Petherton Picture Show News
Surprisingly, the choice of films for Petherton Picture Show is not as extensive as one might believe. PPS is dependent upon a small number of suppliers to provide the films we show for our members, and there are supply problems with some of them. Occasionally, even finding out which supplier is responsible for a particular film can be a challenge. As a result, we sometimes withold making a final choice of film until we know we can confirm its availability. In consequence, we sometimes do not know all the films in the forthcoming season, and we have to put in a "place marker" or "TBA" into the programme.
PPS apologise for this, but it is beyond our control. We can only update this web site, and announce the film titles at film showings, when we know what they are.
Future Programme Film Suggestions
The Petherton Picture Show committee choose the films for each season, using
their judgement (sometimes influenced by alcohol)as to the type of film that would be well received. If you have any suggestions for films to go into the next season, please feel free to pass them on to the committee members. However, we make no promises - remember that
each season only consists of a small number of films, and this must be balanced against their likely appeal and availability. We have to at least cover our costs!
The Petherton Picture Show committee is always trying to obtain funding from the National Lottery and other sources, including the occasional raffle (ie: anywhere we can
scrounge money from) to enable improvements to be made in the following areas:
We wish to keep improving, so if you think you could help us in any of these areas, or wish to make suggestions to improve PPS, talk to us !!
- Visual Projection Equipment - Thanks to a grant from the UK Film Council (wonderful people, with such good taste), PPS acquired an improved projector in 2009. It was three times brighter than the old one, the picture was sharper and the projected picture actually fit on the screen properly. This very lovely (and pricy) bit of kit was three quarters (slightly more, actually, but who's counting) paid for by the UKFC grant, the remainder of the cost being paid from our own funds. It was just in the nick of time, as we had noticed that the old projector, which had to be repaired in the past, had developed strange ideas about how to project colours.
That projector, although providing sterling service, is now getting a bit outdated and long in the tooth, so we are looking around at potential replacements, wehn we can afford it. At present, a replacement screen is our priority item. See below.
- Sound System - Our original simple stereo sound system was replaced with a more sophisticated sound system capable of taking advantage of the digital sound formats that come with films supplied on DVD. Then we acquired new front centre speakers, which made a BIG improvement in the clarity of speech from the soundtracks.
(All the same, we can't control the quality of sound on the DVD, and occasionally some have had quite poor soundtracks, which some of you have commented about. We do our best.)
We have also hard-wired the hall with permanent speaker wiring, which, apart from being more professional, also gave us the opportunity to improve the wiring standard. As a result, it now takes us less time to set up before each showing, and the sound quality was racked up another notch.
Nevertheless.....we are still trying to improve matters:
- Loudspeakers - The loudspeakers in use in 2009 were a bit of a mixture.
Some belonged to Petherton Arts Trust, some to the Council, and some to the local resource centre. It is true to say that none of them were designed to be used to broadcast cinema sound.
So, the next time we could afford it, we looked into upgrading the speakers. A simple enough task, right? (No.) We took advice from a company that supplies the sound systems for cinemas, who came by to demonstrate their kit, and thereby we ended up spending a lot of money on powered front speakers and new surround speakers (the two at the back). Their installation onto the walls of the David Hall provided another challenge, but we got there in the end, although the end result won't win any prizes for elegance.
The sound, therefore, should be excellent, souldn't it? Hmmm. Despite the huge (to us) improvement, we were still getting complaints. It wasn't the speakers, and we discovered by experimentation that, due to the acoustics of the David Hall, speaker placement is critical. It is possible to get one speaker interfering with another, to the detriment of clarity and also volume, but it can depend on where you are sitting. As noted above, the quality of the sound on the DVD/BluRay can also be quite variable. We think we have ended up with quite a good compromise, but if you know of an expert who can volunteer to advise us further, please point him/her in our direction, as we are always willing to learn.
- Amplifier(s) - Until we upgraded the speakers to the powered ones, we had been using a technically good, but underpowered home cinema amplifier to drive the various speakers in the hall, but due to complaints about intelligibility of the voices, we upgraded the centre channel (which broadcasts the cast voices in the digital sound from DVD/BluRays) to use a much better (and more powerful) amplifier. While it made a noticeable improvement, it also highlighted that we needed more power for the other channels. Accordingly, we ended up with the powered speakers mentioned above, and the centre/voice channel amplifier was relegated to powering the surround "effects" speakers.
- Screen - As you may appreciate, the screen we currently use is a folding one, which has to be put up before each film, and repacked into its box afterwards. It's not exactly rocket science, but due to its size, it is a little unwieldy to put up and take down. A bit like the world's most complicated deckchair. The screens don't last for ever, and ours has got to the point of needing to be replaced. Thanks to a grant from the Co-Op (and with the help of our local supporters - THANK YOU one and all!) we now have funds to replace it. We are currently exploring the options available to us. Unfortunately, due to the other uses the David Hall is put to, it is not feasible to have a permanent installation.