Fox Searchlight’s projection instructions for Wes Anderson‘s The Grand Budapest Hotel, sent to theatre owners before the film opened last week, were reported yesterday on Reddit and by Variety‘s Maane Khatchatourian. Among the criteria is a request that the film be projected at 14 foot lamberts — the ideal SMPTE screen-light standard that you’ll see at high-end screening rooms and top-tier film festivals, and at the better commercial venues like Hollywood’s Arclight plex. But rotsa ruck seeing that level of light projected in most commercial cinemas. Full Aperture Systems‘ James Bond, a respected projection consultant based in Chicago, says that the average screen light levels in a majority of commercial cinemas are in the range of eight to ten foot lamberts, or only a bit more than half the foot lamberts requested by Fox Searchlight. That’s because today’s movie plexes have no professional projectionists (i.e., they’re entirely automated) and, Bond says, because exhibition-chain accountants “always go with the cheapest projection bulbs they can find….it’s a pity but it’s true.” The best bulbs, Bond says, are manufactured by Osram, a German company, and Ushio, a division of the parent company that owns Christie Projectors, which are among the best in the world.