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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 228 (192)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 228
Page 228

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 228

Oinerama Arrives

Detailed Account of the Problems Encountered .in the Initial Cinerama Theatre Installation

Cinerama is the bombshell that started the explosion of many fragments in the minds of optical engineers of the motion picture industry in general. Although Cinerama had been under development for 14 years and had been available for demonstration to the public for perhaps three years, it was not until September 30, 1952 that a Cinerama performance was finally presented to the public at the Broadway Theatre in New York. This so-called Himpractical system" so impressed the first audiences that the


Director of Installation for Cincrama. Inc,

repercussion of their applause was heard around the world. True, the system is more complicated than the standard motion picture process in use for the past 25 years, but this has been necessary in the initial stages, because standardized equipment was utilized and adapted to create the illusion that Cinerama does so well. This illusion is the feeling of

THE METHOD OF TAKING AND PROIECTING the film and sound to create the full Cinerama effect

of realistic participation is graphically illustrated

in the schematic diagram, as seen below.

being present on the spot where the picture was taken. It gives the audience the feeling that they are participating in the action which they are viewing on the screen.

The triple projector system necessary to encompass a field of 146 degrees and the seven track stereophonic sound sys tem are the secrets to the magic which you View when attending a performance. Present optical design does not permit such a wide field in a single system with one lens. However, further developments will simplify this process without sacrifice to the quality of the show.


To start with the development of the Cinerama process, we must go back 14 years to the time when Fred Waller first conceived the idea of the creation of an

BRIEF: The opening of Cinerama in New York may well be considered as one of the history making events in the motion picture business . . . This new and exciting form of film entertainment was met with enthusiasm by the public and industry alike . . . The triple projector system with a seven track stereophonic sound system created installation difficullics which required original and unique solutions . . . Since there was no previous experience to draw upon . . . brand new and untried tactics had to be used.

The 1950-51 edition of THEATRE CATALOG carried one of the earliest stories about the then. experimental system . . . In keeping with its policy of reporting the progress made on new developments . . . we are presenting this article written by the man who was in charge of the first theatre installation of Cinerama . . . In it will be found an account of how it was installed . . . the equipment used . . . and some predictions about future applications of Cinerama.

illusion of three dimensions by the use of peripheral vision. From the first idea to the final Cinerama concept many syse toms were developed and tested, the most startling of which was an 11 lens camera and projector that formed an inmge on the inside of a partial sphere. This, of course, was terribly effective, but not. conducive to exhibition in any of the existing theatres, or to a large audience. That system was modified into a seveir eyed monster, which after further rcscarch and experimentation was finally simplified into the present three-eyed wonder. Following this to a logical conclusion, we would expect that the next advance would be the use of a single lens system. This, of course, with our present knowledge of optics, is :1 Jules Vernion projection of thoughts into the future.

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 228