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Question/comments on size of screens 21 Mar 2013 00:43 #39835

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Hello,

Can anyone help me with some comments regarding the potential layout of a three screen theater. Each room in my building is 21' x 60' with ceiling heights of about 18' (these dimensions do not include room for entry/exit, etc. there is more than enough room to accommodate egress). I am planning on having fixed seating, possibly 8 rows of 8 seats each. Does this sound like a wise layout? Are they large enough for art house distributors to view as a good exhibitor? Any other concerns I should be considering? Unfortunately given columns in the building, there isn't really any other option. Any thoughts would be helpful.

Thanks,

bpk
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Question/comments on size of screens 21 Mar 2013 13:57 #39836

  • rufusjack
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Most art-house around me in Missouri do not have large screens. With a 21' width you will be looking at an approx. 18'w by 8'h screen. So ceiling height will not be a problem. Keep in mind many arthouse theaters do operate with non-normal seating like couches and love seats. Personally I would go with larger seats with lots of legroom.

How large is your market?
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Question/comments on size of screens 21 Mar 2013 16:45 #39840

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Does this sound like a wise layout? Are they large enough for art house distributors to view as a good exhibitor? Any other concerns I should be considering?

1. you need to know code and seating requirements 8 x 8 = 64 and that sounds like a huge amount of unused seat room for the size of the room

2. thre screns in any decent market (and not so decent) will be fine with all art and etc. films. The distribs could care less if you have a nice theatre or not: only does it gross and more importantly: will you play their picture.

3. my experience is that no one should design a theatre themself. Get an architect or someone who knows code/ seating requirements/ access/ etc. etc.
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Question/comments on size of screens 21 Mar 2013 20:39 #39841

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Thanks Mike and Rufusjack.

To rufusjack: Population within 10 miles is about 250k, with only one single screen and one eight screen theater. Outside of the the city itself there are three multi-plexes. None of the theaters in the city are true arthouses. We will have two theaters with fixed seating and one with couches, etc (at least that's the plan for now). More on your legroom question below.

To Mike: 1) By code, do you mean fire codes? I am basing the 8 rows on 3.5'-4' per row and seating width at 24". My concern with adding lots of legroom (making rows 4.5-5' is that we push the last rows too far from the screen.

2) Understood.

3) I have engaged an architect and done a preliminary walk through. I would certainly not go at this alone and have thus hired an architect and will be hiring a theater consultant.
Last Edit: 22 Mar 2013 14:51 by bpk.
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Question/comments on size of screens 02 Apr 2013 13:44 #39869

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Does anyone else have a comment on the size of these screens - 8' x 18' in a room that's 21' wide x 60' length (obviously the room doesn't have to be this deep). Getting a little nervous that the screens will not be large enough...I will screen mostly arthouse films.
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Question/comments on size of screens 02 Apr 2013 23:35 #39870

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The late John Pytlak often helped forum members with such questions, but it has been years since his passing. You would find it helpful to use the search feature and change the search parameter to "Any Date". All your questions on cinema design have probably been answered multiple times.

Here is a quote from John Pytlak written in 2003 to answer your question:
As a guideline, remember your screen should ideally have an aspect ratio of 2.4:1 (fill the screen with a "scope" picture). So a screen would be 5x12 feet, 10x24 feet, or like proportions.

Standard SMPTE 196M specifies the preferred viewing distance to be between 2 and 4 times the screen height. So MOST of your seats should be in that range (e.g., for a 10x24 foot screen, between 20 and 40 feet from the screen). Of course you may want to up seat count by having some "booker seats" much closer to the screen, and some people like to sit further from the screen, so seats up to about 5 screen heights are used. But much farther than 5 screen heights, you might as well be watching television.
Last Edit: 02 Apr 2013 23:52 by lionheart.
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Question/comments on size of screens 02 Apr 2013 23:51 #39871

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Thanks Lionheart. I have reviewed nearly every thread within the cinema design section of this forum, and am quite familiar with John's postings, expertise and suggestions. Instead of hard ratios, I am looking for more anecdotal information - observations from other theaters, individual preferences, etc. Can anyone recommend a theater that has similar sized rooms and screens? Through jabcatmovies.com, I have looked at most every arthouse website in the country. Thanks in advance!
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Question/comments on size of screens 02 Apr 2013 23:53 #39872

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Generally, John often stressed that it's not about the size of the screen, but the proportions of the auditorium to screen size. You can have a smaller screen if people are sitting closer. These days everyone seems to believe only huge screens are worth watching, but the fact is a person's eyes can't distinguish the difference if they are sitting the correct distance from the screen.

However, people tend to be biased against a very small screen. They may choose a larger screen experience when possible because they think it is cooler, or they think they can tell the difference. If you have a clearly focused picture on the screen using the correct projection equipment, your mind can't distinguish the difference between a big screen and a smaller screen when you are seated the correct distance away.

Art houses often have been designed with smaller screens anyway with the idea that art pictures don't rely on a lot of action or other imagery that greatly benefits from the bigger screen. They also don't often draw the same size crowds as action pictures.

An 18 foot screen is plenty big enough in my mind, but it probably depends on competition. What kind of picture and experience are they offering? What kind will you offer?
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Question/comments on size of screens 03 Apr 2013 00:07 #39873

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I remember a member Avalon used to post here. He owned (and may still own) Darkside Cinema in Corvallis, Oregon. He had some low ceilings. I don't remember widths. He had some success as an art house, but he is in the Pacific Northwest in a college town. Seems like a great location to me. I don't know where your theater would be. Check Darkside out. Avalon was all about the experience. He is an offbeat kind of guy... a real showman I suspect.
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Question/comments on size of screens 04 Apr 2013 13:19 #39874

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bpk wrote:
Does anyone else have a comment on the size of these screens - 8' x 18' in a room that's 21' wide x 60' length (obviously the room doesn't have to be this deep). Getting a little nervous that the screens will not be large enough...I will screen mostly arthouse films.

This forum does not have as much traffic vs. film-tech.com especially for technical information. You should read both.
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Question/comments on size of screens 10 Apr 2013 00:30 #39900

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Thanks again Lionheart. The man from the Avalon is Paul Turner. He still has the Darkside but closed the Avalon a few years. He has a blog and a book about running an arthouse theater. Should probably read that book ;) His blog is www.avalonds.typepad.com/
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