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TOPIC: Low Ceilings in Aud.

Low Ceilings in Aud. 25 Jul 2003 14:13 #28357

  • Avalon
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Begging for some input here. So, been doin’ the art house theatre scene in this town for about 6 years and it’s time to expand. For the last couple years I have been looking at buildings and closed theatres trying to find a place for a couple more (or so) screens. I’ve been looking for the usual things: parking, foot access, signage, and so on. So, a local business person picks up an old department store building and asks if I wanna lease a floor of it for my project. I go look at it – all the good stuff: elevators, rest rooms, pwr and phone service drops handy, HVAC works great, surrounding businesses complimentary to what I want to do, etc. Downside: 12 foot ceilings. I’m thinking of small 30’ x 45’ auditoriums (which puts me between the support poles) with screens about 5’ off the floor (about 15’ wide). Has anyone out there seen or heard of auditoriums with such low ceilings? I do all my own building so plans are always flexible. Just wondering what might have been done already. Thanks.

Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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Re: Low Ceilings in Aud. 25 Jul 2003 14:38 #28358

  • outaframe
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Yuck, flat screen would be less than 13' wide... More than half the screen wall would be blank... From the back row you'd need a telescope to see what's on the screen... Easy to light, but not very awe inspiring... Doesn't sound even a little promising from here!...
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Re: Low Ceilings in Aud. 25 Jul 2003 14:54 #28359

  • John Pytlak
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Standard SMPTE 196M specifies a preferred viewing distance of 2 to 4 times the height of the image. 35mm prints have enough quality to be viewed as close as about 1 screen height. Anything further back than 5 screen heights, you may as well be watching television.

Play with these numbers for your proposed layouts. And do "Care About Composition" and show the proper aspect ratios:
http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/newsletters/pytlak/spring2001.shtml

Do watch your sightlines, especially for a flat floor. Definitely don't want shadows of standing people cast on the screen during a show, and don't want to crane people's necks too much (use a high-back seat that tips back).

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
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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: Low Ceilings in Aud. 29 Jul 2003 17:24 #28360

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The Dobie Theater in Austin has done just fine with smaller capacities. I'm not sure of the exact size of the screens, but it's very cozy, intimate, and very cool.
http://www.landmarktheatres.com/Market/Austin/DobieTheatreB.htm

from http://www.digitalcity.com/austin/movies/venue.adp?vid=3174&type=overview

"The Dobie Theatre has a lot going for it: art house films, small and cozy theaters, snacks that are a cut above, and knowledgeable patrons. A few years ago this dingy four-plex was completely remodeled into a swanky and intimate cinema experience. Not only was it cleaned up, but it was also turned into a sort of miniature theme park for movie freaks. For instance, the décor in one theater is vintage English drawing room; another takes you back to ancient Egypt. See? Once you are inside, you don’t even feel like you’re in a mall. This theater was recently sold to the Landmark chain, but it doesn’t seem adversely affected. Parking is convenient and free, with an admission stamp, at the Dobie Garage across the street. And, bonus, tickets are cheaper than at other first-run theaters. Conclusion: a swell place to see indie and/or foreign films."
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Re: Low Ceilings in Aud. 29 Jul 2003 18:29 #28361

  • Ken Layton
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When you have a low ceiling, you have to excavate the floor, unless you want a flat floor and everyone's head in the way.
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