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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 590 (562)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 590
Page 590

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 590

thousand cinemas equipped to reproduce a popular event, and with exclusive rights for dealing With that event, a circuit of cinemas should be able to command huge audiences at profitable admission charges, but to be able to prepare a balance sheet at this stage of development is obviously impossible. The opportunity will be available for the realization of the full possibilities of theatre television, and that opportunity will be taken by those leaders of the industry who have made the cinema as we know it today, a medium of entertainment which is unsurpassed.


The present stage of development indicates that the normal technical progress television can give the exhibitors a valuable and powerful medium for advancing theatre entertainment.

The technical development of a satisfactory system required that particular

attention should be paid to (1) the intro-.

duction of a higher definition system; (2)

FIGURE l4.-As probably also will be in the United States, sports events have proved popular in England as subiects for television broadcast to theatres. Here, courtesy of the British Broadcasting Corporation, is seen a television camera picking up the Oxford-Cambridge boat race in April, 1938. Another event which has been handled to the delight of the theatre-going public is the Derby, broadcast from the track at Epsom Downs.

increased brightness, detail, and picture quality in the projection on the large screen; (3) improved cameras and scan

being distributed to all houses in the circuit.

Box-Office Charges

The prices of admission always have to be decided in relation to the running costs of the presentation. So far, no information is available as to the costs of running a large television service of the type outlined, or even of enabling one to make a comparison with the present costs of production and of maintaining the exhibition of films. We do know,

however, that, at the sporting events, which were reproduced on cinema screens before the War, it was possible to charge up to four times the normal admission prices and yet secure full houses. No doubt the novelty factor was the determining factor; but, although television comes to the cinema as a means of creating new program interest, it must also come as an economizing factor, and the cost to the public of providing television programs will, therefore, depend on the degree of exploitation and on the diversity of the service. With a

ners for the pick-up of picture material; and (4) the development and organizing of a nation-wide radio and cable distribution system.

The expenditure on research during future years is bound to be considerable, and the capital expenditure for equipment will be costly, but the results will well justify the outlay.

Premature exploitation before the necessary technical results are achieved must be avoided. Technicians and scientists must be given time to develop a system giving results comparable with present film projection, and they must not be rushed into premature installation and demonstrations.

The problems of program planning and production must be considered in

FIGURE l5.-Sports, however, are the top favorite of the British public going for television in its theatres. In this British Broadcasting Company photograph is seen a boxing contest staged at the Alexandra Palace, in February, 1937. The television cameras are on a cradle above the ring. While television broadcasting was, of course, stopped during the war, it will be resumed, and an even greater interest by the general public is expected.

parallel with technical development. Film production by present methods will continue, but the presentation of

the complete theatre program will be powerfully aided and vitalized by the incorporation of television.

The distribution of entertainment, Whether of feature films or of filive" events, will be likely to be carried out electronically from central scanning and control centers, thus displacing the physical distribution of actual films to cinemas. The system will primarily be available for filive" items, and its use for feature and general film material will depend on economic considerations.

The presentation of these "live" items, especially those events whose main attraction is the uncertainty of outcome or result-for example, horseracing and football matchesewill be the backbone of the purely television contribution to the program.

The transition from the experimental stage to an established service need not disturb the motion-picture industry. On the contrary, provided that exhibitors take an active interest in its progress and show vision and forethought in anticipating its possibilities, there is a wonderful opportunity and future for theatre television entertainment.


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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 590