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TOPIC: Intimidated By Technology

Intimidated By Technology 28 Jul 2004 13:46 #21946

  • revrobor
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I am about to make a confession I'm embarrassed to admit, so go easy on me.

I am about to begin employment as a manager for Regal Cinemas. As you probably know with Regal most managers are also projectionists. I spent 25 years in the theatre business as projectionist and owner/operator. This was in the two-projector, carbon arc, changeover days.

I recently visited the theatre where I'll be employed and when I walked into that booth and saw ten machines running at the same time with three different sound sources I thought "Oh God, please help me".

I'm sure, in time, I'll get a handle on it but BOY!, have things changed.

I got the impression that some prints come with a CD that contains the sound. It that true? If so, it reminds me of how sound started back in the '20s when the projectionist had to play a "record" on a turntable at the back of the machine. I'm assuming a computer keeps everything in sync.

And the pre-show stuff that is run from the main office in Knoxville and they monitor whether or not you start the film projector on time and chew you out if you miss it by a minute or so. Really kinda scary.

I have a really great GM to work for and that will make the whole thing a lot better. He's very patient (and he's going to have to be with this 72 year old.)

I'm really looking forward to returning to the business but I guess I just needed to vent my anxieties. Thanks.

Bob Allen
The Old Showman
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re: Intimidated By Technology 28 Jul 2004 14:32 #21947

  • John Pytlak
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Be sure to get copies of all the equipment manuals and go through them to become familiar with all the different equipment. Certainly, Bigscreenbiz and Film-Tech are valuable resources. When your service engineer visits, watch and learn, and ask questions. Based on your service engineer's recommendations and what's in the manuals, establish a good maintenance schedule and a logbook of equipment maintenance/performance/problems. Work with your service engineer to establish an emergency spare parts inventory (fuses, diodes, circuit boards, lamps) and needed tools and test films, based on their experience. Define what maintenance/repairs you will perform, and which require a call for service.

If you will be expected to change xenon lamps, be sure you have the proper safety equipment, and have your service engineer show you the proper way to change a lamp, and adjust the lamphouse for optimum uniformity and screen luminance.

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

[This message has been edited by John Pytlak (edited July 28, 2004).]
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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Re: Intimidated By Technology 29 Jul 2004 04:55 #21948

  • outaframe
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Yes BOB, things have changed quite a bit since the 2 projector, 2k foot reels, carbon arc lamp, and changeover days, and at first glance it does look a little spooky, but really you're gonna find it's easier!... You're gonna love Xenon: no carbons to keep trimmed, and no worry about having enough carbon for the reel, or keeping 'em in the "sweet spot" (optimum focus), just turn 'em on and go!...

I still run 6k reels with changeovers, but have installed and adjusted several platter systems, and it's still just using common sense to set 'em up and get everything alligned and running smooth... 6k foot reels have some advantages, and platters have others, but in a situation where you have multiple auditoriums, you have to go with platters because you sure can't do changeovers on 2 machines at the same time, but when platters are working right, it's a breeze...

The sound on CDs is DTS (Digital Theater Sound), and there is a time code on the film that's read by the projector's time code reader to keep it in sync: it's backed up by an optical track that automatically defaults to optical Dolby SR in case of a problem, so you are covered in case the digital fails...

Being a manager/projectionist with a chain, especially, means they will not expect you to do other than routine maintenance on the equipment, and will have a service tech who does the harder stuff... In fact, they will probably insist that you DON'T go beyond a certain point when there is a problem...

John's suggestions are right on the money, and you already have a lot of experience and common sense under your belt, so other than the usual first time jitters and flubs that you are likely to encounter before you get a bit of updated experience, you don't have a lot to worry about... AND I can guarantee you that FEW of today's Xenon/platter jockeys could walk in cold and operate a 2 projector carbon arc booth!... So, just keep your wits about you, and your eyes open, and you'll do fine!... Good luck, and IF there's anything we can help you with, all you need to do is ask...
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Re: Intimidated By Technology 29 Jul 2004 14:58 #21949

  • revrobor
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Thanks John and outtaframe, You've got me feeling better already. As I said, my GM is a super guy who is very patient and I'm sure he understands as do you.

Bob Allen
The Old Showman
Bob Allen
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Re: Intimidated By Technology 30 Jul 2004 08:35 #21950

  • leeler
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Bob,

If I can do it with absolutely no experience then you can surely do it. Take plenty of time, and do lots of test runs. That's what saved me. You'll be fine.

Lee
"What a crazy business"
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Re: Intimidated By Technology 01 Aug 2004 23:47 #21951

  • rodeojack
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Don't sweat it, Bob. Those projectors thread up pretty much like the XL's you've been around for years... think of the digital reader like you would the old magnetic penthouses... nothing intimidating...just another box to run the film through. They'll teach you how to keep it all clean. It'll come back to you prety fast.

Unless Don's changed his procedures, you may not be messing much with the other sound systems, though you should eventually know something about them. Last time I was there, they just ran the Dolby Digital, since it's on pretty much everything these days, & all 10 screens have it. The other systems are, for the most part, backups for the Dolby.

Just keep your tie on straight & look good for all us customers. Those are BIG projection windows at that place!


Good luck. You'll do fine over there.
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Re: Intimidated By Technology 01 Aug 2004 23:53 #21952

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Thanks Jack. I'm looking forward to meeting you.

Bob Allen
The Old Showman
Bob Allen
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Re: Intimidated By Technology 18 Aug 2004 17:48 #21953

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I'm in to my second week now and am totally relaxed. Equipment works great and the staff is super!

Thanks again.



Bob Allen
The Old Showman
"Back In The Saddle Again"
Bob Allen
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Re: Intimidated By Technology 18 Aug 2004 23:50 #21954

  • rodeojack
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Glad to hear it, Bob.
Welcome to the NorthWest!
Jack
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Re: Intimidated By Technology 19 Aug 2004 23:13 #21955

  • Ken Layton
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Bob:

Now don't forget to stop by the Rodeo Drive-in and visit Jack.
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Re: Intimidated By Technology 20 Aug 2004 00:17 #21956

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Nahhhh... I'll stop by his place. It's been awhile since I took the time to say Hi to Don... so I'll kill 2 birds with one visit!
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Re: Intimidated By Technology 20 Aug 2004 21:55 #21957

  • jacker5
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Bob,
I am so glad your doing well. I have projection experience and have been approached by Regal cinemas to apply for a manager job in there circuit.
I am very excited about changing my career. I have been working as A bus driver for 15 years and projection was a thing on the side.
I love being an around a theater. I have been trying to purchase one for many years but cant find a price or location that suits me!
You inspired me and hope I adjust and do as well as you are!

Phil
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Re: Intimidated By Technology 25 Aug 2004 20:35 #21958

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Hello Jack and Ken!

Yes, you're going to have to find me, at least for awhile, as I believe I am doing good to find the Poulsbo library and this computer once a week. I look forward to meeting you both.

I've got the booth under my belt. Now I'm concentrating on the floor. I've never seen so much paperwork in my life.

If I had a complaint about Regal it would be that we do no know our bookings far enough ahead to do any local promotion. I had done off-site promotion for "Open Water" in Bainbridge, Silverdale and West Bremerton because the film was on our advanced booking notice. Then we were told we would not get it. Grrrrrrrrrr.

-

Bob Allen
The Old Showman
"Back In The Saddle Again"
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re: Intimidated By Technology 25 Aug 2004 20:39 #21959

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Your story sounds much like mine Phil. If I can do it (at 72) you can do it. Best of luck.

Bob Allen
The Old Showman
"Back In The Saddle Again"
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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