In a 7.25 Boston Phoenix piece about Somerville projectionist David Kornfeld (“David Kornfeld’s High Noon”), Chris Marstall passes along a couple of laments from the widely respected Chapin Cutler, co-founder of Boston Light & Sound.
Lament #1 is that Cutler “Cutler doesn’t go to movies in [Boston] any more because of widespread projection problems. The last time he went, he took his son to see True Grit. The picture was wildly out of focus, and hot-spotted in the middle. He talked to the manager about the problems, but they didn’t get fixed and he felt blown off.
Lament #2 is that “in terms of presentation quality, dimness is the big issue. Dimness can be caused by several factors, Cutler said. Bulbs pushed past their rated lifetime, bulbs that are underpowered for their room, bulb focus, dirty port glass, dirty lenses, dirty screens, damaged reflectors — all factors that apply to both film and digital projectors.
“The message I heard over and over again in speaking to projectionists and theater managers,” Marstall summarizes, “was [that] to avoid a steady degradation in quality, you have to invest in a program of monitoring and maintenance.”
Cutler is the resident projection guru at the Telluride Film Festival. Here’s a brief interview I did with him at the end of last year’s festival: