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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » What to do about screen vandalism?

   
Author Topic: What to do about screen vandalism?
Jesse Skeen
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1498
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Aug 2000


 - posted 09-04-2000 04:01 AM      Profile for Jesse Skeen   Email Jesse Skeen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have seen far too many theaters have their presentation compromised by a few jerks who think it's fun to throw stuff at the screen. Most common seems to be Gummi Bears, which when removed leave a shiny spot on the screen, the same effect can be achieved by throwing soda cups at the screen. Even worse is that the theater I just started working at has a couple of screens that have been CUT, one has a square-shaped piece cut right out of the bottom!
Professional screen cleanings can work wonders, it's just a matter of getting the people in charge to have it done, but I've never heard a straight answer about the more permanent damage some people cause. It would be nice if insurance could cover every bit of damage done to a screen, but it probably really just covers extreme events like being torn apart in an earthquake or something. A lot of theaters must have this problem, what if anything is done to help it?

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17687
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 09-04-2000 04:44 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
The first thing is to talk to your manager. If he/she cares a damn about your presentation, Gummi Bears will be sold no longer. That'll knock out a huge problem.

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Ken Layton
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1452
From: Olympia, Wash. USA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 09-04-2000 11:10 AM      Profile for Ken Layton   Email Ken Layton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Personally, I think anyone who slashes the screen ought to be shot!

But seriously, I have seen some very good results by some of the screen cleaning professionals. I have also seen some very bad repair jobs too. It pays to shop around and ask other theaters who they use to repair screens---work, price, & quality vary quite a bit.

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Dave Bird
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 753
From: Perth, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jun 2000


 - posted 09-04-2000 12:06 PM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
But what if it's the owner doing the damage?
I know a drive-in that has had chunks missing of various sizes over the past three years (usually dead centre). It's a nice effect, white flaking paint with bare plywood "holes". Anyway, it's fixed finally, but 3 years ago it was particularly bad with 4 or 5 chunks gone. Walking the lot before the show, I saw, directly in front of the booth: a couple drivers and 3-woods and some mostly empty buckets of balls!!! Were they really doing what I think they were?????

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John Pytlak
Film God

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


 - posted 09-05-2000 10:07 AM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dave:

Are you sure the golfer was the owner? Repairing the damage would be money out of their pocket, and certainly cost more than many visits to the driving range.


------------------
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services, Entertainment Imaging
Eastman Kodak Company
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7419
Rochester, New York, 14650-1922 USA
Tel: 716-477-5325 Fax: 716-722-7243
E-Mail: john.pytlak@kodak.com


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Rory Burke
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 181
From: Burbank, CA, USA
Registered: Jun 2000


 - posted 09-05-2000 12:24 PM      Profile for Rory Burke   Email Rory Burke   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This is a problem that I have personally ran into as well. Does anyone have any "tips" on emergency cleaning substances off the screen to get on with a show.? Also does anyone have any screen repair "tips" or recomendations? While the proffesional screen cleaner and riggers are the best way to go, reality mandates sometimes that theater managers worry about these tasks and in the most effective matter (which means...dont hire outside help) so indeed you're suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Rory

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John Pytlak
Film God

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


 - posted 09-05-2000 01:12 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Rory:

You might try talking to the screen manufacturers like Harkness Hall, etc. to see what they recommend for each type of screen and stain.

AFAIK, most fabric screens are made of PVC vinyl or similar plastic materials. "Matte" screens are much easier to clean than "gain" screens, since the gain screens have proprietary thin coatings that are easily damaged by cleaning solutions or rubbing. The best cleaning method will vary with the type of stain. If you have extra screen material, try your cleaning method on it first, then look at the test sample with light projected on it to see if the cleaning has left a visible mark or change in reflection.

------------------
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services, Entertainment Imaging
Eastman Kodak Company
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7419
Rochester, New York, 14650-1922 USA
Tel: 716-477-5325 Fax: 716-722-7243
E-Mail: john.pytlak@kodak.com

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Dave Bird
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 753
From: Perth, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jun 2000


 - posted 09-05-2000 02:20 PM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Almost certain John. You'd have to see this place to believe it. They've inspired me to learn all about projection!

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Joshua Lott
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 246
From: Fairbanks, AK, USA
Registered: Nov 1999


 - posted 09-06-2000 12:30 AM      Profile for Joshua Lott   Author's Homepage   Email Joshua Lott   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
On past rips in screens I have taken a piece of white athletic tape and taped that to the back of the screen. If the cut is small enough you almost can't tell that it is there. If it is a large rip then it looks a lot better than a huge hole.

Any other suggestions?

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12445
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 09-17-2000 11:16 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A long time ago, a kid in my theatre threw a big wad of gum at the screen...we didn't notice it until the next day. I picked it off, but it took the coating with it and left about a 1" bright white spot RIGHT in the middle of the screen. i turned the matter in to our insurance, but it was going to be six weeks until we could get a new screen, so I was really unhappy (this happened at the peak of the summer).

I was totaly in despair, until I was describing the problem to a friend of mine whose wife happened to be a nail technician (she paints pictures on people's fingernails). When she heard the word, "pearlescent" she asked if the "pearl" she used in nail work might work on the screen. We decided it couldn't hurt too much to try, so we put her on a ladder with her airbrush, figuring we could always clean it off again (the stuff is water soluble).

AND IT WORKED! It wasn't perfect...still looked like the screen had a slight smudge on it, since her "pearl" was a slightly different color than the original screen coating...but it got us thru the summer.

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Neil Di Scala
Film Handler

Posts: 17
From: Santa Cruz, CA, USA
Registered: Sep 2000


 - posted 09-18-2000 04:11 AM      Profile for Neil Di Scala   Email Neil Di Scala   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Cleaning screens is not as hard as most people think, and you get better light and focus. We had a little gang of 'screen taggers', mostly jujubes shot through a straw for a while. Cleaning spots is worse than the whole thing.

I use about a TBSP (that is tablespoon, not quart) of 409 to a couple of gallons of warm water. Taking a screen brush, a small 100% cotton towel, a bucket, a light, an extension pole, and something interesting on the CD player, get to work. Drape the towel over the brush, work from the top down. Don't push hard on the fabric, there can be sharp things behind it. Rinse and turn the towel over from time to time. Check you work with a light. Tough spots can be moistened and then come back to them.

This works great for matte screens, I wouldn't suggest it for gain, although it works well.

A bit of chemistry-all soaps act as a kind of a magnet, attracting dirt. If you use a lot of soap, and the janitors use blowers, you can make things worse. A trick I use is once in a while use a TBSP of white vinegar to a couple of gallons of water instead of 409. Actually repels dirt, the same thing is true for carpet cleaning.

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