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1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 14 (xiv)

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition
1954-55 Theatre Catalog
1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 14
Page 14

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 14

had been published twice a year since 1916, was discontinued in favor of a regular monthly publication, the Journal of the Society. Carrying on the tradition of the Transactions in crisper format, and bringing its story regularly to the rapidly growing membership, this was the publication that was to earn the respect of serious workers in the industry and become one of the honored technical journals of the world.

The Society Continues to Grow

With the growth of the industry over the years the Society has grown too. The little group of founders back in 1916 had swelled to several hundred in the twenties, By World War 11 membership had reached about 1300. Since 1943 it has shot up at an impressive rate until today the Society has some 4800 members. In addition, more than 1200 individuals or institutions subscribe to its Journal. Not all of these, by any means, are in the United States. Around 1200 members and subscribers are spread throughout more than 50 countries outside the United States. The largest foreign groups are naturally to be found in Europe, and especially in England, but Asia also is well represented in the Society. India, the worlds second largest producer of motion pictures, has a sizeable group; so have Japan and Australia.


The SMPTE is controlled by an elected Board of Governors and a roster of officers. An Engineering Vice-President supervises the work of the numerous engineering committees which plot the steady technical progress of the industry. An Editorial Vice-President, assisted by a Board of Editors, screens material for publication. All these services are performed voluntarily by leading figures in the industry. A headquarters staff, at 55 West 42nd Street, New York City, headed by an Executive Secretary, performs the daily chores of the Society in connection with membership, engineering committee work, test film production, editing the Joumal, and the sale of advertising.

Active members are usually professional engineers or industrial executives; they vote in Society elections, may hold office and may be appointed chairmen of committees. Associate members are most often younger engineers and technical people. Associates may serve on committees and take part in local Section and convention activities, but they do not vote. The major qualification for membership in this grade is a serious interest in the technology of motion pictures, television or allied fields. Student members must be enrolled in accredited college courses or in qualified technical schools. They also receive the Journal, and While they may not vote in Society matters, they are given a substantial reduction in annual membership dues. For those students who are able to attend Society Conventions, the customary registration fees are waived.

Many business firms, including motionpicture studios and television stations, require that their engineers and executives hold Society membership. A majority of such companies, both large and small, require further that these members offer a portion of their time and their companyis facilities to the engineering committees. In addition, these companies invest annually sums of money in Society work, through the medium of Sustaining Membership.

The two largest concentrations of its members are to be found in the New York and Los Angeles areas, of course. But there are many throughout the Middle West, and indeed some to be found in every state. Wherever la'b men. engineers, technicians, suppliers, producers, theatremeneanyone genuinely interested in the welfare and development of the industry-are at work, members of the SMPTE will be found among them.

For greater convenience, and to make sure that the greatest number of individual members can get the benefits of an exchange of information and ideas, the country is divided up into Atlantic

THE EARLIEST SUCCESSFUL motion picture apparatus to use strip film was Edison's Strip Kinetogmph developed in, the year of 1889.

Coast Section, with headquarters in New York; the Central Section, in Chicago; the Pacific Coast Section, in Los Angeles; and Subsections in Atlanta, Dallas and San Francisco. In each of these sections the members have their own officers and organization, and hold regular meetings. At their meetings, which are friendly and informal, new ideas are discussed, original papers given, or sometimes papers from national conventions reproduced from tape.

At the national meetings, which are held twice a year, as they have been since the beginning of the Society, in different parts of the country in rotation, original papers in every area of the Societyis interests are presented by the industryls most active workers. Talks, films, and panel discuSSions present to the industry and to the public the newest advances and the newest problems. These are real forums, where manufacturer, engineer, ehibitor and technician can all learn and all contribute. Some of the industryls most startling discoveries have been first unveiled at these conventions so that attendance, or at least knowledge of what goes on there, has become over the decades, a must for forward-looking men wherever motionpicture film is used.

Scope ,

Anyone who follows the proceedings at SMPTE meetings, or who reads the published record in the Societyls Journal, quickly finds out what problems are concerning the industry at any given time. The subject matter and frequency of occurrence are the best possible guide to the direction developments are taking, and to the prevailing- interests among active industry people.

In 1953, for instance, a census was taken of membersy preferences, and the detailed analysis may be read in the July 1953 Journal. A final collating of the answers to questions designed to show membersl primary fields of interest produced the following list:

Sound Recording, Color, 16mm, Cin ematography, New Products, Sound Re


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1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 14