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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 273 (237)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 273
Page 273

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 273


created visually. Stereophonic sound properly recorded and properly reproduced creates an acoustic illusion of sound placement, depth and movement. It is a known fact that people are able to locate objects in the dark merely by the sounds emanating from such objects. This fact is further demonstrated by the ability of sightless people to recognize and locate objects merely by their sounds.


The initial technical investigation which finally resulted in the creation of stereophonic sound was conducted by Dr. Harvey Fletcher of the Bell Telephone Laboratories under the definition of "auditory perspective." The object of the original investigation was to create a sound program with directional realism, i.e., the apparent source of the sound was to move about the stage in keeping with the original source of the program. After exhaustive laboratory tests a system approximately fulfilling these requirements was developed by Bell Telephone Laboratories, constructed by the Western Electric Company, and used to reproduce the music played by the Philadelphia Orchestra. The first public demonstration was given in Constitution Hally Washington, D, C. on the evening of April 27, 1933 under the auspices of the National Society of Sciences. At that time Dr. Stokowski, Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, manipulated the electric controls from a position in the rear of Constitution Hall while the orchestra, led by Conductor Smallens played in the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.

Although microphones, loudspeakers and ampliners which had been developed for the stereophonic transmission system over telephone wires were available, no recording medium was known at that time which would record the wide dynamic range of intensity levels which the objectives indicated was necessary.

Following the successful Hauditory perspective" demonstration given in Wash ington, Bell Telephone Laboratories, Western Electric Company and RCA working with the sound directors of the

*studios in Hollywood, began developing

equipment to record on film, multichannel stereophonic recordings. The success gained with these original tests led to deve10pment of Fantasound, Vitasound, Warner-Phonic and what is now commonly referred to as ffStereophonic." However, little or no progress was made in commercializing the possibilities of stereophonic presentation in the motion picture industry until recently. It must be said in all fairness that practically all of the sound recording directors associated with the West Coast Studios have during the intervening years experimented and investigated the technical possibilities of this new medium available for the art of motion picture presentation. Over the years various studios demonstrated at times to company officials and industry technicians, results of their work with this technique. Only economic conditions prevented the technicians from going further. '

It therefore has been very gratifying to those who have labored long in perfecting the techniques to realize that at long last the industry is ready and willing to accept the fruits of their labor, and that stereophonic sound is a part of what is a revolution in the motion picture industry.

It was Fred Waller of Cinerama who drew first blood in this industry revolution. Waller persisted in spite of numerous disappointments, and eventually with the aid of Hazard Reeves and collaboration of equipment manufacturers, was able to develop the Cinerama system. The development of stereophonic effects for Cinerama were accomplished with the collaboration of the engineers of the Altec Lansing Corporation. With the eventual opening of Cinerama at the

THE MAGNETIC MECHANISM of the triple hack

reproduce! is seen here in a close-up View.


Broadway Theatre, New York City in 1952, Waller-is dreams were realized and the motion picture public had a new darling. The equipment used by the Cinerama stereophonic presentation was not entirely new. High quality amplifiers capable of handling high level recordings with absolute fidelity had been available to the industry for some time. The loudspeaking systems used for Cinerama was the industry standard-Altec Lansing,s nVoice of the Theatre."

Shortly after the Cinerama opening on Broadway, Warner Brothers who pioneered sound pictures in 1926 announced that stereophonic sound would be available on their soon to be released spectacular chiller uThe House of Wax." In collaboration with United Paramount Theatresl gala world premiere openings were scheduled for the Paramount, New York, and the Paramount, Los Angeles, in April. Technicians of Warner Brothers, Altec Lansing, Altec Service and United Paramount engineered and installed equipments in both these theatres. The stampede was on for stereophonic theatre reproducing equipment. It was obvious that the manufacturers would be unable to supply equipment for all theatres at the same time. On the other hand, it was equally obvious that stereophonic product would not be available for all theatres at the same time. Altec Lansing Corporation and Westrex Corporation

THE TRIPLE TRACK MAGNETIC REPRODUCER needed is shown here in a View of the from.
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 273