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1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 216 (180)

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition
1954-55 Theatre Catalog
1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 216
Page 216

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 216

Sunporting and Controlling Wide Screen Curtains

The Problems Involved in Installation of Curved and Straight Track for Wide Screen Curtains are Given With Their Answers

With the advent of CinemaScope and the general trend toward the enlargement of present day motion picture screens the curtain track and curtain control manufacturers have been faced with a new problem-emphasize curved tracks, or advocate time-proven and reliable straight traverses?

The dilemma was and still is a logical and real one. There is an old geometric axiom which asserts that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and the producer of curtain tracks is well aware of the difficulties involved in assuring a smooth and efficient curtain movement involving a curved traverse. From our standpoint, as manufacturers, a production line can be easily maintained with a turnover of straight tracks but we cannot help but feel that there is no such thing as an assembly line with curved assemblies. Further, we cannot be too dogmatic in stating that the less .deep the curVed screen is, the more reliable and harmonious operation will be effected from the traveler track.


The warning signal of the growing interest in curved stage layouts had been sounded well in advance of the first Cinerama 0r CinemaScope showings. For a number of years architects and designers had been slowly abandoning the rectangular, congruent shapes


President, Automatic Devices Co.

BRIEF: Although the introduction . . . and adoption of the wide screen by most segments of the motion picture industry was a much needed . . . and important change for the better . . . it also had the effect of creating many new problems for exhibitors . . . and theatre equipment manufacturers.

This article attempts to analyze some of the problems and considerations involved in the installation of curtain tracks and curtain controls for the new wide screens . . . Such topics as curved screens . . . straight screens . . . masking . . . the di/ferent types of curtain controls . . . are given individual treatment by the author . . . There are many specific examples given to illustrate the problems under study . . . and workable solutions are also offered.

There is an interesting section devoted to theatres with unusual . . . or dificult curtain problems . . . and a number of valuable and specihc hints at possible . . . and practical . . . answers are presented.

INSTALLATION of wide screen by National Theatre Supply Co.. at the Astor. Boston, including ADC No. 310 curved track. and the No. 1452 control.

and were accentuating sleeker, more radical deviations. Therefore, following World War II, an increasing number of inquiries relative to curved tracks began flowing into our offices,

We were very fortunate in having an admirably suited heavy duty track assembly to adapt for curved screen use. Our theatre noiseleSS Silent Steel No. 280 unit was easily converted into a quiety effortless No. 310 curved traveler and, with rubber ball-bearing carriers rolling on two parallel treads, capable for installations of any length. Then the recent development of Back-Pack guides which served to prevent the curtain from gathering in folds until the curtain reached the track ends, only tended to enhance the new theatrical effect. The Back-Pack accessories also function to decrease the starting load on a motorized track since the guides cause the curtain weight to be evenly distributed to all curtain carriers.


As we indicated, however, requisxtions for curved tracks must be accepted, engineered, produced and tested on an individual order basis. Obviously it is then impossible to maintain the same rate of delivery on this type of merchandiso as is customary with standard straight track equipment. There are also restrictions with regard to the extent of the

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 216