Wang Theatre, Boch Center :: Boston, MA

BL&S’s Mike Schaffer in booth :: TCM Film Festival (Photo: Turner Broadcasting, Inc.)

Boston Light & Sound®
420 Pearl St., Suite C
Malden, MA 02148

Stage Background

Projection system design, installation, and
equipment rental FAQs ::

Q. Does BL&S handle custom design and installation of rented projection systems?

A. Yes, BL&S has more than 40 years of experience custom crafting equipment and providing technical direction for film festivals, previews, and world premieres. Our expertise includes digital cinema, interlock systems, film/live music events, specialty presentations (ex: Cinerama), and more. To quote BL&S co-owner Chapin Cutler, “We do anything that involves the projection of professional format motion picture, anywhere in the world.”

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You can learn more about projects we’ve handled by viewing our portfolio.


Q. Can I add digital cinema to my existing commercial theater system?

A. Yes. Depending on your needs, any number of digital cinema sources can be integrated into your existing system. In many cases, we can utilize / upgrade existing screen masking, Dolby processing, and film sound playback systems. We can also enable the system to accommodate various “guest” sources (i.e., PC, HDCAM, DigiBeta, D5, etc.) We work closely with you to understand your goals and select a system and components best suited for your venue and programming needs.


Q. Does BL&S install equipment only in existing theatres?

A. No, BL&S consultants are accustomed to working in a wide variety of venues. We can turn a raw space into a fully functioning theatre setting. This includes sourcing, installing, and supporting screens, masking, and other theatre equipment.


Our design and installation projects can be found in museums, colleges, sports facilities, hotels, convention centers, corporate boardrooms, training facilities, historic destinations, film archives, houses of worship, and numerous other presentation spaces. You can learn more about projects we’ve handled by viewing our portfolio.


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Q. Does BL&S rent digital cinema equipment as well as film projection gear?

A. Much of what we know about film projection translates to video and digital cinema projection as well. BL&S is one of the leaders in digital cinema technology, large screen high-definition video, and areas where special attention is paid to video quality. Complex audio and video systems are a specialty for our company.


Q. How is BL&S’s approach to rental equipment different from other vendors?

A. We have considerable expertise building systems that we can transport easily for doing premier and road show work. We believe that to setup and run venues as reliably as a cinema, each facility needs to be approached as a permanent installation, even though it is temporary. This involves prewiring all of the projection and sound components as an integrated system, just as if they were going to be installed permanently in real movie theatres. We then run the systems through a full battery of tests at our facility in Boston to ensure that they would work properly when installed.


Q. Can I rent projection equipment and operate it myself?

A. Only experienced technical professionals may rent and operate film and digital cinema presentation systems independently, in which case BL&S will install and remove the system. We will be happy to ship projection accessories such as lenses for your use.


Similarly, you are welcome to use small audiovisual equipment and screens on your own, however BL&S technicians will be required for operating larger equipment.


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Q. Why should I use BL&S as my theatre’s projection service provider?

A. Unlike other service companies working in the area, BL&S has extensive local facilities, including an in-house, full service machine shop and metal fabrication facility to produce anything that you may need. BL&S also maintains a huge inventory of parts for both current and older machines to keep our customers up and running.


Q. Does BL&S service projection equipment that was permanently installed by other vendors?

A.Yes. We offer service on most major brands of film, video, digital cinema, and audio equipment. In addition to service provided on an as-needed basis, we offer complete preventive maintenance and service contracts with emergency priority service at preferred rates.



Audiovisual system design, installation, and
equipment rental FAQs ::

Q. Why should I choose BL&S to install my audio and video systems?

A. We have more than 40 years of expertise producing superb audiovisual experiences for theaters, stadiums, museums, houses of worship, corporate facilities, airports, and other venues. Our AV engineers have extensive experience designing complete sound, video, and control systems for new facilities as well as restoration projects. You can learn more about projects we’ve handled by viewing our portfolio.


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Q. Does BL&S provide audiovisual systems for houses of worship?

A. Yes, BL&S consultants design and install AV systems for the unique reverberative challenges of houses of worship, ensuring full rich sound and quality video presence. We custom craft unobtrusive equipment that blends well with the existing aesthetics. Working within the confines of historic spaces is one of our specialties.


Q. Are you a retail outlet for audiovisual equipment?

A. Although we carry and sell an extensive product line, we aren’t a retail outlet. We specialize in the custom design and installation of complete AV systems, and order the products that we need to fulfill specific project requirements. You can learn more about projects we’ve handled by viewing our portfolio.


Q. Do you rent audiovisual equipment?

A. Yes. We have an extensive rental department specializing in theatrical and stage sound equipment, video projectors, public address systems, and flat panel displays, ranging from small do-it-yourself systems to large-scale professional packages.


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Q. Do you rent DJ rock music sound systems?

A. Although our projection department has extensive experience with touring attractions, we don’t tailor our inventory to DJs or rock musicians. If you are looking for that type of equipment and service, please try one of the other fine rental companies in the Boston area. We do provide projection equipment design, installation, and support for rock tours looking to display special visuals during their performances. We also install and support sound systems for orchestral and concert facilities.


Q. Will you install audiovisual equipment that was not purchased through BL&S?

A. Since we feel that proper system design is just as important as quality equipment, we only install systems when we have provided the equipment and where we or a reputable audio consultant has designed the system. We regularly collaborate with audiovisual consultants on the design of AV systems, including those within theatre restoration projects.


Q. Do you provide audiovisual engineers without rental of equipment?

A. Unfortunately, BL&S audiovisual engineers are only available to operate AV systems sold by or rented through us. We are unable to provide staff to operate systems purchased or rented from our sources.


Q. Do you charge additional fees for equipment rented over a weekend or holiday?

A. No. Fees are based upon daily and weekly rates.


Q. Does BL&S service audiovisual equipment?

A. Yes. We are glad to service AV systems and equipment that we have installed. We offer service on most major brands of audiovisual equipment. In addition to service provided on an as-needed basis, we offer complete preventive maintenance and service contracts with emergency priority service at preferred rates.


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General FAQs ::

Q. Does BL&S offer consulting services?

A. Yes. Many of our installations are design-build projects. We can offer complete turn-key solutions or work with your existing architect / consulting engineer to develop a bid specification for your projection and sound needs.


Q. Do you have a showroom?

A. Although we do not have a public showroom, we’re happy to provide tours of our extensive facility and demonstrate equipment by appointment.


Q. How can I reach BL&S after hours in an emergency?

A. We have service technicians on call at all times for our regular and contract service customers. Call our main phone number 617.787.3131 and follow the prompts and we will respond shortly.


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Q. How can I initiate a project with BL&S?

A. Please call us at 617.787.3131.


Q. Where can I get technical information about a product I obtained from BL&S?

A. Call us at 617.787.3131 or visit our manufacturers page for a list of links to product manufacturers.


Q. Does BL&S have licensed and certified technicians?

A. Yes. Various BL&S technicians hold NICET, ETCP-CEE, C-EST, and CTS certifications, and Massachusetts DPS projection licenses.


Q. Do BL&S technicians have manufacturer's certifications and receive ongoing training?

A. Yes. Please view details on our technical capabilities page.


Q. Do BL&S technicians belong to any professional organizations?

A. Yes, various technicians belong to AES, NSCA, BKSTS, and IATSE, among others.


Q. Does BL&S belong to any professional organizations?

A. Yes, AVIXA, SMPTE, IAPPA, ICTA, NSCA, LHAT, AMIA, and APAP, among others.


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