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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 276 (240)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 276
Page 276

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 276

Light Surround Screens

The Elimination of the Traditional Black Masking is Made Possible by a Number of New Developments

Motion picture exhibitors have long had the reputation of being rather cautious when it came to trying something radically new in the way of equipment or construction. Although some may hnd this conservative attitude a bit trying at times, it is basically a healthy approach. If the nations theatres were to immediately accept every new itrevolutionaryll advance in the technique of motion picture presentation, the entire industry would be in a constant state of movement and confusion. Once something has proven itself, however, theatremen are willing to test and try. No greater proof of this can be given than the current activity in three-dimensional and panoramic films. But even before this, there was an important step taken with the development and use of light-surround screens.

For generations it was standard to provide all screens with a black masking. As more and more research went on it was learned that this sharp division between the lighted screen and the black border, was not the most efiicient manner of viewing lilm. Today, the lightsurround screen is gaining in popularity with the exhibitors and the public. In order to allow its readers to get a fuller understanding of some of the screens with a light-surround, THEATRE CATALOG has gathered information about a number of the various ones that are currently available.

THE CALDWELL HALO SCREEN (Fig. I) has the screen hanging in mid-air. xll supporls being invisible to the audience. The light surrounding the pro

BRIEF: The black masking around the screen in motion picture uuditoriums is as old as the industry itself . . . For various reasons . . . which are explained here . . it has become the accepted method of mounting screens . . . However, recent developments have shown that it is more practical . . . and more entertaining . . . to eliminate the black border and replace it with a lighted surround.

A number of light surround screens are presently available to exhibitors . . . This article discusses three of these aml gives information as to their operation

. installation . . . and uses.


Late last year Ken Caldwell unveiled his Halo screen to the audiences of Budalo, N. Y. Its acceptance on the part of the audience and local iilm exhibitors was favorable. Since then the screen has been installed in leading theatres in Detroit, Elmira, Chicago, Miami, and elsewhere.


This screen operates on the principle of rear and side lighting, and has the projection screen hanging in mid-air, all

supports being invisible to the audience. To the rear, approximately two feet, hangs a dimly lighted cyclorama, and this distance allows the eyes of the patrons something to measure by, and results in creating a feeling of depth. The presence of this light surround, which is on all sides of the screen, tOp and bottom, causes the iris in the human eye to narrow down a bit. It is claimed that this results in a much sharper image on the screen than could otherwise be possible through mechanical means. A sharp, clearly cut projected picture is the result. Contrasts are greatly increased between lights and shadows, and by using the two planes of light a deep sense of depth is obtained.

The light surrounding the projected picture is operated at a constant intensity and does not vary, being brightest at the edge and gradually diminishing to infinity at the outer edges. Being such it is not distracting to the audience and takes nothing away from the action of the film on the actual picture surface of the screen.

There is much natural depth photographed into color films, and the Caldwell Halo screen is said to be of great assistance in bringing this out. On straight black and White film, while not as noticeable as on color, depth is also present to a marked degree, while in night scenes on black and white film,

iegied picture is operated at a constant intensilv and does not vary. being brightest at the edge and gradually diminishing to infinity at the outer edges.

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 276