How to Run an Independent Film Theater : How a Film Is Played in a Movie Theater

How to Run an Independent Film Theater : How a Film Is Played in a Movie Theater


Hello! My name is Nancy Adler and on behalf
of Expert Village, today I’m going to tell you how to operate a cinema, a movie cinema.
This is the platter. There are tiers here, and this is called a platter system. The films
lays sideways on the platter and it feeds out from the center. It goes through a piece
in the center, which is called the brain. The brain is probably the most important part
of the whole projection system because you never want to have a brain wrap. You’re finished.
You have a brain wrap, that’s it. Usually you have to shut down for the night. That
means that the film has wrapped around the inside and tightens up. What we do is once
the film is on the platter, it goes through the brain, it goes around those spindles,
it travels over to the projector head, and across the top where it laces up. Then it’s
down, it loads through the cinema, down past the sound head, then it comes back to the
platter, and it rewinds on a different platter. If everything is done properly, the film is
loaded properly, once the switch is turned on that’s the end of the job for the evening.
The projectionist can go have a cigarette.

5 thoughts on “How to Run an Independent Film Theater : How a Film Is Played in a Movie Theater

  1. Do not know what type of platter system you have, but I worked with Zetron which is the same setup. You have to pull the film s-l-o-w-l-y to and from the projector to avoid the platter to runaway.and cause a center feed (brain) wrap. I did have one wrap while the show was going and manage to get the show back on in 10 minutes.

  2. @justinbonytube Well there's about a 4-8 month window when movies leave the theaters and are available on DVD/Blu ray. so I did some research and found out in a movie's last weak the film's company only make about 20% of the ticket sales. so even if they want half of all ticket sales there's still profit to be made. that is if the theater owner can get enough people per showing and if most of the movie goers buy some pop & popcorn that's where the real profit is made.!

  3. Back in, gasp, 1976, I ran a 4-plex cinema with a pair of platter trees. We didn't have "brains" in ours, at least nothing we called brains. The center of the platter had a metal ring about the size of a frisbee that you removed from a full platter and fed the film out out to a spring loaded arm and an elaborate system of rollers. We had brackets with suction cups that we stuck around the perimeter of a full platter to hold the sides on. THAT"S the one we hated- when one or more cups would let go, and the film would pay over the side to the floor. We did have an auto-stop if there was improper tension, but it always was a mess. We had frequent film breaks too. I got to where I could edit a break and have it running again in under 90 seconds when I was 16. That included running up the stairs from the ticket-taker box. Your projectors look pretty old, like ours were. Are they Xenon or Carbon Arc? Ever get a good static shock tearing down a film?

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