RND JFK 6 Cinemas
Nassau, The Bahamas

The RND JFK 6 CINEMAS are located in the RND Plaza-West shopping complex on John F. Kennedy Drive, hence the name of the cinemas. Plaza West is so named because it is situated on the western side of the island of New Providence, whereupon the nation's capital -- Nassau -- is located. RND's parent company is headquartered at this site and the theatres are regarded as the flagship of the operation.

The JFK project was RND's third outing. The original location is on Prince Charles Drive on the east end of New Providence. The Prince Charles site is also known as "RND East" and the JFK site is sometimes referred to as "RND West." About five years after the company began in 1994, RND expanded its operation by building a 3 screen cinema in Marsh Harbour, Abaco. The JFK cinemas began construction shortly thereafter and opened in July 1999 with Lake Placid, Deep Blue Sea and others.

With the exception of the original location, all of RND's buildings share similar architectural elements. For instance, the high tower appearance of the facade and the pastel color scheme. In this case, the tower is capped by a glass-and-steel skylight.

Visually, the concession areas are uniform across all RND sites. Compare the lobbies of the JFK 6 Cinemas and the Freeport 5 Cinemas. The concession stands were built and outfitted by Stein.

Beyond the lobby and concession area, we have the hallway to the actual theatres. Five are located along the right wall (#5 is nearest camera, #1 is at the end of the line). The sixth auditorium -- the largest of all -- is just about halfway down on the left. The projection screen in house #6 is about 25-30 feet wide and the room accommodates around 400 people. While that may seem like a low capacity, it is worth pointing out that the entire island is only 7mi x 21mi with 3 multiplexes (23 screens) servicing a population of about 300,000. Typical seating capacities are 100, 200 and 250 with 15-20 foot screens.

This is a wide shot of the projection booth, taken from the opposite end of the hallway. The projector in the foreground is for the #1 screen. RND uses Christie AW3R platters. Note the white leader that is strapped around the outside of the print to keep the tail down. This ensures that the tail of the actual print will never be taped down for any reason.

Not far away, between #1 and #2, we come to the area that is used for storing shipping cans and a spare MUT. Note the stack of DTS frisbees. These are shipped out quarterly and sometimes sent back in cans, if there is ever extra room. Movies open here day-and-date with the United States and often the prints will arrive up to a week in advance in order to be screened and rated. DTS discs rarely arrive so early and are sent as "chasers" under a separate air waybill. The discs go back with the print but, all too often, the frisbees will not fit.

There is a block of storage cabinets between #2 & #3 projectors. These keep spare parts organized and, in this case, certain test films and trailers that require special attention. The clear plastic boxes hold the year's supply of sound snipes, policy trailers and a few extra copies of the current PSA for ECO (Earth Conservation Office). The empty shelves are where test gear is stored when not in use.

RND uses its own threading leader. The plastic bag contains the master which is looped and printed onto 2000' rolls. Each leader is 100' and contains special markings that ensure proper lacing and threading. This leader is designed for use with the Christie CA-21 automation (covered below). Built into the master are slug strips (for lens changeovers) and also "drag strips" which are attached to the tails of movies so that the actual film is not dragged on the floor after tailout.

Current ads and trailers are stored on this shelf which is opposite the work bench. Depending on who organizes them, they may be separated by studio or by release date. Still, it is always easy to find a given trailer.

These are "outbound" trailers, sorted by studio. We do not throw them away. This is about 6 months' worth of trailers, some used, some not. The leaders are often reattached to keep track of the various versions (important if you're using DTS trailer discs).

The booth desk with Wolk rewind arms. If you look closely at some of the notices above the desk, you will see that we like to keep snippets of oddities that we can use during training. Booth training is conducted at this location once per year. Up to 12 candidates are invited to attend and a mid-term determines which candidates are invited to continue. The 2 hour classes are held Monday-Thursday for about 10 weeks. There is an extensive written and practical exam. Passing the course then leads to part-time shifts alongside an experienced operator for about 2-3 months.

Now, let's look at some of the projection systems in a little more detail. These are #4 & #5 projectors, two of the smaller theatres.

This is a reverse shot of the #4 projector. The console is a Christie CC20-CH20 unit. It uses a horizontally mounted 2kW xenon lamp. The Christie CA-21 automation is mounted just below the meter.

Same as before, slightly closer view.

The Christie CA-21 automation allows total automation of shows. The clock indicates the current time (12.22) and a start time (up to 24 hours away) can be dialed in using the arrow keys. The row of buttons along the bottom-left control the various external devices. The rows of LEDs above indicate the step in the program that will trigger such events as lighting, lens, volume or format changes (among others). These automation systems are made in Australia by Pennywise.

The actual projector stack. In this case (top to bottom) we have a Kelmar PTR print cleaner, Dolby Cat. 701 SR-D sound head, Westar ATAP/K picture head with Kelmar dowser, gate and "bow-tie" turret, R-3 analog reproducer (retrofitted with LED) and Component Engineering FM-35 failsafe and proximity detector.

Same as above, equipped with DTS reader instead of Dolby Digital.

Top half of #6 sound rack. Starting at the top, we have a Component Engineering MS-100 booth monitor, Dolby CP-650D processor, DVD player (used for non-sync), Smart crossover network, Smart DA-228 music distribution amplifier, Kelmar power supply for the LED soundhead and the first of 5 amplifiers (QSC 1400). RND Cinemas was the first on the scene with true cinema stereo (all stage channels, etc) and, again, the first with digital sound.

Top half of #4 sound rack. Dolby CP-45 processor is used for analog playback. A DTS-6 unit is mounted below. These particular DTS units have worked without failure since we acquired them (circa 1994-95).

Although the faders are set at "7" for calibration, each processor is labeled to indicate the "comfortable" listening level, as dictated by experience within this market.

Special thanks to Manny Knowles for the pics.