Originally Posted by Dan Rankin
Damelon-- Have been following your build and the recent changes for a while -- very impressive.
Your recent screen size upgrade got me thinking if I could do something similar. But I have a CIH curved scope screen setup with manual masking. I built black velvet covered panels that I use to mask the right and left sides when viewing 16:9 material. The panels fit over the top of the sides of the screen using cabinet magnets that are screwed into a soffit above and soffit below the screen, so they never touch the screen material itself.
So now I am thinking about whether I could use a similar approach if I switch to a CIW setup like you did, using a flat screen instead of a curved one. I am pretty sure I could make a couple of bottom panels for horizontal masking that would just sit on the bottom soffit using magnets, similar to the approach I already use for the vertical masking. Then I would need a solution for the top, perhaps hinges that would allow two panels to swing down from the top soffit when in use to view 2.35:1 material, and something to fasten them horizontally to the soffit unobtrusively when viewing 16:9 material. Or I suppose another approach for the top might be a short, black screen that lowers down from the soffit for masking.
Thank you for the inspiration.
Dan, Thanks for the compliment! Yes, the screen I currently have does use magnets. Due to the size of the screen, they are divided up into 4 panels, so there are magnets along all of the edges of the screen frame and the panels that touch the screen frame, as well as magnets along the joining area of the panels so they sort of stick to each other. In addition, there is a small fabric flap between the two panels so that there is no gap if the fit isn't exactly perfect.
I like your idea of hinges a lot. If there is room above and below the screen, this would easily be doable. The primary thing is that you want to make sure they could flip up or down completely. In that case you wouldn't need to have 4 panels but could stick with two. This would make the masking process very easy. The top side is more complicated if you don't have the space to flip it up flap since if your scenario is like mine, it would be at an odd angle if it flipped up to the soffit itself. If they would go completely up and completely down though you could easily work it with magnets to get it to stick. It would give it an odd look when the panels are flipped open, but It would make the panel storage issue moot. You would have to get the right hinge though, or have it so the panels did not rest inside of the frame itself but over the frame. The over the frame part would be easiest, and if the frame was flush with the screen wall then it would work perfectly. You could even hide the magnets to keep it open behind some screenwall fabric. If they are both black it could blend in well, though unlike most panels, you would have to finish both sides or it wouldn't look too good when it was flipped open. Interesting idea, and one I haven't seen.
It is really too bad that once you finish a theater a certain way that modifications cost a lot. I would really like to have designed the screenwall in such a way that I could do 4 way masking but there just isn't room, which is unfortunate. In addition, I think things like hinges, snaps, and magnets are something I would have liked to use in a lot of places:
1) Make all of my panels removable via one of the methods above
2) Make my front two columns swing open with hinges, so they could be used as storage or something similar
3) Make the side panels of my screenwall swing open like doors so that I didn't have to disassemble the wall somewhat to get back there (This is actually much better with the new screen now since the sides are now velcro fit vs friction. I will likely change this to magnets
4) Make at least the major parts of the light tray detachable or swing down for access
These are all minor things, but once you have used a room for years you think of what you could have done to make it better. If you have room to improve, why not? Make sure that if you do attempt your changes that you post a link here to let me know so people can follow up on your work!