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Author Topic: AMC Presentation "Quality"
William Kucharski
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 244
From: Louisville, Colorado, United States of America
Registered: Oct 2012


 - posted 10-02-2013 01:54 AM      Profile for William Kucharski   Email William Kucharski   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My local AMC just finished an extensive remodel, and now has reserved power leather reclining seating for all theaters!

Nice, but as part of the remodel they put in new rope lighting for exit lighting… that does this to the corners of all the brand new screens (this one is their ETX screen):

 -

The manager says all designs come from corporate. [Frown]

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Boris Sorokoumov
Film Handler

Posts: 7
From: Moscow, Russia
Registered: Jan 2008


 - posted 10-02-2013 03:22 AM      Profile for Boris Sorokoumov   Email Boris Sorokoumov   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
William, we had the same problem in our new Sochi's theater. Solution was to seal the exit signs solar tinted glasses.

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 3357
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 10-02-2013 03:38 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A common problem in today's theaters...

Badly placed and designed emergency exit signs that have to stay on during the show due to regulations and those infuriating LED rope lights (often in fluorescent red, blue or green) to light up the aisles causing havoc on screen, especially during dark scenes. Additionally, those huge silver screens often used in "premium" theaters aren't really helping to solve the problem.

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Louis Bornwasser
Film God

Posts: 4441
From: prospect ky usa
Registered: Mar 2005


 - posted 10-02-2013 07:00 AM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Remember according to code, EXIT lights have to be visible, not searchlights. If the house lights are up, they are visible if not on. If house lights are down, they are visible if minimally powered. Many time the LED EXIT lights have a control which can be adjusted.

What we have here is "no desire" to correct the problem. I have adjusted HUNDREDS of screen LEDs. Louis

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6539
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-02-2013 07:57 AM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: William Kucharski
The manager says all designs come from corporate.
That manager needs to be slapped!

I have worked for "corporate." How many of you have? How many still do? Quite a few of us, I bet. Better yet, how many people here ARE "corporate?"

Corporate management does not sit there, on-high, and tell people what to do. They expect theater managers to run their own theater. They expect managers to do things, to be proactive at solving problems and to report back to corporate about what they did to solve those problems.

When I worked for regional headquarters, I barely saw my boss once per month if I was lucky. My job was to go out, fix movie projectors and keep theaters running. I was supposed to do what I needed to keep those movies running at all times. If I did that, my boss was happy.

If I stood there and said, "I can't fix this projector because 'corporate' says so," my boss would chew my ass. If I was the boss and one of my managers said, "I can't fix the screen because 'corporate' says so," I would chew his ass. If I was the manager I would expect to get my ass chewed.

Maybe that manager could have tried to get the strip lights in those theaters put on the house light dimmers? I'm kind of confused as to why they wouldn't be on the dimmer system. In all the "luxury" auditoriums I have seen at Cinemark, the strip lights ARE on the dimmer system. Even in the "regular" auditoriums, the strip lights are on their own dimmers.

In every Cinemark theater that I have worked at, the manager should have been able to walk up to a control panel, somewhere, and push a few buttons and fix that problem.

Even if those strip lights are not on dimmers... Even if "corporate" does micromanage at the theater level, that manager is still a jerk-off!

The correct answer would have been, "I'll have somebody look into the problem."

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

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From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 10-02-2013 11:07 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That's poor lighting design all the way around. First of all the verbiage in the code is STUPID. Next, the wrong kinds of LED fixtures are being used in movie theaters. The damned LED bulbs should NOT be visible, only the light cast from them should be.

There's lots of new environmental lighting fixtures being installed in all sorts of architectural developments where the lighting is recessed into walls, hidden in coves or at least covered by various kinds of caps. What's stopping movie theaters from doing this (other than fucked up verbiage in regulations)?

I-25 was rebuilt through downtown Trinidad, Colorado. I'm happy they finished that elevated road project last year. It was a pain in the ass to get through. The finished road doesn't have overhead lights. Instead street lamps were recessed into the concrete bridge railings. The lamps aren't directly visible to motorists. The lamps cast light onto the roadway in front of the motorists. It's a very clean looking design.

The new Oakland Bay Bridge was recently opened to I-80 traffic. This odd looking suspension bridge has thousands of LED light fixtures. They light up the bridge and the roadway, but the lighting fixtures and their covers keep the bright lights from glaring directly at oncoming traffic.

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Randy Stankey
Film God

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From: Erie, Pennsylvania
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 - posted 10-02-2013 12:58 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You're right, Bobby. Those LED strips should only be just aglow so that people can see them enough to follow them to the exit. They are not supposed to cast any light into the room.

Recessed or shrouded fixtures are fine. If they can be had for this application, they should have been used. Look at the old movie palaces. They had recessed down lights on the bottoms of the chairs at the end of the rows. The technology has been available for decades.

Regardless of the type of fixture being used, they should be on dimmers. In my experience, they almost always are. That's why I said the manager should have been able to go to a control panel, somewhere, and adjust them.

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Mark Hajducki
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 500
From: Edinburgh, UK
Registered: May 2003


 - posted 10-02-2013 04:35 PM      Profile for Mark Hajducki   Email Mark Hajducki   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Randy Stankey
Corporate management does not sit there, on-high, and tell people what to do. They expect theater managers to run their own theater. They expect managers to do things, to be proactive at solving problems and to report back to corporate about what they did to solve those problems.
From my experience with a couple of UK chains large scale projects are taken over by head office, with little control given to the local site staff.

At one any input by the local staff into a (much needed) refurbishment of the toilet facilities was ignored. The final result was a far more expensive, and disruptive, rebuilding which has left the site with operational issues (that were predicted by the on site staff).

At the other almost any expenditure required authorization from a level higher up the chain of command. If electrical work was required to add dimmers to the step lights approval would have been needed.

It may be the case that the Health and Safety manager (at corporate level) has insisted on the bright step lighting (without considering the effect on the screen). I have seen similar situations to this where the auditorium light had to be on (low) at all times due to fatal trips in other sites, this was the cheap solution to improving the lighting in the auditoria.

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Bruce McGee
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From: Asheville, NC USA... Nowhere in Particular.
Registered: Aug 1999


 - posted 10-02-2013 06:20 PM      Profile for Bruce McGee   Email Bruce McGee   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My theatre had aisle lighting. Each theatre had dimmers for it. I When the lights were down, it was very easy to see the aisle without light hitting the screen. We never ran the aisle lights full-on!

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

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From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
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 - posted 10-02-2013 06:42 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Bobby Henderson
The damned LED bulbs should NOT be visible, only the light cast from them should be.
While I fully agree with this, it's rather hard to implement if you put those things on the edge off your steps. Although it might look pretty cool, you should probably just not do that.

In some cases, those things even reflect in your 3D glasses (and probably even in normal glasses) if you happen to end up near an aisle that has them, which is really very distracting.

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Louis Bornwasser
Film God

Posts: 4441
From: prospect ky usa
Registered: Mar 2005


 - posted 10-03-2013 02:11 PM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Please note that SOME led lighting systems are quite directional. Correct is to aim the light toward the screen and away from your forward view. Best, of course, is only reflected light.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

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From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-03-2013 02:27 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We used to have amber lights in the floor along the aisles (bulbs, not LEDs). If they were turned up bright they would definitely light up the screen so we kept them very low. They were really crappy lights...if one bulb burned out, six feet of them would go out. I think we may have had four or five weeks out of 10 years that we had 100% of the lights working. After the warranty ran out we eventually just turned them off altogether.

Nowadays we have aisle lights in the end seat standards, old fashioned-style. Much better.

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Jonathan Goeldner
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From: Washington, District of Columbia
Registered: Jun 2008


 - posted 10-03-2013 02:28 PM      Profile for Jonathan Goeldner   Email Jonathan Goeldner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
ancilary light bouncing back to the screen is a very glaring flaw on the Xtreme Xscape Auditorium (right screen) at the Brandywine Maryland location - it was so bad, I had to ask/'complain' to management about this, she said she'd look into it.

I really hate the exit signs at the Regal Bethesda location - they are so bright (and close to the screens), it's visually distracting and kills any and all the 3D presentations of a movie - I try to avoid going to that theater like the plague. I've told management this and I've facebook messaged corporate about this, but I'm not sure if anything has been done to solve this. All they need to do is replace exit signs over to the 'green' ones that are far less bright - I refer to the current ones as exit signs for the visually impaired.

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Mark Hajducki
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From: Edinburgh, UK
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 - posted 10-03-2013 04:22 PM      Profile for Mark Hajducki   Email Mark Hajducki   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The worst auditorium design I have seen with respect to unwanted light on the screen had the sun shine directly onto the screen when the entry door was open.

Having customers go straight from a sunny corridor into a dark screen is not a good idea.

Despite being designed by a leading architectural practice it was clear that the designers had very limited cinema experience. There was also design issues with the rest of the shopping centre.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

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From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 10-04-2013 02:33 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The only kind of light that has any business getting onto a movie screen is the light coming from the projector. Ambient light from another source fogging the screen is 100% wrong.

I also don't like other small yet bright sources of light distracting my attention to the screen. Lighted exit signs suck. But I suppose we have to live with them due to safety regulations. At the very least, those things should not be installed anywhere near the screen. But if there is no other alternative, such as the theater's rear exit being right next to the screen, the friggin' lighted exit sign should have some kind of metal or plastic visor installed to prevent its red light from contaminating the projection screen. It doesn't have to be as big as a wrap-around visor on a traffic signal light. At least some kind of panel blocking the exit sign's light from the screen should suffice. I think lighted exit signs should be on dimmers as well. They don't need to be all that bright while the movie is playing.

I've grown to really hate the LED rope lights so many theaters install along the floor. Kudos to Mike for using lights installed on seats adjacent to the aisle. Modern LED fixtures with visors to hide the very bright & distracting bulbs could be installed on theater seats. That kind of lighting could be designed to illuminate aisles and stairways without the ambient light fogging the screen.

The severity of this problem is relative. I know I'm sounding like this one of the worst things people encounter in a movie theater. As distracting as LED strip lighting along a floor can be, it doesn't hold a candle to the dipshit lighting up his part of the auditorium with a smart phone display.

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