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Screen Boom Swings into Action

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Screen Boom Swings into Action
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IN THE EARLY 2000s, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania United Methodist Church expanded their facility. Like many churches, Camp Hill included projection screens and other AV equipment in the addition. They did not however, renovate their existing worship space to include screens.

“We realized that someday we would need a screen in our traditional service sanctuary,” according to Camp Hill member Fred Powell, who chairs the church’s strategic planning committee and served as construction manager on that project, “but didn’t want it to interfere with ambience and design or sanctuary.”

Over the years, as Camp Hill has continued to grow, the church has added services. Four services are held each Sunday—two in the multi-purpose addition, and two in the original building. Even though the newer facility has projection screens, Powell felt the time had come to find a way to install video systems in the main sanctuary, as well, to meet the changing needs of Camp Hill’s congregation. But there was still the issue of doing it without affecting the existing aesthetics.

“In our main sanctuary, because we have a 20’ centered cross and a large vaulted ceiling,” Powell explains, “I felt we needed a ‘swing out’ screen, that would ‘fold back’ against the wall when not in use.”

Powell first thought the solution might be a fixed screen that would fold back against the wall. Then he remembered the Draper basketball backstops installed in the church’s multiuse facility.

“I had records from 12 years ago when we ordered backstops for a gym,” Powell says. “We have Draper baskets that fold against the wall. They aren’t motorized but I went back and looked at the catalogs and saw that they also make folding motorized versions.”

So, Powell started working with Draper to see if the company might be able to develop a solution to fold away motorized projection screens using the same technology and design used on its DWG-E sidefolding basketball backstop.

“This was certainly a new idea to us and at first we weren’t sure about it,” according to Bob Mathes, Draper’s AV/Video Sales and Marketing Manager. “But once our AV and gym equipment departments put their heads together, we realized it was something we could do with just a little design work.”

“At first it made me do a double-take,” agrees Neal Turner, Gymnasium Equipment Sales Manager. “But once we got into it, we found that we could keep the basic operating mechanism and folding arm concept in place, and simply replace the backstop frame with the single swing arm that holds the screen.”

For the screen, Powell opted for a large Premier tab-tensioned motorized screen for the flattest viewing surface possible, and which can be seen well from throughout the sanctuary. Because the screen is in a sanctuary setting where light control is not always easy, and where people are sitting outside the narrow viewing cone area seen with traditional high gain screens, Draper recommended XT1300X White, one of the company’s new ISF-certified TecVision™ formulations, for the viewing surface.

“We were pleased that Draper’s “separate” divisions were willing and able to get together to develop the swing out screen for us,” Powell says, “and, in particular, the person who decided to use a solid support bar rather than a chain or cable is to be commended. We all wrestled with the visual problem of a chain or cable and are happy with the alternative.”

Draper has also been pleased with the way things worked out—so much so that what had been seen as a one-time custom solution is now being added to the company’s product line.