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AFI SILVER THEATRE AND CULTURAL CENTER
Silver Spring, Maryland

Special Thanks to:

Mr. Ray Barry: Director of the AFI/Silver

Mr Don Scheuerman (Montgomery County Chief Engineer), who’s very broad shoulders seemed to carry the AFI/Silver through to completion.

The technical and projection staff at the AFI/Silver, without whom, all of this fine equipment would not accomplish what it does and with such professionalism on a daily basis.

The Design and Build Team:

The Architects of the AFI/Silver and Cultural Center: Gensler

The designers of the Audio Visual Systems: Boston Light & Sound (Thanks to Larry Shaw and Chapin Cutler).

Cinema, Projection and Sound Systems Installation: Cardinal Sound & Motion Picture Systems, Inc.

A/V, PA and Crestron Installation: Onyx Engineering

Broadcast Installation: Sony Integration.

General Contractor: Foulger-Pratt.

All photos except the B&W 1952 photo are © from the Steve Guttag collection and may not be used, distributed or duplicated without permission. The B&W photo has been commonly circulated without any copyright information. The copyright holder, if any, has been sought but not found. The Crestron layouts are also copyrighted.


December 2009 photos from the Steve Guttag collection.


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The AFI/Silver as it appears in 2009. It operates 7-days a ...

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The Silver as it appeared in the 1950s and in 2009. The “Si...

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The outer lobby has been restored with its Art Deco coves.

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Outer lobby poster cases.

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Inner Lobby. The flags are on display for the European Unio...

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The Historic Theatre (A.K.A. Silver 1) Originally seating a...

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The Historic Theatre’s right wall. There is definitely a mi...

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Looking back towards the booth, one can also see the light/s...

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The theatre organ accompanies silent movies. Note too, one ...

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One of the tricks the Historic Theatre must accomplish is ha...

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However, the Art Deco walls move to allow for wide-screen mo...

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Moving across the lobby to the new theatres. Above you can ...

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The entrance to Theatre #2. Video monitors provide informat...

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Silver II. Probably the best theatre to see a movie. Acous...

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The two new theatres do not share the features of the Histor...

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Theatre #2 looking back at the projection room. Just 4 sets...

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Like the Historic, the other two theatres must be able to pr...

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Theatre #2 in “scope” mode. The screen is just under 40-fee...

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Theatre #2 seats 200, rather spaciously. The screen is rath...

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Theatre #3 entrance, located at the entrance to the lobby fr...

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Theatre #3 is a smaller version of Theatre #2. The brighter...

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Theatre #3 seats 75 yet retains all of the A/V capabilities ...

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All four sides of the masking system move to accommodate mos...

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Like its siblings, Silver III can also do the 1.37 format pr...

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This picture is included not to show off that the AFI/Silver...

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This door, in particular. While the door has changed (and w...

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The stairway and the climb to the booth has not changed in o...

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At the top of the first flight of stairs to the booth we tak...

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And finally, upon exiting the second flight of stairs one em...

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The Barco DP50 still provides all of the video presentations...

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And yes, the DP50 was THX approved.

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Projectors 3 and 4 for Theatre #1 are the FP38ES by Kinoton....

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Projector 1 and 2 in the Historic Theatre are the Kinoton FP...

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Running 70mm and DTS.

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Close up of the Kinoton control panel. The green LED next t...

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The backside of the Kinoton FP38ES Projectors showing the EM...

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Looking inside of the FP38ES, we see 16mm preamp/delay at th...

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Moving down, the EMK-1 is now closed up. One can see the Cr...

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Inside the projector itself. On the upper-left one can see ...

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Since these projectors have automations built in, there are ...

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Looking inside the FP75ES (35/70) one will see much of the s...

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All of the xenon lamps are powered by IREM N3-180s except th...

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Portal Station in the Historic Theatre. CP200 Cat 204 on th...

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The main screen at the portal touch panel. Here the operato...

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Masking Presets. In addition to the common formats, the pro...

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PA Preset screen. It also allows the projectionist to choos...

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Manual Lighting Controls.

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Unlike most theatres, the AFI/Silver has a great many video ...

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The remaining sources are the local ones as well as the HD s...

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Once a source is selected, a suitable screen is opened up th...

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The “automation” screen is tailored to the specific theatres...

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From the Automation screen, one can choose from 1 of the 6 p...

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Rarely used, the AFI/Silver does have its own dubbers that c...

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Each projector also has its own lens cabinet (Neumade LC-2)....

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The lens complement for a 35/16 projector…the 35mm scope len...

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The rewind/inspection station in the Historic Theatre. The ...

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As I said, they have a lot of film and film bins and reels. ...

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And now for the Historic Theatre’s wall of sound…and video…a...

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The finest processor ever designed, the Dolby CP200. Even i...

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In fact, it has quite a few extra numbers. Wherever possibl...

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Moving down one rack we come the CP200’s Accessories. Two D...

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The next rack down continues the far reach of the CP200’s co...

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So how does the CP200 control all of these peripherals? Wel...

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The Pennywise DF-1 is what allows the CP200 to take on a ser...

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The next rack is bit of the “meeting of the minds.” In here...

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The Crestron and PA rack. The Crestron controller for the H...

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The Crestron system was designed by Onyx Engineering of Virg...

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At the rack one has at least the same functionality that one...

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In some cases, the rack touch panel provides extra functiona...

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There are also some functions that have no application at th...

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Ever find that the original Dolby DMA8 doesn’t have enough c...

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Even the film projectors are integrated. They can be contro...

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The matrix switcher screen provides real-time status as well...

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As mentioned before, the Crestron system can integrate the f...

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Most cinema folks will not have this much control over their...

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Each theatre has a pull-out shelf with an Elmo Slide tele-ci...

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The last two racks in the Historic theatre contain the Cinem...

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Located between the two projection booths is an audio record...

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Entering the booth for theatres 2 and 3. Theatre #2’s equip...

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Theatre #3’s equipment is on the left as well as the other f...

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The Kinoton ST500E platter system in its “normal” mode (cove...

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Located above the platter and also equipped in all three the...

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The portal stations for theatres 2 and 3 are similar to the ...

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Presets for theatres 2 or 3 showing the particulars for the ...

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Theatre #2’s Cinema processor rack. It features the Panaste...

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Open up and say “ahhhh.” The CSP1200s are fitted with genui...

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The insides of a CSP4600. The dubbers use Panastereo SR (CM...

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The next rack clearly shows why Ethernet switches belong in ...

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The next rack down houses the Crestron system for Theatre #2...

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The last rack contains the PA amps, Media Matrix for theatre...

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Theatre #3s racks are nearly identical though a mirror image...

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The VTR bank in the CTA. The DVD players on the left are pr...

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Opposite of the VTR racks are the Video and Audio Patch bays...

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Care to wire a video patch bay? How about a stack of them?

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The video production suite.

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And right next door is the audio production area (you can se...

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The AFI/Silver. One of the best places to see a movie of an...
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