obvious they are not telling the truth, all they are doing is feeding them a bunch of hype and they are eating it all up big time!! When I was done conversing with him about all this I think he finally realized that its a ways off and in fact won't happen in his working lifetime at his theatre.... while over in the next town about 30 miles west of the other the Female owner of a small circuit was concerned about upgrading her old Simplex lens changers to something that you can get parts for..... I find it quite odd that some owners latch onto all the hype immediately and look for free deliverys of expensive digital equipment in the next year whilst other owners are able to contaim themselves and remain smart buisness people and watch and wait. Someone certainly needs to set the industry straight!

Mark

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12106
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-03-2005 01:13 AM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mark Gulbrandsen
what on earth are they telling these theatre owners at the conventions...
John "NATO" Fithian at Great States confirmed that digital is going to start to happen in a big way -- but not this year and maybe not next year, because there are still too many "details" to be worked out. He did say it would take years to convert and that film will be around for a long time. He said the most important thing for theatre owners is to BE READY to convert when the time comes -- meaning, among other things, have sufficient electrical power, have upgraded sound systems, arrange for roof space for satellite receivers (in cinemas contained within other buildings), educate management and other employees on digital cinema, and (in new builds) be sure to allow enough space for both kinds of systems to exist side-by-side during the transition.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 15885
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-03-2005 08:10 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
but not this year and maybe not next year,
Then I'll say what is the source of his info..... Alot of hype from manufacturers and film distributers......John Fithian or not this is how it'll go......

but not this year and maybe not next year, or next year but film distributers announce they are working on a plan to monitarily support digital installations, or next year, not this year either, nor this year... Fithian resigns from frustration... says Film distributers harder to deal with than North Koreans, definately not this year because TI DLP plant is riuned by a fire, a few this year from cache of TI chips found in hollywood warehouse, none this year, a couple more this year, theatres have been told to start upgrading power and sound...TI profuction facility re-opens after massive fire 5 years ago, no not this year either, not yet, a few more this year, major progress has been made towards the film distributers working out a monitary deal to pay for digital but they are dragging Jack Valenti out of retorement to be sure of anti-piracy features, obsolete DLP units up for replacement this year because of parts unavailability and Valenti says the anti-piracy features not sound, still nothing happenning this year, 10 installed this year... Valenti dies...still no anti-piracy systems that are reliable, Manufacturers work towards finding a solution to produce enough units with China being a possibility, 20 this year, 40 this year, none this year... All obsolete DLP projectors replaced this year with new anti-piracy units designed by Chineese... replacement od all pre-existing DLP units is required ue to a couple of semiconductors being obsolete...... and incompatability with the chinese code now adopted for anti-piracy, China announdes it is now building a huge DLP production plant at Chunk Bung near pea-king... so none this year either, it'll employ 25,000 chinese each making 2 yen an hour, Christie Digital folds this year while Barco pulls plug on long awaited digital projction..... both companies lay off hundreds, 45,000 DLP projetors installed workdwide in just two years.... Jobless rate approaching 25% nation wide because of china landing the DLP production contract from cheap studio executives. Millions in electronics and film industry now out of work.

Mark

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Louis Bornwasser
Film God

Posts: 4397
From: prospect ky usa
Registered: Mar 2005


 - posted 10-03-2005 08:16 AM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for the support, guys. It's lonely sometimes trying to seperate the good from the B.S. in the projection TV debate. Louis

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