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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 288 (252)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 288
Page 288

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 288

safety disconnect switches at all points where dangerous potentials may be encountered. Switches are provided, for example, at the access door to the highvoltage power supply room, on the enclosure for the picture projection tube, and on various componets of the amplifier and control equipment. It is extremely important that all of these safety circuits be intact at all times. Unauthorized modifications are the height of foolishness where potentials dangerous to life are concerned.


The so-called storage-type system for television theatre projection uses a 35mm motion picture camera to photograph a negative image on a television receiver to produce a direct-positive print. The exposed film is transported continuously to equipment for rapid development and drying. From this equipment it is transported to the projector for immediate projection on the theatre screen. The elapsed time from the television camera pickup at the scene of action, to the time of projection of the completed positive print of the theatre screen, is 61 seconds.

Required Conditions

This method requires a properly ventilated room of fireproof construction for the television receiver, the 35mm picture camera with a magazine which may contain 12,000 feet of unexposed film, and for the developing and drying equipment. This room obviously must be adjacent to the theatre projection room and provision must be made for feeding the, completed positive print to the upper tire valve roller of the theatre projector, from which the upper magazine has been reiiioved, This arrangement of equipment will provide a continuous projection of motion pictures on the theatre screen for more than two hours duration.

A VIEW of a typical modern television studio that shows the extent of the special lighting equipment and other production apparatus which may be found and watched to prevent fire hazards.

Safety Hazards

From the viewpoint of safety, the present method used for feeding the processed print to and across the theatre projection room to the projector head on a series of open pulleys, could hardly be considered as complying with the most elementary standards of safe handling of 35mm film.

With the take-up magazine and the take-up device on the projector designed for approximately 2000 feet of film, it is obvious that cutting a film at the end of each 2000 feet will be required. The running end of the film must be quickly attached to the hub of an empty reel, and the excess film on the projection room floor must be spun onto the hub, after which the reel must be placed into position of the take-up spindle of the lower magazine for taking up the succeeding 2000 feet of film. This procedure must be repeated five times during the continuous projection of 12,000 feet of film. Such a procedure does not

LEFT: An uncluttered and easily accessible doorway is a must for a safe prpioction booth. RIGHT:

V A TV projection room showxng some of the safety

features maintained to lessen the danger of tire.

appear to follow any of the long standing practices for the safe handling of motion picture film.


This brief review and discuSSion of present safety requirements in theatre projection rooms is intended to justify the conclusion that practically all of the requirements are in order, regardless of the type of film used. They obviously must not be relaxed in any degree so long as there is a possibility that even small quantities of cellulose nitrate film may reach the theatre, and this possibility may be with us for years to come. Entirely apart from this, however, it has been shown that they lead to improved program presentation, and better general safety conditions for both the public, and the theatre personnel. This is important; twenty years of good engineering design and proven operation practices, have created public confidence in theatre safety. This could be destroyed by a single instance where loss of life was rightfully or wrongfully attributed to a relaxation in the presently accepted standards.

It should be kept constantly in mind that there is no moral defense for anyone who may be responsible for deliberate laxity in the construction and operation of theatre projection rooms, if a fire does occur, and the sordid picture of a disastrous panic is the tragic result. Theatre television equipment, which presents safety hazards of the new types, has been discussed and attention has been called to some of these in the hope that full knowledge will aid in their eventual elimination.

NOTE: In the latest Fire Code of Philadelphia, no mention was made of the need for storing acetate film in the vaults that are now required for nitrocellulose motion picture iilm. If this step is taken by other cities the expensive Vaults in exchanges may disappear.

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 288