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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 267 (231)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 267
Page 267

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 267

the fewest intermissions possible but there are these practical liymitationse

Footage lengths in which features are edited in the studio.

The amount of film on a single reel that can be handled in the exchanges (processing laboratories probably won't care one way or the other because they usually work in 1000 foot lengths anyhow).

The sizes of film packages that can be handled by the film carriers.

The maximum magazine size that present-day projectors can accommodate.

Herels one long-run solution eassuming two hours as the length of an imaginary average feature-plus-short, 10,800 feet or nearly two miles of film will be used and assuming further, although somewhat ideally, that a stop for rethreading can be made at about the middle of this length, the two-hour program could be mounted on two reels of 24-inch diameter and 25-inch magazines would be needed. The 24-inch reel with a five-inch hub holds roughly 5000 feet of color or 5500 feet of black and white, so two reels would just about make the

grade. These reels and magazines can be used with most modern projectors and even work with some Universal-base installations it was reported. This combination has been recommended by the Society to permit maximum running time between breaks for rethreading.

An even larger combination to take a 6000-foot length of film has been suggested on the basis of a survey of the length of feature films made over a considerable period of time by one major studio which has not yet been studied in detail by the engineers.

The reasoning in all this is-converting the entire industry is a long pull proposition and the more capacity permitted in the make-up of pictures for projection the better.

That, however, is only one side of the reel story because 24-inch reels and 25inch magazines are not yet in full production. Reels 23-inch diameter and 24-inch magazines are being turned out at a furious rate for theatres booking the first 3-D pictures. To support their position, those who favor the smaller combination cite the release length of ithana Devil" which is 7600 feet and "House of Wax" reported to be 8200 feet both released on 23-inch reels, as further argument for 23-24. They may be faced with two intermissions when feature pictures of greater length are produced.

Spindles are another problem. The 5/16-inch ones now in use are a holdover from the thousand foot reel days, Since exhibitors have been plagued with chronic spindle trouble ever since adoption of 2000-foot reels, chances are that some larger size would be welcomed. The long-range change to reels weighing in the neighborhood of 50 pounds, that are likely to overload the small spindles, has brought out several suggestions for new spindle sizes ranging from one-half-inch to two inches in diameter. There is a report that 5/l6-inch will actually do if suitable steel is used but others believe Something larger is desirable. When placing a loaded 50-pound reel in the top magazine it is difficult to aim through the small hole and even worse when the


A STRIKING CONTRAST OF 8-D and conventional reels is apparent in the scene above. The qentleman on the right holds the 24-inch reel required for 3-D presentations. (Photo courtesy Stanley Warner Theatres)

spindle is above line-of-sight. It just wont be placed gently in position.

Flange weave from bent reels 01' spindles is a serious cause of film damage and is of course worse with large reels than with 2000-foot ones. Rut if the larger-diameter projection reels are well made, weave can be almost reduced to zero provided the reel bore and spindle are quite large. Adapters would permit new reels to work on existing machines while new models of projectors and magazines could take advantage of the larger spindle to enlarge the magazine bushings and perhaps do some redesign of take-up devices.

Most take-ups were designed for 2000foot reels and never intended to perform such heavy-duty service, so must be watched closely during projection.

Right at the outset of 3-D projection there was some serious film damage in the lower magazine. It was the result of slow starting take-ups that got going late and snapped the film coming off the hold-back sprocket in the sound head. The cause was large diameter and heavy reel fianges.

Two solutions bv redesign of reels have been proposed: Free-wheeling fianges so that only the hub would turn during the first few revolutions; Increasing the hub diameter of conventional types of reels from the present five inches to six or seven inches so the first wrap would use 18 to 22 inches of film and a smaller part of the first revolution would collect the slack with reduced shock. The sixinch hub reduces reel capacity by about 250 feet of film.

Modffications of the take-up mechanism have also been suggested: The use of separate constant-torque take-up motors; Improved friction-drive systems with quick-starting constant-torque characteristics.


All of the 3-D systems currently in vogue require that a polarizing filter be placed between each projector and the screen and another one be placed between the screen and each eye of .the patron.

Exhibitors have asked if there is a non-fading type of projector filter and if fan cooling is necessary. The polarizing material like most photographic filters becomes less stable with increasing temperature and to prolong its useful life, temperature should be kept down v cooling is necessary.

Filter development is continuing and as specific requirements for high-brightness and high temperature service become more clearly defined, there will be' further improvements in stability and optical quality giving longer life to the filter and better definition to the picture.

There have been a number of complaints about poor picture definition traced to the use of polarizing filters made expressly for experimental laboratory use. These were never intended for heavy duty theatre service. A safe rule to follow isedo not improvise use only filters made specifically for 3-D projection.

If cooling has been inadequate or filters have reached the end of their useful life, they will fail to polarize the projection light. This is easy to check. From down in the house merely look back at the booth through one half of a viewer rotating the viewer for maximum light cut-0d. If the projection filter is in good condition the light coming from the booth should go to a uniform dark blue. If, however, the light is blotchy, then the projector filter is no longer polariz-' ing and should be replaced.

The projection filter has an opening about five by seven inches. It should be held always in a vertical position and
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 267