Projector for drive-in in Haiti - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 03-11-2012, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi

I am working in Haiti, which doesnt have a single operating cinema in the whole country, and after two years am missing watching movies. So I am setting up a drive-in, which will work as there are a million cars and since the earthquake people prefer not to be under large roofs.

I have leased land near the centre of port au prince. There is a very large, 70ft x 60ft flat wall against a building that I will use. I will be painting this again to ensure it is white, although not glossy. There will be up to 100 cars watching, receiving audio through a RAmsey FM transmitter that I will use.

I dont want to spend more than 10k on the projector. I know I really need a christie or other professional projector, but this is not possible. on the plus side, there is almost no ambient light, and i will be playing in the dark. It is possible to use less of the screen, say 45ft wide.

After much internet research I think I need as many lumens as possible, and to keep cost down, a WXGA or 720p image. i had considered stacking two 5000 lumin projectors but read somewhere that this affects the blacks and so the contrast is not good.

have found a Panasonic PT-DW730US WXGA projector which seems to meet my needs. Please can you advise on this ?

many thanks.
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post #2 of 25 Old 03-12-2012, 10:20 AM
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Your options are limited. You could look to the used market for a cinema pj that might fit your budget. I think Sharp might have a XGA or WXGA high lumen pj to fit your budget. Another option, which might be hard to find, is an used JVC light valve pj. They were made in the late 90s and put out lots of lumens. They are huge and would be lots of work, but it could fit your budget.

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post #3 of 25 Old 03-12-2012, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newdrivein View Post

i had considered stacking two 5000 lumin projectors but read somewhere that this affects the blacks and so the contrast is not good.

Wouldn't good black levels in an outdoor environment be a somewhat elusive goal anyway (moonlight, starlight, etc.)?


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post #4 of 25 Old 03-12-2012, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks very much Eric. I have looked into WXGA, as most of the movies will be widescreen, and the panasonic seems to be best lumens for the buck, although there are some others in the same range. The JVC light valve seems interesting, I will look for it.

Please let me know the best place online to look for second hand projectors. I tried Ebay but cannot find any suitable models sub 10k at this time.

Many thanks for your help.
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post #5 of 25 Old 03-12-2012, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Cheers Brad, I like the idea of stacking projectors for economy. Also if one blows out then there will be a backup image, if only half as bright. I had considered buying two of NEC's 5500-lumen PA550W. I like that they have software controls to align the various projectors, and I could build up to having 4 stacked providing 22000 lumens! Would I need a special rig to keep them in place.. I wouldnt want anything to move them accidently during a film.

Do you think this works ? Also, what is the risk of buying second hand projectors online ? is this a bad idea...
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post #6 of 25 Old 03-12-2012, 01:34 PM
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For what you are doing, I wouldn't buy a LCD pj. I would go with a DLP even if it was only XGA.

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post #7 of 25 Old 03-12-2012, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Eric - is that because LCD degrades quicker ?

do you think the panasonic DLP at 7000 lumens is ok;
http://www.projectorcentral.com/Pana...PT-DW730US.htm
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post #8 of 25 Old 03-12-2012, 06:53 PM
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I am not going to say it will degrade quicker, but it can. I just think DLP will hold up better in your environment.

As for the Panny, it looks ok, but I have never seen it. You might want to call one of the advertisers up above and ask them which high lumen pj has the least problems.

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post #9 of 25 Old 03-12-2012, 07:27 PM
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Just a quick calculation. If you were to create a 50 ft. diagonal, 1.78:1 aspect ratio screen and by using a very white paint have gain of 1.0, then you would need nearly 11,000 lumens to produce an image with 10 ft. lamberts of brightness. Commercial movie theaters typically have 12 to 16 ft. lamberts. Given that, unless you can find a good price for a used commercial cinema projector (e.g, one with perhaps 12,000 lumens), then using a pair of business class projectors each with 5,000 lumens (or so) would proabably be your best bet. I suggest you check reviews on business projectors at projectorreviews.com and projectorcental.com.

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post #10 of 25 Old 03-13-2012, 08:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Many thanks for the calcs Ron. I will keep looking for a powerful 2nd hand projector within my budget, although not having luck at this time. Ideally this wouldnt be too large as I have to fly to the states to pickup and bring back.


Do you agree with Eric that I should be only looking at DLPs ? If I go for stacked projectors I could get these:
http://www.necdisplay.com/p/multimed...tors/np-pa550w
They are LCD, but have inbuilt software for correcting the stacking, and as time goes on I can add up to 4 projectors to get a super bright image ?
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post #11 of 25 Old 03-13-2012, 10:15 AM
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Why not try and give Christie a call. Tell them your story and see if they respond with a used projector of a retrofit that might work out for you. Maybe offer a lease or percentag of the movie run until its paid off. This would make a great story for any projector company to work out a solution that works out for you. Try a screen goo solution for a screen that will be outdoors. Would like to see the cashflow of the requirements of a drivein which will mean that people without cars can't go to a movie and further the denisity population would be more spread out requiring a larger screen to work which makes an extra burden for the audio as well. Maybe a large tent that holds 7500 people with a sloping seating area where people can bring their own chairs.

The area to put 7500 people in cars vs 7500 under a canopy is massively different. The screen requirements therefore dramatically change as well as the audio solutions become much more manageable unless you were going to broadcast via radio for the audio.

I would think that the audio will be a bigger challenge. What are you doing with this part of the equation.

Sounds like a great project though.
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post #12 of 25 Old 03-13-2012, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandarax View Post

Why not try and give Christie a call. Tell them your story and see if they respond with a used projector of a retrofit that might work out for you. Maybe offer a lease or percentag of the movie run until its paid off. This would make a great story for any projector company to work out a solution that works out for you. Try a screen goo solution for a screen that will be outdoors. Would like to see the cashflow of the requirements of a drivein which will mean that people without cars can't go to a movie and further the denisity population would be more spread out requiring a larger screen to work which makes an extra burden for the audio as well. Maybe a large tent that holds 7500 people with a sloping seating area where people can bring their own chairs.

The area to put 7500 people in cars vs 7500 under a canopy is massively different. The screen requirements therefore dramatically change as well as the audio solutions become much more manageable unless you were going to broadcast via radio for the audio.

I would think that the audio will be a bigger challenge. What are you doing with this part of the equation.

Sounds like a great project though.

He mentioned he was going to use an FM transmitter for the audio. That's probably the easiest part of this project.
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post #13 of 25 Old 03-13-2012, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
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I add some more info here to clarify the project. I am an architect not a cinema guy so any feedback would be very very welcome.

The site looks like this, its a huge carpark slightly below level of the large wall. I have photoshopped a rectangle to show a 50ft wide screen.


I plan to paint using a satin finish exterior grade Sherwin Williams paint that is available in Haiti. I selected this using:
http://www.projectorcentral.com/paint_perfect_screen_$100.htm

The layout of the site, which has much more capacity than 100 cars, is as follows:


I plan to use this for audio transmission :

Let me know what you think !

If anyone here has ideas about where I can get second hand professional >12000 lumens projectors please let me know.

Many thanks
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post #14 of 25 Old 03-13-2012, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandarax View Post

Why not try and give Christie a call. Tell them your story and see if they respond with a used projector of a retrofit that might work out for you. Maybe offer a lease or percentag of the movie run until its paid off. This would make a great story for any projector company to work out a solution that works out for you. Try a screen goo solution for a screen that will be outdoors. Would like to see the cashflow of the requirements of a drivein which will mean that people without cars can't go to a movie and further the denisity population would be more spread out requiring a larger screen to work which makes an extra burden for the audio as well. Maybe a large tent that holds 7500 people with a sloping seating area where people can bring their own chairs.

Great ideas thanks. I called Christie's but they were not interested. I will try Barco and Eiki. My full time job is with the Clinton Foundation helping with reconstruciton and other efforts, so I'll be very happy if I can find a sympathetic supplier that offers a simple and maintenance free and cost effective solution ..!

Agree I will provide loose seating at the front of the cars.
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post #15 of 25 Old 03-13-2012, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandarax View Post

Try a screen goo solution for a screen that will be outdoors.

Screen Goo! I thought MississippiMan said MMud was better. Maybe he will come down and paint it for them. Inside joke with Mandarax.

In this case, most satin white paints should work well if you have very little ambient light like you say do. Goo would probably work better, but not sure if it will fit your budget.

I agree with Mandarax as well about contacting some cinema pj companies. Christie turned you down, but there is Barco, DPI and Sim2. DPI has their headquarters in Atlanta, so they aren't to far. Sim has their US location in South Florida (Weston?). I realize they aren't a cinema company, but they may have a solution for you.

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post #16 of 25 Old 03-13-2012, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Maybe he will come down and paint it for them.

I take any help I can get!
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post #17 of 25 Old 03-13-2012, 05:25 PM
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Sony and JVC also make projectors for digital cinema.

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post #18 of 25 Old 03-13-2012, 06:42 PM
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Do you have an electrical system capable of handling a 12,000 Lumen projector? They will draw a LOT of wattage. Make sure your electrical system can handle it, and that you can afford the bill if you are running the shows very often. Not sure what electrical costs are in Haiti but that might be significant.

Lamp costs are not insignificant for these things either, although the lamp should last 1000 - 1800 hours or so.

Figure about 2500-3500W for a projector capable of that much light, and you need to have a way to keep it cool as well, they put out a TON of heat.


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post #19 of 25 Old 03-13-2012, 07:06 PM
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For a 50 foot wide screen you need 1080 resolution and a hell of allot of lumens. I would suggest you forget about digital and look for a used high output 35mm film projector. For 10K you are not going to get anything worth watching in digital projectors.
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post #20 of 25 Old 03-14-2012, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newdrivein View Post

I take any help I can get!

Not unless you are willing to pay him.


Looking at this again. Is this a for-profit or non-profit venture?

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post #21 of 25 Old 03-14-2012, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Just kidding about the help.

its really just a club for people who want to watch movies in Haiti, and to cover my costs will charge admission and offer concessions at a price that won't deter middle income Haitians. i already have a job, and don't anticipate making any profit, although if i did I would be of course delighted.
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post #22 of 25 Old 03-14-2012, 01:21 PM
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Ericglo.. How you doin bud. Drop me a line sometime. I don't get on AVS too much any more. sorry back to the topic at hand.

Good to hear that you will provide some seating in front for people. This will be important for people to know. I am sure Clinton could talk his alabama voice into getting any projector he wants for you. Its a great Idea. I might not hilight it as a drivein and just call it an outdoor theater.

Should make for a great bug zapper in haiti.

If one person says no to your request from a company like Christie then I wouldnt throw in the towel right away. Go over the persons head first. You gotta sell it. You arent going to do a 50 ft screen with a normal ht projector and your best bet is to figure out a way for people to want to give you something they would be proud to give.

I havent seen Ken from Goo since the Montreal Show years ago when he had a pair of speakers. He had two pair in the room one pair painted orange and another painted blue. Some blind guy comes in the room and asked ken .. what pair am I listening too and Ken says ... the orange pair. lol... some memories stick with you a long time.
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post #23 of 25 Old 03-16-2012, 05:03 AM
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Well good luck. I guess I assumed you were some registered charity.

My suggestion is still to start smaller with the lawn chairs and therefore the screen and work your way up insize. Getting to 50 feet is gonna take some serious projector to do properly.
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post #24 of 25 Old 03-16-2012, 02:01 PM
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Lawn chairs and a 20-foot picture should be pretty good. Cars sort of allow viewing on cold and drizzly nights, but you might have enough dry nights in Haiti.
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post #25 of 25 Old 06-06-2012, 10:19 PM
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I already pointed you in the direction of the drive in workshop site at another site, It is the most knowledgeable source regarding setting up a drive in the world today. It explains screen construction and the advantages of different paints and surfaces.. As your not planning on having ramps, sight lines are your biggest concern, ie how high to put the screen so that people in the back seats can see the screen without either the roof of the car you are in effecting the top of the image and the car or worse the suv/ van infront which effects the bottom of the screen image.

As for the need for an expensive projector, never before have great quality and super bright projectors been cheaper! Don't waste your time with second hand!!!! Drive in theatres due to their large screen sizes only average between 4-10 ft lamberts as required by the SMPTE (who set the standards for commercial cinemas and television).A cheap and cheerful sub $2000 4000-6000 lumen 720p projector will stun your audience. A 40ft screen is probably ample to start with and you can always enlarge it later when you understand the importence of sight lines. Don't waste your time with 35mm as if there are no cinemas there will be no prints........ FM radio transmitters and blu ray is the way to go. I would suggest that you possibly look into very short throw projectors ,so that the projector and all power is safely well infront of your audience.

The only other suggestion would be to sheild all the field lights so that the ambient light does not hit the screen, so people will be able to see where they are going and still see a quality image.

Best of luck with your venture.
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