Extremely Large Drive-in movie theater (projector selection) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 07-01-2012, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Im looking to put together an outdoor movie theater at a marina. The furthest parking space would be about 200 feet away. I was able to get some very cheap prices on inflatable projector screens so I think I am going to go with a screen that is 50ft x 70ft. I realize that this is a very large venue and I am going to need an extremely bright projector for its purpose. I was thinking of something over 10000 lumens. I am not sure what brand to go with although i have noticed that the "Christie" brand seems to be pretty popular for large venues. I would want something with vertical and horizontal lens shift and hd 1080i resolution. Does anyone have any suggestions for projectors or know of any places i should go to start shopping and comparing. Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You
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post #2 of 28 Old 07-01-2012, 11:53 AM
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That is a huge screen and you will need a lot more than 10,000 lumens. Not to mention how are you going to secure it if it's inflatable to keep it from wavering or worse in breezes or outright wind gusts? You will likely need to check with companies like Barco or Christie or theater division of Sony. Those are very expensive projectors. Maybe less expensive if you dropped to 720P. Just my opinion and anyone can jump in if they think differently.
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post #3 of 28 Old 07-01-2012, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Ronf,

Thanks for your reply. When you say a lot more lumens. How much are we talking? Do you think a smaller screen would be fitting for a larger lot? How big are the screens usually for venues that are about 200x200 in size? I want the screen to be easily viewable. I would really like it to be 1080i but that all depends on what the price differences are.

Thanks again
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post #4 of 28 Old 07-01-2012, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Also,

How venues that have screens this big manage to keep the screen from "wavering" or even blowing away? I know there are definitely some venues with screens that are even bigger than this. How do they manage?

THanks
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post #5 of 28 Old 07-01-2012, 12:51 PM
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Your best bet would be to talk to a company like Barco or Christie as to lumens needed for various sizes of screen.

As to how they anchor screens that large outdoors I imagine it takes one heck of a solid frame and bracing to be constructed, and then to save money you'd have to get some kind of reasonably smooth surface and just paint it with a durable white paint. Maybe do searches on like "outdoor large drive in screen construction". Do you have a link, I'm really curious what kind of "inflatable" product you are looking at from what company that says they can go that big?
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post #6 of 28 Old 07-01-2012, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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What I meant was large inflatable screens. I know that building a structure is another alternative but it is significantly more costly, requires building permits, and is permanent not seasonal. I have seen inflatable screens up to 100 ft wide, what I meant is how do those people keep the inflatable screen from moving around. I do not have a link because i contacted several manufacturer through Alibaba.com. I have gotten three different quotes from the manufacturers that were actually able to make a screen that big. These manufacturers are located in china and they charge significantly less than any company i have found in the unites states.

Here is an example of one of the quotes that i got.


Please check the 50ft*70ft screen quotation as follows:

Material: 0.55mm pvc tarpaulin(sewed type,when you use,you need to inflate continually)
Size: 70ft*50ft
Weight:125kgs, two blowers 25.00kgs
Package:0.78*0.78*1.20m
MOQ: 1pc
Ex-work price:USD

.00/pc,including two sets of CE air blower and repair kit

Material: 0.60mm pvc tarpaulin(sealed type,you just inflate one time,then it can keep for a long time)
Size: 70ft*50ft
Weight:152kgs, one pump 2.00kgs and one air blower 10.00kgs
Package:0.65*0.65*1.00m
MOQ: 1pc
Ex-work price:USD
.00/pc,including one set of CE air pump and one air blower and one Germany zipperand repair kit
For the sealed type,in order to inflate and deflate easily,we add one Germany zipper.
[/I]
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post #7 of 28 Old 07-01-2012, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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post #8 of 28 Old 07-01-2012, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
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post #9 of 28 Old 07-01-2012, 01:53 PM
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Wow!! I had no idea they were going that large with inflatable screens now. http://www.airscreen.com/ Very cool! So they have cable bracing it looks like front and rear to handle moderate breezes at least. If more severe weather is expected you probably just don't put them up on those days. I wonder what the tolerances are they are built to withstand. Kind of get the idea of what you want to do now. Good luck with it!
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post #10 of 28 Old 07-01-2012, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help. I have contacted Christie, hopefully any savings I made with the screen will help me stay under budget after the projector is purchased.
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post #11 of 28 Old 07-02-2012, 05:05 AM
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Just a couple of comments, 70x50' is a 1.4:1 aspect ratio, but for pretty much any recent movie you'll want a 1.85:1 aspect ratio or even a ~2.37:1 aspect ratio.

But that aside 70x50 is 3500 square feet, if you go with DCI recommended indoor screen brightness of 16ftL, that's 56,000 Lumens, and you'd probably want more than that to account for lamp aging and non ideal ambient light conditions.

You'd likely be looking at something like two of these stacked:
http://www.christiedigital.com/en-us/business/products/projectors/3-chip-dlp/Pages/roadie-HD35K-DLP-Digital-Projector.aspx

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #12 of 28 Old 07-02-2012, 08:23 AM
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God knows how much one of these bad boys cost, let alone tow eek.gif
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post #13 of 28 Old 07-02-2012, 09:51 AM
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You should probably be thinking in terms of leasing/renting a projector for this application. Certainly you would be in the wrong thread space if purchasing is the goal....go to "ultra high end" for this.
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post #14 of 28 Old 07-02-2012, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
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stanger89 ,
thanks for the useful information. This brings me to a more reasonable size of 32.5 x 60 which would be 1950 sq ft, so by ur standard I would need, 31200 lumens. Coincidentaly christie recommended the same projector, im just waiting to get a quote from them.

Please keep the suggestions coming, this has already been a big help.
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post #15 of 28 Old 07-04-2012, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fr378417 View Post

Also,
How venues that have screens this big manage to keep the screen from "wavering" or even blowing away? I know there are definitely some venues with screens that are even bigger than this. How do they manage?
THanks

Concrete, the classic ones we see in US movies are often a big slap of concrete. The ones cars fly thru in said movies are made out of plywood or similar material on a frame. That way you can easily do 30-40 meter wide screens.

The independent movie theater association in the US just launched a 3D/Digital programme with JVC, but I expect your screen will simply too large for said programme(see dci subforum), so you're stuck with regular DCi projectors from Barco, Christie or NEC, or if you're not showing DCi encrypted content you can also look at big staging projectors from Digital Projection (DPI).
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post #16 of 28 Old 07-04-2012, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post

You should probably be thinking in terms of leasing/renting a projector for this application. Certainly you would be in the wrong thread space if purchasing is the goal....go to "ultra high end" for this.

No the DCi subforum, eventhough it formally is only for DCi technology as used in Hometheater;-).
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post #17 of 28 Old 07-04-2012, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cR4p View Post

God knows how much one of these bad boys cost, let alone tow eek.gif

One doesn't need the ruggedization and associated premium of the Roadie series for fixed install. There's also a 4K version of this (both DCi and simulation series). Seen that one on a four-five meter wide rear-projection screen at ISE this february, not too bright, so for a giant screen one definitely needs at least something like this.

Those commercial grade screens aren't too bad, from when I kept up on the backyardtheaterforum, though those people didn't buy them this big, but definitly in the intermediate sizes for the rental/staging of outdoor events
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post #18 of 28 Old 07-06-2012, 01:18 AM
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I used to work for a projector rental house in Minneapolis about 10 years ago. At that time, the biggest projector we would rent was a Christie "roadie". We'd rent to venues like stadiums and arenas all over the world. It was a 3 chip DLP that came with huge lenses, put out serious light, and I think retailed for about $100,000. I'm not suggesting something like this should be your solution...just remembering old times I guess!

Former USSB uplink operator.
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post #19 of 28 Old 07-09-2012, 04:18 AM
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I have read this thread with interest. I do believe we actually spoke by phone.. Screen size format needs to the same as your projector resolution. Not quite sure why every dim you have mentioned is almost square? An inflatable screen from China site unseen is an incredible risk. What happens if it fails and kills somebody? And will they come and train you? Having just worked on an installation of an 80' wide screen this week, I can't imagine how a "newbie" would be successful. Selling a screen of this size to someone with. O experience is a bit like selling a 747 to someone who has not yet learned to fly. Please feel free to reach out to us via our web site again if you like. http://www.outdoor-movies.com/Screens-and-Systems/Inflatable-Screens.aspx. Whatever you do, please do it safely!
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post #20 of 28 Old 07-09-2012, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonF View Post

Wow!! I had no idea they were going that large with inflatable screens now. http://www.airscreen.com/ Very cool! So they have cable bracing it looks like front and rear to handle moderate breezes at least. If more severe weather is expected you probably just don't put them up on those days. I wonder what the tolerances are they are built to withstand. Kind of get the idea of what you want to do now. Good luck with it!

We could not agree more with that. In fact inflatable movie screens from AIRSCREEN handle winds until 24mph, so significantly more than a moderate breeze. If winds get even higher we recommend to deflate the screen and you are on the safe side. And yes, if the weather is really bad (and nobody wants to watch a movie in bad weather anyways) then you just don't inflate your inflatable screen at all and let it deflated and secure on the ground.

Take a look at http://www.airscreen.com and especially http://www.airscreen.com/en/products/airscreen-classic/ for further information.
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post #21 of 28 Old 07-09-2012, 08:45 AM
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I would not stress about 16fl outside. It is a different beast. In this scenario, just get the max you can for the cost you want to pay. Realistically, outside is a different beast than HT (I have done it many many times). Also note...you will NEVER beat the sun, even if you had a 30000 lumen unit. You HAVE to wait until it is dark...period. Just an FYI.

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post #22 of 28 Old 07-09-2012, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Grazing,

Thanks for the suggestions. I think after stranger89's original post, we have taken aspect ratios into consideration, hence the change to a 60 x 32.5 ft screen (which, unless im going crazy, is nothing close to a square).

As far as the installation and reliability of these Chinese manufacturers. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that your company probably goes through a manufacturer for your screens as well. I am not simply choosing a random Chinese site and purchasing a screen. I am doing a lot of research and making sure that these are all reliable companies with testimonials, proof of past experience, and even credentials through certain networks.

As far as the actual installation: I am fortunate to have a large team of engineers, contractors, workers, etc. that are more than willing to help me out with my install. Of course safety will be our largest priority and we will do everything in our power to test out the installation thoroughly before going through with an actual screening.

Thanks again for the suggestions. Unfortunately I don't think I will be doing business with you, but please keep the suggestions coming. smile.gif

Frank
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post #23 of 28 Old 07-09-2012, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fr378417 View Post

Grazing,
Thanks for the suggestions. I think after stranger89's original post, we have taken aspect ratios into consideration, hence the change to a 60 x 32.5 ft screen (which, unless im going crazy, is nothing close to a square).
As far as the installation and reliability of these Chinese manufacturers. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that your company probably goes through a manufacturer for your screens as well. I am not simply choosing a random Chinese site and purchasing a screen. I am doing a lot of research and making sure that these are all reliable companies with testimonials, proof of past experience, and even credentials through certain networks.
As far as the actual installation: I am fortunate to have a large team of engineers, contractors, workers, etc. that are more than willing to help me out with my install. Of course safety will be our largest priority and we will do everything in our power to test out the installation thoroughly before going through with an actual screening.
Thanks again for the suggestions. Unfortunately I don't think I will be doing business with you, but please keep the suggestions coming. smile.gif
Frank

Depends on how good your eye doctor is. smile.gif

Seriously, pretty much all of these are made overseas (again, I have owned a few of the inflatable ones so I have experience with them).

Where are you based? I ask wondering about weather in your area...

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post #24 of 28 Old 07-09-2012, 04:57 PM
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Yes, AIRSCREEN is manufactured in Germany and yes AIRSCREEN is in Germany. The frame materials are German, as is the scren surface. There is also value to the fact that they have 18 years of experience (revision, innovation, patents) manufacturing these large screens, and they have been sold in 70 countries. Here in the United States/Canada, we have supported our buyers since 1998.

We wish you the best of luck with your endeavor! You sound like you have ingenuity and a good consulting crew. Keep us up to date on how your prototyping goes.

Kind regards,

Bob Deutsch
Outdoor Movies/AIRSCREEN USA
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post #25 of 28 Old 07-17-2012, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Jason,

The marina is based in Westchester County, NY. So the screen would not be set up year round. I would say between late April and early August depending on the forecast.

You seem to have a lot of knowledge on these inflatable screens. What questions would you have for the manufacturers as far as the reliability of these screens. I have plenty of time before I make an actual purchase, and i'd like to grill these companies as much as possible. Anything in particular I should look out for? Any suggestions?

Thanks again,

Frank
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post #26 of 28 Old 07-18-2012, 08:54 AM
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My first piece of advice is warranty. I will tell you why. I owned one as I said, and what happened after a fairly short period was a seam broke and began to leak. This ultimately created issues for reliability. The reason was that outside is hard to control. Obviously wind, we know that. But temp as well. Going say from 90 degrees to the point the sun sets and it drops, can cause the air inside to vary. Vice versa as heat increases, air expands.

So I only would caution in that regard because those are the kinds of things I found were hard to prevent.

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post #27 of 28 Old 07-18-2012, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
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That's a very good piece of advise. I hadn't thought about the air expanding and contacting due to temperature. Thankfully the screens I have seen all come with at least 2 year warranty. They also come with a "PVC repair kit". Not too sure what that consists of but it makes me happy any nervous at the same time. Happy because it can't hurt to have a repair kit, and nervous because offering a repair kit indicates that a repair kit is going to be necessary. Anyhow, thanks for the help.

Frank
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post #28 of 28 Old 07-23-2012, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fr378417 View Post

That's a very good piece of advise. I hadn't thought about the air expanding and contacting due to temperature. Thankfully the screens I have seen all come with at least 2 year warranty. They also come with a "PVC repair kit". Not too sure what that consists of but it makes me happy any nervous at the same time. Happy because it can't hurt to have a repair kit, and nervous because offering a repair kit indicates that a repair kit is going to be necessary. Anyhow, thanks for the help.
Frank

Yeah it could be a fluke, but, the kits also do nothing for seams. They are more for general holes... Seams are a pain if they fail...

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