The pages on the United Artists/Theatre at Ace Hotel: history | vintage exterior views | recent exterior views | outer lobby | inner lobby | lounges | upper lobby areas | earlier auditorium views | recent auditorium views | projection | stage and stage basement | other basement areas | attic | office building/hotel interiors | roof |
The United Artists has three projection booths. The booth at the top of the balcony is the 1927 original. The one on the main floor was added as part of a remodeling for the 1955 70mm TODD-AO run of "Oklahoma." The third one is in the basement -- for the screening room.
The 1927 booth at the top of the balcony:
Toward the booth across the refurbished seats. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - February 2014. Keep up with Hunter's explorations: on Facebook | hunterkerhart.com | on Flickr
A look up toward the ports of the booth at the top of the balcony. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - 2010. This is a detail from a stunning high resolution image of the whole auditorium. Head to the image on Flickr for the whole adventure. Booth access is from a door at the top of either side aisle.
Looking up the house right stairs toward the booth and attic. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014
Peeking in at the booth front wall. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014
Film cabinets on the back wall of the upstairs booth. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2012
The front wall of the upstairs booth. The ceiling has been removed. A casualty of leaking sumps for the air washers in the fan room above. At least they weren't over the lobby ceiling as is the case in the Fox St. Louis, also designed by C. Howard Crane. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014
An early snapshot of the operators in the booth. Photo: Los Angeles Public Library
Ballast resistors in the electric room at the house left end of the booth. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014
Looking into the booth from the house left side of the attic. On this end we go through the electric room (with rheostats and other gear) before getting to the booth itself. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014
The 1955 main floor TODD-AO booth:
When the main floor booth was built in 1955 for the 70mm TODD-AO run of "Oklahoma," it was equipped with 35/70mm Norelco DP70 projectors. The original versions of these machines had two motors, designed to run at either 24 or 30 frames per second. The United Artists was the second Los Angeles theatre equipped for the process -- following the Egyptian. The Egyptian page has more details about the process.
The first two TODD-AO features ("Oklahoma" and "Around The World In 80 Days") were shot and run at 30fps. The third feature, "South Pacific" (1957), was shot at 24 fps -- as were all subsequent ones. The TODD-AO format, with a 5 perforation high frame, an aspect ratio of 2.21 to 1 and six channel stereophonic sound, became the industry-standard 70mm format.
The initial TODD-AO installations utilized a very large, deeply curved screen. Later most theatres replaced these with screens with less curvature for better focus. The Norelco machines are long gone from this booth. Presumably they were pulled out when United Artists closed the theatre after the year-long run of "Oklahoma."
Digital projector: Barco 4K DP4K-32B with a 6Kw lamp
Processor: Dolby CP750 with 7.1 capability
Server: Doremi 4K DCP 2000 with Show Vault Integrated Media Block storage server with three 2TB drives.
Surrounds: 24 JBL 8350
Stage channels: 3 JBL 5732 screen arrays, 2 JBL 4642a subwoofers
Screen: 22' x 44' Harkness, 1.4 gain
Masking: Sides and top are adjustable by using blacks hung on nearby battens.
Projection throw: 83'
Film projection equipment: none
Looking toward the main floor rear with Ace's new darker paint job -- and the ugly 1955 TODD-AO booth. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - February 2014
The main floor booth ready for its closeup. Here the theatre was open for a press preview but work was still continuing in many areas. Note that the ports have been opened up again (the church had them plastered on the inside) and enlarged. Photo: Bill Counter - January 2014
An earlier look at the front of the TODD-AO booth. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - 2010. It's a detail from a high resolution image of the whole auditorium on Flickr. Thanks, Wendell!
A look toward the booth front wall. Thanks to Mike Hume for his June 2018 photo, taken the day of a L.A. Conservancy "Last Remaining Seats" screening of "In the Heat of the Night." Visit Mike's Historic Theatre Photography site for tech info and many fine photos of the theatres he's explored in Los Angeles and elsewhere. And don't miss his page on the Theatre at Ace Hotel.
The new ramp into the booth during construction. Photo: Bill Counter - January 2014
Peeking out through the ports. Photo: Bill Counter - January 2014
An earlier look toward the main floor booth's front wall. The ports had been plastered over. The 35/70mm Norelco machines were long gone. But it looks like someone had threaded up a reel on one of the Simplex XL machines. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012
A view along the booth back wall before the Ace construction. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012
Hillsman Wright of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation in the main floor booth before the Ace renovations. Photo: Don Solosan - 2010. The shot is from Mr. Solosan's video adventure on YouTube: "Insiders Peek #9." It was made to promote a 2010 LAHTF tour that was later canceled by the church that then owned the building.
The LAHTF is actively involved in the study and preservation of the vintage theatres in the L.A. area. The group frequently supports events and offers tours of various historic theatres. www.lahtf.org | LAHTF on Facebook
The booth after some black drapes had been installed. Note the reopened doorways from the mezzanine lobby. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018
The basement screening room:
The front lobby stairs that get you down to the smoking lounge and men's room also get you to the screening room. It's under the outer lobby. From the basement lounge you can either take a left to go to the men's room, sort of straight ahead to the theatre elevator, or right (toward Broadway) to get to the screening room.
In the vestibule outside the screening room. To the right is the corridor leading to the theatre's elevator and on to backstage. Straight ahead, you're in the men's smoking lounge. Photo: Cap Equity Locations - August 2014
Thanks to Rebecca Reynoso for the photo. Cap Equity brokers deals between property owners and those looking for filming locations or other special uses. See their United Artists page for 82 photos.
Looking toward the screen end of the room. Photo: Cap Equity Locations - August 2014
A closer look at the screen area. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - February 2014
The view back toward the booth. Photo: Cap Equity Locations - August 2014
The screening room during the Ace renovations. Photo: Bill Counter - January 2014
Another look back toward the booth. Photo: Bill Counter - January 2014
An earlier view of the basement screening room. Photo: Don Solosan - Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation - 2010. It's a shot from Mr. Solosan's video adventure on YouTube: "Insiders Peek #9." Thanks, Don!
The screening room booth -- equipment long gone. Photo: Bill Counter - January 2014
Another booth view. Photo: Bill Counter - January 2014
LAHTF's Hillsman Wright in the screening room booth. Photo: Don Solosan - Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation - 2010. It's another shot from "Insiders Peek #9" on YouTube. Thanks, Don!
The pages on the United Artists/Theatre at Ace Hotel: history | vintage exterior views | recent exterior views | outer lobby | inner lobby | lounges | upper lobby areas | earlier auditorium views | recent auditorium views | back to top - projection | stage and stage basement | other basement areas | attic | office building/hotel interiors | roof |
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