Solar Movie Theater


Solar Movie Theater


      Rather than wasting sunlight on movie theater roofs, Steve Hines proposes using the sun as the light source for the movie-theater projectors in theme parks which tend to be located in sunny parts of the world, and any theater during sunlit periods.


      The roof of the theater is fitted with a heliostat inside a cylindrical skylight.  A mirror in the center of the skylight is mounted on a motor’s shaft that is aligned with the Earth’s rotational axis (at the latitude of the theater) which slowly turns to track the sun.  This highly sped-up animation shows the mirror tracking of the sun through a full day's cycle. 


      The rotating mirror is tipped at an angle to reflect sunlight to a fixed mirror on axis with the rotating mirror, and on to other mirrors as needed to reflect the light beam to a field lens which focuses the light through the film, into the projector lens and onto the theater’s screen.  During cloudy periods and at night, a conventional projection lamp is moved into the light path.  Conventional 3-4 KW Xenon projecton lamps are expensive and have a short life.  It would be a missed opportunity to not use the sunlight when available. 


Steve Hines' original lab notebook entries:

Solar-Theater-ntbk-p114-100p Solar-Theater-ntbk-p115-100p
p. 114 p. 115


      This is a technology announcement and an example of innovative technology that consulting clients can expect from HinesLab, not a product being offered for sale.  HinesLab currently offers consulting and novel solutions to your problems as well as a variety of licensable technology.

Please contact Steve Hines at :

HinesLab, Inc.
Glendale, California, USA
Phone:  818-507-5812