> > > >

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 17 (xvii)

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition
1954-55 Theatre Catalog
1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 17
Page 17

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 17

most welcome. If the Society has been of service in the past, it will be most vitally essential in the future.

Planned Engineering

The tools and techniques that motion pictures have used to become such a potent force today are the direct product of planned engineering, and many related fields of applied science have given the industry contributions of methods and materials. This has been done to their own mutual benefit by sharing in the planned engineering work of the SMPTE. The several phases of this work within the Society are related in one important respect-industry need. That the needs of the industry are adequately served is a foregone conclusion since the Socie etyis membership includes technical men representing the joint engineering judgment of nearly every theatre circuit, studio and manufacturer. The broad scope of its 15 technical committees and this representative cross section of engineering talent when combined under the Societyis direction provide a substantial safeguard for the current and future engineering needs of motion pictures.

One phase of the Societyis current work has to do with the use of television in conjunction with the theatre presentation of entertainment. Another has to do with progressive changes in basic film standards that will permit the production of color films at lowered cost. A third is associated with the application of magnetic recording as a new tool of production, and yet another concerns the film requirements of television that will enable the motion-picture industry to make the most of this potential market should it desire to do so.


Most fundamental of the formal m0tion-picture standards are those on dimensions of film. Without agreement on film sizes, achieved among manufacturers and users through Society channels, wide distribution of prints would be impossible. Recently, introduction of new

WOOD HAD given place to metal in Edison's better engineered home movie proiector of 1912.

color processes was upset by certain relationships between present negative and positive sprocket holes. The Society was asked to coordinate alternate new proposals for an additional standard aiming at developing one set of film dimensions that would satisfy all users.

The Film Dimensions Committee has worked on these matters over the past two or three years; the standard for 35mm positive film has been brought up to date, and an alternate standard for either negative or positive film established.

At the present time this committee is busy developing standard dimensions for CinemaScope film that will determine the size and location of the perforations. Work is also being done to establish standards for projector aperture size and for the. size and location of the magnetic soundtracks. General standard instructions for the use and handling of CinomaScope film are also in preparation.


The substitution of safety-base for nitrate-base film has long been a longsought goal of the industry. Important in this connection is the determination of what constitutes a safety base film. The Society participated in work leading to the establishment of a standard definition of safety film. This standard is now in the process of revision to bring it up to date.

A very practical step has been the development by the Society of a standard threading leader that can be used by both the fillm and television industries. This loader is now distributed by the Society itself.


Conversion to more extensive use of motion-picture color processes, some of them substantially different from thoso of the past, has introduced a multitude of new problems. Most critical factor is the lack of detailed knowledge about

use of color materials among technical people in film processing laboratories, whose experience has been largely with

black-and-white films. To help them learn the practical language of this complex art and to understand the characteristics which demand more precise control than has been customary, the Color Committee in 1950 prepared a 72-page text on Principles of Color Sensitomety. Every Society member received a copy as part of the Journal and 2,000 additional copies separately bound have been distributed.

Not long ago this committee was asked to work on a standard for determining the apparent color of the light reaching a motion-picture audience when there is no film in the projector gate. Deviations here can greatly affect the balance of projected color prints and the establishment of a standard can be expected to help improve the average level of quality in the projection of color films.

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 17