On Wed, 3 Dec 1997 11:05:53 -0800 Shawn Levy <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
In the era of monolithic theater chains and mulitplexes, it's more
> common that NO projectionist is on-hand at show time; rather, the
> professional projectionist makes a daytime route of theaters and spools
> films, then leaves the actual projection at show time (often a
> one-push-button affair) to a theater manager who is familiar with the mere
> rudiments of the system.
Thank goodness, we haven't got to this stage in the UK yet.  My nearest
multiplex is an 8-screen venue, where there is always one projectionist on duty
and two during peak times (and to enable making up/breaking down of
programmes, equipment maintenence and so on). The start/finish times of each
show are staggered so that the box can be handled by one projectionist if
necessary. Automation is used for changes of ratio, sound format, house lights
and screen tabs.
Although I have never worked in a multiplex, I have generally been impressed by
the condition of the prints which I have had crossed over from them.  They are
nearly always free of scratches and have obviously been carefully handled.  I
suspect this is because delicate print handling is called for in order for
automation systems to work properly - if, for example, you let platter rollers
get dirty, then the resulting muck will make the stick-on foil cues unreadable.
Another advantage of multiplexes is that, with a film opening in more venues
simultaneously, more prints are being made (or in some cases, imported).  Thus,
when a cinema such as the one I work at gets one of these copies two or three
weeks later, they are likely to be in much better shape, than, say, a second or
third run film would have been five years ago.
Leo Enticknap
Postgraduate Common Room
School of English and American Studies
University of Exeter
Queen's Building, The Queen's Drive
Devon EX4 4QJ
United Kingdom
email: [log in to unmask]
Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
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