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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » After 4.5 years I'm back....It's in my blood (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: After 4.5 years I'm back....It's in my blood
Tom Petrov
Five Guys Lover

Posts: 1121
From: El Paso, TX
Registered: Jan 2003


 - posted 04-30-2011 12:52 AM      Profile for Tom Petrov     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thats right folks, after 4.5 years away from the cinema, tonight I worked my first shift a usher/staff/manager tonight at the newly refurbished Humber Cinema is Toronto. Well almost refurbished.

I always felt that certain people would understand that you have to have theatre "in your blood" to want to do this type of thing. I worked my normal day shift today (7-3) at my full time job, as I then went to the Humber for my first night shift.

Let's just say that it was an amazing night.

First off, we were running 30 minutes late. We had debit, no credit...it was CASH only. Ticket prices were $12 and we had no point of sale system. We had no fountain pop so bottles had to do. Popcorn oil was coconut. It was like the old days, we were using rolled "Admit" one tickets.

The first show was to start at 7pm. We were not finished installing the seats, the lineup outside was forming and was like 40 people long. The theater was a closed 1940's cinema with a traditional downstairs theatre as well as well as an upstairs balcony. From the lineup outside, the customers in the line could see the seats being brought up the stairs to be installed right around the time the first show was to start. I was dispatched by the owner to go talk to the crowd....

I went out to the crowd to explain that we were running late, one of the crowd members mentioned that they could see the seats being brought up...It was funny, the final touches were being put on the one cinema that we were running. While mingling with the crowd which was now forming around the block "haha blockbuster" I discovered some diehard fans and a few interesting people. One such guy could tell me all the movies he saw and where...another was a rep from the Canadian distributor of Twilight and there were a bunch who were there with there kids.

Finally the doors were about to open, I was doing the ticket taking tonight. We now officially opened, the very first customer was a 12 year old boy with a skateboard. We had a brand new carpet, theatre doors without handles, freshly painted theatre floor with new lighting (the old wiing was ripped out of the walls)...the choice of concessions was popcorn and soda bottles..no candy or other stuff until ready.

On to the show

The auditorium is a nicely renovated cinema. It seats 300 people, its the formally converted balcony cinema...it has new seats and curved rows. The screen is about 35 feet. The best way to describe the theatre is kind of like a traditional IMAX theatre, really, really wide with a about 15 rows.

Just before the show I was asked by the owner to make an announcement to the crowd. I came in front of them and made it. I basically sushed them like Conan Obrien and said (not word-for-word) "Thank you for the being the very first audience tonight at the Humber. I remember seeing many movies here back in the day, I saw Point Break, Pure Luck, Apt Pupil, Shinning Through and Jingle all the Way...tonight you are going to Fast Five in real 35mm film, none of this digital cinema stuff, you are also going to hear Dolby Digital sound that has been carefully calibrated, you will hear the surrounds! Lastly, I want to point out the promotion that we are doing...blah, blah, blah"...I got a thunderous round of applause"

The Show Starts

Let me just say, the owner spared no expense (well maybe THX)...this was first rate 35mm projection and the sound was awesome. It was a little echoey but it was good. Sharp, clean and clear picture that was 35mm that was not stretched to the max...It was stunning


Interesting Stats

35 foot screen

Non cheap independent feel (this theatre will be finished well when up to speed)

1st show, 85 patrons, 2nd show 45 patrons

Dolby Digital Sound

CP Processor

Spared no expense projection booth

70mm mag option

Real colour backlit sign of new movies advertisment (like a poster but on the marquee NO LETTERS)

Old style urinals from the 70s (original)

Nice seats (not old)

Vintage Stuff

Emergency booth exit is an original sliding door from the 40s, 50s, 60s, or sometime

1970s authenic automation on the wall of the booth (not working, left for show)...it has cinema 1 status and cinema 2

1940's??? heating system where you add oil and set the pressure to heat the booth (not working, left for show)

Chain pulley to open the old 1940's glass window about 25 feet above the booth glass

Xenon power supply is 25 feet and three rooms away from the projector

1940's backrooms everywhere. Step to access rooms are made of wood and steps are only 6 inches

Old staff lockers, I have to go through them

There are pulley systems behind the main (unfinsished) screen

Cool stuff I found

I found a 10 year old faded washroom signed checklist

I found an advertisment of the when Cineplex Odeon promoted "Reel Mail" to your email

I found writing on the walls in the backrooms

I found a emergency fire hose underneath the main theatre (unfinished) screen

There are all kind of attics

1970s authenic automation on the wall of the booth (not working, left for show)

1940's??? heating system where you add oil and set the pressure to heat the booth (not working, left for show)

Out by the exit doors, there is a sign that says "No parking...thank you Cineplex Odeon Management" its all faded

Coolest feature

The upstairs theatre was a smoking cinema as I am told. Under the seats were vents (they look like landmines) that suck the cigarette smoke from the theatre so the downstairs patrons are not bothered. They are still there, newly painted, rusted inside but not working of course

It's in my blood

Folks, my heart is in the theatre. I have it in my blood, when I touched the 35mm film print of "Fast Five"....It felt special. I was so calm when I made the announcement to the crowd. The owner at one point had to tell me to relax and calm down because I was so hiper and excited.

This was such a fun night, there is something about the experience of being in a movie theatre that not too many places can replicate.

My second shift is Saturday night.

The theatre is where I want to be...

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James Westbrook
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1126
From: Lubbock, Texas, Usa
Registered: Mar 2006


 - posted 04-30-2011 01:01 AM      Profile for James Westbrook   Email James Westbrook   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Personal preference: Cocoanut oil is the best oil for theater popcorn.

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Kurt Zupin
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 989
From: Maricopa, Arizona
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted 04-30-2011 01:05 AM      Profile for Kurt Zupin   Email Kurt Zupin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Nice Story, glad your back in the game.

side note though...any reason you've double and triple posted some of the stuff? I didn't really pay much attention after I reread the same stuff twice.

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Tom Petrov
Five Guys Lover

Posts: 1121
From: El Paso, TX
Registered: Jan 2003


 - posted 04-30-2011 01:08 AM      Profile for Tom Petrov     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey kurt. I cut and pasted from word. Some glitch I think, trying to fix it.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 04-30-2011 02:19 AM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Tom Petrov
CP Processor
Woooowww! A real CP?

quote: Tom Petrov
Old style urinals from the 70s (original)
You list this as a "feature"? Was pissing more exciting in the 70's or something?

quote: Tom Petrov

Xenon power supply is 25 feet and three rooms away from the projector

That will make troubleshooting really fun.

Question: Why are you running shows when the place isn't even finished? You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

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Kurt Zupin
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 989
From: Maricopa, Arizona
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted 04-30-2011 04:52 AM      Profile for Kurt Zupin   Email Kurt Zupin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was going to ask this as well Joe, but I don't know. Something told me not to.

Like I said before, glad your back in the game. But it really was a bad move opening before you even had seats in the place. Then your first show was late to start. Not a good first impression for sure. Would like to see some pictures of this place.

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Tom Petrov
Five Guys Lover

Posts: 1121
From: El Paso, TX
Registered: Jan 2003


 - posted 04-30-2011 08:23 AM      Profile for Tom Petrov     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That CP should read, CP500

When I pay the bills for the place, then I woudl be able to tell you why the power supply was 25 feet away.

As for opening when the seats were not installed yet, well it was advertised everywhere that the theatre was opening, it would be worse to not open after the opening was advertisted.

The seats were the final thing, remember, this is independent........what has the corporate world done to everyone

I will have some pictures soon.

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Alan Plester
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 208
From: great yarmouth england
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 04-30-2011 08:36 AM      Profile for Alan Plester   Email Alan Plester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
read it and drooled congratulations

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Bajsic Bojan
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 190
From: Ljubljana, Si, Eu
Registered: Aug 2008


 - posted 04-30-2011 09:10 AM      Profile for Bajsic Bojan   Email Bajsic Bojan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
first off, congrats for the opening, glad you like to be in the game.

otoh, you are happy that you got 85 people in a 300 seat auditorium on the opening night of the theater? is this all your target audience? how big is the town?

every time we opened, reopened or when i attended an opening, it was considered an epic failure to not get at least 90% of the seats full.

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Kurt Zupin
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 989
From: Maricopa, Arizona
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted 04-30-2011 11:30 AM      Profile for Kurt Zupin   Email Kurt Zupin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
From your post it doesnt sound like the seats were the final thing, you had a semi no operable concession stand. No credit system or a even a POS to track sales. While no one here is trying to rain on our parade, we're just wondering what happened to make it not fully ready? Sounds like the owner had a set date to open, why wern't these things finished in time. More all day all night shifts to get it open? Judging from your post the owner trusts you to be the face of his theatre if he's not willing to go out and talk to the first crowd or give the first announcment. So thats why your getting these questions Tom. Its also not "What has the Corporate world done to everyone" Everyone here should be about ultimate presentation this jus doesn't sound that great.

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Tony Bandiera Jr
Film God

Posts: 3051
From: Moreland Idaho
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 04-30-2011 11:58 AM      Profile for Tony Bandiera Jr   Email Tony Bandiera Jr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree Kurt...they were NOT ready to open and would have been better off postponing a day or two to get things finalized. I do wonder how many people would have really shown up, but perhaps saw the "parade of seats" and turned away and left.

One part of me thinks this thread was just another "Hey look at me, I'm Tom Petrov" attention grab. [Roll Eyes]

I will say that overall though it is always good to hear of a theatre that has been saved and re-opened so there is some credit due for that in any event.

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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 04-30-2011 12:43 PM      Profile for Manny Knowles   Email Manny Knowles   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Tom Petrov
sound was awesome. It was a little echoey but it was good.
Well...that's *almost* THX, I guess...

And please do make sure we get a shot of those urinals in the warehouse...please.

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Jeff Arellano
Film Handler

Posts: 41
From: Monterey Park, CA
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted 04-30-2011 01:23 PM      Profile for Jeff Arellano   Email Jeff Arellano   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Its in my blood too. After just over 8 years out of the industry, I got back in. Had to. I missed it. It feels great to be back. Even though I'm at a very slow theater for the moment, we have been gaining momentum as summer is approaching, and last night experienced our busiest day ever, even adding a 2nd late show.

Im happy.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 04-30-2011 04:26 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Kurt Zupin was the last to post
The seats were the final thing
Aside from what Kurt mentioned, you yourself also said:

quote: Tom Petrov

There are pulley systems behind the main (unfinsished) screen

The screen itself is unfinished!

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Todd Cornwall
Film Handler

Posts: 91
From: Madison, WI
Registered: Feb 2004


 - posted 04-30-2011 08:20 PM      Profile for Todd Cornwall   Email Todd Cornwall   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't understand why people put unrealistic deadlines on things like this. What made you say THAT was the day that you had to be open? People and the town are going to remember their first experience there...and it didn't sound 100%.

On the other hand, I completely understand your excitement about being back in the business. Congratulations.

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