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1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 404 (366)

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition
1952 Theatre Catalog
1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 404
Page 404

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 404

DEMONSTRATION OF PARAMOUNT TV equipment at the 1951 120.3. convention in New York.

which is needed for the chemicals, film and spare parts. Naturally, the ideal site for the storage room is one as close to the unit as is possible.


The question of costs is a vital one to the exhibitor thinking of putting in theatre television. At present it is estimated that the operating costs for an "Inter-Film), TV unit, which would in clude film, chemicals, power, and wages, runs to about $140 per hour. As for installation charges, they, of course, would vary depending on the facilities already present. However, if space, power and water are available, the installation costs would average about $1,500. The price of the equipment includes pre-installation surveys, supervision of actual installation and the training of the crew by Paramount engineers.

The operation of such a unit usually requires the services of two men. It is preferred to have operators with some background in electronics and photography, but it is not absolutely necessary. To make sure that the operators obtain the most efficient results from an uInterFilm" TV unit, Paramount engineers would supply the training on the job, and if required, at their television laboratories in New York City.


The technical quality of the equipment and flexibility of the HInter-Film" TV system offer the imaginative exhibitor a great many uses and advantages. One thing which should iind a great deal of favor with patrons who are eyeweary from gazing at their home receivers with its small screens and usually imperfect pictures, is the fact that this system makes use of standard 35mm. film and equipment. This means that the picture will be of uniform quality at all times. Although this is a film intermediate process, and not direct, the program may be projected on the screen in a matter of seconds. thus maintaining the feeling of instantaneous and direct reception.

The Paramount system gives the theae tre operator complete control over his programming. This is an extremely important advantage. News events have very little regard for time. Therefore,

if an important event occurs at an hour when most persons are in bed or at work, direct TV reception would do the theatre very little good. With the "InterFilm" equipment the happening could be recorded on film, edited if necessary, and shown at a time which would be most opportune. Another important advantage that goes with the ability to pick-up programs on hlmeand this would be particularly true in sporting eventseis the one which enables the operator to eliminate much of the dull footage. It also makes it possible to show events that have been edited so as to fit in with any time schedules the theatre may wish to maintain.

As an example of how this would work out, let us take an important football game which, due to regional time differences, will be played at an hour too early to draw the best crowd in the theatre. The manager has a number of alternatives open to him. He may show the entire game as it is played, even though he does not have a full house. Then, having the entire event on film, he could show it during the evening. If he wished, he could cut out much of the footage, leaving just the highlights of the game, and run it during the week as a. supplement to his regular program. Having gotten all the revenue possible from showing it in his theatre, the exhibitor still has not exhausted all his sources of income.

Supplied with a permanent record of the program, the way is now open for rental of the film to other theatres not equipped with TV, local television stations, advertising agencies or anyone else who would be interested. Both 16mm. and 35mm. prints can be made up and distributed. Assuming that the programs available to the theatres will be over a closed circuit, there is no reason to doubt that there will be a demand for these prints. Of course the exception would be something that loses its interest value if not secnimmediately. However, this would be the exception, not the rule. As for the idea of showing programs over closed circuits and channels specifically allocated to theatres by the Federal Communications Commission, there seems to be general acceptance that this is a must if theatre TV is ever to amount to anything. With the increasing number of theatres becoming equipped for large screen television, there is no reason why this

should be opposed. In addition to giving the theatres a weapon with which to combat TV programs for 'home reception, it also makes the general public the benefactor in a number of Ways.

Benefits to Public

For one thing, the competition being supplied by theatre TV would force the stations to develop new and better programs, or else suffer the consequences. With sueh an arrangement the public could not help but benefit from the superior programming offered by both sources. Another advantage which is to be gotten from closed circuits, is that of having specialized local programs which would not be feasible or profitable for network presentation. A third way in which the public gains from the use of individual channels is the fact that it will be able to see programs that are free of commercials and other interruptions that often break the continuity and decreases the complete enjoyment derived from viewing.

TV in Drive-ins

The drive-in theatre is a branch of exhibition that has only recently come into its own. Today it is a flourishing and important part of the movie industry. Paramountls ffInter-Filmi, TV equipment makes it possible for any drive-in to make use of this system and there would be no extra cost. In order to maintain proper screen illumination, drive-ins require large amounts of light. Since the Paramount unit makes use of the drive-ins regular projection equipment and screen there is no need for extra gadgets.

The Future

'Looking ahead into the future, the system has been developed with the realization that practical color television may be only a short time away. An exhibitor would have every right to be cautious about installing TV equipment in his theatre knowing that he would be left out in the cold if color came on the scene. With this in mind the "InterFilm" unit was so constructed that when color standards are finally adopted the equipment may be modified to accept color signals by a comparatively simple operation; This operation could be performed right in the theatre rather than necessitate bringing the equipment back to the factory.

Although theatre television is still at an early phase in its development it is certainly out of the laboratory experimental stage. At the present time, the Paramount "Inter-Film" theatre tele< vision system has been installed and placed in operation at the Paramount, New York; the Great Lakes, Chicago; the Michigan, Detroit; the Radio City, Minneapolis; the Shenandoah, St. Louis; the Imperial, Toronto; at the United Nations meetings in Paris, France; and in Television Station KTLA, Los Angeles. Many exhibitors who saw demonstrations of the system at the 1951 TOA convention in the Hotel Astor, New York City, were impressed with the ease and simplicity of the operation. In all, there are over '75 theatres equipped with some theare TV system, and the number of those with immediate plans for installation is increasing every day.

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 404