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TOPIC: theater size

theater size 05 Oct 2003 20:41 #6441

  • lemonice1
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First of all, let me start off by genuinely thanking all contributing members of this site. I find bigscreenbiz absolutely invaluable and I have finally read just about every posting. I think I am ready for my first question: What is the maximum width you would recommend for an auditorium with a depth of 160 ft (measured from the point the floor begins to slope to the back wall)? What is the maximum screen size? Please assume I want proper sight lines and would like to show 35mm. Thank you.

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Re: theater size 05 Oct 2003 23:04 #6442

  • outaframe
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Well, you're talking LARGE here, and there aren't many movie theaters of this magnitude built any longer, but the last time I looked into this, the ideal depth/width ratio was thought to be 1.5 to 1.0... You say the floor slope would end at 160 feet, and it might be desireable to have another 15 feet or so, of flat floor beyond that, meaning a total distance of 175 feet... This would translate to an auditorium width of about 116 feet using the 1.5 to 1.0 ratio... The resolution of 35mm film just about limits the screen width to 75 feet, and even using a high gain screen, it takes a HUGE (and hot) lamp to light a screen of this size... Also, the screen height would require the auditorium to be something like 40 feet high at the screen end, allowing 8 feet for top masking and space below the screen... This would be an extremely large and expensive theater building, but if money is plentiful, it can be done...
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Re: theater size 06 Oct 2003 14:35 #6443

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Or perhaps you could fit in a multiplex in the same space?
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Re: theater size 06 Oct 2003 15:12 #6444

  • John Pytlak
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Standard SMPTE 196M specifies a preferred viewing distance of 2 to 4 times the image height. Modern theatre designs often put seats as close as 1 times the image height, and as far back as 5 times the image height (IMHO, any further back and you should be watching television
).

So for a theatre 160 feet deep, I'd go for a screen up to 32 x 77 feet. ( 160/5 = 32). But you may have difficulty filling a screen that large, and still meet the 12 to 22 footlambert screen luminance allowed by the standard:
http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/newsletters/pytlak/fall97.shtml
http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/newsletters/pytlak/winter97.shtml
http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/newsletters/pytlak/dec98.shtml
http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/newsletters/pytlak/march99.shtml


John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Cell: +1 585-781-4036 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
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