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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 231 (195)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 231
Page 231

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 231

slave picture projectors in the synchronization system. Once the system was up to speed, snychronization was automatically controlled by the three phase motors driving each of the four projectors. In addition, however, a special motor and differential unit were placed in each of the picture projectors to add or subtract frames while the show was in motion. This was done in case the pi-ojt-ctionists misframed or the film was incorrectly cut. This system is unique in itself. being the first of its type where a correction in synchronization can be made after the starter switch has been thrown.

Control Board

The nerve center of this system is at a control board which was placed in this installation in the orchestra pit. This panel is maimed by the engineer in charge of the operation of the show. He starts and stops all of the projectors with a throw of a switch after the individual in each booth has thrown his system from t'local" to firemote." He can add or subtract frames during the running of a show. He can lighten or brighten each individual panel during the course of the presentation of the picture. He is also the intermediary through whom all messages go. The intercoms do not go from booth to booth, but go from each booth to the control console, so that all inessages come first to the nerve center for registration. Signal lights keep him constantly posted on the operation of all this equipment. He can further control the volume of the sound in the theatre on all speakers, either separately or together, and he can ttpatchii in the sound on the different groups of the eight auditorium speakers. In our Cinerama show this console operator is the bandleader who directs the musicians, at their machines to better the performance.

As if three booths, a special console house, and a fourth projector in the standard booth were not enough, we further provided additional space, where from time to time all four prints could be united in one sync machine to be checked. There was no room in the cramped quarters of the booth, and even

THIS IS THE FIRST three-lens camera with which the film '"l'his Is Cinemmci" was taken.


smaller managers office of the Broadway, so a wardrobe in the baSement was rebuilt with new linoleum floor and shiny white walls to be used for film inspection and replacement of worn parts. No one, including Eastman-Kodak, had ever run film continuously at 146 feet per minute. No one was able to predict how long it would last under such treatment. This room provided a basis of operition for research on this subject. In the early stages all of the film was rewound here, as we believed very special care must be taken of it. We later found that by the insistence of proven methods it could be rewound in the booths as is normally the case.


Finally, one week before opening night, installation of the Cinerama system was completed. Projectors had been aligned so that magnification of all three were equal, and the three nlnr: so nositioned that they formed one image. All of the wires were ttbuzzedil and the speakers placed in the best position for the optimum effect. Evarything was in readi ness as far as the system was concerned, but there was one element which had not been taken care of to date. The engineers who had developed the system had been so busy putting it in, aligning it, and operating it, that they had forgotten that they were not the ones who would be running the show. Naturally. as in all cases. the New York projectionists would take over and keep the ball rolling as they had been doing for so many years. We almost forgot that this was not standard equipment and that no one, including fellows who had worked at the business for 30 years, had ever run the Cinerama projectors. We immediately wrote specifications for a training course and put this into effect. Operation of the Cinerama equipment required far more attention by the operators than previously necessary, since there was a continuous problem of framing the pictures and adjusting carbons at the onset. The coordination necessary for five people to work in five different locales required the skill of a basketball team. No longer were the fellows working as individuals, but as a group, who only

THIS SEPARATE SOUND TRACK is the master control unit for the synchro system and is responsible for the stereophonic sound system used in Cinerama. Note the eight thousand foot reels used for an uninterrupted fifty minute show. Audience reaction attests to the realistic effects which are created.

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 231