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TOPIC: DVD Exhibition in Cinemas

DVD Exhibition in Cinemas 15 Jan 2008 02:11 #17323

  • Avalon
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Since I mentioned I'm doing DVDs in a couple of auds, I've been getting emails with questions. Let's see if I can get some answers out there now so you don't have to wait for me to get back to you.

DVD Exhibition: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Pixel.

Always get two discs from the studio. Always. If your projectionist doesn’t drop one, one will inevitably have a bad burn. As we all know, it is illegal to rip a copy into your laptop so if there is a system failure, there is always S-Vid from the computer.

Have pre-show stuff running as the bulb warms up. On both of my DVD projectors, hitting "no show" too soon after the bulb comes on causes problems. I have old drive-in trailers on DVD, so as the bulb warms, that’s what they see. Bulbs are expensive so I don’t fire them up before I know I'll have people.

I often do public domain double features and use the same trailers between sets.

If you do classics, make sure it’s public domain if you are going to be playing PD stuff. I know a few people that didn’t do their research and got letters. We run titles in our ads and to RenTrak so we will find out pretty fast if we are not running PD.

Make sure the projectionists know this is not their living room. Nothing ever hits the screen unless it’s a preview or the show. Make sure the projector is dark while surfing the menus.

It is nice to have a sound monitor in the booth. You can just run a speaker off center amp and put a volume control on it. Almost always projectionists forget there is usually music on the menu sequence. That should be off when setting up so you don’t look like an amateur.

I have security cameras in DVD auditoriums pointing at the screen so I can tell when there is an image on the screen and when there is not (since the rack is away form the port). The rack monitor will only tell you what the DVD player is putting out, not what the room is seeing. Security cameras are cheap (about $25) and can be run through a cheap switcher so you can use the same monitor for DVD, room cam, snack bar camera, etc.

Volume will often vary between discs so check where the audio levels are before you hit the room with them.

Clean the filters in the projectors. Yes, they are high. No, you cannot just get to them later.

Do not say DVD in front of the tourists. I call them “media.” Sounds less like something they can rent or download.

You will have just as many problems with DVDs as you do with film. Anyone who says otherwise hasn’t done it. Discs will be bad. Processors will get cranky. Amps will have feedback. Mysterious shut downs as the 35mm projectors warm the room will be all the rage. New DVD players will die after a few weeks. The $1.99 player from 7-11 will often be the best back up. You cannot have too many players lying around. If you run composite cabling to the projector, make sure to run an S-Vid, too. It’s a lot easier to hook up player B to an S-Vid then to unhook and re-hook up the composites. Also, it allows other uses for the room, like Power Point presentations. Have and S-Vid in the auditorium, too. That means audio cables with an 1/8” jack adapter, as well.

Charge the same as for film shows. Do not set a president of charging less because it’s digital. This will be what everything is soon enough. You won’t be reducing your prices then.

Employees will want to use the room. I make the employees who are in good standing pay $1 an hour for bulb use. One friend is fine. More people=we have to negotiate. Make sure they know if you go to start KING CORN and there’s a SHREK DVD in there, privileges for all workers will be suspended and they will all know why.

Know your copyright law before letting someone bring a DVD to show when you rent them the room.

Add your knowledge as you can.
Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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Re: DVD Exhibition in Cinemas 15 Jan 2008 12:47 #17324

  • Cinemateer
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Avalon, how do you get around the scratches that are notorious in DVD's that cause freezing and skipping? I can't remember the last time I saw a DVD that didn't have at least one hiccup.
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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Re: DVD Exhibition in Cinemas 15 Jan 2008 22:19 #17325

  • Avalon
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Cinemater: We use new DVDs. No rentals. Ever. Just buy them. Make sure if they are removed from the player, they go into a case and not onto the top of the player. New DVDs have never given us a problem. Ripped DVDs from the studio need to be run all the way thru before showing.
Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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