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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 279 (243)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 279
Page 279

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 279

changing intensity or tone. The proponents of this system contend that the fluetuation of the light surround in other sysems is annoying and causes the eyes iris to contract and then dilate constantly.

Human eyes can focus on any one object*but day or night they perceive a marginal area always slightly out of focus, of close to 200 degrees horizontally and well over 100 degrees vertically. Transcenic is said to be designed to approach normal viewing conditions in the theatre without distracting from the perfection of the motion picture in any way. The psychological factor is important. Patrons "live,, the action on the screen. Nothing must be allowed to destroy this illusion. That is why the Transcenic surround is illuminated from the booth with a small slide projector with patented mask. No surround light hits the screen and the level of steady illumination is controlled by a small dimmer at a point found pleasing to the eye.

The architectural features of the Transcenic surround give the eye a come parison point. The eyes look itinto" the picture, thereby gaining some illusion of depth, although it by no stretch of the imagination gives a three dimensional effect, it is claimed that it can be adapted to provide a perfect setting for stereoscopic film presentations.

Another feature which gives this screen surround flexibility is the fact that Since the light source is supplied from a Slide projectory it is possible to supply special color effects and atmosphere lighting. Very little stage depth is required for the system, and the screen curtain can be used between features, or for a candy intermission.


According to the manufacturer, the Transcenic screen has a number of ad 1953-54 THEATRE CATALOG

vantages which should be of interest to exhibitors. 1. The surround is held steady, and a a level found to be pleasing and comfortable for the theatre. There is balanced lighting over the entire field of vision, and it takes in the entire proscenium.

2. The light is controlled from the booth by the operator. There is a simple dimmer on a slide projector which only requires an ordinary electrical outlet. This eliminates the expense of a wiring system.

3. Only 30 inches from the screen to the front of the columns, the screen curtain can be used at any time. The entire system can fly.

4. This screen is said to offer a wellproportioned surround regardless of viewers position in the auditorium, thus making for satisfactory viewing from any seat.

5. There is no need for radical changes in the stage hangings. The installation of this screen usually only requires moving of the screen curtain track.


Although New York architect Ben Schlanger had been working on the principle of the Synchro-Screen since 1938, it was not until December 18, 1951 that the first RCA Synchro-Screen was installed in the Plaza, New York City, and offered to the public.


In general a Synchro-screen assembly consists of the motion picture screen and frame with the addition of a surround screen area made up of two side wings, a top panel and bottom panel. The two wings, as well as top and bottom panels, are basically screens and

THE RAYTONE THANSCENIC SCREEN (Fig. 4) makes use of constant light source. as apposed to fluctuating light level found in some systems.

frames of special designs, so that the stage setting assembly consists essentially of five screen surfaces and frames arranged in a definite relation to each other, and to the projected picture light.

One of the original reasons for the use of black masking around screens was to reduce the maximum projected picture area in order to conceal the projected edges of the picture aperture. In much the same way, the four surround panels of Synchrmscreen encloses a picture area slightly smaller than that projected in order that the edges of the picture will fall on the surround screens very close to their inside edges. The design and positions of the surround screens cause the image of the picture edges to be so completely out of focus that no borders are able to be seen from the seating area.

The screen surfaces of the surround area receive and simultaneously reflect diffused light from the relatively adjacent area on the picture screen in such a manner that intensity of light and the predominant color of the adjacent picarea are reflected synchronously from the surround panels to the audience as a blended extension of the picture in light intensity and color. It is said that at no time during the presentation of a picture on the Synchro-screen, is the brightness of the surround area as bright as the nearest area of the picture. This being so, it is claimed that there is never any distraction of the attention from the picture itself.


Synchro-screens are manufactured as a complete package in 17 sizes. This
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 279