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TOPIC: DVD Cinema

DVD Cinema 18 Jan 2006 12:43 #12066

  • Avalon
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So, my fourplex has three screens film and one DVD. The idea was we’d use #4 for DVD until I could get the bucks together to do a good 35mm set up. Well, I’m not in too much of a hurry to get the film now. Granted the room is only 50 seats, but the DVDs seem to be a hit. I dropped the admission to half the general. Now I have people showing up and asking what’s on AFTER they buy their tix. I’m not gonna say it’s making more than the film rooms, but it’s cheaper to run, however. Oddly enough, the film rent is about the same. That’s right, I get the rights to play what I put on the screen. Seems to be running about $150 against 35%. THE BIG LEBOWSKI ran for two weeks and we just finished up a week of REAR WINDOW. It was really fun to see these kids who had never seen Hitchcock experience it for the first time in a theatrical venue!
Here’s some things I leaned the hard way:
--Have another DVD player handy and ready to be switched on if the main one dies.
--Make sure if the movie company is sending you discs, they send you two discs. You can count on one being corrupted.
--If you play a DVD from your collection, rent another to have on hand.
--Make sure you have a monitor so you can make sure when you turn on the screen image, the audience isn’t looking at menus.
--Make sure the menu display on the projector is off. Nothing ruins the illusion of a theatrical experience faster than seeing the FOCUS icon come up as you tweak the image.
--Everyone seems to be recording their DVDs at different volumes and different image sizes. Set up before you get people in the auditorium.
--Ck volume frequently. We played the WAL MART movie and the silly thing was recorded all over the place. Nothing like 7.1 DTS sound to really make that obvious.
--Train your projectionists on the equipment. Knowing a Motiograph like the back of your hand means nothing when it comes to a DVD player/digital projector.
--You are presenting a lower quality image. Charge less.
--Make sure all the previews and that type of crap has played thru when you turn on the image AND THE SOUND in the auditorium. Leave the projector off until you are certain the actual movie is starting—not the root menu.
--If you are running just digital, expect to be really uncomfortable by the knowledge of an image on the screen and no mechanical sound coming from the booth. It seems silly, but it drives me nuts! I wanna record a couple hours of booth noise to have playing when I play my digital projector!

I realize this is not Digital Cinema, but it’s a nice way to use a room that used to be a storage area.
Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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Re: DVD Cinema 18 Jan 2006 14:26 #12067

  • Linda
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How are you getting the rights to these films? I have been trying to do this for schools and maybe a midnight series, but can't seem to make headway on film rental/rights. I have tried both Criterion and Swank. Maybe I just not trying for the right film?
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Re: DVD Cinema 18 Jan 2006 14:28 #12068

  • Mike
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I'm ready to buy a vid projector. What are you using? Mike

Michael Hurley
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Re: DVD Cinema 18 Jan 2006 14:52 #12069

  • Avalon
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Linda: My booker, Roger Paulson, seems to have no trouble getting rights to anything I wanna play.

Mike: Eiki X-50 from American Cinema Equipment. Good picture. Reliable as an anvil. Filters easy to clean. Bulb replacement fairly easy.
Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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Re: DVD Cinema 18 Jan 2006 21:10 #12070

  • reelman
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Contact info. for Roger? Thanks.
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Re: DVD Cinema 19 Jan 2006 00:50 #12071

The Rialto ( historic single screen) has a Christie DLP projector with DVD and VHS capabilities which is slowly taking over our 2 Simplex E-7s and Kodak Ektagraphic 16mms much to the horror of other volunteer projectionist and myself. We screen art and classics at the theater once a month or so along with the occasional children's program. We are mostly performing arts.


I guess its a better deal for a place like The Rialto. I just think film is better tho!


Tony

P.S. We had a "movies through the decades" series last season to commemorate the Rialto's 85th anniversary. Films from the 20's 30's 40's 50's 60's and 70's...every decade that the Rialto was a first run house. "Rear Window" on DVD was the choice for the 50's segment and did quite nicely. Wonderful film!
Tony H.
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Re: DVD Cinema 19 Jan 2006 09:41 #12072

  • lionheart
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Mr. Paulson is listed in the bigscreenbiz directory. http://www.bigscreenbiz.com/directory/DirList.cfm?TID=2&STID=7

There are probably several other bookers listed there who might also be able to help with booking movies on DVD.
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Re: DVD Cinema 20 Jan 2006 01:34 #12073

  • Ken Layton
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--You are presenting a lower quality image. Charge less.

And be sure all your advertising clearly states this is a video presentation.
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Re: DVD Cinema 20 Jan 2006 09:13 #12074

  • lionheart
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Sounds very interesting, Avalon. I remember reading one of your previous posts about setting up your 4-plex. I went back and read it again. Between that one and this one, I am becoming more and more interested. I hope you don't mind a few (ok several) questions about it. I'll try to answer some for myself as I go along.

1. I'm wondering, how big is your DVD screen?

2. Do you use the same kind of screen as for film?

3. How many lumens does your Eiki projector put out?
-- Found the specs on the Eiki LC-X50. It is supposed to put out up to 3700 lumens, and has an eco mode of 2950 lumens.

4. Is it true that the recommended amount of lumens/foot lamberts is higher for DVD projection than for film projection? Seems like I read this somewhere. Do you find it to be true in practical application?

5. Is the Eiki a dual lamp system?
--No.

6. Would you want a dual lamp projector if you had to buy another one?

7. Have you had to change many lamps? I've read that sometimes DVD projectors go through more bulbs than they should and that they can be expensive.

8. Is this one of the flat floor rooms with the stratified seating mentioned in your previous post?

9. What are the room dimensions?

I would add that it seems to me that a ceiling mounted projector would help solve the problems of rooms with lower ceilings. It can totally change the projection angle if brought far enough forward.

10. If you put the projector closer to the front of the room, doesn't this mean that your picture will be smaller?
--Yes, but there is usually a zoom feature.

11. Do most dvd projectors have different lenses available to compensate for the length of the throw? Or do they have some built in method for changing image size and still getting good focus?

--Most don't have different lenses that I can find. I saw that Sanyo does offer some models with lenses sold separately. It seems most projectors I looked at have a zoom feature that will allow it to be positioned closer to the screen and not reduce the image size. However, this has limits. Typical zoom is 1.3 to 1.5. That's enough to move the projector forward some, but maybe not as much as one might like.

12. Did you ceiling mount it? If not, then are you using the periscope system you mentioned in the previous posts?

I know this is a lot of questions, but I hope you can help me.

Thanks!



[This message has been edited by lionheart (edited January 20, 2006).]
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Re: DVD Cinema 20 Jan 2006 14:11 #12075

  • lionheart
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Ok, Ken. You have a point about letting people know it's not film, but there is no reason to shoot yourself in the foot by making it sound like a bad thing. I know you probably think it is based on your past comments, but many people may not care. Seems like Avalon's customers are ok with it. I definitely think you should tell people, but let's not make them think it's like a surgeon general's warning or some such thing.

What about an ad like something like this:

"Starts Friday, a digital video presentation of the ALFRED HITCHCOCK classic "REAR WINDOW"!!!! Come see JIMMY STEWART on the big screen again in one of his finest roles, working under the direction of the master suspense artist of all time, Alfred Hitchcock. All this for half off regular admission prices!"

I don't think an ad like that is deceptive at all, but it does stress the positives and downplay the image source of the movie. And for a discount price, I'd have been willing to go see it for myself at Avalon's Darkside Cinema... if I was in the area.
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Re: DVD Cinema 20 Jan 2006 19:49 #12076

  • Avalon
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Wow, Lionheart, your perviours job as an IRS auitor is coming thru...Let's see what I can do for oyu here.

1. I'm wondering, how big is your DVD screen?

--7x12

2. Do you use the same kind of screen as for film?

--Yep.

3. How many lumens does your Eiki projector put out?
-- Found the specs on the Eiki LC-X50. It is supposed to put out up to 3700 lumens, and has an eco mode of 2950 lumens.

--3700.

4. Is it true that the recommended amount of lumens/foot lamberts is higher for DVD projection than for film projection? Seems like I read this somewhere. Do you find it to be true in practical application?

Maybe John P. would like to chime in on this one...

5. Is the Eiki a dual lamp system?
--No.

6. Would you want a dual lamp projector if you had to buy another one?

--Nope. Small screen. Short throw. Easy access to the projector. Don't need it.

7. Have you had to change many lamps? I've read that sometimes DVD projectors go through more bulbs than they should and that they can be expensive.

--Nope. Ordered a spare to have on hand, tho. ACE keeps them in stock.

8. Is this one of the flat floor rooms with the stratified seating mentioned in your previous post?

--Inclined auditorium.

9. What are the room dimensions?

--25x30

10. If you put the projector closer to the front of the room, doesn't this mean that your picture will be smaller?

--Yes, but there is usually a zoom feature.

11. Do most dvd projectors have different lenses available to compensate for the length of the throw? Or do they have some built in method for changing image size and still getting good focus?

--Most don't have different lenses that I can find. I saw that Sanyo does offer some models with lenses sold separately. It seems most projectors I looked at have a zoom feature that will allow it to be positioned closer to the screen and not reduce the image size. However, this has limits. Typical zoom is 1.3 to 1.5. That's enough to move the projector forward some, but maybe not as much as one might like.

12. Did you ceiling mount it? If not, then are you using the periscope system you mentioned in the previous posts?

--I put it on a shelf outside the booth window. The window opens so i can service it from the booth. I really shoud grab the digital camera...
The periscope system was for the film projectors since the city wouldn't let me build the floor up. I am building platforms under the projectors as I can. Let me put this as polietly as possible: MIRRORS SUCK!
I'll make a real effort to get some pix here so oyu can see what kind pof trouble we've gotten into.

I only charge half general admission for the DVD room. no one has complained yet about it being a DVD.


Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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Re: DVD Cinema 23 Jan 2006 09:37 #12077

  • lionheart
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Thanks for the good info, Avalon. And I'll take the IRS auditor comment as a compliment. I actually work in quality assurance, so you were closer to the truth than you realized. I've conducted many an audit during my 4 years in QA. But please don't hold that against me!


I actually have considered a similar sized space and a similar setup, but I don't know if it would work in my area. It's all about the numbers at this point, and I haven't really been able to crunch them yet.

I wasn't interested in a periscope system for myself. At least not lately. I was just wondering how you were integrating the digital projector into a room designed for film.

One of the most interesting parts of your situation is the comments you've made about required handicap accessibility. You must have some extra requirements put on you by your city and/or state if they require you to make your booth handicap accessible. I read the federal ADA accessibility guide for myself. It's available online at http://www.access-board.gov/ada-aba/final.htm

According to that, you are allowed to have raised work areas that are not accessible when they are necessary for the function, as long as they are smaller than 300 square feet. At least that was my understanding, but I'm not a lawyer, so there may be more to it than that.

Here is an excerpt from the government web site that explains what I'm talking about:

************
"203.9 Employee Work Areas. Spaces and elements within employee work areas shall only be required to comply with 206.2.8, 207.1, and 215.3 and shall be designed and constructed so that individuals with disabilities can approach, enter, and exit the employee work area. Employee work areas, or portions of employee work areas, other than raised courtroom stations, that are less than 300 square feet (28 m2) and elevated 7 inches (180 mm) or more above the finish floor or ground where the elevation is essential to the function of the space shall not be required to comply with these requirements or to be on an accessible route.

Advisory 203.9 Employee Work Areas. Although areas used exclusively by employees for work are not required to be fully accessible, consider designing such areas to include non-required turning spaces, and provide accessible elements whenever possible. Under the ADA, employees with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations in the workplace; accommodations can include alterations to spaces within the facility. Designing employee work areas to be more accessible at the outset will avoid more costly retrofits when current employees become temporarily or permanently disabled, or when new employees with disabilities are hired. Contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at www.eeoc.gov for information about title I of the ADA prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities in the workplace."
*********************

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Re: DVD Cinema 23 Jan 2006 12:12 #12078

  • Avalon
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Lionheart. Yes, my comments were complemntary to your thourghness. Nice to see someone thinking somethng thru. Dryness and snide-ness sometimes come off the same.

Correction: My screens are 7x16. i'm going to try to get the digital camer ain there today.

ADA is a fedral law, as I'm sure you know. This means it superceeds all local laws--and this scares the hell outta most inspectors. Any room for interepation means they are going to err on the side of caution, or as I like to call it, the side of making my life miserable. I later found out, off the record form a city person, the reason they made me keep my floors low. Since it was off the record, I won't repeat it, but I felt they actually made the best decision they could--even if it meant I was stuck with those mirrors. YMMV.

As I said, avoid those mirrors. The quality of the image is still good if you use good quality first-surface and mount them absolutly flat. But, you lose a lot of light. This would be totally unexceptable for my DVD room. Im my film rooms, I had to got to 1600 watts for a 7x16 foot screen. Directly, this would wipe out subtitles, but it's just manageable with mirrors. Also, any reflector misalignment seems to get amplified about 300x thru the mirros.

I'll get some pix up shortly.

Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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Re: DVD Cinema 25 Jan 2006 16:29 #12079

  • Avalon
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Here is the projector in the auditorium. It is about 8' in the air. The window behind it goes right to the booth where we control all the equipment. Eiki has a nice wired remote that comes in very handy.
http://avaloncinema.com/Aud4pro.jpg

This is some of the seating in the room.
http://avaloncinema.com/aud4seats3.jpg
http://avaloncinema.com/aud4seats2.jpg

And, of course, a quiet and dignified snack bar...
http://avaloncinema.com/snackbar.jpg


[This message has been edited by Avalon (edited January 25, 2006).]
Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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Re: DVD Cinema 26 Jan 2006 09:31 #12080

  • lionheart
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Thanks for the pics, Avalon. I like how you were able to adapt the small space and low ceilings. I'm sure an arthouse crowd would refrain from making shadow puppets during the movie. Even though the screen is not huge, it should be plenty big enough to create an enveloping experience for the viewers based on the size of the room and location of seating. It looks like all seats should have a good view as well, just as you described once before.

The location of the digital projector looks like it was easy enough to establish and very convenient as you described. Normally, the digital projectors I've seen are turned upside down and ceiling mounted, but putting it on a shelf is so much easier, and you will be able to take it down for maintenance or even remove it with no problems. It's a pretty quiet model so I doubt the noise it makes is much of an issue for your customers either.

My only question is how does the picture look from near the front of the room? Of course it's not as good as from the back, but is it good enough for your customers? Projectorcentral.com has a good calculator for image size, throw distance, brightness and screen requirments etc. It is set up to calculate for each individual projector model. For the Eiki you have, the recommended seating would be 17-27 feet from the screen if your throw distance is 28 feet. That would be approximately the back half of your auditorium. So, are you and your customers satisfied with the view from the front half? If so, then maybe the recommendations are more finnicky than is necessary for real life.

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