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TOPIC: New Here?, Don't read this!

New Here?, Don't read this! 25 Jan 2008 00:16 #17444

  • RoxyVaudeville
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Today I received an e-mail from someone that reads these forums, who took exception with some of my past postings.

This person was quite upset that in reading past topics that I have given my personal view that I prefer a two projector booth over a platter with one projector. The writer said:
I have been reading through old threads on big screen biz and cant help but notice the biased and innacurate information you have posted regarding platters.

Now I thought this was a place where we can openly discuss issues and give our opinions from our own years of experience. At no time do I believe that I have ever said that the subject that I am discussing is the ONLY correct way to do something. It is just my opinion, based on my own experience over the past 41 years that I have been in this biz.

The writer qualified himself thusly:
I have been a theatre manager, projectionist, and am a Technician with a national cinema service company and a Dolby certified sound technician. My opinion is that it is easier to change trailers or add a snipe onto a program with a platter than with reels. With reels you have to bring the reel to a bench, thread it onto another reel, take out what you want then change reels and add the new material then rewind the reel. On a platter all you have to do is remove the center ring break the splices lift out the old material then wind the new material onto a ring drop it in and make new splices.
That's great. A person with his experience should be able to do all of that, however I have to admit that I can do it all easier and quicker with reel to reel. I have operated 18 theatres over the years with both reel to reel and platters, and still prefer reel to reel. Most people that I know in this biz agree with me, but then maybe we just aren't as proficient as he is.

His actual preference is to have two projectors and a platter.
I will agree that if you only have one machine you could lose shows due to projector failure but I personally think you should have 2 machines and a platter that way if one machine is down you dont have to have intermissions.
Yes, that WOULD be wonderful. but how many of us can justify that expense. I can also proudly point out that with reel to reel I have NEVER lost a show during the 37+ years that I have operated my current theatre. How many platter booths can say that?
Once a platter is calibrated properly they do not damage film or break down any more often than any other piece of equipment, I feel they are much easier on the film and easier to operate.
I agree. It's not the equipment that is the problem, rather the operators of the equipment. There are more things an untrained projectionist can do to screw things up on a platter then on reel to reel. Why is it that most of the studios Classic Departments will not allow new prints of classic films to be shown on platters?
My point is that you are giving faulty information to people who don't have experience to know better, not only can you add or change trailers on a platter I think it is a lot easier.

Please remember that anything I post here (and I believe that pertains to anyone that posts here)is my personal opinion. Is that not why we are here? To exchange views? To give different viewpoints which will allow the reader to make an educated decision?

So if any of you new to these boards didn't heed my warning, and read this anyway, please remember that my opinions are just that... MY opinions, and nothing more.




[This message has been edited by RoxyVaudeville (edited January 26, 2008).]
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Re: New Here?, Don't read this! 25 Jan 2008 00:35 #17445

  • slapintheface
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AMEN!
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Re: New Here?, Don't read this! 25 Jan 2008 03:21 #17446

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I don't see anything wrong with your opinion, and I've run pretty much everything.

There was a time when I would have sworn by two projectors and carbon arcs. That was when xenon was first coming out, we mistrusted everything new and the unions hated that stuff.

Today, platters may be most common. However, big reels are out there, showing up in Eprad Swords and Double-Muts, Cinemeccanica towers and (eech) Ballantyne VIPs. There's one traditional 2000-foot double projector setup over here, being used in a screening room, where I think that makes the most sense.

It's all a matter of opinion. If it's working, the audience probably doesn't know what's going on up there. I'm sure nobody outside the booth cares whether you have platters or reels. I also find it easier to change trailers on reels.

As for backup; you'd have to weigh whether the square footage tied up by a spare machine would worth what it might save in a blown show. In 21 years at my triplex, a spare would have saved two.

I keep a spare power supply for my lamphouses, as well as a reflector. There's a spare head on the bench, a spare transmitter for the sound system and a 3-phase diesel generator to keep the power up. For me, all of those things would be priorities over a (mostly) unused complete spare projector.
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Re: New Here?, Don't read this! 25 Jan 2008 09:58 #17447

  • muviebuf
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Roxy: At least here at BigScreenBiz you are free to post your opinions without fear of reprisals. (At least I hope so anyway).

Guess I need to tell that story:

Several years ago Brad Miller, the Grand Poo-Bah of Film-Tech, posted on his site his mantra that if a film breaks (or a show is otherwise interrupted) that everyone in the audience should be given a free pass - even if the interruption is only for a short time and the show then continues on to conclusion. Roxy took the counter view that if the problem is quickly corrected and the audience got a whole show then no passes were warranted. Roxy stated that if Miller had worked for one of his theatres and given away passess for such an interruption that Miller would have fired. As a result of his comments Roxy was suspended from posting on Film-Tech for a period of time.

BTW . . . as far the platter vs. reels debate goes, it will soon be moot when digital cinema fully arrives.
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Re: New Here?, Don't read this! 25 Jan 2008 12:36 #17448

  • NSCInemas
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You know Roxy I think it is very rude to post personal emails on a public forum especially to only choose the parts you wish to post. I emailed you privately so as not to cause any undue embarrasment on your part. Yes I have a problem with someone spreading false information, You can have any opinion you wish and state that opinion any way you want but when you repeatedly make false statements especially on a forum many people who are new to the business turn too that is just wrong. You have stated in at least 3 seperate threads in the archives here that it is impossible to change trailers or add content with a film built-up on a platter system and that is false. I have taught many people how to do this who had ne previous experience and no great technical skill.

3 Posts by Roxy;

---What if five minutes before showtime an important trailer arrives... can you easily add it to your platter before starting...NO! What if you are extremely busy and you want to add a cartoon or short to push back the feature starting time... can you do that...NO! What if you miss an out of frame splice in the middle of the feature when making up the show, is it easy to fix before the next show...NO! All of these things are simple to do, and only take a few minutes with reel to reel.

And yes, there is less film damage with reel to reel.

What if you recieve a new trailer just minutes before showtime that should go on screen for that showing. Can you change it in just a couple of minutes? Not easily. What if your schedule needs a fillin for some reason for just one showing of the day, can you add a cartoon or short? No! You do not have the flexability to change your programing from show to show that you have with reel to reel. OK...so most theatres never make any changes to their programs you may say...but, when that special occasion arises, you're out of luck.

What if at the last moment you want to change a trailer, add a short or a cartoon, or skip one of those to make up some time...what do you do then with a platter. You don't do it. There is no flexability. You wouldn't believe how many times I've see a theatre where a film is put together with an out of frame splice in the middle, and they leave it there for the entire engagement, always reframing it by hand for each show, rather then taking the time to fix it because it's on a platter.---

You repeatedly say it cannot be done when it can, once you said it can be done but that its very difficult which I dont think it is. I just feel that new people come here to learn from more experienced peopl and while every opinion should be valued providing false statements to back up that opinion is flat out wrong. I sent you that email Roxy hoping to educate you in private but it seems like instead of replying to me directly you wanted to take it publicn which I think for someone of your experience is kind of immature...
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Re: New Here?, Don't read this! 25 Jan 2008 12:49 #17449

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I relaize I broke your rule of not reading this, but I had to (taboo, ya know). I haven't even been operating for ten years yet, but all that time has been with platters, so I will personally swear by them with the right operator. My personal opinion is that it isn't the platter's fault that most people get a "set it and forget it attitude". I was a booth manager in a 22 and my operators were REQUIRED to check every delivery system every 10 minutes no matter if there was one operator or two. I know why I have a job though and I carry the utmost respect for reel to reel operators and would argue that they have more of a right to call themselves artists than projectionists (especially 2000ft operators).
Now that I have blown all that smoke though I will have to say that our 2 reel to reel theatres in town didn't win all three Best Presentation Awards available three years running. And before you assume that at 22 screens we were the newest and most upscale, trust me... we weren't, but myself and all 7 of my projectionists had just as much pride and dedication as any reel to reel operator (and it showed).
And back on topic, mods are really easy on platters once you master them (just like any other craft). I have found that if you have a center ring that is smaller than the ring you use, collapsing and modifying any print can be done in a snap!

[This message has been edited by movie2cats (edited January 25, 2008).]
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Re: New Here?, Don't read this! 25 Jan 2008 13:52 #17450

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I have never even seen a two projector booth, but have read about them here and on film-tech. If my theatres still had two projectors when I bought them, I'm sure I'd still be using them, but they didn't. I'm happy with what I have--as that's all I know. I am sure there are pros and cons of both systems.

I respect Roxy's opinion. Even though we have never met, I have the utmost respect for him and consider him my idol.

Let's respect each others opinions and move on.
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Re: New Here?, Don't read this! 25 Jan 2008 15:19 #17451

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I am completely offended that this situation happened at all. This is a matter of free speech and the misuse of a public forum. Roxy is a well respected member of this public forum and I value his input. While we don't always agree, that is not important. What is important is that we have the freedom to air our views so that others can take them and evaluate them for their own personal benefit. I don't follow everyone's advice on this forum but I certainly take it into account and would not want people to quit posting here because some rude individual wanted to take them to task for something that they said here. NCSInemas was clearly out of line for taking someone to task even by email for expressing their views. I would not post my email here if I thought I would be attacked by some rude individual for my comments on line. Our emails are here in order to be helpful to others - not to be attacked. As for NCSInemas insinuations that there is anything wrong with Roxy's views or comments - Roxy is absolutely correct to state his views based on his experience they are not wrong or misleading or anything else that would make them invalid for use by others new or experienced. He should not have been taken to task in this way. I am very upset that this happened on my favorite forum where I have always felt that we supported one another and did not attack each other. I value this forum highly for giving me a wider world view of other peoples experiences and get help running my theater better. Before Mike gave us this opportunity to communicate we were all viewing the world from just our own narrow window and it was hard to know what other ideas were out there. So, Mike, let me say thanks again for giving us Bigscreenbiz. I'm going to ask NCSInemas to grow up and act like a responsible adult on this forum rather than asking for him to be banned as some might be inclined to do. If you want to be treated with respect and have other people listen to your opinions than you must respect other people and their opinions. We do not attack people on this forum.

[This message has been edited by BECKWITH1 (edited January 25, 2008).]
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Re: New Here?, Don't read this! 25 Jan 2008 15:51 #17452

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I'm one of those who reads what Roxy writes with appreciation when he posts. His technical posts have provided me with a lot of info and his history in this biz makes for some good perspective. Plus, he writes good.

I think as long as he doesn't divulge the name of the person who sent the private email, then post away. The info seems relevant from both the emailer and the emailee. I have received many emails from people not wanting to post. A lot of them contain specific and personal business data and require circumspection. Others are just childish taking exception to something I wrote--real or imagined.

I too have been on the receiving end of Film-Tech's ire. There is a lot of good information on the site. I use their manuals all the time and often feel I should contribute more to the forums. However, the minefield of rules and egos can be daunting. And, hey, it's his sandbox...
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Re: New Here?, Don't read this! 26 Jan 2008 00:11 #17453

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I wonder if this "NSCInemas" is a troll just sent to stir up trouble?

I like Roxy. His contributions are very much appreciated. I've run carbon arc 2000 foot changeover booths, 6000 foot changeover with xenon and single projector/platter booths. My preference is carbon arc 2000 foot changeover.

At my old theater, the Skyline Drive-in, our policy was if a trailer shows up just before showtime it does NOT get put on. It goes straight in the trash. Frequently we did not show any trailers. That's the way the boss wanted it.
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Re: New Here?, Don't read this! 26 Jan 2008 00:13 #17454

  • Ken Layton
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Avalon:
<B>
I too have been on the receiving end of Film-Tech's ire. </B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Welcome to the club.
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Re: New Here?, Don't read this! 26 Jan 2008 08:55 #17455

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Rodney King; "Can't we all just get along?"

Perhaps my experience in marriage (3 times), businesses (too many), politics, etyc. etc. makes me unsurprised by a person with so little time that they want to argue a tech point down to a "I'm right and yuo are wrong." Often, and clearly in this case: both positions are right. In fifteen years of visiting booths all over the USA, Europe, Mexico, and Carib: I have seen exactly one two project system. Make it two but they'd replaced it with a vid projector and did not use the pair. By the way: horses were better in mud than a VW bug. I'd talk baout this at length but I have work to do.


Michael Hurley
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Re: New Here?, Don't read this! 26 Jan 2008 11:07 #17456

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#1 I was not trying to "take anyone to task" I was trying to let Roxy know privately that it is possible to do what he clearly said was impossible.

#2 I am not a troll sent here to stir up trouble I have been reading this board for years.

#3 Everyone has the right to thier OPINION, I actually enjoy working changeover booths and definately think they have thier advantages. There is a difference between stating an opinion and stating something as fact. I do not dispute Roxy's many years of experience or great standing and all the helpful posts he has made on this board but I think we are tasked with making sure that we post factual information along with our opinions, people read these boards and make financial decisions that could impact thier lives based on what they read here, people can choose to take opinions as they may but when you state something as FACT to back up that opinion they are going to believe it and I think it is irresponsible and a disservice to the newbies on this board.

#4 What if someone purchased a theatre with one projector and a platter in excellent working order and then came on this forum and read the archives. Say they read what Roxy said where I posted his quotes above and they threw out the platter and spent big bucks to have a second projector purchased and installed only because they think that you cannot change trailers or add shorts with a platter, is that fair to them? Is it fair that they have wasted big bucks out of thier budget or life savings only to find out later on that they were misled?

#4 You can think its childish all you want to contact someone privately to let them know that you have a problem with something they posted but I dont think so, I think its funny that no one is saying that I am factually wrong or that what Roxy posted was technically correct and only saying that he has the right to post whatever he wants and im just a troublemaker. I have the right to my opinion to and if I want to share it with Roxy thats my right isn't it?

A couple people have been attacking me based on (I think) there respect and friendship with Roxy instead of looking at the facts. I meant no harm to anyone I just wanted to let Roxy know that it is infact possible and easy to do what he said on many occasions CANNOT BE DONE, Thats all. It has NOTHING to do with his opinion, as I could really care less about what he prefers but I worry about the newbies on here reading posts and taking them as Gospel and making financial and business decisions based on them. Its one thing to state an opinion but it is clearly another thing to STATE SOMETHING AS A FACT.

(let the attacks begin again!)

[This message has been edited by NSCInemas (edited January 26, 2008).]
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Re: New Here?, Don't read this! 26 Jan 2008 11:26 #17457

  • slapintheface
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I do believe if it was sent as a private email it should have stayed that way!\

That being said Roxy has great posts that i love to read!
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Re: New Here?, Don't read this! 26 Jan 2008 12:14 #17458

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As a new memeber here, and someone new to the movie business I would have to say that if I read what NSCinemas quoted Roxyvaudville as saying above I think I would take that to mean that platter systems are inferior to reel to reel because you cannot change your previews or add a cartoon or newsreel. I think that if I hadnt been informed differently I would have used that information to determine what to buy for the theater I want to open. I think NSCinemas is right I have been reading these forums for a few days trying to saok everything in and I have been taking what ive read to be 100% right, maybe thats my fault but I know you guys a lot lot more experience than me!

I also participate in a few other on-line forums and it is a strict rule on them not to post private emails on public forums.

I am not trying to take sides here as I am brand new here just putting in my .02 cents on how I would take it as a newmember.
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