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Author Topic: Warren theaters switching to digital
Jon P. Inghram
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 124
From: Wichita, KS USA
Registered: Jan 2007


 - posted 07-12-2007 01:09 PM      Profile for Jon P. Inghram   Email Jon P. Inghram   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
http://www.kansas.com/101/story/120250.html

quote:
Warren goes to digital projection
Bill Warren hopes to have the nearly $5 million project done by the end of the year.
BY BILL WILSON
The Wichita Eagle

Bill Warren's Wichita theaters are going digital.

Warren plans to award a multimillion-dollar contract in 60 days to install digital projection in all of his local theaters that show first-run films.

At $100,000 per screen and 47 screens, the project cost will approach $5 million, Warren said.

Warren is on the leading edge of a nationwide conversion to digital projection, said Patrick Corcoran, director of media and research for the National Association of Theater Owners.

The changeover isn't a response to growing competition, Warren said, despite a new IMAX complex coming in Maize.

"We have a commitment to put on the best movies possible in an old-style theater setting," he said. "This is just an upgrade to be part of that."

Currently, five digital projection providers are demonstrating products at the Warren East location, 11611 E. 13th St.

"We're taking a look at all of them, trying to determine what's the best," Warren said. "I hope to have a contract in a couple of months and have this in place around the end of the year."

There are 3,300 digital projectors in American theaters, which total 38,600 screens, Corcoran said.

That number should rise to about 4,000 by the end of 2007 and will double in 2008 as large chains like Regal and AMC roll the projectors out system-wide.

"For the operator, the advantage is presentation," Corcoran said. "The first showing is going to look as good as the last showing, unlike film, which degrades."

Uploading films from a server also allows multiple screen presentations with one copy, unlike today, when each screen requires its own film copy.

Despite the advantages, there are still significant issues, Corcoran said.

"We don't know a lot about how long these projectors will last," he said.

"At $100,000, the cost is four to five times a new film projector, and we know how long film projectors last -- 30 to 40 years."

Plus, the film distribution industry is in flux, with both film prints and digital film copies being produced. Eventually, the end of film will save the distribution industry $1 billion a year, Corcoran said.

The bottom line is good news for the consumer: more vivid films at no extra ticket cost.

"You're going to get a degree of clarity equivalent to the film experience and a product that's beyond what you get on high-definition television," Corcoran said.


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Brad Miller
Administrator

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


 - posted 07-12-2007 02:02 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:

"For the operator, the advantage is presentation," Corcoran said. "The first showing is going to look as good as the last showing, unlike film, which degrades."

You know, Warren builds some DAMNED nice theaters, but film does NOT degrade in the slightest bit under proper projectionist care.

I dare this bonehead at NATO to do a side by side demo with me at the SMG Arlington theater...DONE FAIRLY THIS TIME, NOT WITH A BEAT UP PRINT! The place has dual port windows and is already electrically pre-wired for it too.

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Darryl Spicer
Film God

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From: Lexington, KY, USA
Registered: Dec 2000


 - posted 07-12-2007 02:05 PM      Profile for Darryl Spicer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
The bottom line is good news for the consumer: more vivid films at no extra ticket cost.

BULLSHIT!!!! Charging premiums for 3D?

quote:
"You're going to get a degree of clarity equivalent to the film experience and a product that's beyond what you get on high-definition television," Corcoran said.
Yeah maybe, but that is not the problem and that is not the reason why people stay home. It's the assholes who sit around you that do not know how to shut the FUCK up!!! That keep people away from the theatres.

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Brad Allen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 688
From: Evansville, IN, USA
Registered: May 2000


 - posted 07-12-2007 02:27 PM      Profile for Brad Allen   Email Brad Allen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You know, I just this week viewed my first Digital presentation.
It was I believe a Dolby Digital Cinema system. I can't say I was impressed in the least.

There is one problem that hasn't gone away with digital. Idiots in the booth.

The digital presentation that I viewed had one of the most glaring problems of the same type that this theatre is known for with it's film presentations. The damn image was horribly out of FOCUS.

The only thing that did strike me in a positive way was the absolute rock solid image.

So until an auto-focus system that WORKS be developed, digital isn't going to solve anything presentation wise.
Also saw lots of pixelation during action scenes.
The port glass and the lense I could clearly see was filthy as well.

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Jon P. Inghram
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 124
From: Wichita, KS USA
Registered: Jan 2007


 - posted 07-12-2007 02:35 PM      Profile for Jon P. Inghram   Email Jon P. Inghram   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
...in place around the end of the year.
Here's hoping the Christmas "bonus" isn't pink...

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Brad Allen
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Evansville, IN, USA
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 - posted 07-12-2007 02:58 PM      Profile for Brad Allen   Email Brad Allen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You know for most part that's the driving reason the chains like digital, they see cost savings in payroll.

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Louis Bornwasser
Film God

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From: prospect ky usa
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 - posted 07-12-2007 03:21 PM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Too bad these savings are more than offset by THE BULB and THE MAINTENANCE expense. (I won't even mention the carrying charges on the initial purchase.) The "punishment" seems fitting, however. Frugality "rewarded." Louis

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

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From: Forsyth, Montana
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 - posted 07-12-2007 05:05 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pardon my digital ignorance here, but why should a digital projector ever be out of focus? Can't that be dialed in when the machine is setup? I mean, I can see where fine adjustments might be necessary but why should it ever be extremely out of focus?

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12774
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 07-12-2007 05:25 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Digital projectors uses lenses just like film ones. It is a myth that they will stay in focus forever. I constantly have to tweek them to keep them in critical focus all over the screen. They don't drift like with film projectors (the focal plane isn't a moving target like with film and the heat has been heavily filtered for digital).

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

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From: Lawton, OK, USA
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 - posted 07-12-2007 07:54 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Considering some of the VERY ODD port placements I have seen in a number of new theaters, I wonder if that isn't a contributing factor in focus problems with new digital projector installations.

I can understand why a projection port might be in a rear corner of the room if the auditorium is just part of what was once a much larger room. Lots of theaters that have been twinned or worse would have this problem.

But I have seen this stupidly strange port in the rear corner (and almost up in the roof) bullshit in a number of new theaters. I see no excuse for that. And it's going to make for a shitty quality picture regardless of what sort of projection is used. Sure, the digital projectors may have "digital keystone correction." But they don't have anything to correct problems when the projector's plane of focus doesn't line up at all with the screen.
[Roll Eyes]

Back to topic, if Warren Theaters is going "digital" I really hope they choose the right kinds of projectors for the right kinds of auditoriums.

I've been waiting and waiting for that new Warren 20-plex in Moore, OK to open (it's just south of Oklahoma City and a little over 1 hour's drive from here). Word is the largest 4 auditoriums will have screens as big as 80' across. They will need a lot more than just one 4000 watt lamp in a Christie CP2000 projector to illuminate a screen that big. Standard 35mm film projection does a shitty job on screens that big. For film, 70mm is needed for giant screens like that.

The Warren 20 in Moore is currently under construction. I haven't been by the site in several months (when it was just a bunch of empty land). My understanding is that the foundation is done and the walls are going up right now. I don't expect the new theater to be open before Spring of 2008.

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Brad Allen
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Evansville, IN, USA
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 - posted 07-13-2007 12:45 PM      Profile for Brad Allen   Email Brad Allen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I failed to mention that in the digital install I just witnessed, to top everything else, the port glass was angled perfectly.......to reflect the image back onto the front of the lense. [Eek!]

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David Zylstra
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From: Novi, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted 07-13-2007 04:55 PM      Profile for David Zylstra   Email David Zylstra   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Louis Bornwasser
Too bad these savings are more than offset by THE BULB and THE MAINTENANCE expense. (I won't even mention the carrying charges on the initial purchase.) The "punishment" seems fitting, however. Frugality "rewarded." Louis
So far my company's lamp costs are minimally higher than our 35mm costs were . . . . . and if we had anamorphic lenses I could save significantly on lamp costs (our install does not use the entire DLP chip because we have side moveable masking) . . . . . as to the offset of maintenance expenses - in our case this came close to a wash due to only needing 1 operator per shift for 18 screens instead of 2 . . . . but our 10 screen is a different story . . . . .

It is a fallacy for any company to believe they can close and lock their booth doors with digital -- there still needs to be a qualified eye and ear to judge the quality of presentation - any digital savings would be seen by those companies that have mostly 16+ screens per location and currently pay attention to quality by having adequate and qualified staff to run their 35mm booth.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
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From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-13-2007 10:15 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: David Zylstra
So far my company's lamp costs are minimally higher than our 35mm costs were
Thats the same thing I'm beginning to see in our area and I'm hearing this from other D.C. users. I think some dealers are just gouging for those 6kw short gap lamps.

I applaud them for doing the comversion. I just hope they have enough sense to go with Dolby.

Brad.... Sounds like you must have gone to a Carmike location... definately where ever it was it is not kept up. Most of the systems here in SLC (around 50) are now artifact free even on action stuff. The locations with Dolby D.C. stuff continue to look the best. As software decoding programs evolve for both the projector and servers which is happening quite fast things will get better and better. Rolling credits and rain continue to be the moost difficult to reproduce but I've definately noticed improvements there over the last year.

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Michael Cunningham
Expert Film Handler

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From: Anchorage, AK
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 - posted 07-14-2007 06:37 AM      Profile for Michael Cunningham   Email Michael Cunningham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
While I don't object to the coming of the "digital age", I'm constantly amazed by the level of disinformation pumped out by people in support of this great new thing. Film degrades? What the hell are you doing to it? Must have an entire new print for each screen? Guess I should scrap all that interlock wiring and pull those funny looking rollers off the ceiling...

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Lyle Romer
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From: Davie, FL, USA
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 - posted 07-14-2007 06:40 AM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Brad Allen
Also saw lots of pixelation during action scenes.
Aren't the digital releases all JPEG2000 only by now? If so, there isn't any more likelyhood of pixelation during action vs. static scenes because JPEG2000 compresses each frame as if it was a unique still image.

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