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TOPIC: platter

platter 04 Jul 2008 13:16 #19069

  • slapintheface
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I need (want) 1 new 3 tier platter ....were would you guys buy yours....and what brand...
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Re: platter 04 Jul 2008 13:27 #19070

  • rodeojack
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There's been quite a discussion about this, over at "another board". Christie and Strong generated most of the conversation.

If you have some extra money, the general concensus is that the Christie gets more points for film handling and "detail" features. On the other hand, there are a LOT of Strong platters out there, which, once you learn their quirks, work well for a long time. In the end, the conversation sounded a lot like people who prefer Fords over Chevys.

I have the Strongs here, on my 3 screens. They've been reliable and trouble free.

Ameican Cinema Supply carries both lines, I think. Hadden Theatre Supply is also a company I use frequently.
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Re: platter 06 Jul 2008 19:26 #19071

  • Mike
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are you going strictly new?

Michael Hurley
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Re: platter 06 Jul 2008 23:10 #19072

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YES NEW ONLY
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Re: platter 07 Jul 2008 11:29 #19073

  • NSCInemas
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Christie AW3R, Speco LP280 (I think thats the newest model), The new MIT platter (Fromer christie guys comparable to the AW3R)

I would stay away from the strong/potts variety as I find them very rough on the film and that they cause a lot of film damage. The extra cost to get a christie will be made up by not having to pay for damaged prints. Even if your the best operator/projectionist in the worls I feel it is an inevitability that a print will be dmaged by a strong/potts platter.
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Re: platter 07 Jul 2008 17:44 #19074

  • Ken Layton
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90% of the theaters in western Washington state use Strong/Potts platters. Every theater I service uses Strong. All the Regal Cinemas here use Strong.

I myself used a Strong at the Skyline drive in theater in Shelton, Washington and _never_ damaged or scratched a print. Ours ran like a top. This platter is now 18 years old.

[This message has been edited by Ken Layton (edited July 08, 2008).]
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Re: platter 08 Jul 2008 12:26 #19075

  • Barry Floyd
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I've got two Strong AP-3 platters at my theatre, and neither have ever given me any problems. Mine don't scratch prints either.

I see more scratches coming from folks with dirty soundhead rollers than I do from platters.
Barry Floyd
Floyd Entertainment Group
Lebanon, Tennessee

Stardust Drive-In Theatre
Watertown, Tennessee
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Re: platter 10 Jul 2008 21:03 #19076

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The extra cost to get a christie will be made up by not having to pay for damaged prints. Even if your the best operator/projectionist in the worls I feel it is an inevitability that a print will be dmaged by a strong/potts platter.

With all due respect, that is an unsupportable load of bull. Were it to be even partially true, a legitimate case could be made directly to Strong. It isn't, and it won't be.

A Strong platter is not destined to screw up a print by design. Anyone can damage a print with any brand of booth equipment, either through misunderstanding or inexperience. The enevitability of such damage being in my future, because I haven't installed the platter that some people feel is the best this industry has to offer is just hogwash.

We all have our favorites... but this kind of blatant brand worship really takes it a bit far.
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Re: platter 11 Jul 2008 11:46 #19077

  • Mike
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but how do you really feel?


nuff said....

in the same vein as my question on the projector head.... what platter do you like best (perhaps we'll leave out asking which ones you like least? )...

We were driven mad by old platters and then we got 2 nice used Christie's and all our problems went away. I like things that do what they are supposed to day after after day with no problems.

Michael Hurley
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Re: platter 14 Jul 2008 18:28 #19078

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By design there is no back tension applied to the film during tear down which causes cinch scratches on the film and uneven winding on the reel. period. fact.

not only that but...

The support braces underneath the decks will cause any film paying out underneath a making-up or breaking down platter to be thrown around and caught on the feed plate causing a wrap.

certain versions cause the beginning of the roll to wrap around the feed plate when the platter first starts to pay out.

I would go on pointing out the design flaws but I know that I will never convince you. Some people love these things no matter how much evidence thier is to show that they damage film.
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Re: platter 15 Jul 2008 00:23 #19079

  • Ken Layton
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Funny, I never encountered any problems with our Strong platter at the Skyline. I always keep everything clean and check all rollers for proper alignment and smooth operation. Platter decks were all timed properly and drive belts changed regularly.
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Re: platter 15 Jul 2008 13:35 #19080

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Yah, this sounds a lot like the commentary about this equipment that sprouts up from time to time at the other discussion board.

The cinching issue is a detail that the concerned person over there had to demonstrate with a magnifying glass. Even then, he provided a simple solution that anyone who feels the need can implement. Problem fixed.

The fanning phenomenon, if it ever existed in normal operation, must have been dealt with years ago... again, no good reason to condemn the brand forever.

Current models of the system will suck up film below a spinning platter, IF, the lower platter is in payout mode AND IF the upper platter is engaged in overly fast makeup or teardown... but NOT in normal exhibiting modes. One could suggest that these speeds amount to an abuse of the equipment's intended purpose.

You're welcome to your opinion... we all have them... but I can't see anyone looking at these issues as dealbreakers, unless their normal operational habits demand the ability for high-speed makeup under those specific conditions. None of these issues are destined to put an exhibitor an a situation where he "will" have to pay for a damaged or destroyed print, and it's this kind of 'off-the-cuff' scare mongering that I have a problem with.

As is common with mechanical equipment in general, a little thought and flexibility on the part of the operator is expected, especially with industry-specific equipment, such as this. In the case of the fanning, one can easily wait until the lower platter is is in any mode but payout. The vacuum that can be created by the support blades of a fast-spinning upper platter doesn't have the same effect in this configuration... Simple.

I could point out that Christie platters have a quirk, whereby certain configurations can cause them to overtorque and throw a print. I had to fix such a problem once at the Seattle Cinerama, during a trade screening for one of the Star Trek films. This "quirk" is a byproduct of the platter's designed ability to work with 70mm films and their associated weight. One such fix involves use of trailer cores to limit the travel of the feed arm. Should we uniformly condemn the brand for this reason, and pronounce it unfit for use? Of course not. Using the talents one assumes most educated projectionists have accumulated, a bit of creativity can overcome an issue like this, and life goes on just fine. As with the Strong platter, the fix for the Christie issue amounts to knowing the equipment's personalities and acting accordingly.

This forum attracts people with strong opinions. You're welcome to yours... I've got mine. Personally, I feel that an overall condemnation of the Strong platter line, for reasons that can be easily overcome or worked around, is irresponsible, and does a needless disservice to one of the few legacy brands left in our industry.

Nothing we put in our booths is perfect... and it never will be. XLs leak... Centurys have life-cycle issues with some of their components. Bulb and lens manufacturers all have their fans and detractors. Maybe I could bring up the fact that early Christie Ultramittents were horrible contraptions... hardly the answer to intermittent problems that weren't all that serious to begin with. There was also much talk about belt, timing and even film damage issues surrounding lower loops paths in Christie machines. Still, many people really like the projectors, and managed not to toss the baby out with the bathwater. The projectors survive, in spite of some personal opinion that they be banned to 3rd-world countries.

A new, and possibly equally spicy thread could be started over the Ballantyne Pro-35 line. Anyone who's worked with these machines is most likely aware of the opinions this line has generated over the years... and yes... there are equally committed people on both sides of the fence. Anyone who travels between these boards knows of a few who would discount you as a serious operator for merely having a Ballantyne "anything" in your booth. On the other hand, there are a few, who have spent the time to understand and accept the quirks and flaws in this stuff, and like it just fine. Disneyland had a ton of it. Hard to argue about that.

Years ago, I was an employee in a theatre that multiplexed and graced me with 4 Ballantyne projectors. This was an owner who maintained nothing, upgraded nothing, used the cheapest carbons and xenon bulbs available, and went out of his way to chase union projectionists out of every theatre he bought. Those of us who work in the Northwest, probably know who I'm talking about.

Being a union projectionist at the time, trained by people whos careers were spent in the booth, you can imagine what I thought of this man as a theatre operator.

On the other hand, the smart thing this guy did was to put screens everywhere he could, fight for as much of the first-run product as he could get, and clear every other exhibitor he possibly could... not nice, but effective. In many areas, his theatres weren't very nice places to sit in... his sound was frequently monaural, his screens not the cleanest in the world and his projected images not the most stable. There was plenty about his back-stage setup to condemn... but he had the movies that people wanted to see, and they mostly overlooked the fact that he wasn't "state of the art" in all regards.

I'll never have his bank account, no matter what I do here... but I have my personal criteria, I'm happy with it, my audience seems to be as well, and I'm doing it with Strong platters, leaky XLs, and probably one of the best technical presentations anyone can accomplish at a drive-in.

Life is good.
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Re: platter 15 Jul 2008 18:25 #19081

  • Ken Layton
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I couldn't have said it better, Jack!

BTW, Steve and I are going to be coming to your theater this week.

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