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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 308 (284)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 308
Page 308

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 308

The Retiscope Screen Eliminates Distortion

Development of Special Fiberglas Screen Makes Every Seat "Down Front, Center"!

Movie-goers and theatre managers will soon benefit from the ffgreatest contribution to the moving picture industry since sound." Occupants of seats in the first row, over next to the wall, will no longer have reason to complain of elongated figures on the screen, of eye-strain, or of echoing sound. Through invention of the Retiscope screen, these movie hazards are eliminated and every ticketholder is provided with a seat "down front, center."

In search of the "perfect" screen, Warren Millais launched into years of experiment with new screen materials, various angles of projection, different screen sizes, and varying distances of throw. Out of his research has emerged a fireproof, washable, practically indestructible screen which eliminates distortion


and eye-strain, regardless of the angle from which the screen is viewed.

Named after the retina of the eye, the Retiscope moving-picture screen does not require lens change, while mathematical calculations make it adaptable to the demands of every theatre in the world.

This revolutionary screen is composed of two surfacesea sheet of Fiberglas stretched two inches in front of a second refiector sheet. Both sheets are laced to a screen frame so designed as to produce a mathematically calculated curve on the surface in both directions. Light passes through the loosely woven fiberglass onto the reflector sheet, enhancing whatever illusion of depth is inherent on

THE HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL CURVES of the Retiscope screen are especially noticeable when viewed from the rear. Laced tightly in the mobile framework of steel, the screen presents to the audience a concave surface, the degree of curvatures of which are mathematically determined from the physical characters of the theatre in which it is installed and from the type of equipment in the booth. The curvature eleminates distortion.

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the projected film. This eliminates screen lines and glare by diffusing and polarizing the light.

A theatre audience absorbs sound. In the past, as the theatre filled to capacity, a corresponding increase in volume became necessary. Likewise, as the crowd thinned, a decrease in volume was set. The fabric of the Retiscope screen allows all sound frequencies to penetrate at any volume setting. This tends to assure uniform sound reception regardless of audience size.

The development of the screen stems from the idle curiosity, some 25 years ago, of a resident of Prague by the name of Otto Hehn. He placed a photograph in front of his concave shaving mirror and glanced at the reflection. Curiosity turned to genuine interest when he noticed a surprising lack of distortion in the reHection, regardless of the angle from which it was viewed. Quick to realize the magnitude of the discovery, Hehn conducted a series of experiments on a new type of moving-picture screen, embodying the principle of reflection on a curved surface. A number of years later, he came to America, hoping to enlist the assistance of a motion-picture expert in the development of his idea. In 1941, he was referred to Warren Millais, who developed the Retiscope screen as it is known today.

Viewing projected images from all angles, the improvement of this screen over those of the conventional, flat type, is at once apparent. Distortion is nonexistent even when one stands directly under the screen, where the angle of sight is most acute. The effect is the same when the picture is viewed from extreme right and lefFfaces and figures are quite normal. The Retiscope screen is truly a contribution to the movingpicture industry and it seems inevitable that it will become as indispensable to theatres as is sound.

The Retiscope screen made a semipublic debut as far back as 1942, when the Pantages Hollywood Theatre held a premiere to demonstrate the screen to members of the press. All the major news services were invited, together with the drama editors of prominent West Coast newspapers. During the showing, this group was allowed to wander about the theatre to study the projection from all angles. This event was a tremendous success, and the screen received rave notices throughout the world. However, war news and wartime restrictions on material served to make publicity impractical and manufacture virtually imu possible, so the project has been held in abeyance until now. During this lull, experiments were continued, resulting in an even greater improvement in the screen, to the point where the Retiscope screen is now in production.

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 308