'Exhausting' prep for Hobbit premiere

Last updated 05:00 09/11/2012
Chris Kutzner

COMFY: Projectionist Chris Kutzner tests the new seats ahead of The Hobbit premiere.

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It is one of the stranger roles Embassy projectionist Chris Kutzner has taken on, but apparently sitting on 758 different seats and giving them each a wiggle was necessary.

Testing each of the theatre's seats is just one of the tasks needed to bring it up to scratch in time for the stars and dignitaries who will fill the theatre for the November 28 premiere of The Hobbit.

The cinema's main theatre has been closed this week while a new screen is installed, 36 new speakers and three new projectors are put in, a new curtain is hung, and new carpet laid in the foyer.

And each of the 758 seats in the theatre had to be checked - a job that involved Mr Kutzner sitting on each and giving it a wiggle to map out which ones needed work. "It was quite exhausting," he said, laughing.

Embassy duty manager Elly Morris said the new screen, of which there were only a few in the world, allowed the 3D film to be seen more brightly and better in more of the auditorium.

The new Dolby Atmos sound system involved installing 36 new speakers - 22 in the walls, six along the back, and eight in the roof - which could be individually controlled to pinpoint sound.

For example, if the dragon Smaug flies overhead the audience will hear it above their heads.

Three new projectors, able to play the movie at 48 frames per second in 3D, had to be craned in as the Embassy lift was too small to fit them. Two would be used to screen the movie, with the third as a backup for the premiere.

Contact Tom Hunt
Breaking news reporter
Email: tom.hunt@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @tomdom76

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- The Dominion Post


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