> > > >

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 582 (564)

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition
1947-48 Theatre Catalog
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 582
Page 582

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 582

A Producer Looks at Television in Theatres

The Popularity of the Neighborhood Cinema Will Be Augmented by Using Video Adiuncts

Television is rapidly climbing out of its cradle and a tremendous upheaval in entertainment history is about to get under way. The change, however, will not be harmful to box-office returns or to the popularity of motion pictures, as many theatre owners believe.

The operator who fears television and who envisions empty theatres is laboring under a misconception. So also is the man who sees a chain of houses all receiving by television his pictures from a central telecasting point miles away.

The word television has become a bugaboo to theatre owners without any real justification. Video is something to anticipate with pleasure, not fear. Instead of hurting theatre business, telee vision should expand it.

The day will probably come when the regular feature is halted and a special telecast of some major news event is shown to the audience. Interest, obviously, is more centered on another Texas City disaster or the Winning run of the World Series than on a screen clinch. Personally, I am also looking forward to the time when I can sit in my neighborhood theatre and see a television newsreel of the days events. This, I believe, will be available to theatre audiences by having special films photographed directly from a video receiver, probably located in the projection booth.

A new process has been developed in which film may emerge from the developing equipment in a condition suitable for projection in less than one minute after the material is photographed. The processed film can be edited accord annr FAIRBANKS

L'Xecuu're Producer, JPrry Fairbanks, Inc.

ing to the interests of the particular audience and then run through the conventional projector that is fitted with some minor electrical and mechanical modifications. In fact, theatres in the future will have newsreels more timely than the newspaper being sold in front of the building.

In brief, television will enhance theatre programs, provide a greater drawing card, a greater incentive to go to the show. Good showmen should have a permanent field day.

Home reception of television definitely will not supplant the theatre any more than radio has supplanted the opera house or the concert stage. Just the opposite; it can be as great a boon to the theatre as sound was to the silent picture.

It takes Hollywood months, requires the services of thousands of people, and takes millions of dollars to ready 9. hit picture. There is no sponsor who can afford to spend that much money, employ that many peeple, and rehearse a show for that length of time. The theatre, accordingly, will remain the focal point for entertainment.

Another important consideration is this: People like crowds, but definitely! Have you ever seen a comedy in a projection room by yourself? It is not nearly as amusing as when it is seen in a filled theatre.

Television also will expand show business through the mushrooming of a new

CINE-VIDEO COOPERATION is illustrated here, with Jerry Fairbanks (center), Hollywood producer, pointing out to O. B. Hansen (left), NBC chief engineer, the details of the Zoomar lens, developed by Dr. Frank G. Back (right) for use with television cameras. The Fairbanks Zoomur, designed for television use, has been, through a more compact version, adapted for use in 35-mm. newsreel cameras.

type of theatre, one very similar to the newsreel house. Here "live,' telecasts will be featured. For the price of a ticket, the theatregoer will see the news events of the day as they happen or in review, the Rose Bowl game, or the inauguration ceremonies as the President of the United States is sworn into office.

Personally, I do not see in the near futur%although there are many who do-a chain of theatres all receiving by television motion pictures telecast from a central point miles away.

As every house manager knows, different localities have a preference for different pictures. What draws at one house may not draw at another. One section of the same city may like Wallace Beery, another may stay away from the same feature. Full-scale theatre video would necessitate all houses playing the same bill the same number of days of the week. It would be impossie ble to pull a failing picture and substitute another.

A televised program would require every house of a circuit to start and end its show at the same hour. Juggling of programs and starting times would be impossible. An early house would have to open at the same hour as a late one. Intermissions would have to be standardized and no allowance could be made even though one house had a capacity crowd and another had only a few seats filled.

The actual cost of producing pictures will not be altered by television. The saving on prints by circuit telecasting is small and the inconvenience is great.

Theatre television, as I see it, however, is still a number of years in the future. For one thing, a cross-country network system must be developed, completely perfected, and constructed. Only when the bugs have been eliminated from home video transmission and reception will theatre television develop to full practical maturity. Paying audiences demand top quality.

When theatre video is perfected and in popular use, however, I am inclined to believe that theatre operators will find the television-film method the best for their purposes. Pictures made visible on a cathode-ray tube can be photographed and developed with only a few minutes delay. This film than can be quickly edited and projected on the screen at the appropriate moment. This saves using bulky equipment in the aisles (as is used now) and probably will be less expensive. It also means that an event of importance can be shown to the second-show audience as well as to the first.

Television in theatres is a foregone conclusion, but hold no fear of it. The popularity of the neighborhood theatre will be greater than evermthanks to video.

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 582