Cinema Product Reviews

Platter Reel
Manufacturer:  Goldberg
Grade:  A
Reviewed May 2000 by Joe Redifer

 Ever feel that building a film up onto two separate 6000 foot reels, rewinding them, loading them onto a platter (stopping to splice the two reels together at the platter) is a waste of time?  Iím sure just about every creative projectionist has wished for a way to build the film to a single reel, not rewind it and just place it onto the platter deck and be done with it.  Well, dream no more.

 Goldberg has designed a platter reel which makes all of this a reality.  You can build an entire feature onto it, place it on your platter deck, remove the top and the center piece and pay out perfectly from the bottom flange.  That is the way it is designed, but you donít need a platter reel for every feature you have to assemble that evening.  We found that we could detatch the bottom flange from the center piece and then squeeze it against the print which is still around the the rest of the reel.  From there we could carry it to a nearby platter and set it down.  Then we remove the top piece which enables us to slide the print right off of the bottom flange (which has already been disconnected) and carry the print to the platter where it will play.  The reel is then freed so it may be used to assemble the next feature.  Of course, there MUST be two people present to carry the reel when you have one of the flanges unlocked.

This is the print built up and set on a platter deck as Goldberg intended it to be used.  Note, the outside of the flanges even have rubber bumpers on them about 1/8 inch thick to prevent the disc from sliding.

 How much film will fit on this giant reel?  Approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes worth.  Our print of Gladiator, complete with 10 minutes of trailers, came right to the very edge.  It might even fit a short Kevin Costner flick on it as well.  Since it reduces the amount of winding and rewinding on a print, the amount of static is decreased as well.  Before we started using this device, we would sometimes have static problems with the first showing of any given print, since it had not yet been coated with FilmGuard.  But now the prints feed out completely smooth from beginning to end, with very few static problems.  Static has not been completely eliminated, but it has been reduced to the point to where it is exrtremely minor for that virgin run.

 Pictured above is the one problem that can occur if you are not careful...a bulge in the print after you remove the ďringĒ from the center after placing the print on the deck.  This is caused by excessive rewind table backtension from the shipping reels.  We found on our Kelmar rewind tables that unscrewing the tension nut to 1/4 of an inch from the end of the shaft yielded perfect results, as seen in the previous picture.  Another potential problem is a screw that goes in and out to lock the flanges from spinning during winding.  You better make sure that screw is up when you slide the print onto your platter, or else you will get a very nasty scratch on the deck.

 The Goldberg platter reel is an incredible time saver!  No more dragging the make-up tables around.  No more waiting for it to load up.  No more splicing at the platter.  It just makes life much easier on those busy Thursday nights.  Iím just surprised that this wasnít in wide use many years ago.

Bottom Line:  Every booth should have one of these.

--Joe Redifer

Joe Redifer has been a projectionist for the last few years.  He learned at Mann Kipling, went on to the UA Greenwood and finally spent 2 years at Mann Chinese.  At the Chinese, Joe performed most of the daily maintenance on the equipment.  Joe is not a technician and has no test equipment, but is an experienced projectionist.  These reviews are representative of the performance of the equipment/services from his perspective.

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