Digital Projection Era Begins at Auburn State Theater, First 3-D Movie to Open This Weekend
Technological upgrades to the Auburn State Theater were completed this week. Those improvements included a new digital projector and a silver screen.
Carla Mason, theater manager, said that staff from Sonic Equipment Co. of Iola, Kansas arrived in Auburn Monday, May 14. The Sonic staff joined up with Jerry Tuxhorn, local electrician, to install the digital projector and Real D. The latter allows for the showing of 3-D movies to Auburn audiences.
Mason said that the conversion process went really well. She said that Sonic staff had to return to Kansas to get a different pedestal for installation. The staff was unable to get the first pedestal it brought to Auburn up the theater’s narrow stairs.
The new projector is a Christie 2210 projector. It is a high definition digital projector. A GDC processor will operate it. The size recommended for throwing images from the projector to the screen is 66 feet, Mason said.
Sound tests were performed Wednesday, May 16, as the projector was tied into the digital sound system which was installed in September 2011. Theater staff underwent training Wednesday-Thursday, May 16-17 to prepare for the reopening of the theater Friday, May 18. With the new digital projector, movies will be shown from a hard drive instead of reels, Mason said.
The theater reopened with “The Lucky One,” a movie adaptation of a novel by Nicholas Sparks, Omaha native. Other movies from Sparks novels have included “The Notebook” and “Dear John.”
Another Sonic Equipment Co. team arrived in Auburn Monday, May 21, to install the new screen. The screen arrived last week. However, the manufacturer of the movable frame did not complete it in time for installation last week, Mason said.
She said that the movable frame will enable the Auburn State Theater staff to show 3-D movies. The movable frame will allow use of the theater’s stage for other presentations, Mason said.
The new screen is 13’x24’. It replaced a screen that was 12’x24’.
An alternative content scaler will be installed, she said. It will have all of the various quirks and connections which will enable the digital projector to receive input in any form. Mason said those forms include a laptop, Xbox, BluRay player and DVD player. The theater staff may potentially feed with a satellite, but satellite capability has not been installed, she said.
New seating for movie patrons is scheduled to arrive in the fall.
Friday, May 25, is the scheduled opening of the first 3-D movie at the State Theater. The first 3-D movie will be “Men In Black 3” starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Auburn audiences will be able to see it the day of the national break (national release), Mason said.
She said that Auburn State Theater audiences have been blessed to see some good movies in recent months.
Mason said that “The Avengers,” the final 35mm movie shown at the theater, was successful. Other recent movies that were successful at the theater included “The Hunger Games,” a spring box-office success and “October Baby,” which she said benefitted from a strong attendance from area church groups.
Information from the Internet Movie Data Base indicated that “The Avengers” earned $457 million domestically its first three weeks of release while “The Hunger Games” has earned $392 over nine weekends. As of Monday, May 21, “The Avengers” was fifth and “The Hunger Games” 13th on the list of box-office champions. “The Avengers” trails “Avatar,” “Titanic,” “The Dark Knight” and “Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope.”