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 David Hall programme and/or this website.
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.
We aim to keep improving, so if you think you could help us in any of these areas (especially the technical ones!), or wish to make suggestions to improve PPS, talk to us !!
- Visual Projection Equipment - Whereas the previous projector, acquired in 2009, was bought via a grant from the UK Film Council, PPS acquired a better projector in 2019. This one was brighter than the old one, and projects in full HD, with a capability to support 4K resolution in the future if we can work out how to do it. The cost of this very lovely piece of kit was met from our own funds.
- Sound System - Our original simple stereo (how quaint!) sound system has been replaced several times, the latest version consisting of a high-powered surround sound system, which can take advantage of the digital sound formats that come with films supplied on DVD and/or BluRay. In future, no doubt films will be supplied to us over the Internet, but at present that is not the case. We have hard-wired the hall with permanent speaker wiring, which, apart from being more professional, also improved the wiring standard. As a result, it now takes us less time to set up before each showing, and the sound quality has racked up another notch.
All the same, we can't control the quality of sound on the media we are supplied with, and occasionally have poor soundtracks, which some of you have commented about (see below). Nevertheless, we are continually trying to improve matters:
- Loudspeakers - 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 our own money in 2015 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.
Despite the huge (to us) improvement, we were still getting complaints about the clarity of the sound, particularly the voices. It wasn't the speakers, and we discovered by long experimentation that, due to the acoustics of the David Hall, speaker placement is critical. The current arrangement seems to work best. 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.
As noted above, the quality of the sound on the DVD/BluRay can also be quite variable. To enable us to do something about that, we invested in a graphic equaliser in 2019, which we can (and do) tweak during each set-up. Since we have been using that piece of equipment, the number of complaints has dropped dramatically.
- Amplifier(s) - Until we upgraded the speakers to the current powered ones, we had been using a good, but underpowered home cinema amplifier to drive the various speakers in the hall, supported by a relatively powerful separate amplifier for the centre channel (which broadcasts the cast voices in the digital sound from DVD/BluRays). When we upgraded to the powered front speakers noted above (which contain their own amplifiers), the centre/voice channel amplifier was switched to powering the unpowered rear surround "effects" speakers, while the home cinema amplifier is now only used to decode the DVD/BluRay sound into its separate channels for each speaker.
- Screen - As you may appreciate, the screen we 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 need to be replaced every so often. Thanks to a grant from the Co-Op (and with the help of our local supporters - THANK YOU one and all!) we replaced it in 2019.