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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Endangered Theatres Around the World (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Endangered Theatres Around the World
Martin McCaffery
Film God

Posts: 2353
From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 12-30-2016 09:42 AM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Nice Photo-Blog:
Endangered Theatres

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Bill Brandenstein
Master Film Handler

Posts: 356
From: Santa Clarita, CA
Registered: Jul 2013

 - posted 12-30-2016 10:27 AM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Nice photo essays, thank you, Martin. I especially found striking some of the deteriorating venues in Morocco, the Indian projectionists/managers, that unbelievable mess of an outdoor cinema in poverty-stricken Burkina, and the Cuban projectionist squatting to see out the port-hole next to what I presume is a 1950s-era Soviet machine.

Interestingly, the California venues are, for the most part, not so much endangered as just simply not first-run anymore. And some of you will see some familiar stomping grounds in that set.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7036
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000

 - posted 12-30-2016 11:20 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What a great idea - putting the power amps in a tiny room with its own split unit (but with glass partition walls so that you can still see error lights etc. on them), to keep a/c costs under control while still keeping a big source of heat generation out of the main part of the booth.

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Rex Oliver
Film Handler

Posts: 65
From: Greenville, NC. USA
Registered: Apr 2013

 - posted 12-31-2016 01:57 AM      Profile for Rex Oliver   Email Rex Oliver   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Didn't theaters in the past have separate rooms for the amps-like in those days the amps were tubed and bulky-generated lots of heat.The room in the picture with the Crown amps and a split HVAC unit.We have several of those split HVAC units at the transmitter site.Microwave/mux room,data,phone equipment room,battery room,and one of the break rooms.Wouldn't think those Crown amps would generate THAT much heat as the tube amps of the past.But like the room nonetheless.The picure of the projectionist peering out the booth window-scantly dressed-must be REALLY HOT in there!Also see some "crack" in that picture!

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Brad Miller

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

 - posted 12-31-2016 12:12 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Leo, I don't see where that is particularly needed with today's amp racks...but the "booth air conditioning" (fan pointing down above the projector) super is high tech. [Razz]

Given the spacing there, it's as if they were expecting to drop a digital projector in between those two film projectors.


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Tyler Purcell
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 156
From: Van Nuys, CA
Registered: Dec 2015

 - posted 12-31-2016 03:43 PM      Profile for Tyler Purcell   Author's Homepage   Email Tyler Purcell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Riddle me this... why do those pictures from India, have old ark lamp housings? Do you think they converted to xenon and they just retained the old housing? Sooo confused!

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Frank Cox
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1974
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011

 - posted 12-31-2016 04:55 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Bill Brandenstein
that unbelievable mess of an outdoor cinema in poverty-stricken Burkina
Ok, I understand that they're poor. But why do they have to be so filthy? Surely a bucket of water and a couple of rags could be found somewhere, even in the poorest areas.

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Kenneth Wuepper
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 996
From: Saginaw, MI, USA
Registered: Feb 2002

 - posted 12-31-2016 05:19 PM      Profile for Kenneth Wuepper   Email Kenneth Wuepper   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Regarding recycling the lamp houses: the local General Cinema theater was twinned and they installed one platter and converted the carbon lamps to Xenon with conversion kits. The light was very good and it eliminated the need for the projectionist in the process.

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8318
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004

 - posted 01-04-2017 07:57 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I would say that both of those Ashcraft knockoffs have already been converted to xenon for the simple reason is that the knife switch on both bases are closed.

But there are alternatives to where it's still carbon arc, but using rectifiers and push button, on/off contacters, which would make why the knife switches needs to be closed.

The Oakland Paramount has just completed a special Holiday run of "the Wizard of Oz," using an IB print.

Booth is intact with Simplex XL and Strong 135's

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Mark Hajducki
Jedi Master Film Handler

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

 - posted 01-05-2017 08:22 PM      Profile for Mark Hajducki   Email Mark Hajducki   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It would be nice to get a bit more detail (both photos and history) on each cinema.

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Sam D. Chavez
Film God

Posts: 2087
From: Martinez, CA USA
Registered: Aug 2003

 - posted 01-05-2017 10:55 PM      Profile for Sam D. Chavez   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Actually Ashcraft.

I was there Friday night and was the technician of record. I recently overhauled the sound system with a specially modified CP65 with 4 projector inputs. 3 35mm and two Eastman model 25s.

Meyer speakers, no surrounds.

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Kenneth Wuepper
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 996
From: Saginaw, MI, USA
Registered: Feb 2002

 - posted 01-06-2017 08:54 PM      Profile for Kenneth Wuepper   Email Kenneth Wuepper   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The GC units were also Ashcraft carbon conversions by Kneisley using the carbon rectifiers with added ballasts and igniters.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16221
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 01-25-2017 11:51 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've seen Kneisley conversions in Strong Futuras put out more light with a 4kw lamp than the other Strong Futura in the same booth running a 140 amp arc.


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Frank Angel
Film God

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

 - posted 02-10-2017 08:55 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
These pictures are no doubt decades old, taken before the era of platter booths or the cinema multiplex -- all the setups look like they still are change-over operations in single screen theatres as no platters can be seen, so there would be no reason to convert the lamphouses to xenon. The only advantage xenon gave the exhibitor was to allow the use of platters and single projector operation and out of the growth of the multiplex. If they were still running change-over, then xenon got the exhibitor no advantage; he still needed those well-paid (relatively), trained projectionists to run each show. If you've got to pay a crew of projectionist, then running change-overs was just part of the job; no exhibitor would put in xenon just so the projectionists' didn't have to watch carbon trims. Most exhibitors wouldn't make the switch to xenon until the platter made it worth the layout cost.

Once the platter was introduced, then it made economic sense -- invest in the platter and switch to xenon and Mr. Exhibitor could once and for all, rid himself of that pesky, expensive team of salaried projectionists, who many times were the highest paid employees on the payroll. Instead, he could find an eager high school age splice jockey who would be happy to work for minimum wage, saving said exhibitor enough cash to torture his single into barely functional double, triple or even quadruple screens in the same building, but more importantly, with just about the same the number of personnel it cost him to run his single screen. What a concept. And so the number of screens multiplied like rabbits and so did the number under-experience, under-paid and most importantly, under-trained projection "attendants."

And that, boys and girls, is when we started to watch the slow but inexorable decline and side into the mire and goop of exhibition mediocrity.

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Jim Cassedy
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1553
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Dec 2006

 - posted 02-10-2017 09:51 PM      Profile for Jim Cassedy   Email Jim Cassedy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Frank: Sometime in the late 1970's, I worked at an old theater that had been cut
up into a triplex. One big auditorium downstairs, and the former balcony split in
half to make two smaller auditoriums. It was somewhere out on the north-east
end of Long Island.

They ran 6,000ft reels, and carbon arcs! They had a semi-automated
changeover system that would strike the arc and start the film for the
2nd reel. It only worked about 70% of the time. (biggest problem was
the arc auto-strike) Most of time I ran around to the different booths,
disabled the automation & did the change-overs manually, but there
was usually one show a day where the timing was too tight for me to
be in two booths at once.

So, I'd do the change-over in whatever auditorium had the biggest crowd,
and hope for the best in the other one.

They eventually switched to xenons & kicked the union out- for better or worse.

And yes- - for most of those years, I was the highest paid person on the staff.
I still am at a couple of venues I work at.

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