Transactions of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers (1928)

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SOME NOVEL PROJECTED MOTION PICTURE PRESENTATIONS Lewis M. Townsend* and Wm. W. Hennessy** MANY of us remember Lyman H. Howe who toured this country for several years with his famous travel pictures. He began before the birth of the Nickelodeon and continued to be a success for a number of years after our present movie palaces became established. Let us analyze his methods. Most of his subjects were photographed with short focal length lenses. He then brought his audience right into the scene by making his projected picture nearly large enough to fill the average stage opening. It appears that this, together with especially good projection for that time, was the greatest factor of his continued success. The above is cited merely to show that motion pictures of greatly enlarged dimensions are really nothing new. Many novel presentations have been secured by using applications of this idea. These may be of interest to the producer or theater manager or may suggest other ideas that will eventually be of more real value than those which are described below. The normal size of our screen is 17 by 21 feet using an objective lens of 6% inches E. F. at a distance of 160 feet. In the week beginning Feb. 15, 1925, we played the feature entitled North of 36. The stampede scenes in this picture were enlarged to 30 by 40 feet. A large white screen which filled the entire stage opening was dropped in front of the regular screen for this purpose. On the week of May 29, 1925, The Thundering Herd was shown and in this case the great Buffalo Round-up scenes were projected in the same manner. In each of the above cases one projector was equipped with a standard 33^2 inch E. F. objective lens, and a 5 to 1 intermittent movement thereby permitting a shutter blade of less width to be used. By using 150 amps, instead of 120 amps, as on the regular lamps the screen illumination compared favorably with the balance of the projection on the regular screen. * Projection Engineer, Eastman Theater & School of Music, University of Rochester. ** Projection Dept., Eastman Theater, Rochester, N. Y. 345