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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 246 (210)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 246
Page 246

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 246

The New Techniques: An Explanation

A Leading Motion Picture Engineer Presents His Views on the Various Wide Screen and 3-D Systems Available

If we had the power to call upon Hamlet to summarize todayis thinking, Shakespearels smartest character would undoubtedly exclaim:

"To be, or not to be on the gravy train: that is the question."

A more puzzling problem is: Which is the gravy train?

I wish I could tell you which of the new projection systems would put you hipedeep in money, I cant. Its a secret guarded by Time and the Public.

My mission is to brief you on these new developments in the presentation of motion pictures; to give you enough of the trends and backgrounds to enable you to evaluate the various processes in the light of your own personal interests. Your judgment may rightly differ from that of your neighbor. Each of you must consider factors peculiar to your own theatre and locality and potential audience.


But whatever you may decide about wide-screen and stereoscopic picturesright, wrong, or sit tightethe violent surge of life in the film industry can be of enormous advantage to you as an

*From an address at the annual convention of the Independent Theatre Owners of Ohio.


President of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers

exhibitor. Motion picture news other than divorce has been making the front pages of the worlds press. People, young and old, are once again movie-conscious.

The public acclaim of Cinerama and "Bwana Devil" was unforeseen in the ufront ofiicesll of Hollywood. For days and weeks on end top-level management performed the difficult feat of keeping one eye on their competitors, the other on the stock-ticker, and both ears attuned to boxofiices and stockholders. Then hegan the hasty plunges into wide-screens and stereo.

No criticism is implied in the sequence of events that led to action. Numberless factors had to be weighed. For ours is one of the most complex business structures in existence. Only one phase of it is simple: cash on the barrel-head924-million dollars of the elusive stuff last year alone!

Some of the forthright commitments to one or another of the new processes required daring and extraordinary courage. On the groaning shelves of the

CROWDS IAMMED BROADWAY as "This is Cineramu" re-opened in the Warner in New York.

BRIEF: Wide Screen or 3-D? This is probably one of the most puzzling decisions theatre operators have had to make . . . It is even more dihicult than the decision to shift to sound . . . Then it was merely a question. of deciding yes or no . . . Today the exhibitor must first decide if he needs the new techniques developed . . . aml then he must again decide which of these new techniques will have the longest life . . . and which will best suit his individual needs and


This article ogers an impartial look at most of the systems now available . . . and an analysis by one o/ the best known motion picture engineers in the industry . . Having no axe to grind . . . this article should be a source of much valuable information for its readers.


major studios is 335-million dollars' worth of inventory-all of it in conventional 2-D films! The income value of this vast stock of pictures can reach 800-million dollars!

Keep in mind this big stake of the majors in so-called itflatli movies. At the same time, remember that the current and planned investment in three-dimensional films is not a wild gamble. 3-D producers have a nerveosoothing hedge:

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 246