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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 598 (570)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 598
Page 598

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 598

But one thing is certain, television will not hurt show business any more than radio did. So long as people want to be together-and they always seem to want to be together, as proved by crowds at football games and all events of similar character-theatre business as a form of entertainment will not be affected at all.

Television should draw well to begin with, and, with big-money attractions to follow, maintain its drawing power. In the first place, there should be the beneficial effect of something new. The new and novel in entertainment has in most instances proved beneficial to gross receipts. However, the attraction of the new and novel under present-day conditions has a shorter life than in the past. Scientific progress has been so rapid during the past ten years that the American people have become accustomed to rapid changes and take such changes in their stride.

The features of television will be forthcoming to theatres within a very few years and, naturally, later on as the success of these special attractions make records for themselves, it might have a telling effect upon the future distribution of programs to theatres. Assuming, too, that the technology of television both in transmission and reception is developed to a point where it is practical and possible to provide a television picture on the screen of a motion-picture theatre, it will have a two-fold effect on the boxoffice receipts 'of these theatres.

There is, of course, one tremendous field for television in theatres and that is the broadcast of national functions, sports, and news events. Oneis imagination can travel without limit when one considers the box-office potentialities of a televised Rose Bowl game, the Kentucky Derby, or a championship prize fiight.

THE ASPHERICAL CORRECTING lENS, made of Lucite (product of the E. I. duPont deNemours and Company, Inc.) for use in the RCA Victor proiection television receiver, may be another development of wartime research which will lead sooner to theatre television. The plastic lens fits over the neck of the cathode-ray and is used to bring the image to a sharp focus in the receiver's viewing screen. (DuPont photograph.)

While many feel that there will be a real audience feature in these screeningse even the showing of outstanding disasters when they occur-others there are who think that rehearsed events will, as the technique of presentation improves, have its draw.

As a side light to news on the theatres television screen, some executives anticipate the day when a camera crew, using 16-mm. film and sound equipment, will venture forth in a city like New York or Los Angeles and shoot a lot of news events during the day, cutting the film and giving it to audiences of neighborhood theatres by way of television from a central studio. In this way, production costs could be spread rather thinly over many theatres.

All in all, television in the theatre has possibilities of a strong drawing power

THE IMAGE ORTHOCON TELEVISION CAMERA TUBE represents a new development that may bring more and better television pictures to American theatres. The new tube, developed by engineers of the Radio Corporation of America, is so sensitive that it will pick up scenes illuminated only by a match or a single candle. The tube is adapted to picking up outdoor events where the natural light is not always of the best. (RCA photograph.)


and is an addition which many theatres will want to make when this service becomes available.


In making predictions as these, it must be assumed that the motion-picture industry will use the potential drawing power of its box office, as well as its talent control, to see that the major television entertainment will not be given away through home-owned outlets, but rather sold to the public through the theatres of the nation.

If the motion-picture industry does not take advantage of this fact, it is inviting future home-owned competition which will be an actual threat to the theatre business. When radio first started, theatres were alarmed as to its power to keep people home and away from the theatre. However, as radio became more commonplace, the superiority of the visuaI-local entertainment offered at the theatre overcame this threat. We must remember that television will offer every home in America the opportunity to have visual, as well as vocal entertainment. The motion-picture industry has the power to see that this phase of television becomes a minor type of entertainment and a feeder for the theatres. It is to be hoped that the motion-picture industry will recognize the potential box office of theatre television and make its plans accordingly. ,

While theatre television has been proved feasiblepei-imentally in this country and commercially in Englandeit will not be a matter of days until the American theatre can be equipped. Rather, will it be a matter of many months and possibly years, for there are many problems yet to be ironed out.


The mechanics of how to use properly these telecasts will create many problems, particularly out of those arising from such factors as the .time differentials in various sections of the country and in the various parts of the world and the weather conditions which may make it extremely difficult properly to televise scheduled outdoor events which have been advertised in advance.

In small towns it will probably be a long time before television will be available, not only to the theatre but to the would-be owners of home sets. It may be possible to work out an efficient way of handling a television signal on the present land-line facilities. If that happens, the whole progress of the television program will be speeded up.

Other technical details to be cleared up include the improvement of definition by increasing the present 525-1ine standard, and the development of a new system of lighting to deliver a television picture on the screen as bright and clear as the present-day moving picture.

Some executives have raised the question about costs, stating quite correctly that the cost of installation to bring television to theatre audiences must be considered in summarizing the advantages television might have from the standpoint of the box office.

On such details, no American manufacturer of television equipment, as was revealed in a supplementary survey, will make a statement however qualified with

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 598