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Author Topic: Bytowne Cinema curtain question
David E. Nedrow
Master Film Handler

Posts: 368
From: Columbus, OH, USA
Registered: Oct 2008

 - posted 07-04-2010 01:15 PM      Profile for David E. Nedrow   Author's Homepage   Email David E. Nedrow   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was just looking at the new pictures of the Bytowne Cinema that were posted on the site.

Anyone here known if the screen curtains travel along a curved track to tuck up against the wall and nearer the back of the house?

If so, do the curtains withdraw into some type of receptacle, or do they stay exposed?


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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5198
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 07-06-2010 11:32 AM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
All depends on the construction. In our big house, the scope picture goes from side proscenium wall to side proscenium wall; there is not place for the curtain material to gather. The curtain has to travel past the proscenium and is not visible for scope films. For 1.85 or 1.66 or Academy, i.e., flat formats, I let it play a about 4 feet on either side of the masking so that I am not leaving a big expanse of black masking visible, which is pretty much ugly as sin.

In the small screening room here, the screen is nearly wall-to-wall with hardly any space for a receptical for the curtain to gather, althought his would be the ideal way to do it if the room dimentions allow. The solution for this setup is to:

1) use a VERY light curtian material (we use China Silk) so its bulk is very reduced compaired to the traditional velour and we

2) use a curved track that has a severe curve right at the ends of the travel. This allow most of the curtain material to gather almost at a right angle to the screen.

I can attest to the fact that a curved track like this one with a fairly steep curve at the corners is no fun in practical terms. It puts a severe drag on the traverse mechanism with probabably I would guess double or even triple the resistance needed to open and close the curtain. We've had to up the size of the curtain motor twice to handle it (good curtain motors like ADC, unless you get them used, are NOT cheap). The lightest weight curtain material is a must for curved tracks.

China Silk is very light but even more importantly, it is also nearly acoustically transparant so when running anything but scope where the curtain material covers the left and right speaker bins, the effect is on the sound is minimal. Also the trick that we use when playing other than scope formats, upon opening the curtain, we always open it fully, then close it to the flat stop. This allows the material to gather mostly at the end of the travel past the speakers so that the portion which does cover them once it is opened again to the flat position, is much less gathered and less dense, again aiding sound transmission.

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