The New Dryden

Posted by on Feb 28 2013 | Motion Pictures, Other

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The newly renovated Dryden Theatre opens this weekend with a completely new look – darker walls, new seats, carpeting on all floor areas, along with new ceiling and aisle lighting that is reminiscent of the great cinema houses of the past. These updates significantly enhance the viewing experience by improving sound absorption and minimizing reflection on the screen.
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In addition, the Dryden remains one of only four theaters in the world equipped for the projection of original nitrate film (manufactured before 1951) as well as every major film format in the medium’s history. The renovation’s installation of a Barco digital projector now allows Eastman House to present the wealth of contemporary digital cinema and the installation of automated masking allows the screen to optimally accommodate all cinematic formats.

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Both enhancements further support the Museum’s commitment to honor the aesthetic choices of filmmakers of all eras. Additionally, a new loop system for the hard-of-hearing further assures the accommodation and comfort of all patrons. The newly-renovated Dryden will provide today’s—and generations of tomorrow’s— movie-goers with an exceptional cinematic experience by combining the ambience of the classic movie house of the 1950s with the comfort and technology of 2013 and beyond.

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See you at the movies!

 

 

More on the Dryden Theatre Renovation:
Part I, The Curtain Stays
Part II, Seatless
Part III, Cement, Lighting, and Accessibility
Part IV, Painting, Listening System and Digital Projection
Part V, Stage and Carpet
Part VI, Seats and Projection Booth
 
 

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Eastman House Giveaway: Two Tickets to the Dryden Theatre Reopening with Alexander Payne

Posted by on Feb 22 2013 | Motion Pictures

down to the wire, the Dryden one week before reopening

The day has almost come. The Dryden Theatre will reopen its doors Saturday March 2, 2013 for a fresh cinematic experience and new chapter in film and digital technology.

We are thrilled to give away a pair of tickets for our opening night celebration. The evening will  feature a screening of the “comic, tragic, and deeply empathetic” film, SIDEWAYS followed by a Q&A with special guest and Academy Award® winning writer-director Alexander Payne.
Want your chance at being a part of this historical evening? Just follow these simple steps:

1. Become a fan of our Dryden Theatre Facebook page:

2. Then, do one of the following:

-Retweet this post (include both @eastmanhouse and @drydentheatre)

-Or leave us a comment below telling us why you should be the winner!

 

Contest starts today – we’ll pick a winner and announce Thursday February 28, at 7:30 p.m. EST.

Or take no chances and buy your tickets today.

 

We’ve been talking about the renovation and upgrades all along the way – check out our series, via Theatre Manager, Kolbe Resnick.

 

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Dryden Theatre Renovation Series: Seatless

Posted by on Jan 10 2013 | Motion Pictures

an empty Dryden

If you were to look in the theater today you would never imagine that there was a screening just one week ago. Cinema Paradiso, the final film screened in the old Dryden, tells the story of a young man growing up in Sicily and the central role the local cinema played in his childhood. The cinema was central not only to the young man, Toto, but played a central part in the community he was a part of. Our screening brought in a crowd that filled over half of the theater that night and the sense of wonder was so omnipresent you could feel it in the theater as you entered.

Following the screening we began wrapping equipment in plastic. With the construction dust and concrete that will stirred up with the construction everything that could potentially be damaged, or was too arduous or near impossible to move, needed to be securely covered over. This includes the four projectors, the equipment in the projection booth, and the equipment left in the preservation work room, such as the Steenbeck flatbed.

The large curtain rolled up tight for safe keeping

The following morning the hard work began. At 7:00 am the volunteers and workers showed up, set up tents in the parking lot, and began tearing out seats. Taking the seats out of the theater was no small task. They were removed in sets of two, three, and four. Between the sets there were individual seats that would be used for spare parts in the seat sale and ensured that those who bought seats would have arm rests on both sides. First, the bolts holding the chairs into the floor were removed and the row was carried forward (by three or four people) and laid on its back. Once the row was flat on the ground it was much easier to remove the seat cushions and take the sets apart. The cushions were “friction set,” meaning they were not bolted or fastened onto the seat but were simply placed between the armrests where two hooks underneath fit snugly into holes on opposite sides of the seat. Following 60 years of people sitting in these seats they were pretty well, if not more than pretty well, secure and it took multiple hits with a hammer to dislodge them, sometimes more, and it was near impossible to do this with the seats in their upright position. Every seat was removed in those first two days and brought out to tents in the parking lot where they were picked up by those who had reserved them. By the end of the week the carpet, which had been glued to the floor, was torn up and the theater was completely bare.

The removal of the seats and the care for the equipment, on top of the sense of community involvement those first days was reminiscent of the images from Cinema Paradiso that we had seen just the night before, without the tears. Every person picking up their seats seemed thrilled to be taking a piece of Dryden history home with them. Much to our excitement many of the people who purchased them intended to use them for home theaters. Others were simply going to put them on their porch or in their mud room. Either way we were glad to see that they were finding a home where they would be cared for and used on a regular basis.

For those of you wondering about our iconic curtain, the drapery company came in and removed it on the first morning of the renovations. As seats were being forcefully removed and hammering could be heard throughout the theater, they gracefully constructed their ladder and scaled the height of the theater to remove it from its pulley system. When it was completely rolled up and ready to travel back to their storage facility it looked no bigger than any of the seats being removed from the floor. Truly a beautiful sight.

None of this could have been accomplished without the enthusiastic and generous help of the volunteers those first two days.

 
More on the Dryden Theatre Renovation:
Part I, The Curtain Stays
Part III, Cement, Lighting, and Accessibility
Part IV, Painting, Listening System and Digital Projection
 
 
 

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