When I was a kid, I remember sitting in a movie theater at the start of a show, watching the flickering lights, and turning around to see where it was coming from. I always wondered what was behind the small window high in the wall, and somehow I pictured a white-haired man in a black suit, perched on a stool beside an ancient projector.
That’s not what you’ll find in our local movie theater.
This week our playgroup headed out to Palace Pointe for a behind-the-scenes tour of how movies are shown.
The theater manager, Andy, has worked in theaters for 16 years now. After meeting us in the lobby, he escorted us into the elevator and through the hallways to the projection room.
Expecting a small, dark space, imagine my amazement when we found ourselves in a large, bright, white-tiled room! Super clean and very bright, Andy said that dust is the enemy of any theater because it will show up as spots and splotches onscreen. Film machines actually have to be cleaned after each showing to keep everything operating smoothly.
Andy explained that each square in the film represented 1/24th of a second. Wow!
Then he showed us the ‘commercials,’ the ads for other movies that play prior to the start of the feature presentation.
Much smaller and tightly bound, he even let our children pass around one. They had never really seen film before, so this was a big deal! Funny how things change, isn’t it?
All of this will soon be completely obsolete, however, because new requirements make it impossible to show film past December of this year.