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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 106 (72)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 106
Page 106

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 106

outdoor theatres can certainly be a profitable enterprise.


By the time the $3 stood empty, with the evening as its only occupant, a number of interesting things had taken place. Those who were fortunate enough to be in the audience, in addition to seeing a thrilling Fight, also were witnesses to the largest television picture ever commercially projected up to that time. The 24 by 36 foot image was of uniform excellence throughout the eve

ning. The projection throw of more than 125 feet was the longest ever used in theatre television.

Many drive-in operators have been asking themselves a very important question: what does theatre television mean to me? The 33 experience helped to supply some of the answers. 0n the technical side it proved that the equipment presently available, and with no costly special adaptations, can supply a good, steady picture under normal drivein operating conditions. From the boxofiice point of view, it was demonstrated

ABOVE: ALL THE CONTROLS and monitoring equipment was centralized on these two racks which only took up tour square feet of space in the back of the truck. BELOW: A picture at the type 0!

RCA television equipment that was used at

the 5-3. as it appears in an indoor installation.

that the public will give overwhelming support to outdoor television, at advanced prices, if the attraction is strong enough, and properly publicized.

Newspaper Response

A good barometer of how much impact an event has made upon the public is the response it gets from the press. In the case of the 8-3 TV show, stories were carried all over the country by the wire services and syndicated columns. Local north Jersey newspapers considered it of enough importance to give it prominent space on their front pages. The Passaic Herald News, the day after the fight, carried a large headline which read: uFight Crowd Storms S-3, Jams Highway For Miles." The lead paragraph said, uA $4,000,000 gat%almost twice better than any previous take, may eventually be realized as the result of the golden step which the prizefight world, with an assist from television,

ctook last night at the S-3 Drive-In,

Rutherford." It also quoted RCA engineer Paul Smith as saying, uI never dreamed so many people would turn out for a television show. It opens the gateway for other sporting and

The Newark News front page story spoke of the 8-3 as being, "converted into a huge outdoor living room." In describing the response of the public the story said, "They came in passenger cars, trucks, station wagons, and afoot to the first theatre television at a drive-inf Although it was not exactly desirable, an indication of just how much the public was aroused by the new innovation was the report that about 250 persons crashed, and "most gained entrance by ripping down sections of a corrugated fenceKl

In addition to the nation-wide attention it received in the regular press, the story was also given prominent attention in various trade publications.


On the basis of what was done at the 3-3 drive-in, it is possible to present an outline of what should be done to prepare an outdoor theatre for television Operation. Of course it is doubtful if this will be the final word on this subject. As more and more drive-ins decide to use TV it is fairly safe to assume that newer and more emcient methods will be developed. However, it is now a proven fact that the following procedures do provide a suitable picture.

Equipment Used

The RCA moch llT-100A theatre teliu vision projector, long throw type, was used. The RCA system comes in basically the same, except for the tube and mirror, The short throw requires a special small Vidicon tulw and greater curvature to the mirror. The other two models take the standard tube, but the long throw has a (lillm-enl typo and size of rellvcting mirror.

All controls and monitoring equipment for tho [VF-100A system are cvntralizml on two racks which require only four square foot of spucv. From this point the projectionist makes necessary ads justmcnts while watching the theatre screen through :1 port in the control room wall, or the back of a truck, as

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 106