Austin News


100 BR - The Devil is in the Details

I've never really understood what the cliche in the title of this post means exactly, but for some reason it seems apt. There is one main reason for this: The bulk of the work that has gone on at the Ritz over the past week or so has been attending to the smaller details of construction that are easy to pass over through those little photographs that I post on Flickr. Besides the copious amounts of wall framing that has gone up (the kitchen, server station and bathroom wall framing is complete) there has been a ton of duct, plumbing and electrical work that has been done, all of which is on the ground floor.

Perhaps the most noticeable additions in terms of wall framing that has happened includes a portion of the wall for the screen in Theater 1 and the majority of the projection booth (the wall to the projection booth in Theater 2 has yet to be completed). You can also see where the entrance for handicapped seating in Theater 2 is, as well as the entrances for the VIP balcony sections.

Also, Andrew, Sean and I met at the Ritz late Monday afternoon to go over the layout of the gear in the projection booth. The most notable tidbit of information I have is that the Alamo at the Ritz is preparing for digital projection. According to Andrew, most if not all of the multiplexes in Austin will be fully digital by 2008. The Alamo wants to be on the cutting edge of that evolution.

But to make room for digital projection in a very cramped projection booth the possibility for having changeover projection capabilities in both theaters had to be eliminated (which would have required us to install four 35mm projectors - two for each theater). Instead, Theater 1 will only have one 35mm projector, meaning all films that show in there will have to be built. This is not that big of a deal because the plan is to mostly show first run films in there. But this will exclude a lot of special programming from the big theater as we often screen archive prints that can't be built to platter. So this raises a shit ton of programming questions that I do not have the answers to - mainly concerning Buttnumbathon, Weird Wednesday, Master Pancake and AFS. Will these screenings be restricted to the much smaller Theater 2 as they often involve archive prints? I dunno. I also don't know exact seat counts for each theater so don't know the impact that will have on the availability of tickets. I can say, however, that Theater 2 will have a MUCH smaller capacity than the old Downtown, which has enormous implications for an event such as Buttnumbathon.

I hope to get answers to many of these questions when I see Tim either tonight or tomorrow, for I am in Santa Cruz on a well timed vacation to visit my family and see the Lost Boys Roadshow screening at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

This also means I will miss out on a week's worth of progress at the Ritz. I am hoping I can convince someone to take some photographs for me. Otherwise we're going to see a hell of a jump in the progress shown in photos come next week. It is also then that I am going to update the countdown.

Lots of new photos in the Flickr set.

News Categories: Austin


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