Dryden Theatre Renovation Series: Seats and Projection Booth

Posted by on Feb 14 2013 | Technology

The moment you’ve all been waiting for is here: the seats have been fully installed. The seat parts arrived Monday morning and sat in the lobby in boxes as preparations for their installation began. All day Monday holes were drilled through the carpet and the legs of the chairs were bolted in. Working into the night Monday, the backs were attached to the legs throughout the balcony. By 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, the backs and seat cushions had all been installed and the seat numbers were stapled in. Barbara Galasso, our in-house photographer,  took some great photos of the seat installation and of the finished product.

Installation of the digital projector has begun. The Barco projector was delivered on Monday. Installing it into the booth however, is not an easy process. Before anything could begin Chief Projectionist Dave Rodriguez and the team from Boston Light and Sound, a company devoted to designing entertainment centers, specializing in projection booth maintenance and installations, had to wait until the chairs were completely installed to avoid damage to the projectors currently in there from dust. Once the chairs were finished (early Wednesday morning) work in the projection booth began. There are a number of factors in the installation process. The projector must be connected to the equipment currently in the booth and allow the continuation of the use of the other projection systems without obstructing the process. With the rather large size of the digital projector and the limited space in the booth, it is a bit of a puzzle to figure out how everything will fit, yet Dave and the BL&S crew are up to the challenge and rearrangement of the booth equipment is already in progress. Once everything is in place, the projector will need to be calibrated, focused, and color balanced and they will be testing the projector for the remainder of the week and into next.

We now have three projection systems: the new Barco digital projector (allowing us to show the newest DCP releases as well as DCP restorations of classic films), the Kinoton projectors (which have served us over the past 6 years as we’ve screened 35mm and 16mm), and of course the Century projectors (which have served us for 60 years, enabling us to screen Nitrate film—we are one of only four theaters in the country to be able to do so).

Another exciting installation taking place, also by BL&S, is the rigging of motors for the automatic adjustable masking. Four motors, one behind each corner of the screen, will be operated by controls in the booth. When activated they can automatically bring the masking to the desired aspect ratio.

Although the pictures are great, they really don’t compare to physically being in the theatre. We look forward to seeing all of you in our new theatre and the reactions you will have as you enter.

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

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