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LET'S GO TO THE MOVIES



This week I have read a lot of messages in the TIG about the Electronic
Cinema. Let's take a tour of the movie theater business back in the old
days when you went to one movie theater and the theater had only one
theater screen with either one or two features and some short subjects
being shown for the entire week. All of these theaters in New York City
had 2 projectionist on duty at the same time. One would sit on a stool
and actually watch the movie as it was being projected adjusting
focus,light,sound, while the other would rewind the film from the last
reel that had just been shown and thread the next reel. Every 15-18
minutes a bell would sound to indicate the changeover from one reel of
film to the next, at that point the next projectionist would strike the
Arc Lamp to light the carbon rods and both projectionist would watch the
screen for the first changeover cue that appeared in the upper right
hand corner of the screen. On this first cue the the stand by projector
would be rolled and at the same time the 2nd.projectionist would call
out "MOTOR" and the stand by projector was started with the film leader
running thru the projector. On the second cue that appeared once again
in the upper right corner of the screen the actual changeover from one
projector to the other would take place. The person that called out
"MOTOR" on the first cue would call out either CHANGEOVER OR CUE" the
projectionist would make the actual changeover from the running
projector (now running out of film) to the next reel of the movie in the
stand by projector. The system used to make the changeover was the
"THIGH" product changeover named after the man that invented it Charlie
Thigh. The optical sound was switched or changed at the same time as the
projector by a second switch. 
The screen of these theaters all had a curtain for the open and close of
the movie each show. 
	NOW WE GET TO THE PRESENT MOVIE SITUATION IN NEW YORK. 
First off the theaters of today do not have a Curtain to cover the
actual movie screen. This results in all the dust and other dirt in the
theater having a chance to settle on the screen in a short amount of
time. See today when the theater is cleaned by the cleaning people they
come in with leaf blowers and blow all the garbage from the back of the
house/theater toward the front of the house. This is done this way
because the back of the theater is higher up than the front and the
garbage rolls down hill easier. Right toward the theater screen and
there goes the dust onto the screen. This turns the screens pure
reflector surface from White to Yellow in a short time. Also stains to
the screen because there is no protective curtain during no show hours.
NEXT--Today with the Platter system(where the entire show is on one
large reel of generally 5 or 6 2000 foot reels spliced together) the
projectionist no longer has a partner to watch the screen instead he has
to go from one screen to the next to set up the next show. Many of the
movies are started on timers set while he goes on to the next theater
booth to set up that show. Each time a movie is threaded the projector
gate is opened and closed this could cause a slight change in the focus
and this should be checked at the start of each show but this is no
longer done.
LET'S TALK ABOUT THE PROJECTOR.  Most of the projectors still in use
today in New York are older than the Rob and the TIG. My father worked
as a projectionist for 49 years and ran used projectors in his day that
are still being used today. The newer projectors are the 70MM projectors
that have been around since the early 1960's.
BOOTH COSTS---To set up a regular projection booth today with used 35MM
projector and a platter system would run about $20,000.00 for a regular
optical sound system. With better Dolby Sound add another $10,000.00.  
(These prices are ball park prices as I no longer an involved in set up
of any theater projection booth)
NOW WHAT WILL IT COST TO PUT IN A TOP VIDEO PROJECTOR SYSTEM I DO NOT
KNOW YOU WILL HAVE TELL ME THE ANSWER TO THAT ONE. WHO WILL PAY FOR IT?
NOT THE THEATER OWNERS. THEY MOVE ONE PIECE OF OLD EQUIPMENT FROM ONE
THEATER TO THE NEXT AND ONLY UP GRADE NEW THEATERS AS A LAST CONDITION.  
One other comment for Bob Kertesz is:
THE THEATER SLIDE SHOW BEFORE THE MOVIE THE NMUSIC AND THE SALES PITCH
DURING THE BEGINNING SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED THE CUSTOMERS ARE TO BLAME
FROM NOT OPENING THERE MOUTH AND COMPLAINING TO THE THEATERS MANAGER AND
OWNERS. It's the same thing when you rent a video tape you get hit
before the show with ads also.  

I TOOK THE NEW YORK CITY PROJECTIONIST LICENSE TEST AND I STILL HAVE MY
LICENSE TODAY. I SPENT MY LIFE IN THE MOIVE THEATER AS I A PROJECTIONIST
MYSLF, THE SON OF A PROJECTIONIST. I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT UNTIL
MOVING INTO VIDEO TAPE AND COLOR CORRECTION. I LOVED THE MOVIE
PRESENTATION BUSINESS BACK WHEN IT HAD A PROFESSIONAL PROJECTIONIST IN
THE THEATER NOT TODAY WHEN SOME TEEN AGE KID IS RUNNING THE MOVIE
INSTEAD OF BEING HOME DOING HIS HOMEWORK. 
I JUST HATE WHAT HAS BECOME THE MOVIE BUSNIESS TODAY. 										STEVE

---
Thanks to Options International for support in 1999
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