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1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 271 (235)

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition
1954-55 Theatre Catalog
1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 271
Page 271

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 271

is to fill the screen. VistaVision is a Hexible system and allows adequate latitude 'for filling the screen. In the preceding paragraphs we have named specific aspect ratios. However, the theatres should vary from theSe defined ratios as required to fill the screen.

We realize that it is impossible to lay down fixed recommendations applicable to all theatres. We are, however, setting down some general principles and recommendations which can be used as a guide. With respect to picture size, in the past the most acceptable picture quality has been at a distance from the screen between two and five times screen width, this has been from 50 to 125 feet from the screen. On the basis of the same old picture quality, if the screen width were increased to 50 feet, the most acceptable picture quality would be between 100 and 250 feet from the screen. This reaches beyond the back wall in most theatres. If people are seated closer, they see film grain and the picture is fuzzy and tiring to the eyes. This applies to both straight and anamorphic projection of all previous pictures. VistaVision pictures, starting with White Christmas, can be viewed with ease and comfort from one-half to eight times screen width. With VistaVision on a screen 50 feet wide, the seating will be acceptable down to 25 feet. from the screen and will be very satisfactory at 38 feet from the screen. This is the answer to front seating.

Side seating is also improved by the better definition and relative freedom from film grain which is accomplished by the VistaVision process.

There is also another ftrule of thumb" method for determining best screen width-namely, tithe best screen width should not be more than one-third the distance from the screen to the center of seating, and the screen width should not be less than one-sixth the distance from the screen to the back of the audi> torium. The center of seating in most balcony theatres is about three-fourths the distance from the screen to the back row of seats." With the Paramount process this rule can be: changed to itthe screen width can be increased to onehalf the distance from the screen to the center of Seating? As an example, if a theatre is 100 feet deep, the best viewing will be on a screen 38 feet wide. The previous width for the old pictures would be 25 feet. As another example, if a screen 50 feet wide is installed in a theatre 100 feet deep, the screen will be too wide and viewing will be uncomfortable unless seats are moved back to at least 25 feet and preferably 38 feet from the screen.

With respect to screen height, Paramount has made a series of tests which indicate that the same scene always looks better and the actors can always be brought closer to the audience, as the height of the screen is increased with respect to width up to the ratio of 1.85:1 for large screens and 1.66:1 for smaller screens, This is in keeping with the recommendation made earlier in this writing.

Screen height, the same as screen width, is usually limited by the proscenium. However, screen height may also be limited in balcony houses by the



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PICTURE QUALITY EXPLAINED: No. 1 shows that VisluVision negative covers lwo-und-a-hali times the conventional size. Section under magnifying glass shows grain. No. 2 shows the VV print reduced to 35mm. size with grain reduction of 72 per cent. No. 3 shows the large grain found in a conventional negative frame. As seen in No. 4 VistaVision negatives are much sharper. thus giving a sharper picture.

maximum height that can be seen from the back row of the main floor where the sight line is eclipsed by the overhang of the balcony.

We recommend curving metallic screens with a radius equal to the projection throw or in long narrow houses this radius may be increased to one and one-fourth or one and one-half times projection throw. We also recommend tilting the screen back slightly at the top in theatres that have very high projection angles. The angle of tilt should not be over one-third the projection angle, and the writer is opposed to tilting the screen over five degrees.

There is a tendency on the part of theatre men to select a metallized screen that has a uniform distribution across the house. Such a screen gives an inferior picture at the center of seating and seldom improves the. side seats. For large houses we recommend purchasing a metallized seamless screen that has a light gain of two and one-half to one. A screen of this type will give much better viewing to the important and largest number of seats, and it will provide satisfactory light distribution

throughout the theatre, In smaller theatres, seamless white screens can be used if adequate projection light is available,

All theatre screens should be seamless and if the screen now installed has bad seams, the screen should be replaced. One look at a good seamless screen, as compared to a screen with seams, is all that is necessary to convince anyone that a screen with bad seams should never be used.

In studies made by Paramount we find that seams become more apparent with time. Part of the trouble is no doubt due to an accumulation of dirt at the seams, and microscopic examinations also indicate that stretching at the seams deforms the screen surface in the adjoining area.

Proiecfion Lenses and Aperture Plates

After the best screen siZe has been established, proper focal length high quality standard lenSes should be obtained so as to gain the correct width of picture on the screen. Theatre supply companies have tables and can recom
1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 271