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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.
Now that AGT is over may I assume the massive set they used is gone and the stage is once again “Great”
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”
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
Thanks Peter any similar plans for Lafayette?
Anyone know how the World 3-D Movie Expo in September will be projected? 35mm dual projector polaroid or Digital?
35mm polaroid duel projection or Digital ?
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
Your lips to Gods ears Bill
Mark/rcdt55b do they still have the tours and show the booth as part of that?
Mark movies will never die just the film we used to project them.
rcdtrrb you made my day with that comment please please keep us informed on what is going on. Did you ever put that 5th projector back removed for the digital effect projector?
Very good point Stanley well said.
Of course those of us who go way back miss the movies at the Hall but it’s just not possible anymore.
When I think of those projectors all covered in plastic it can be sad to accept. But the Music Hall lives and that is the important thing
NYer I appreciate what you wrote I need to accept change and be happy we still have the “Grande Dame”, as you wrote we almost lost her. I just like the Hall to stay as it was and seeing it now I get nervous we will loose the charm of the original but since this is only temporary In will try and be more accepting. Thanks again for your response to my rant I guess I needed that.
Last nights “America’s Got Talent” was televised from RCMH; not a fan of the show but I wanted to see the Hall so tuned in. What I saw was a set that completely covered the proscenium and the gold curtain. I was not amused.
Anyone know if the movies wil be shown in 35mm or will it be some sort of Digital presentation?
Indeed, sadly the Roxy was dust by the time MFL opened. Still it’s nice to reference the great lines from the movie here and there.
Oh Mike, that’s cute you can never go wrong
with a “My Fair Lady” reference :)
It is my understanding that although The Ziegfeld will not be acquired by Bow Tie the company will manage the Theatre on Cablevision’s behalf. If that is correct why do so many of you feel the theatre will close or am I missing something?
I watched the Tony Award nominations this morning and was happy to hear that after two years at the Beacon the award ceremony will return to Radio City this year.
With four projectors in the booth no 3-D reel change intermission was necessary at the Paramount
Thanks Robert I knew you would be the one to answer that trailers question. I recall loving the days when a new fresh box of snipes arrived from Filmack.
Mike that “Curtain Raiser” term comes from the company that supplies many of the personalised trailers used today. But yes policy trailers are what they basically are.
Aww, that’s nice to hear Bill, thanks
Oh yes Robert I remember fondly those Filmack strips we all used them all thru the 50s and before my time as well. They were as you wrote cheaply made but they always had wonderful musical accompaniment lovely little march like bounce your head to the music sort of thing. Most common use was to insert before the trailers things like “Previews of our coming attractions”, “Coming Soon” or specific dates like “Starts Wednesday”. The trailers would end with be “also selected short subjects” Now a days they use highly produced what are called “Curtain Raisers” with Welcome to the show please don’t smoke or use your phone and visit the concession stand that sort of thing. Not to sound like the grumpy old “In my day” guy but the ones use today don’t have the charm of those old fashion Snips Many of you may recall seeing one of the old concession snipes in the movie “Grease” where the hot dog jumps into the bun. Yup that was real we actually showed that one which was so darn cute.In addition, we would show small advertisements from the local merchants in town, just a still shot with once again that wonderful music, and we would splice three or four of those together to show prior to the trailers. Theatre advertisements are nothing new we did it back then and no one seemed to mind and it brought us a little extra revenue form the local diner or hardware store. Ah the neighborhood theatre who could ever forget those.
I would imagine our resident RCMH expert REndres has the answer to the trailer question. In addition to the trailers the Music Hall also made up their own news reel; rather than just show one from a major studio they would take bits and pieces from many of the news reels from Paramount, MGM and Fox and make up a special RCMH newsreel.
I suppose one might say the answer as to why they did those things would be, hey, we are Radio City Music Hall and we are very special in everything we do :)
Michael you are correct, this season on “Smash” they are using a NY city theatre and not the St George as they did last year. I was disapointed cause seeing the ole girl last season was fun.
Yes Stan “Fiddler” played with a 70mm blow up print at the Rivoli. I was workong on Long Island at the time and we played the picture day and date at both the Syosset and Five Towns theates in 35mm. The Syosset ran a 35mm print with a magnetic four track print and the Five Towns ran a 35mm print with an optical/mono print. Sorry for the confussion.