The Angelika Film Center
Dallas, TX, USA

Entrance to the Angelika Film Center from the shopping center.

The AFC is conveniently located in central Dallas right off of I-75 and beside the Dart rail stop.  This location could not have possibly been any better.

The main entrance.  No this theater doesn't show old movies...the pictures on this page were taken some time ago.

Downstairs is a bar/cafe.  Patrons may take food and alcoholic beverages purchased here into the theater auditoriums.

From here an escalator takes you upstairs.

The concession stand and lobby at the top of the escalator.

Shot of the upstairs lobby.  The concession stand is on the right in the back of this picture.

On weekends people are herded like cattle into lines to handle the crowds in this area.  (This theater probably does better than was anticipated during the design stage, which would explain the small lobby.)  The atmosphere created here is very classy and is perfect for the type of clientel that this theater caters to.

In the booth are Century projectors, Strong Highlight II consoles, CNA-150 automations and Strong platters.  Poor planning on the part of the architect led to a lot of problems.  Due to the layout of the screens and the cramped booth design, most of the projectors had to be placed so close to the port window that the turret cannot be fully opened to facilitate easy threading and cleaning.  Also the viewing/slide windows are placed so far off to the right it makes focusing the movies very difficult.  (To focus, the projectionists must cram their head up against the turret to be able to see a part of the screen with their left eye to judge focus on.)  These port windows also do a magnificent job of leaking noise from the projection room and the lighting is either so bright the customers complain or nowhere near enough.  Shortly after these pictures were taken, light directing grilles were added to the flourescent lights to be able to leave them on during film operation which greatly helped things.

The 1-4 booth.  #1 on the left, #4 on the right.  Again poor architectural design led to this menagerie in the foreground.  The #4 platter cannot be put on the operator side due to an unnecessary wall and doorway that is behind the camera from this angle and the non-operator side has AC vents making things unnecessarily tight.  The #1 platter has been moved farther away from the projector to help the clearance issues, but the tight space between consoles still remains making moving prints and video equipment around a pain.

6 of the 8 screens have dts-6AD processors.  The large two have Dolby CP650 processors.  For those who do not know, this is an art house.  As such the dts units generally never play digital since art films are (with rare exception) not printed in dts.  Bad, bad, bad choice of processor for this application.  The green hats on top of each sound rack are to keep the interlock rollers free of dust.  This theater has interlocked one time on opening night to reportedly great disaster.  They have not and probably never will attempt an interlock again.

The booth desk in between #3 and 4.  This has since been moved to the center of the booth to keep the projectionists more centralized and for atmosphere reasons.  (This booth is located in Texas and has no air conditioning!!!  At the time these pictures were taken last summer, the booth was over 100F.)  After the opening summer two vents were added that connected into a neighboring auditorium that was supposed to be sufficient to cool the booth, but were useless.  In the end access panels on the ventilation ducts that supply the auditoriums themselves were removed to steal some of the auditorium air and get it into the booth.  It is still not enough.

The central booth workstation, beside #1.  This has also been moved to the center of the booth.  This area now commonly stores video equipment.

In between #5 and 6 in the "5 and 6" booth is another rewind bench.  As you will see on the next page the first rewind table was moved to this area.

#6 is in the foreground (being threaded) and #5 can be seen in the far background.  Bottled water, soda syrup and corn seed is stored in this booth due to lack of storage space.  At the very, very far end of the booth by #8 cups and popcorn bags are stored.  As such floor staff must frequent the booth to get supplies.  Fortunately the management at this theater is excellent and does a very good job of hiring and training quality employees, so "incidents" during stock time are not an issue.

Reverse shot of #6.  This is one of the two large auditoriums.  These two have Dolby CP650 processors with Dolby Digital (which is the only digital format most arthouse films use).  All sound systems use QSC amplifiers and all-Klipsch speakers.  In the background is the elevator downstairs as well as a stairway that leads...

...down to the "7-8" booth.  That is #7.  As you can tell by now, nothing was done to combat dirt or noise in this booth.  A cement slab floor and lack of ceiling tile grid makes for a dusty booth environment to be running film in and with all of the hard surfaces and choice of equipment, this booth is the noisiest booth in town.  All of the reverberating machine noise helps to ensure that it can be heard by the patrons in the auditoriums during the movies and the projectionists have now switched to using media cleaners on every screen to combat the dust.

Looking at the #7 sound rack we can see #8 in the background, around the corner through that narrow opening.  (Moving prints here is a real treat with all the stairs and doors.)

This theater also has a professional Elmo 16mm projector.  It has been used only a couple of times.  Everything not on 35mm is ran on video these days.

Click here to see more recent pictures of this theater during a film festival.