RND Freeport 5
Freeport, The Bahamas
RND is the largest chain of multiplexes in The Bahamas. At the moment
there are four locations on three islands. Two sites are located in Nassau
-- the nation's capital -- on the island of New Providence. The remaining
two multiplexes are situated in Marsh Harbour and Freeport on the islands
of Abaco and Grand Bahama, respectively.
The Freeport 5 opened its doors in 2000 with U-571 and Love
& Basketball among the very first films shown. Both of those films
were April releases, so that is most likely to be the month when operations
began there. The cinemas anchor a strip mall that is also owned by the
parent company of RND Cinemas.
The color scheme reflects the official uniform decor shared by all of
RND's theatres. The color scheme of the original location was beige with
dark green accents. The architect for the Freeport 5 is an Italian gentleman
who resides in Nassau. One of the most impressive features of this location
is the skylight above the lobby and concession areas.
Due to the relatively small population in Freeport, the individual auditoria
are modest in size, the largest seating around 200 persons. The theatres
are all laid out in a linear fashion which translates into a booth that
is very straightforward and easy to monitor because all projectors are
nearby and visible at all times. If there is one major flaw in the booth,
it would have to be the port windows which are not as clear and free of
coloration as projection port holes ought to be. Furthermore, the glass
is mounted in such a way that the sound of the projector can easily leak
into the auditorium.
RND was the first cinema operator in The Bahamas to use full cinema
stereo. RND was also the first to employ digital audio with DTS technology.
Freeport #1 is the first RND cinema to employ Dolby Digital audio (with
an EX adapter). All of the remaining screens in Freeport are equipped with
Dolby CP-45 analog processors. The sound-heads on the projectors use the
reverse-scan LED system.
As of this writing, all projectionists at the Freeport 5 are female.
The booth and the machines are kept immaculately clean at all times. The
flowers on the booth desk were a nice touch.
This is the view of the entire plaza that contains the RND Freeport
5 Cinemas, as seen from the Best Western hotel across the street. The plaza
is owned by the parent company of RND Cinemas.
The name of the plaza is "RND ON THE MALL" because it is situated on
the East Mall Highway. Across the street is Freeport's famous "International
Bazaar" which offers a variety of tourist shops.
This is a closer photo of the plaza, taken on the premises.
This is the portion of the building that concerns us -- Welcome to
the RND Freeport 5 Cinemas.
The extremely high ceiling is also a semi-opaque skylight. The actual
square footage of the lobby is not very generous but the exaggerated vertical
dimension goes a long way toward giving the place a spacious feel at all
The theatres are arranged in a linear fashion, one right next to the
other down a straight hallway.
The interior of Freeport #1, the largest auditorium. This room accommodates
about 200 persons and features Dolby Digital sound.
The projectors are all arranged in a nice, neat row. This makes it
very easy to keep in touch with the equipment when shows are operating.
Here we have the sound rack for Freeport #1. Starting at the very top,
we have a Smart DA-8 Distribution Amplifier. Working our way down we come
to an Ultra-Stereo 8-channel booth monitor followed by the Dolby CP-500
processor and the SA-10 EX surround adapter. Below that, a CD player and
the amplifiers (Ashleys and a Crown for the subs).
This console is actually an Orcon 1600W model that has been upgraded
to handle 2kW lamps. This console has a nice design. The doors come off
without too much trouble and there is plenty of room to spare which makes
servicing a more pleasurable experience. The lamps are installed vertically.
Closeup of the projector itself. This is typical of neraly all of RND's
projection equipment. What we have here is a Westar ATAP/K made by International
Cinema Equipment in Miami, Florida. These are very similar to a lot of
Century, Monee and the original Westar machines. The casting has been modified
to accommodate the Kelmar automated aperture plate and "bow-tie" style
lens turret. The sound head is an R-3 reproducer with the Kelmar reverse-scan
Film canisters are stored along the booth wall between the platters.
Near the left-hand side off the image, you can see the Christie MUT and
a backup unit. Peeking out from the right-hand edge of the frame is the
light blue leg of a Christie AW3R platter system, which is standard RND
Lastly, we come to the booth desk which is situated right in the middle
of the booth against the back wall. The girls who work here like to keep
everything neat. Those flowers smelled terrific!
Special thanks to Manny Knowles for the pics.