Cinema Product Reviews

Goldberg Projection Port Windows
Manufacturer:  Goldberg
Grade:  D
Reviewed April 2001 by Joe Redifer

Goldberg makes kick ass reels, right?  Hell yeah!  They’re not designed poorly like Technicolor’s reels.  Goldberg also makes innovative products like the Platter Split Reel.  You can build an entire print up on this reel and feed right off of it from your platter, or back onto it if you like to break down movies at the bench.    With this kind of track record, Goldberg should make some bitchin’ port glass, correct?  The answer is YES, THEY SHOULD!  Too bad they don’t.

Many movie theaters like to use Goldberg projection ports, mostly United Artists for some reason.  I guess that once you are used to buying something, you just keep buying it out of habit.  Whoever is buying this stuff should be made to clean all of the ports (inside and out) in the booth.  They should also be forced to watch a movie in an auditorium at the same complex.  Perhaps then they will see the light.  But they won’t see all of it.  These ports are not manufactured using true optical glass.  Oh well, quality is overrated anyway.

The Goldberg ports can be mounted horizontally or vertically.  However the documentation that comes with the ports does not say anything about being able to mount them diagonally, so I guess it is technically impossible.  We will need to have diagonally mounted ports when DLP comes to fruition since the actual DLP projectors themselves are mounted diagonally.  Simple logic!

As an added bonus, the ports can be opened and closed for cleaning, yelling at customers from the booth, throwing things at customers, and other imaginative things.  Unfortunately this does not work well at all.  First of all, when closed they are secured by a tiny, pathetic thumbscrew.  The reason for this is because it is much cheaper than an actual latch.  And as we all have learned by working in the movie industry, cheaper is better.  Every time.

But the cheapness does not end there.  Just try to close the damn thing.  Apparently, gravity is far stronger than the hinges that the glass portion rotates on.  Because of this, it is a rare occasion indeed when the two holes match up with each other.  This makes getting the thumbscrew back in a pain in the ass.  The picture below that demonstrates this was not staged.  Even on vertically mounted ports, you will sometimes have to push it sideways in one direction or another to get the holes to line up.  Shoddy manufacturing at its best.

Then there is the sound leakage into the auditorium.  Obviously, this is worse with stadium seating houses as the port is closer to the audience.  Normally you can easily hear the projector running during the movie, which sucks ass.  But since it is near impossible to get some of these things completely closed no matter how hard you try, even more sound leaks in! I recently watched a movie in a large auditorium sitting 6 rows from the back wall.  I could hear the projector VERY CLEARLY during the entire show, not just during quiet scenes.  And even worse were the splices!  Ca-chunk!  They were loud when they ran through the projector.  It was very annoying and detracted from my enjoyment of the movie.  After the show was over, I went up into the booth and took the picture below of the port glass.  It really was that far open!  I tried to twist the screw more so it could shut all the way, but it wouldn’t budge!  I did everything I could think of to get it closed, but couldn’t make any difference.

Then there is the fact that the glass is not tilted at all.  What the hell is up with that?  I haven’t done any scientific research or anything, but wouldn’t having the light that comes out of the lens bounce straight back into it be a bad thing?  At an older UA theater I once worked at, we had these ports.  It was a 12-plex with 6 projectors facing one direction and the other 6 right behind them facing the other way.  Light would bounce off of the port glass and into the auditoriums behind a particular projector!  We had to make cardboard cutouts and duct tape them to the side of the lamphouses to stop the light from doing this.  Suck!

Oh.  I almost forgot.  I have assisted in the installation and opening of several different UA complexes, all of which use this type of port.  They have these defects out of the box.  It is not careless handling or moron projectionists who cause this.  That is sad.

Bottom Line:  Goldberg should stick to making things that spin.

-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.

The views contained herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers of this website.  The published views express actual testimony to personal use of particular products or services.  The testimonies, good or bad, are based on fact and thereby releases any and all people of any slanderous liability including the author.  Anyone who views this portion of the website must accept these views as statements of the author of that opinion based on actual use of the product and/or service.