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1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 220 (184)

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition
1954-55 Theatre Catalog
1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 220
Page 220

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 220

SPROCKET machine (top) A Hercules lift machine (above) A Novelty Scenic installation (below).

should be borne in mind in this connectionhthe larger the wheel, the faster the speed, the less the power. The average speed for 14 and 1%; horsepower machines is about 90 to 100 feet per minute equivalent to a curtain separation speed of three to three and one-third feet per second. For a 1/2 horsepower machine the speed is usually between 140 to 155 feet per minute equivalent to curtain separation of four and onehalf to five feet per second.

The manually operated machine is the answer to the small theatre owneris dreams for an economic utility model which can perform the same basic functions as the higher priced units. Here is without doubt the most inexpensive curtain machine that can be bought for use with various size screens. It is not

automatic in operation and the booth operator must hold his finger on the toggle switch as long as he desires cur< tain movement. As soon as he lifts his finger the machine will stop. He can stop, start or reverse the curtain at any point along the travel, but since no limit switches are equipped on the apparatus, he must judge for himself the exact

position along the travel where he wishes the curtain to stop.

The single button stop. start, and reverse unit represents the medium priced range of curtain control equipment for wide screen use, Furnished with limit switches and a sequence type relay the operator needs only to touch the control button in order to edect change of direction. This machine did'ers from the manually operated unit in that it can be set to stop at a predetermined position, usually at the pulley end and overlap end of the track. In order to stop, start, and reverse the machine in between these areas the operator must of course be vigilant and press the button at the precise points where, and times when, it has previously been decided upon to do so.

The three button machine is looked upon as the Cadillac of the draw curtain controls. Here is a highly specialized and versatile unit upon which is mounted a magnetic starter and a control station with three buttonseone marked "Stop," one marked "Start" and one marked uReverse." While on the surface it might seem that the single button model described above would be the easiest and least time-consuming to use, actually the opposite is true. By illustration we will make a typcial comparison.

Let us assume that the booth operator faces a closed curtain. He desires to open the curtain to show short subjects with a 4 to 3 screen ratio and then plans to expose his entire wide screen for CinemaScope. With the single button controller the following push-button sequences are required:

1. Press button twice to start curtain movement.

2. Press button to stop curtain at predetermined 4 to 3 location.

3. Press button to reverse motor.

4. Press button to stop the reverse movement.

5. Press button to continue curtain movement to end of travel (CinemaScope exposure).

6. Machine automatically stops at preset stop at track end.

The following steps are necessary for an identical series of motions using- a three button controller:

1. Press HStart" button to begin curtain movement.

2. Press ttStopil button to halt curtain at predetermined 4 to 3 location.

3. Press ttStarli" button to continue curtain movement to end of travel (preset stop) where it will automatically shut off.

Of course, it goes without saying that a certain amount of guesswork must be used in connection with all of the various types of stop, start and reverse mechanisms described abovey and this will continue to be the case until such time as a workable low-priced timing


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1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 220