Frequently Asked Questions

Projection Dome Upgrades

Will the audience really notice the difference between our current dome and NanoSeam?

Older domes have clearly visible seams under bright projection. Any bright, uniform scene will highlight the seams and draw the audience’s attention from the show. The move to pristine digital projection makes this effect even more pronounced.

Because NanoSeam’s surface is perfectly uniform, there’s no irregularity or texture to draw the eye. We even counter-sink the rivets so the audience can’t detect the surface of the screen in any way.

I have an older lap-seam dome. Will the new panels work on the old frame?
Most older frames can be repaneled with no modification needed. We’ll analyze your existing frame to determine whether modifications are necessary, and we’ll explain any alterations that need to be made. During the repaneling process, we’ll also touch up any scratches or work areas on the frame.
What does a dome upgrade involve?
Every projection dome is different, and so is every upgrade. If your dome’s supporting structure is sound, we can remove the existing panels and replace them with a new NanoSeam surface, creating a projection surface that’s better than new. If the frame is showing its age, a more comprehensive replacement might be called for.
How long will it take to repanel my existing dome with NanoSeam?
Repaneling usually takes 7 – 10 weeks, depending on dome. A deck will need to be set up above the theater seats, and moving scaffolding will need to be constructed (about 2 weeks). After that, the old panels are removed and new ones installed (5 – 8 weeks).
I don't want my dome to be closed for too long. Can repaneling be expedited?
Yes, we can work in longer shifts, or work 6 – 7 days a week if necessary. It adds some cost, but discuss it with us for options. We know how important it is to minimize your theater’s dark time, so we’re available to work extra hours to complete your project more quickly.
Will a new dome surface affect my sound quality, or the HVAC's airflow in the dome?

Your sound quality won’t change at all, since the “void” in the dome (the perforations) will still be 23%. Same with your HVAC — everything will work like it did before your upgrade.

I've heard dome structures need to be extremely strong. Are Spitz frames as structurally solid as other domes?
Our domes are extremely strong and stable. We perform extensive testing and structural evaluation to ensure our domes exceed all national and international codes for structural strength. Many projects (Griffith Observatory, Volkwagen Autostadt to name a couple) required us to install ladder and catwalk systems on the frame, and our domes support them easily.

A major advantage of Spitz domes over others is our lighter, low-profile frames. We don’t rely on oversized, heavy trusses to provide stability like other manufacturers.

Why is powder coating really better than painting on site?
Several reasons:

  • Powder coating is completely uniform because it’s applied by robot under controlled conditions.
  • Panels match perfectly over the entire dome, and the surface won’t degrade over time.
  • Powder coating simplifies repair of a damaged panel because spare panels (provided at installation) will match the dome surface. With painted domes, fixing a damaged panel will require you to repaint the entire dome.
  • A powder coated surface is durable enough for wet cleaning, even with solvents.

Learn more about Spitz powder coating.

Projection Dome Cleaning

My dome is still in good shape, but it's dirty. Can you clean it?

Perforated-aluminum projection domes can collect a remarkable amount of dust over time, in no small part because the perforations are there to allow HVAC systems to live behind the dome. Removing this accumulation can make a big difference in your screen’s reflectivity (and therefore your programming’s brightness and clarity) for a relatively small investment.

Spitz has extensive experience in cleaning domes, even in the most challenging installation settings. Contact us for more information about dome cleaning.

If my dome gets dirty over time, isn't repainting the simplest option?
Actually, cleaning a powder coated dome is a much better way to deal with dirt over time. A Spitz dome can be easily vacuumed from the rear side of the dome – the powder coated surface is smoother than paint, making the cleaning process easier.

Repainting requires the painter to remove seats and setup scaffolding, which means closing the theater. A cleanable dome is a much better option.

Learn more about Spitz powder coating.