Cinema blackout blinds

We have electric blackout blinds in our cinema which are having some issues.

First, I wondered whether anyone has a thought on how to get one of them working. They were originally Luxaflex contract blinds, but that subsidiary does not exist any more. The blinds have Somfy roller motors, which are great, and have side-channels with brushes. However when one of them is going down it gets stuck at several places (while the motor keeps unwinding the blind, so quite a mess).

Downward motion comes from gravity and it seems that friction > gravity on one of these blinds. I've tried silicon spray on the brushes and the ends of the lower bar, but this didn't help. Any other things I should try?

Failing this we could replace all the blinds. We need electric blinds in side-channels for complete blackout. I've read various suggestions in this forum and it seems that a cheap electric option is BlocBlinds XL at about £370/blind, then it jumps up to Newblinds at £800/blind and then SilentGliss or Lutron or various AV specialists at over £1000/blind. We don't need the fancy control of the Lutron. The SilentGliss ones have something called "zip" mechanism along the sides -- anyone seen what that is, and whether it is worth the premium?

Thoughts welcome, thanks.
 

PsyVision

Distinguished Member
Is there a metal bar or such along the bottom of the blind? Or fabric wrapped round something? You could replace this with a heavier alternative to try and weigh the bar down.
 
It's a metal bar, which extends into the two side channels. It's a specialist bit of hardware - the blind goes into a slot - and quite hard to do much with. I couldn't even figure out a way to tie a string to it as a temporary fix. I will look at weighting it, but I think the problem is more severe than that.
 

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