Jul 7, 2012

Replacing an IMAX Screen [44 pics]


After 13 years of operation on the South Bank, the British Film Institute (BFI) is replacing their massive IMAX screen, measuring 26 metres wide and 20 metres high (85 ft x 65 ft), with a brand new silver screen. The new IMAX screen is made in Canada and was shipped in a crate to the BFI. Once unpacked it will take a team of ten riggers to haul the 800kg (1,763 lbs) of perforated vinyl up the full 20 metres height of the screen under the supervision of an IMAX engineer. Once secured at the top of the frame, the new screen will then be laced to the frame and pulled tight.

It takes 48 hours for all the creases to drop out of the new white screen. During this time a purpose-built spray rig will be installed. Tracks are laid at the base and at the top of the screen frame, and a spray rig tower is assembled and fitted to the two tracks. The rig can move left and right so that the spray gun can cover all of the screen. A laser control ensures that the spray gun is always an exact distance away as it makes its way up and down the screen, spraying a special silver paint that will ensure that light is reflected in straight lines off the screen. It is silver because a white screen would refract the light and this would cause ghosting of the image.

During this time the BFI are also installing an IMAX 3D Digital projector alongside the IMAX film-based 3D projector, so that the BFI IMAX will have the option to present all IMAX DMR films from July 2012. Their policy will be to show 70mm film prints whenever available until IMAX unveil their brand new laser-based projection system that can fully take the place of 15/70 film. [Source: BFI Press Release]

Two days ago, user imax1570 uploaded a fascinating 44 picture album to Reddit that details the entire process of takedown and setup of this colossal screen. It’s quite interesting and there are also captions to help explain what’s going on. Check out the gallery below that was embedded via Imgur.







– Screen size: 26m wide and 20m high (85x65ft)
– Biggest screen in the UK
– Number of seats: 500
– Projector bulb: 15’000 watt
– Projecter cooling: water & air
– Internet says: you would see the bulb from earth if it’s on the moon
– Projector size: over 178cm (70in) tall and 195cm (77in) long
– Projector weight: 1.8 t
– Sound system: 11’600 watt

[Visit the British Film Institute for more information]



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