Erie, Pa. Environmental Center Revitalizes Large-Format Theater
The Big Green Screen Theater located in the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC) at Presque Isle State Park has made the move to digital cinema technology. The announcement was made by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Richard J. Allan at the Sunset Celebration held on October 26. This event, hosted by the Friends of The Tom Ridge Environmental Center, also included the presentation of the 2012 John C. Oliver Environmental Leadership Awards. This special recognition was presented to the award recipients by Governor Tom Ridge.
The Big Green Screen Theater is owned and operated by DCNR and offers various educational films for school groups, families and other users of the park. It is the only large format theater in northwest Pennsylvania with its 4-story high, 45-foot wide screen. R&R Technical Services, a full service cinema supply company and Christie partner, installed the Christie Solaria® Series CP2230 projector. It will replace an 8/70.5/70, 4/35 Kinoton Projector, which will, however, remain in operation, for occasional use to show film when a movie title is not yet available in a digital format.
"Presque Isle, with its beautiful coastline and many recreational opportunities, is one of the most-visited state parks in our system, however a lot of that visitation occurs during the warm months," Allan said. "The Big Screen Theater plays a big role in creating a destination during the off-season at the Tom Ridge Center. That's why we did not want to skip a beat as the industry transitions from film to a digital format."
"The Christie CP2230 was chosen because of its superior image quality and reliability, and the full backup services provided by Christie's Network Operation Center and service team," said Bob Ray of R & R Technical Services. "With our colleagues at TREC and Poggi Designs, we developed a design and layout of the digital system that accommodates both the Christie 4500 watt Xenon lamp-based projector and the Kinoton. We could see that Christie would produce the best image quality for this large format screen, compared to other brands.
"It was challenging to keep the Kinoton projector fully operational and in the same place, alongside the digital projector, since the front wall of the projection booth was double 8-inch cement block with reinforcement. But after a short closure for upgrades and the installation of a new port opening, we are now able to switch between the film projector and Christie's in a matter of minutes," said Mr. Ray.
The agreement with Christie also includes Service Plus, a warranty program that offers next-day parts delivery and complete remote monitoring to minimize down time from Christie's Network Operations Center (NOC), ensuring fast and reliable technical support and maintenance for the environmental center. Through remote monitoring, Christie technicians make sure that tens of thousands of displays across the U.S. and Canada are running smoothly, getting timely maintenance and receiving software upgrades.
Sean James, vice president of Christie Managed Services, noted that the Tom Ridge Environment Center chose Christie's Service Plus plan, selecting from a menu of services that provides 24/7 remote monitoring of the Christie projectors and connected devices. Through this service, the Center gained access to a local network of technicians for rapid response to technical issues, software upgrades and troubleshooting, as well as repair and replacement of parts for the next 10 years.
More about TREC
The Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC), named after Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, is the gateway to Presque Isle. The center is open year-round, offering visitors information and insights into the unique 3,200-acre peninsula and the many different forms of life that inhabit it.
The center was built as a premier green building within Pennsylvania's state park system. It was designed to achieve a silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. Incorporated into its design and function are environmental features such as natural ventilation, an inverted roof to collect rainwater, recycled materials wherever possible, native landscaping and renewable energy sources. The building features large and small classrooms and research facilities as well as the theater and a discovery center for younger patrons.
The theater, which hosts hundreds of school and community groups for educational films each year, seats 175 persons and has the largest screen format available in the region.
About the Friends of the Tom Ridge Environmental Center
The mission of the Friends of The Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC) is to forge a partnership between the private sector and the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in order to preserve and enhance educational programming, natural history research and visitor services opportunities of the highest quality to assure that the Tom Ridge Environmental Center is nationally recognized as a center of excellence now and for generations to come. For more information, visit www.FriendsofTREC.org.
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is charged with maintaining and protecting 120 state parks; managing 2.2 million acres of state forest land; providing information on the state's ecological and geologic resources; and establishing community conservation partnerships with grants and technical assistance to benefit rivers, trails, greenways, local parks and recreation, regional heritage parks, open space and natural areas. More information at www.dcnr.state.pa.us.