Cinema Product Reviews

SPECO LP-271 Platter MUT (old style)
Manufacturer:  SPECO
Rating D
Reviewed April 2001 by Ian Price

I have been using this Speco platter mutt for over a year now. It sucks! It is made of medium density partial board with plastic laminate. The first thing I did when I bought the place was to grab it by the bar to drag it to a new theatre. My tech said, “You shouldn’t do that"  just as the bar ripped out of the partial board, because it was held on with wood screws. I drilled out the holes and put the bar back on with through bolts.

We actually have two of these mutts. One doesn’t work because it has a short in it that I can’t find.

Now according to the instructions, and through personal experience, film should be loaded and unloaded from the middle platter only. This works OK but you had better have some wooden blocks to help level the table. Also, don’t have the other film feeding out on the bottom platter, because the middle platter will fan the lower platter feed out and the film will have a feed wrap. So move the film you wish to tear down to the middle platter and move the film that needs to play to the upper platter. I did that yesterday to 3 prints.

If you overload a reel, forget about using this platter mutt to put it on to the platter unless you have 4 hands. Two hands are needed to start the film and platter and two hands to act as reel flanges, keeping the film on the reel.

You may notice some modifications we made in order for the mutt to work better. The first one is the rag taped to the table. The feed-out spindle has no friction or holdback ability. So we taped the rag on the table to cause friction on the reel. It the rag wasn’t there, the film would feed out faster than the platter was spinning and run onto the floor.

The other modification is the four-wheeler on the floor under the table. We could never move the table by ourselves and had to seek the assistance of another person to move the table. Even though it comes with wheels, they are mounted so you have to tip the table over on its side the wide way, and they it will not fit though doors. So we just put it on the four-wheeler and move it that way. Remember, don’t grab the bar or it may tear out.

Bottom line: Buy the new table!

- Ian Price

Ian Price is a 15 year veteran of the exhibition industry. He was a theatre manager for Landmark Theatre Corporation in Denver for 5 years. He was chief projectionist for United Artists Greenwood Plaza for 6 years and currently owns the Rialto Cinemas Lakeside (5-screen Art House) in Santa Rosa, CA with his business partner Ky Boyd.

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