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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 233 (197)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 233
Page 233

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 233

Old Films Get The New Look

A Description of the Systems Which Can Take Standard Product, and Show it on Newly Developed Wide Screens

A: the present time the entire motion picture industry is going through an exciting, but trying period of transition. After perhaps more years than was wise, movies are being given a new look. Although these new developments were long needed and long awaited, the changeover period is always one which creates confusing and perplexing problems. One of the greatest of the current difficulties is, what to do with the vast backlog of films that were prepared in the conventional manner? The investment is certainly too great to be marked off the books, and yet no exhibitor wishes to be left out of presenting his patrons with the latest developments.

A number of major studios and individuals haVe been working on this problem. Some of them have come up with what they believe to be the answer to the question of how to give an ordinary 2-D picture the new wide screen look. At the moment it is impossible to convert fiat 2-D films into 3-D offerings, therefore, the only possible thing that can be done is to present them on a wider screen.

Naturallyy each individual theatreman must make his own decision based on his needs and resources. The editors of THEATRE CATALOG are neither endorsing or condemning the systems offered here, but merely present the facts so that each may decide as

he pleases.


Most of the proposed new technical developments will not become available for practical use in exhibition by a great majority of theatres for quite a few months to come. Therefore, the logical question uppermost in exhibitors, minds



is: How can I improve my business today, tomorrow, and in the foreSeeable future?

There is one point on which everyone seems to agree: A larger and wider screen results in a bigger and better show with an exciting new look.

Paramount Studios Research division,

has developed a new screen with, among'

other new elements, a different viewing shape with an aspect ratio of 1:66 to 1:00. This simply means that the new screen is 1:66 feet in width to every one foot in height. The aspect ratio of the normal theatre screen in theatres now is 1:33 to 1:00.

Many exhibitors and others who have seen demonstrations of the new Paramount screen with its associated framing, seem to feel that it presents pictures better, bigger, and more excitingly. The reasons given are:

1. The lidded human eye being oval in shape, people normally see greater width than height. Paramount research and tests reveal that the 1:66 to 1:00 ratio comes closest to what people normally see in everyday life.

2. Almost all theatres will find that the 1:66 to 1:00 ratio enables them to increase the size of their present screens but to do it practically, within their theatre space available for a screen, quickly, and comparatively inexpensively. They will have a larger screen without cutting much off the top and bottom because of balcony overhang, etc.

Paramount contends that with their new screen, exhibitors can start immediately to cash in on the enhanced values, screen-wise and publicity-wise, of the large supply of good pictures currently

BRIEF: As a result of the unexpected and sudden emergence of new wide screen techniques . . producers and exhibitors find themselves with millions of dollars tied up in ordinary films that have already been completed . . . It is of course economically impossible to simply write off this backlog and switch to these recent innovations.

To combat this perplexing problem . . . major studios . . . with their vast research facilities . . . and individuals with limited resources . . . but ambition as the driving force . . . have been striving to work out a practical solution . . . This article discusses three systems which . . . although differing in approach . . . have a feature which makes it possible to show a film made before wide screens emerged . . . and present it with the new modern look . . . Each of the screens can easily be made adaptable for the showing of 3-D and ordinary 2-D films . . . as well as the wide screen



available, and to be available not only from Paramount, but from other studios. The 1266 to 1:00 Paramount ratio gives the exhibitor an opportunity to book and show with complete confidence on the same new look screen, not only the pictures to come from that studio, but also the pictures of all companies announced for showing on the presentday normal 1:33 to 1:00 screens, and the pictures announced and to be announced for showing 1:75 and 1:85, and any other intermediate aspect ratio. Installation and operation of this new screen requires a relatively modest out AN ARTIST'S CONCEPTION OF THE NEW PARAMOUNT PANORAMIC SCREEN is shown here. Since this represents a View from a side angle. it dramatically demonstrates the curvature.
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 233