We performed energy audits on five different multi screen movie theaters last week in Utah County, UT. These were medium size (4-8 screen) around 25,000- 40,000 square foot buildings. There was one thing in common with 4 of the 5. No Makeup Air!! These cinemas were using the Christie Xenon projectors that need exhaust cooling fans connected to the outside. Christie recommends 400 - 750 cfm fans for their projectors. We tested these exhaust fans to be right at 600 cfm. If you multiply 600 cfm by 6 or 8, we are talking about 4,000 cfm being pulled out of the building, mostly through the doors in the lobby. This amounts to multiple ACH (air changes per hour) and the main reason for the $600-800 monthly heating bills.
In the energy audit report we highly recommend the installation of an Acme Direct Fired Gas Heated Make Up Air Unit that would supply 4,000 cfm of heated air to make up for the conditioned air being sucked out by the projector fans.
The rooftop HVAC units were are clean and properly installed, along with the projector exhausts and concession condensers - what is absent is any source of make up air.
The larger screened MegaPlex (12-20 screen) Cinemas that we have audited all had multiple make up air units.
The ACME Heated Make Up Air Unit:
8 inch exhaust for Christie Xenon projector: