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Who Cleans Those Towering IMAX Screens?

Learn how professional goes to great heights

December 9, 2019

As you relax at the movie theater, watching a flick on the large IMAX screen, have you ever wondered how these screens are cleaned?

One man—Michael Quaranto—runs what is believed to be the only large-format screen-cleaning service in the United States, The Hustle reports. Although Quaranto cleans any type of movie screen and does business around the world, he specializes in cleaning IMAX screens, which are 80-feet tall and extremely expensive to replace.

Quaranto and his partner, Andrew Brown, have a patented process for cleaning the extra-large screens, which involves a machine rigged up to a series of pulleys — each connected to cleaning heads made of wax-coated lamb’s wool — that sweep in even vertical movements across the screen. For regular screens, they can work from the ground using aluminum extension poles fitted with custom-made towels.

Both processes are much more advanced that the method Quaranto and Brown used when they first began cleaning movie screens as teenagers, working for the father of one of their high school friends. Back then most movie screens were made of highly durable, white perforated nylon. The teens simply threw a bath towel over a push broom and secured it with some Velcro.

Dust is the most common substance Quaranto must tackle, sometimes up to a quarter-inch thick. However, he has found a variety of items stuck to the movie screens he cleans, from gummy bears and popcorn to soft drinks and spit balls. One time he even found a used diaper wedged up against the screen.

 

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