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TOPIC: Can you fix a slightly torn projection screen?

Can you fix a slightly torn projection screen? 16 Jun 2003 19:41 #28295

  • CB
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I am trying to help a nonprofit art theater to repair a very large but slightly torn projection screen. Is this even possible, or is it simply time to buy a new screen?
If there is a good way to fix a torn screen, what is it. We would be greatful for any information you can offer.

--CB
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Re: Can you fix a slightly torn projection screen? 16 Jun 2003 23:20 #28296

  • Ken Layton
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I've seen people use white thread and white bookbinding tape. Put the white bookbinding tape on the BACK of the screen.
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Re: Can you fix a slightly torn projection screen? 17 Jun 2003 07:33 #28297

I have used the thread method before. I works to an extent but you can still see the place that is torn.
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Re: Can you fix a slightly torn projection screen? 17 Jun 2003 08:41 #28298

  • jimor
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For a hilarious image of 'screen mending' you will want to view that scene in the unforgettable film: "The Smallest Show on Earth", a 1957 British confection that will easily resonate with anyone who tries to open and run a small cinema (or "Kinema" as Margaret Rutherford pronounces it in the movie). It is available from www.Amazon.com by typing in the title and VHS, or even better: DVD/CD which should get you the better new release version (the VHS versions were taped at the slowest speed, so quality of them is poor). This film should be viewed by anyone in the exhibition business as a bittersweet "entre" to the business, for it is as pertinant today as it was when made.
Jim Rankin, member: www.HistoricTheatres.org

P.S. If you can somehow get a print and can squeeze it in as a trailer -- even if you have to buy your own print -- it would be excellent for your audiences to get a great laugh (as well as gain in appreciation of the hurdles you must conquer to be in the business! They may be more appreciative of your place after viewing this.)
Jim R. (new E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) member: www.HistoricTheatres.org
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Re: Can you fix a slightly torn projection screen? 18 Jun 2003 19:17 #28299

  • BECKWITH1
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Where is the tear? If it is very close to an edge I have a possible suggestion.

We had a small 2 to 3 inch tear in our single screen which was repaired by white thread. It wasn't awful but drove me nuts everytime the picture was very light in that part of the screen. We wanted to replace the screen but never quite had the money with all the other things that needed to be done. After living with it for several years we got the bright idea to take the screen down and rehang it upside down so that the torn part was hidden under the masking. It worked beautifully and we didn't have to replace the screen.

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Re: Can you fix a slightly torn projection screen? 05 Jul 2003 12:21 #28300

  • outaframe
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Yes, it can be done... A few years back I was helping a friend re-open a big old 1,800 seat palace that had been closed for several years, and had been broken into, causing some minor vandalism... The screen was a gigantic silver surface plastic job with a couple of 6" tears, and also some red spray paint... He was all set to just replace it until he checked the cost... I suggested the following, and it worked... We first vacuumed the front and rear of the screen, then he backed up the rear side with a 4'x4' piece of plywood while I scrubbed the face with a scrub brush using a dishwashing detergent and water mixture... Rinsed it with clear water and let it dry... Next, we loosened the lacing in the damaged areas, and released the tension near the holes...We then applied patches made of white naugahyde (duck backed upholstery vinyl) with 3-M automotive weathersrip adhesive (the yellow vinyl kind similar to contact cement)... Again, he backed up the rear side while I rolled the face with a small wallpaper roller where the patches were applied on the rear... We let it dry overnight, and re-tightened the lacing... I heated a large darning needle with a Turner Torch and "burned" the perferations back through the areas where the patches were...Then, I used lacquer thinner on a rag to clean off the red spray paint, while he backed it up with the plywood, which of course also ruined the silver coating... Next, we wiped the entire face of the screen with lacquer thinner, which softened the silver coat, and somewhat softened the screen material, itself... While it was still tacky, we coated the whole screen with white Martin-Senor Automotive Vinyl Roof Color Coat, using a 16" roller... It took about a day and a half (of hard work), and the materials cost about $150, but a new screen was going to cost something like $8,000... The screen looked brand new when we were finished, and as far as I know, it's still in service... Not easy, but it can be done...
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Re: Can you fix a slightly torn projection screen? 06 Jul 2003 05:16 #28301

  • outaframe
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OK, JIM <> Based on your enthusiastic recommendation, I bought the "Smallest Show" DVD, and you're absolutely right, it IS a JOY!... Besides the delightful cast, it has a lot of insight into small theaters, AND that unique brand of humor peculiar to British comedies of the 1950's... In some ways it reminded me of "The Man in the White Suit."... I had never heard of this, but I'm glad you recommended it... Thanks!
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Re: Can you fix a slightly torn projection screen? 06 Jul 2003 10:25 #28302

  • RoxyVaudeville
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Might I suggest another cute little, made for television, film that brings back the feel of moviegoing in the good old days of single screen theatres when they were located in every town and neighborhood and there was no TV. The film is titled "The Royale" and is about a small town theatre that could have been located just about anywhere, and the goings on in it's day to day operations, and how it impacts on the lives of both it's staff and the people of the community.

This film was made as a pilot for a proposed series about a small town movie theare back in 1948 or 49. The film was made about five or six years ago by Turtleback Productions of New York for A & E. This is the same production company that made the popular and very entertaining comedy series about oldtime radio "Remember WENN" which was about a radio station in Pittsburg during the early years of live radio.

Due to the costs involved the project never went beyond the pilot. The pilot was aired several times on A & E and won several awards. The exterior, auditorium and backstage shots used the Music Hall theatre in Tarrytown New York. The lobby and projection booth were sets built in Manhattan. I was hired as the set authenticator for this project and much of the equipment in the lobby and booth was either mine or equipment that I helped aquire for them. My name is the very last one at the end of the credits as historic theatre consultant.

I know that everyone that posts here would enjoy it immensely. However, getting a copy could prove to be difficult. Calling A & E might do the trick as I know they offer most of there shows for sale on video tape.

Of course, I suppose I could make copies, but presently I don't have the equipment to do such, and it probably wouldn't be legal for me to do it anyway even if done for free. Therefore, calling A & E is your best bet if you are interested in obtaining a copy.

[This message has been edited by RoxyVaudeville (edited July 06, 2003).]
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Re: Can you fix a slightly torn projection screen? 06 Jul 2003 14:28 #28303

  • outaframe
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HELLO ROXY <> For some reason "The Royale" sounds familiar, although I don't have access to A&E due to the fact that I unhooked from cable nearly 30 years ago when the rates became what I considered to be excessive, and HBO started (I don't believe in kissing the hand that slaps me)... I must be one of the last people in the world using an antenna, but I have a big deep-fringe rooftop rig which I built, and although reception isn't always ideal, I can usually receive 20+ channels, and it's FREE... I do miss not having A&E, the History Channel, and TBS, but I'm too stubborn (and cheap) to go back to cable... As I said, the title seems somehow familiar, and I intend look into acquiring a copy of "The Royale."... Thanks for the tip!...
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Re: Can you fix a slightly torn projection screen? 07 Jul 2003 12:34 #28304

  • John Pytlak
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Don't forget the recent "Majestic", and the classic and sentimental "Cinema Paradiso".

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: 585-477-5325 Cell: 585-781-4036 Fax: 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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Re: Can you fix a slightly torn projection screen? 07 Jul 2003 19:19 #28305

  • outaframe
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HELLO AGAIN, JOHN <> Yes, I have both of those on DVD, and they are both good pictures... Also, thanks again for the update on the 6K foot shipping reels!...

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