Comments from Vito

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Vito commented about Radio City Music Hall on Jan 29, 2014 at 1:00 am

As to Heart & Lights just knowing the Rockettes are dancing to Fosse will put my butt in a seat.

Vito commented about Radio City Music Hall on Dec 30, 2013 at 11:14 am

So the plan for next year as of now is to include the 70mm 3-D opening sequence? it may not be much but at least I can hold off holding a wake for film at RCMH A while back a ton of new surround speakers were installed in the theatre you can see the boxes just about everywhere on the walls and mounted in front of the mezzanines my question is are they used for anything other than film sound and with movies basically finished will the speakers be removed as well or used for other purposes

Vito commented about Radio City Music Hall on Dec 30, 2013 at 7:58 am

I am wondering if that silver sheet is installed every year for the Christmas show and will be removed after tonight’s performance. I would like to point out to those of you who are not aware, rcdt55b used that word correctly, Sheet is the correct and common word used to describe a movie screen in our business. If in the day you were to go backstage at any of the theatres featuring stage/screen shows such as Paramount or Roxy you would find in the rigging one marked Sheet for the screen as well as Rag which was how stage curtains were labeled. I wonder if the word Rag is still used in B’way houses today.

Vito commented about Radio City Music Hall on Dec 30, 2013 at 2:47 am

As we mourn the end of movies at the Hall we must take time to be grateful for the fact that the theatre is still with us; for movies or no movies this treasure is alive and thriving. As rcdt55b has written we need to get used to the changes embrace them in fact for the Hall will continue to change as new technologies emerge and new challenges for the brilliant Music Hall staff and the great stage in particular emerge. Recently we have had the pleasure of reading posts from rcdt55b who has kept us up to date on the goings on at the theatre I very much enjoyed being kept up to dates on everything Music Hall. I am sure rcdt55b would agree that our greatest contributor here in the Radio City thread has of course been REndres. As most of you know Rob for many years was Chief Projectionist during the time of movies and stage shows and after the Hall stopped showing movies Rob continued to inform delight and entertain us with marvelous Music hall stories. Today is the final day of the 2013 Christmas show and could conceivably be the last time film will be projected at RCMH. So everyone join me at approximately 8PM tonight as the last show begins and bow our heads in a moment of silence ;)  Any final thoughts Rob?

Vito commented about Radio City Music Hall on Dec 29, 2013 at 11:50 am

Well the end of an era has finally come movies are finished at the Hall. It was inevitable I suppose with the death of film and the fact that in order for the Music Hall to show Digital movies it meant setting up two Digital projectors in the mezzanine which probably became an it’s just not worth it situation. The beginning of end came a year or so ago with the removal of all the changeover equipment needed to run reel to reel I saw that as a sign of things to come. Now they have put the final nail in the coffin with the removal of the picture sheet (screen) and the speaker border and stage speakers

One has to wonder if they end up dropping the 3-D form the Christmas show or find a Digital way to replace the 70mm how long it will be before all the projectors are removed and that space utilized for some other equipment.

So goodbye to movies at RCMH it was a heck of a place to see a movie but now that it’s pretty much over we can all stop dreaming and hoping for movies to return which let’s face it we all knew but did not want to accept would never again happen.

So let’s hold on to our memories of the good ole days at RCMH we will never see the likes of that again.

Vito commented about Radio City Music Hall on Nov 5, 2013 at 9:13 am

No it doesn’t rcdt, guess we will have to see how it looks to form an opinion. I knew the use of film was to good to be true….oh well.

Vito commented about Radio City Music Hall on Nov 5, 2013 at 1:20 am

rcdt Please tell us more about the trailer is it on film? and is that why you wrote a while back that more projectors would be used this year? Thanks

Vito commented about 42nd Street Photos Unearthed on Nov 2, 2013 at 2:15 am

I enjoyed that I would also love to see the ones from the 50s with those great double bills Inn those days the marquees were a work of art perfectly centered and well maintained. I used to love to walk down 42nd from B'way to 8th to admire them

Vito commented about Radio City Music Hall on Oct 23, 2013 at 9:05 am

Mark and redt55b thanks for that update sure glad to hear 70mm film is staying for the 3D.

Vito commented about Radio City Music Hall on Oct 21, 2013 at 8:03 am

What is the news about this years Christmas show will there be any changes? How will the booth be used

Vito commented about Waikiki 1 & 2 on Oct 13, 2013 at 7:40 am

Nice picture sartana. you will notice the open projection booth window. Before they started showing advertising slides during intermission we had a curtain that would close in front of that window so you could not see into the booth. Then at the start of the show when the lights went down and the show began the curtain would open as a part of the opening automation procedure.

Vito commented about Hawaii Cinerama on Sep 30, 2013 at 3:53 am

It was all very heartbreaking to see all those magnificent theatres closed the worst being the destruction of the Royal and Waikiki #3 We had so many great plans in the early 80s to upgrade and improve all of those theatres with new sound and projection but then all of a sudden it was all over when the new administration came in and shut it all down. I had to feel especially bad for Wesley Inouye who put his heart and soul into the new #3 only to see it all torn down. All gone now, Cinerama, Waikiki 1-2-3, Kuhio and Royal, all that remains are a bunch of little boxes they call theatres but are nothing more than screening rooms.

Vito commented about Radio City Music Hall on Sep 26, 2013 at 4:15 am

May I assume that now that those TV people have left the presidium has now been returned to original glory and all the work been completed on the removal of that desecration.? Yes I know a lot of folks thought it looked great for a national audience but I say humbug, if you want that go to Vegas and stop messing with the great stage.

Vito commented about Radio City Music Hall on Sep 21, 2013 at 2:14 am

Rob, Thanks for the heartwarming Ray Dolby tribute, he changed and greatly enhanced the way we hear recorded sound. During the sixties and most of the seventies 35mm sound had for the most part gone mono optical a full decade and a half of almost nonexistent stereo sound in the theatres. Then came Dolby and a breath of fresh air had been pumped into the theatres again, finally stereo sound was back bigger and better than ever. It also, thanks in many ways to George Lucas, revitalized 70mm which had all but disappeared. Yup movie sound had gotten pretty dull there for quite a while but Mr. Dolby forever changed that what a joy it has to be to have known both Ray and Ioan Allen both of whom brilliantly improved recorded sound.

I am glad you mentioned the confusion caused by magnetic prints being sent to theatres that could not play them, another great innovation in those times was of course mag/optical prints which to some degree solved that problem. I say some degree cause there was still the issue with one of the mag tracks overlapping slightly onto the optical track area but we lived with that

Vito commented about Radio City Music Hall on Sep 20, 2013 at 11:30 am

Thanks Bill I appreciate that, sometimes I worry that my posts are too boring or long in the tooth. In the days when I still attended union meetings I would enjoy entertaining the youngins with stories about the good ole days of projection, or at least I hope they were entertained. As to REndres I cannot compare my humble posts to the magnificent ones he provides which are always interesting and technically educational. In spite of all my years in the business I still managed to learn something new reading Robs posts.

Vito commented about Radio City Music Hall on Sep 20, 2013 at 8:19 am

Correction, Please substitute the word Photocell with Solar Cell in my post. PHOTOCELL!!! my goodness now that’s really showing my age.

Vito commented about Radio City Music Hall on Sep 20, 2013 at 2:59 am

Thanks Mark perhaps someone will, let us know when all of that awful set is completely gone and the stage is once again back to its glory.

REndres fun reading about the early Dolby years at RCMH it was quite a time to be sure, we were all excited about the new sound with so little stereo available since the early 60s when Mag sound began to wane, There was confusion about the early prints as the exchanges did not seem to care which prints they sent to the theatres similarly to the way mag/optical prints were sent to theatres with optical capabilities only and optical prints were sent to theaters with magnetic installations it was a mess back then and continued in the early days of Dolby SVA prints. At the start there were two versions of the prints; optical mono and optical stereo and all too often film exchanges would send out the wrong versions to some of the theatres. Of course I am sure more care was taken to send proper prints to first run B’way houses but not to the neighborhoods. We would also occasionally get mixed prints with some reels stereo and some mono (that was annoying) It was made worse by the studios who did not id the prints clearly; in some cases the only way to tell a mono from a stereo print was to check the modulation on the track itself to see which type of track it was, there was not even lab markings in the leaders to identify mono or stereo which was simply ridicules. Eventually the prints were labeled properly but not until about a year of confusion. Soon as more theatres installed Dolby they stopped making optical mono all together producing only optical stereo prints and life got easier for us. The fear of course was the notion that SVA prints did not play well with mono only photocells all of which changed when newer technology improved photocells and ultimately eliminated exciter lamps. But in the early years of what is now antiquated sound reproduction of Solar cells and exciter lamps things were difficult for us in the booth with respect to stereo optical. This may sound all very odd to those working RCMH were I am sure the proper version of those early SVA prints were sent. Or where they?? Of course the madness continued as more and more Dolby wana bees sprung out; we had DTS (which Spielberg loved) then there was Sony SDDS adding to the confusion or what I called madness. The studios final got it right with all four tracks, Dolby stereo, Dolby Digital, DTS, and Sony SDDS) married onto one print so that whichever system you had could play just about any print. Having all four stereo tracks on one print made life a whole lot easier, just as long as you had the film path lied up properly to avoid the DTS control track, which was located right alongside the SVA track, from being picked up causing buzzing. Yeah, that wasn’t too irritating. But it was the fun and excitement of being a projectionist back then. Was it not? In the 50s we had a new picture format born every year and in the 70s it was a new sound format, now a day’s sound on film has been replaced by digital files provided by a computerized server producing sound digitally. In the good ole days we were kept on our toes something the kids today don’t have with Digital, Kinda feel bad for don’t you Rob?.

My apologies to those who may have found this post a bit rambling or inappropriate to be made here. I just thought it fit in to the Music Halls into to optical stereo.

Vito commented about Radio City Music Hall on Sep 19, 2013 at 1:55 am

Now that AGT is over may I assume the massive set they used is gone and the stage is once again “Great”

Vito commented about Hawaii Cinerama on Sep 13, 2013 at 6:38 am

It all began back in 1981 when John Allen recommended and arranged for us to test Klipsch speakers in our theatres; we installed the first one in the new screening room at Consolidates home office. Before I left the company plans were being made to begin installing the speakers in all the theatres. John also designed a magnificent system for the Waikiki #3 theater using Klipsh TMCM speakers. A new 70mm system was installed under the brilliant direction of Cosolidated’s Wesley Inouye who did all the wiring himself. Even the 35mm optical mono system was amazing so great someone said it sounded better than a 70mm sound system in most theaters. To which Allen quipped “wait till you hear the mag 70”

Vito commented about 3-D Film Expo returns to the Egyptian on Aug 27, 2013 at 2:45 am

Sorry to hear that Peter I know how dedicated you were to that operation. Digital has changed everything it is the main reason I am no longer involved with the St George on Staten Island all Digital projection now and I want no part of that

Vito commented about 3-D Film Expo returns to the Egyptian on Aug 26, 2013 at 2:25 am

Thanks Peter any similar plans for Lafayette?

Vito commented about Egyptian Theatre on Aug 24, 2013 at 1:30 am

Anyone know how the World 3-D Movie Expo in September will be projected? 35mm dual projector polaroid or Digital?

Vito commented about 3-D Film Expo returns to the Egyptian on Aug 24, 2013 at 1:26 am

35mm polaroid duel projection or Digital ?

Vito commented about Radio City Music Hall on Aug 23, 2013 at 12:48 am

Thanks for the update rcdt55b please keep us informed. It’s comforting to think that with film pretty much toast that the Hall would find use for it. Not surprised projector#5 wont be put back since you still have 4

Vito commented about Radio City Music Hall on Aug 22, 2013 at 7:39 am

Your lips to Gods ears Bill

Mark/rcdt55b do they still have the tours and show the booth as part of that?