> > > >

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 240 (204)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 240
Page 240

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 240

screen back about its vertical axis. As a result of this procedure, the central portion of the screen is bulged toward the projecting lens. Therefore, when a picture is projected on this screen, the center portion of the screen is surrounded by areas which incline away from the lens, and the end portions tend to curve toward the lens. Hanover adjusts his lens so that the various curved portions merge gently into each other so that the transition from one portion to the other is gradual.


In the normal photographing of a scene for projection on a fiat screen, care is always taken to keep all parts of the scene in as shallow a field as is possible. The purpose of this, naturally, is to keep all the elements of the scene in proper focus, and when this scene is projected on a fiat screen, a lens of the proper focal length is used. Since the patented Photorama system uses a screen which has both a curve and a bulge, it is necessary to use a lens so ground that it will have a progressively increasing focal length measured from the center to the periphery of the lens.

REAR VIEW of the Phoioramu Paramount installation reveals the 18-inch bulge put in the screen.


It is Hanover-ls contention that when the screen is curved according to his plans, the central bulging portion, and the curving end portions will be nearer to the projector than the portions which curve away from the central and end portions. The difference in the distances of the various portions of the screen, creates an illusion of perspective in that an object at either of the ends or the center will appear nearer to the eye.

In other words, by merely projecting various parts of the image on various parts of the screen which are not in the same plane, the parts of the picture will themselves appear to be in different planes, and since it is claimed that the transition from one plane to another is very gradual, an impression of continuity will prevail.

In most cases, the variation in the focus of the different parts of the picture projected on this curving bulging screen, should not be detectably out of focus. If, however, there should be a lack of focus, this can be remedied by using a lens portions of which have varying focal lengths, according to the distances between the parts of the screen and the corresponding portions of the lens. Hanover says that this can be done with little difficulty.


After having worked out his theory, and believing it sound, Hanover then went about providing a means of showing Photorama both to the public and the industry. He rented the Byrd, a neighborhood theatre in Philadelphia, and proceeded to install a screen that measured 50 feet wide by 26 feet in height, and to equip the projector with his corrected lens. Hanover then opened to the public, showing regular Hat 2-D offerings on his new wide screen.

As a result of his opening at the Byrd, a number of exhibitors expressed interest in Photorama. At the present time the largest Photorama screen installed is one that measures 50 by 34) feet, and which is in the Paramount in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Directing the installation personally, Hanover had the entire screen, including erection of the frame, hanging and shaping of the screen material, etc., completed in less than 12 hours, working with a crew of four. The theatre closed at nine in the evening and was ready to open the next morning.

Since any screen material can be used for Photorama, the screen may be adapted to the showing of stereoscopic nlms simply by using metallized material.

The Future

As could be ascertained from the previous description, the heart of the Photorama process is the curved screen with a bulge in the center. It seems logical that by bringing the center of the screen, and therefore the portion of the picture upon which most of the action appears, closer to the projector and the audience, a certain sense of depth should be created. This, in addition to the large size of the screen, combines to make an ordinary film much more impressive, although it does not create the effect obtained by stereoscopic films.

At the time this report was prepared, Photorama had only been installed in a very few theatres. The early results seem to indicate that the system does work, and gives satisfactory results, A number of exhibitors have expressed interest in Photorama, and a few have given orders to have it put into their theatres. It should be interesting to see what the future holds for this system which may have found a very logical and lucrative use for a bulge in the middle.


It is still too early to say with any conviction just when and where the current technical revolution in the motion picture industry will end. The final word and decision will naturally have to come from the people who frequent the their tros. After they have had a chance to sec the latest in 3-D and wide scronns, they will make up their minds :is to what they feel gives them the most for their money. The wide screen methods discussed here, howovor, will enablv- tho exhibitor to take advantage of tho now> ness and novelty of the tochniquos, and since they can be adapted to show ordinary films in a different dross. oxhibitors should be fairly sure of getting enough product during this changenV('1' period.

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 240