Dryden Theatre Renovation: Painting, Listening System, and Digital Projection

Posted by on Jan 28 2013 | Motion Pictures

Painting the Dryden

Painting: Two very exciting cosmetic improvements have been made in the Dryden in the past week. First, the theater has been painted. The deep purple of the walls is complete with the repainted black ceiling. Once the golden curtain is re-hung the combination will be astonishing. Second, the lights in the coves on either side of the theater were installed. These lights shine from the coves up onto the ceiling along the length of the theater creating a nice atmosphere. Right now the lights are blue and red, but an interesting feature of these lights is their ability to be changed or to rotate on their own.

Listening System: Following 2 days of installation with a team of 6-9 people, the installation of the hearing loop is complete. The new system will now offer the hearing impaired a new option when they visit the theater. Creating a magnetic field in the theatre, individuals with hearing aids can tap into the signal emitted magnetically and hear the film’s audio directly through their earplugs. The copper wire that makes the technology possible was laid down on the floor and taped with double-sided tape. Then, a second wire was run through the theater on top of it (phase 2). On top of the 2 wires was laid a vinyl tape, which will protect any damage to the copper wire once the carpet is laid over it. Special attention was paid to the location of the seats in the theater to avoid the possibility of a bolt being drilled through the wire and therefore breaking the chain that is necessary to create the signal.


Digital Projection: In order for digital projection to be possible at the Dryden new port windows in the booth had to be cut. The glass has not yet been installed but the openings that were used by the Century Projectors in our booth for the past 60 years have been expanded to make room for the new Barco digital projector.

Screenings in the Curtis: If you haven’t been to any of the screenings in the Curtis Theatre these past few weeks I strongly urge you to attend. We’re on week 4 and so far they’ve all been very interesting. The programs, curated by students of the L. Jeffery Selznick School of Film Preservation, are run on a loop throughout the day. Films included in the programs are all 16mm prints of short films that are very rarely screened. This weekend’s program is titled “Hollywood Stars in Service: Government Sponsored World War II Films” and features short films by John Ford and John Huston along with stars James Stewart, Katherine Hepburn, Clark Gable, and Ronald Reagan. The programs change each week and are offered every Thursday and Saturday from 10:15 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from 11:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. Screenings are included in museum admission.

New Seats: The new Dryden seats are set to arrive in the next week. We’re all very excited about their installation and the completion of the new theater. If you’ve recently installed our old Dryden seats in your home please send us pictures. We want to be able to share the ongoing life of the seats with everyone.

More on the Dryden Theatre Renovation:
Part I, The Curtain Stays
Part II, Seatless
Part III, Cement, Lighting, and Accessibility

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