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1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 345 (323)

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition
1950-51 Theatre Catalog
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 345
Page 345

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 345


In order to prove to themselves that they had hit upon a genuinely revolutionary technique of film-making, the developers of Cinerama have held several experimental showings for interested groups. Reactions to the reality of the presentations on the part of these selected audiences were quite favorable. For example, one preview short depicting a roller coaster ride made several observers ill, and others confessed to feelings akin to those of nausea. Likewise, the sound of a church choir singing (in another short) before it came into view on the screen was so impressive as to cause a number of spectators to turn their heads instinctively toward the rear

THIS SECTION OF DRAWING portrays the manner in which the picture on the opposite page is taken on location with the three-lens camera and portable sound recorder. Six omni-directionul microphones pick up all the sound from every angle in the area being pictured. True reality is thus transferred to the theatre screen.


CINERAMA'S THREE-DIMENSIONAL PICTURE AND SOUND are produced by running tour 35mm filmsimultaneously. The first three term the left-hand, center. and right-hand parts of the picture, when projected side by side on the theatre screen. The dark film at right carries the six sound tracks.

of the indoor tennis court (converted to a theatre) where the demonstration took place. ,

Although the preview films contained a few slight technical faults, which are being ironed out, the enthusiastic reception accorded the experimental showings has encouraged the hackers to arrange for the production of several full-length films for showing to the general public. The first of these films will probably open in New York in the fall of 1951 as a road show, and, if it is successful, other showings will be held in key cities throughout the country on a similar basis. Plans already are afoot to organize crews which will move into theatres where exhibitions are to be given and set up the large screen required and the extra projection booths within 24 hours. It is estimated that equipment can be installed and shows held in most houses which are not extremely narrow.

While Cinerama is still in its infancy, it might eventually produce as great a

revolution in the motion picture industry as did the introduction of sound. Since it appears capable of bringing to the theatre Screen a broad range of visual effects comparable to those which observers of a spectacle on the legitimate stage enjoy, it may prove to be the film industryis answer to television.

The future of Cinerama remains, of course, to be seen, but it is interesting to note in passing that it has already won the acclaim and financial support of some astute businessmen, among them that matchless showman of showmen, Michael Todd. Time will tell the tale!

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The Editors of THEATRE CATALOG wish to express their appreciation to Mr. Hazard E. Reeves, President, Reeves Soundcraft Corporation, and one of the developers of Cinerama, for his helpfulness in supplying much of the data contained in the foregoing article.

FIELD EQUIPMENT FOR MAKING CINERAMA MOVIES consists of three-lens, ISO-pound camera and sound-recording outtit with six microphones. (Photograph courlvsy of Popular Science Monthly.)
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 345