The Angelika Film
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
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
#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
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.