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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 280 (244)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 280
Page 280

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 280

ranges from an initial size of a screen with a projected picture width of 12 feet and increasing one foot in width up to about 30 feet. The largest installation upto-date has been the screen at the RKO 58 Street, New York City, which measures 30 feet, seven inches.

The picture screen itself is the RCA Evenlite screen. The fact that this screen has no perforations has three effects: first, the screen material of the wings matches the sides of the picture screen; the side areas of the picture screen reflect the maximum amount of light so essential for optimum illumination of the surround; and finally, the Evenlite screen has been found to be a practical solution to the problem of obtaining screen brightness of an essentially uniform value from all points of this screen's surface.

Synchro-screen shipments are made knocked down. Total shipping weight for a picture size of 15 by 20 feet is about 800 pounds. The five screen surfaces used in the complete assembly are shipped in tubes and the structural frame members are strapped into bundles with the exception of the top and bottom panel frames, which are prefabricated into half sections for more rapid assembly job. Hardware is included in a kit assembly parts and instructions. All members are lettered for ready identification and match marked for easy assembly.

Basically, the installation of a Synchroscreen requires the erection of five frames and screens of various sizes*compris

ing the picture screen, the left and right side wings, the top and bottom panel* with wings and panels in proper relation to the picture screen. The picture screen is facelaced to bring the screen surface in a plane where the wings and panels can be in close contact. The screen material is wrapped around those edges of the wings and frames which are in contact with the picture screen 01' exposed to view.

i-chhitecturally, the Synchro-screen presents the appearance of an Orderly, organized, and attractive stage setting for motion picture presentation. It offers an economical method of creating a new atmosphere in the zone of maximum patron attention in the auditorium. The use of a draw curtain in front of the Synchro-screen is said to have a dramatic value, especially when the large luminous refiecting surfaces gradually come into view as the performance begins.

The RCA Synchro-screen has been installed in a large number of theatres in the United States, and was recently introduced with great success in Great Britain and on the continent. Included among the advantages claimed for it are: the picture appears to be larger, less confined; color is softer, more realistic; screen action becomes a more intimate experience; and viewing comfort is improved.


The three screens discussed here do not represent all the light-surround

screens that are, or soon will be, available. However, it seems quite evident by the amount of research and development going on in this area, that the day of the black screen masking is coming to an end. The two major reasons for having a screen masked in black have been eliminated. In the early days of film projection the light sources were not strong enough to supply a proper amount of light and the black masking helped to supply a necessary contrast. With todayis modern lighting equipment this is no longer the case. The other reason was to prevent the uneven edges of the projcted film from being seen by the audience. The new types of surrounds have made this reasoning invalidy also. It seems a rather safe prediction that exhibitors will soon be taking their motion picture screens out of mourning and removing the black border for a surround which will be more in keeping with the spirit of film entertainment.

Naturally, the sudden and rather unexpected emergence of the various new wide screen techniques, will probably affect the development and use of the light surround screen. It is interesting to note, however, that in almost all of the new panoramic systems that have appeared to date, the black border has been practically eliminated.

Only the future can decide what the fate of maskless screens will be. It appears certain, however, that regardless of screen size, the mask is coming off.

LARGEST SYNCHRp-SCREEN in the nation (Fig. 5) was recently installed at RKO 58th Street. New York. The new screen. 15 30 feet. 7 inches in width, with 12 foot wings on either side. and fills theatre's entire proscenium arch. 0n the left: (Fig. 6) is a rear View of screen showing removable side wings.
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 280