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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Drive-In Screen Sizing (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Drive-In Screen Sizing
Dave Bird
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 727
From: Perth, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jun 2000


 - posted 06-12-2018 12:36 PM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As we plan our 2nd screen, I'm torn as to how big it should be. Our current screen is 72 feet wide (52 tall) and what I would call the "prime parking" is from 250-400 feet (though folks do park as far as 600 feet away).

For Screen 2, the capacity will be much smaller and that "prime parking" will be only 150-250 feet away. I'm thinking that half the size does not necessarily look just as big at half the distance.....

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Barry Floyd
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1054
From: Lebanon, Tennessee, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 06-12-2018 01:16 PM      Profile for Barry Floyd   Author's Homepage   Email Barry Floyd   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Both of my screens are 25 feet x 59.75 feet, with a 354 foot throw.

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Terry Monohan
Master Film Handler

Posts: 267
From: San Francisco CA USA
Registered: May 2014


 - posted 06-12-2018 02:02 PM      Profile for Terry Monohan   Email Terry Monohan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dave don't put in a dinky size screen. Make it a full scope wide screen not a big square 1.85, one that has white screen at the top for scope. I have seen many outdoor theatres that have tried to make extra money by adding multi small tiny flat square screens and they look bad. I personally only see a movie at a drive In on the largest scope #1 screen. Don't worry about distance from the projector booth, they make a variety of lens to work for you these days. If your new car lot is smaller It will still make a big show off display with a wide picture that they can't get in their backyard or home theatre set up. Add a few feet on the sides make it almost as big as your main set up. Make It impressive for your customers even make It curved, your main one is not probably. Don't call It Theatre #2 or Theatre #B give the new screen a name. Good luck!

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12330
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-12-2018 02:13 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Bigger is better for sure.

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Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2079
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 06-12-2018 02:44 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Maybe start with the projector/lens combination and work backwards to the size screen you can use for your throw.

I agree with the others though that bigger is better. Make it too small and you'll have people unhappy if they have to park too far back. My drive-in screen is about 95'x40'. The scope picture fills the screen edge to edge with about a foot left top and bottom. The flat picture fits top to bottom with about 3' left on either side. Our throw is about 450 feet, with our back row being about the same distance. Even from the back we have a pretty good size picture.

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Randy Stankey
Film God

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From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-12-2018 03:32 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Make your screen 45 feet wide and 32 feet tall. [Smile]

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Dave Bird
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 727
From: Perth, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jun 2000


 - posted 06-12-2018 04:07 PM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We like "bigger" of course, but there just won't be parking "too far back" on this field, probably 250 feet away is maximum due to the real estate.

We certainly won't get anywhere near the size of our main screen, which is somewhat interesting, built in what I assume to be "academy" in 1953 but expanded soon after to roughly 2:1. 35mm was an issue, we cheated in both formats. Now, however, Scope is set to go entire width and all the way to the top (my idea, I curse it when the odd person says we need to "adjust the projector"). Flat films pretty much fill the "white" portion of screen, I think over the years, it's been painted down to Flat ratio.....appears that way when we calibrate it anyway.
I can see the value in Scope ratio, almost no Flat films now.

Barry, how HIGH from the ground does your picture start?

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Alexandre Pereira
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 126
From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jan 2016


 - posted 06-12-2018 05:37 PM      Profile for Alexandre Pereira   Author's Homepage   Email Alexandre Pereira   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just make it as big as possible but use common width - I know this is a big cheat. But I did it in my screening room. Set the width for flat and scope the same but align scope to the top of the screen. This way there is no top and bottom bars for the image and the screen width is constant. Without masking this works well. You can even play all your trailers in flat and then the feature scope.

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Mike Croaro
Master Film Handler

Posts: 332
From: Millbrae, CA
Registered: Apr 2005


 - posted 06-12-2018 07:27 PM      Profile for Mike Croaro   Email Mike Croaro   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Fixed scope screen. 90% of Hollywood films and scope.

Mike

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Dave Bird
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 727
From: Perth, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jun 2000


 - posted 06-12-2018 08:11 PM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That's basically what we've done with our current screen Alexandre. Pushing Scope to the top of screen was a no-brainer for me, gets it up higher over the cars, but also I think we get less flak for not "filling the screen" without the "letterbox" band on the top as well as bottom. I almost think we might get less flak for this than we would "not filling the sides" for the rare Flat movie that comes along.... but then again, I think those of us who spend so much time at our theatres probably think about such things way more than the public will....

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Frank Cox
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1908
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 06-13-2018 12:39 AM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My (indoor) screen is and always has been a perfect scope size and I don't have movable masking.

In almost 25 years I have had exactly two people ask me why the picture doesn't reach the outside edge of the screen when I'm playing a flat movie.

Call me a traditionalist, but I think a cinema-done-right should have a scope-sized screen.

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Dave Bird
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 727
From: Perth, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jun 2000


 - posted 06-13-2018 09:42 AM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm pretty much agreed with the logic Frank, the only thing I would say for us, is that by pushing Scope "all the way up", the bottom portion of the screen outdoors is very dark anyway. So I have no experience with "blank sides" during a Flat movie, but in a way I think it might be more noticeable for us. But that wouldn't apply indoors I wouldn't think. Also, side masking or curtains would be far easier than top/bottom.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

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From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-13-2018 12:04 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Frank Cox
In almost 25 years I have had exactly two people ask me why the picture doesn't reach the outside edge of the screen when I'm playing a flat movie.
I've only had one person ask me that question, and I've been here over 40 years.

Besides most of the movies these days are scope anyway, at least "mainstream" ones.

(Cue Bobby to rant about scope resolution) [Big Grin]

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Barry Floyd
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1054
From: Lebanon, Tennessee, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 06-13-2018 02:58 PM      Profile for Barry Floyd   Author's Homepage   Email Barry Floyd   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Dave Bird
Barry, how HIGH from the ground does your picture start?
Dave, the bottom of our screens are 16 feet above the ground. They would be better at 20 feet above the ground.

Our screens at 25 feet x 59.75 feet are full fixed scope ratio. (Back in our 35mm days, we could use precut scope aperture plates and never needed to file them.) Scope pictures fill our screens top to bottom and side to side with no overshoot or cropping. On Flat pictures, we fill the screen top to bottom, but have about 6 and a half feet black on each side.

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8253
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 06-13-2018 04:22 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I know a Drive-in with a 100x60 ft screen with a 150 ft throw.

There are only two rows up before the building.

It's a 400 car field.

Has a great scope picture, letterboxed, of course.

I take care of two drive-ins with Barco 32B where one is a 90x45 and a 325 ft throw and the other drive in has a 80x40 with a 225 ft throw. The latter one is only a 225 car field.

-monte

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