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Author Topic: 3D in a drive in
Jay Glaus
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 119
From: Pittsburgh, PA USA
Registered: Dec 2010


 - posted 02-09-2013 02:38 AM      Profile for Jay Glaus   Author's Homepage   Email Jay Glaus   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Not sure how many out there this would apply to, but a recent conversation on another topic on the forums sparked my interest to ask this. What's everyone think about 3D in a drive in? I haven't thought much about it yet, I'm just working on getting the drive in up to digital first, but in the long run I'd be interested to get 3D sometime in the future. I had heard there were two types of 3D, one didn't work to well in the drive in setting, and one did. It was something about polerization vs shuttering vs active glasses if I understood right. There was concern about windshields killing the effect, but in all honesty, in the summer, if you sit in your car instead of a blanket on the ground, lawn chairs, in the trunk of an SUV, or in the bed of a pick up truck, its an unusual sight, unless you're one of the few that comes to the drive in to enjoy your car's A/C, but for the most parts our nights hear cool down into the mid to upper 70's and have a nice breeze. Now it may not work when we're open in the winter and people sit in their car for heat but that's another story. Anyhow, Brad had thought Dolby 3D was doable for a drive in and I agree. Aside from the whole technical stuff (cause I'm sure there's a way to do anything these days) I was always concerned/intrigued by the whole execution of the operation. First off, I couldn't give the glasses out at my box offices, theres barely enough room for my ticket punchers to move around without bumping each other. I'd almost have to give them out at an EZ up tent on my 3D screen. Now, I've been to one Showest and three Cinemacons, and as far as I knew, the glasses were pricey and still are. I know there was talk about developing cheapy glasses, but as far as I know, that hasn't happened yet (if it has, then about 75% of my post is useless lol). So, getting the glasses back is quite important. I've thought of having them check their drivers license at the tent for glasses and they get it back when they bring the glasses back. My other option is to get some of my lot attendants and security at the exit to collect. My only worry there is, the way the drive in is designed, there is only one main exit for all 4 screens (there is a little exit on screen 4 but no matter how many pieces of reflective tape I put on the signs, apparently the signs are still invisible). I'd have about 400 cars with glasses to collect in about 950 cars total when all the screens hit intermission close to each other in the summer. I might be able to sell some caramel corn to the people waiting in the traffic jam. Unless, they have to come back to the tent first, I think that would eliminate that traffic problem. And so far I think the tent would be the best idea. I know about the whole putting in a dishwasher thing if you do 3D, that I could do without too much of a problem. Unless of course I wanted to stay an extra hour or two after the shows and clean them by hand. Then the sun would be coming up on my way home instead of when I'm going to bed! [Smile] It was so much easier on 35, when people were upset because it wasn't in 3D, I just told them to cross their eyes slightly and squint just a little any they'll get the effect [Wink] But anyhow, I probably won't be getting into 3D yet for a spell, but I was just curious if anyone out their had their own input and maybe some of you are in the same boat as me! Thought this would be an interesting topic to toss around.
Jay

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Brad Miller
Administrator

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


 - posted 02-09-2013 03:44 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Paragraphs are your friend. PLEASE use them. Your post above is unnecessarily difficult to read and people will just ignore it and you won't get answers if you make things difficult on people. [Wink]

I'm in that category. I sort of skimmed it, but when my eyes started jumping lines I said to heck with it, so here is my only input:

Dolby 3D is the ONLY option at a drive-in. Period.

You probably had other questions though. Sorry.

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Frank B. McLaughlin
Film Handler

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From: Denver, CO
Registered: Dec 2011


 - posted 02-09-2013 07:47 AM      Profile for Frank B. McLaughlin   Author's Homepage   Email Frank B. McLaughlin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Try this one: http://www.cinelinx.com/movie-news/item/654-north-texas-home-to-worlds-first-3d-drive-in-theater.html

I understand they are disappointed with the results.

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Carsten Kurz
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From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
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 - posted 02-09-2013 08:01 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
How large is their screen?

- Carsten

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Barry Floyd
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From: Lebanon, Tennessee, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 02-09-2013 11:02 AM      Profile for Barry Floyd   Author's Homepage   Email Barry Floyd   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I went to the Galaxy Drive-in in Texas back in November of 2011. I watched a little 3D of something (Puss-N-Boots - I think), but I wasn't impressed. It did work, but since i wear eyeglasses to begin with, trying to fit the Dolby glasses over my regular glasses was a bit cumbersome.

They have a pretty organized way of distributing and collecting the glasses. When you pull in to the boxoffice, you buy your tickets and the attendant hands you the amount of glasses for the amount of patrons in the car. The attendant also hands you a laminated card with the number of glasses printed on the front. When you leave, they have someone stationed collecting the glasses, and you must also return the laminated card as well. If the number of glasses your return doesn't match the number on your card, they will charge you for the missing glasses. Seems fair. Once the glasses are collected, they are brought to a room below the projection booth where they have a permanently installed commercial dishwasher. There they place the glasses on the specially designed glasses racks and wash and sanitize the glasses in the dishwasher, then set them out to dry.

We'll be digital in a couple of weeks, but not going with 3D. I really don't have alot of people ask for it. They don't want to pay extra for it.

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Jay Glaus
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Posts: 119
From: Pittsburgh, PA USA
Registered: Dec 2010


 - posted 02-09-2013 11:55 AM      Profile for Jay Glaus   Author's Homepage   Email Jay Glaus   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sorry, I'll give paragraphs a shot, thank goodness I didn't use my other good friend, the never ending run-on sentence [Smile]
That sounds good Barry, I like the laminated card idea, better than just using tickets, because I always thought if they had young kids below admission price they could walk away with those glasses and you'd never know, but I think the card idea stops that.
I heard the 3D in Texas really wasn't too much, I guess it's just the thrill of seeing it in a drive in. I've had people come in before actually glad it wasn't in 3D, but that's usually not the younger crowd. It's probably more trouble than it's worth, I figured once I got all 4 digital and was looking to add something I might look into 3D for one of them then, but who knows.
My big screen is 40x80, the other 3 are 20x40

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Manny Knowles
"What are these things and WHY are they BLUE???"

Posts: 4247
From: Bloomington, IN, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 02-09-2013 03:02 PM      Profile for Manny Knowles   Email Manny Knowles   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This post has been voluntarily censored.

But at least it has paragraphs.

[/protest]

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5200
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 02-09-2013 04:44 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Actually, there is no really insurmountable reason why polarioid 3D won't work at DIs. If Dolby 3D can work, and it sucks the lumens right out of the image much more than RealD, why wouldn't RealD work? It would eliminate the whole glass washing business AND it would be a much brighter picture.

The only issue of course would be the need for a silver screen. And that really wouldn't be an issue if you just think a little out of the box. There is no reason why a regular silverized, standard indoor-tyoe movie screen couldn't be attached to the DI screen wall surface -- either bolted to it thru the grommets, even glued or otherwise securely attached. In fact, giving how much a DI would benefit from a gain screen in general, seems they could do that to get gain benefits of a pearlescant screen for 2D as well.

But you would have to address the wind issue. That I think could be solved by REALLY attaching the screen to the subwall in such a way that wind simply can't get between the screen and the wall -- screw, glue it along the parameter, or even border it with a wood or aluminum strip that would be screwed into the subwall sandwiching the screen in between. Seems to me with a little ingenuity, this problems are not insurmountable.

Well then there's the sunlight; it is possible sunlight beaming on the screen material, like never happens indoors, would be an issue in that it might damage or age the plastic material. But that's an assumption that needs to be investigated. Perhaps screen manufactures could use a base that is more resistant to sunlight if they saw it would work for DIs. Even if it does age the screen material, there are not to difficult ways to combat sunlight as well.

How about putting up a traverse track at the top of the screen and hang that blue roofing tarp to it. During the day, you simply drag the tarp over the screen to block the sunlight from hitting it directly, pulling it back in the evening for the show.

Seems like there are ways that are not out of the question that would allow polaroid 3D systems at DIs. The RealD Ex thing that reclaims light for a brighter overall image would be a big advantage for the DIs that are always lumen-starved.

I don't think the polaroid system at the DIs is out of the question.

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Cameron Glendinning
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From: West Ryde, Sydney, NSW Australia
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 - posted 02-09-2013 06:49 PM      Profile for Cameron Glendinning   Email Cameron Glendinning   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Frank I think the needing a silver screen and some polarizing issues to do with windscreens might be an issue. Not sure why an active system like Panastereo 3d or Expand would not be an option?

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

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From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
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 - posted 02-09-2013 08:18 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The variety of windscreens with all different sorts of coatings and glass types is one thing - the other is that a silver screen has a highly delicate particle surface. It will not survive the exterior weather conditions. One could think of an (expensive) roller screen just for 3D presentations. How this all could amortize within a realistic timeframe for a DriveIn, I doubt it.

The same windscreen coatings will probably prohibit the use of IR triggered shutter glasses. Although there would be technical solutions for that problem - same as audio distribution for DriveIns has been solved. However, there are no systems available ready for use. I guess IR emitters on a DriveIn will have a hard time maintaining a stable sync for the whole audience.

Other color separation systems like Panavision 3D or XpanD 'Color Spacer' will basically suffer the same light loss as Dolby 3D. Maybe +/- a few percent.

- Carsten

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Frank Angel
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From: Brooklyn NY USA
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 - posted 02-10-2013 03:46 AM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree that using the same type of indoor theatre silver screen would have a serious issue given, as you say, the delicate screen surface, but that is assuming one is using it in the same manner as normal DIs screens are set up -- just a flat metal or wood painted surface stuck on poles. But if we consider other alternatives -- one already suggested a roll-up screen, but I think simpler than that would be to devise some kind of screen protection -- protection from rain and especially sun.

Roll up (or down) mechanisms are very expensive, but I do see a less expensive way of accomplishing the same thing -- protecting the silver screen surface by covering it during off-screening times. As I said, using a traveler track at the top of the screen and attaching a heavy duty tarp to it that can be drawn across the screen during the day should be an effective protection. To prevent the tarp it from flying with the wind at the bottom, an aircraft cable across the bottom of the screen with that rings would travel on it would hold the tarp securely to the bottom. Also building a more substantial screen tower with some type of canopy above it that would minimize direct rain might be helpful.

My point is, I don't think there is any doubt that the polaroid system is the best of all 3D worlds in terms of light efficiency and also eliminating the nightmare of collecting other system's more expensive glasses as the cars leave, so with a little ingenuity there should be ways around the obvious drawbacks of the polaroid system to make it work. Such variations in construction might be a little more costly, but if one has determined that showing 3D will be an economic advantage in a DIs particular market, the added initial expense and effort may be worth it in the long term. I just don't see why a standard indoor screen can't be adapted for DIs.

At our Prospect Park summer venue, we have been using a Hurley medium gain 55ft screen outdoors for at least ten years now and the only deterioration has been a hole that a squirrel chewed through at the top corner. Granted, it is not a permanent setup like a DI would be, so the screen is only in place for the two month season, not year round. But again, there must be ways to adapt off-the-shelf screen materials for the DI.

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Carsten Kurz
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From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
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 - posted 02-10-2013 09:41 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yep, you could use a white protection surface as the 'normal' screen, and only rail it aside for the 3D shows.

We had some discussions on this forum in earlier years about IMAX 3D silver screens being painted on location - were these massive walls, or perforated screens?

- Carsten

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Monte L Fullmer
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 - posted 02-10-2013 10:30 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It has to be Dolby due to that the system doesn't need a silver screen, but you're definitely dealing with a total dark surrounding where drive-ins fire up on the screen while it's still dusk outside.

And, how are you gonna capture the glasses back at the end of the night with cars leaving at their will?

Might be best to leave the idea to the indoor houses.

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Sam D. Chavez
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From: Martinez, CA USA
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 - posted 02-10-2013 11:33 PM      Profile for Sam D. Chavez   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The IMAX screens were painted in place. Perforated vinyl and an elaborate spray rig.

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Frank Angel
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From: Brooklyn NY USA
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 - posted 02-11-2013 01:16 AM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Monte, what I am saying is I don't think you need to rule out using the polariod ReelD system because I think there can be a way to use a regular indoor silver screen at a DI. There is no reason why an off-the-shelf vinyl screen couldn't be securely attached to a DI screen structure in such a way that wind cannot get between it and the back structure (existing screen). The vinyl silver screen surface would probably have to be protected from the elements as I have proposed; this could be easily done with a little ingenuity, and tarp on top traveler track and hoop rings thru aircraft cable at the bottom.

OR, the existing screen could be sprayed silver just like they did to indoor screens in the 80s. This too, like attaching and indoor silver screen, would have to protected by the elements with some type of covering, but again, I don't think that is an insurmountable issue. My understanding is that the silver paint would loose its reflective properties pretty quickly so it may need to be repainted a lot more often than a white DI screen, but if that cost is amortized by an increase in attendence, it may be worth it. But I would have to be convinced there is a sufficient market for 3D to attempt any of this.

In other words, if an owner really thinks that 3D is worth it and considers Dolby 3D,) then I would suggest looking at how to make a polaroid 3D system work instead, if only to eliminate the Dolby glasses hassle.

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