At 7:44 PM -0400 10/24/04, Manfredi, Albert E wrote: >I have a slightly different interpretation of >historic events, but essentially I agree with your >points, Tom. > >I think that wide screen, introduced in the mid >1950s, came about because it was *nicer*, not just >because TV tubes were mostly square (round tube, >squarish viewing hole). There is a mountain of information available that specifically cites the need to differentiate the movie theater experience from TV, as the primary motivating factor in Hollywoods move to wider screen aspect ratios in the '50s and '60s. Here is a very good web site with an accurate history of what happened... http://www.northern.edu/wild/th100/flmhst.htm >And I think that the advent and popularity of the >new "stadium seating" theaters, that have become >almost mandatory in newly constructed movie >theaters, will encourage 1.85:1 rather than 2.35:1. Looks like Bert is still living in a time warp... I guess he doesn't spend much time going to the theater either... A little local Gainesville history... As recently as a decade ago, there was only ONE movie theater screen in Gainesville with the ability to present a widescreen (2.35:1) motion picture. That theater was in an old tri=plex next to the old mall. When they built the new mall they put in a six theater complex (inside the mall) and later a four screen addition in a newer mall annex. ALL of these screens were in small auditoriums; all had 1.85:1 screens. A few years later another cineplex was built with about 10 screens, ALL 1.85:1. Another tri-plex with 1.85:1 screens was struggling to compete with the newer theaters; about four years ago the complex was torn down and replaced with a 12 screen multiplex, with four large stadium seating auditoriums; these auditoriums can screen features in aspect ratios out to 2.35:1. When this complex was announced the other relatively new complex was remodeled, adding four stadium seating auditoriums with the ability to screen features out to 2.35:1. Meanwhile the cineplexes at the mall closed, unable to compete with the newer theaters with stadium seating and the ability to screen the big blockbuster features in their full widescreen glory. The four screens in the Mall annex have since re-opened as a discount movie house. Going to the theater is a destination, an entertainment experience...a place to take a date or the family. Most important, this experience MUST be differentiated from Home Theater, else there is little reason to spend $20-30 bucks for the experience. Hollywood figured this out a half century ago...and they are still trying to keep their product differentiated. >Simply because the front wall of movie theaters >has suddenly become rather tall for its width. In >typical non-IMAX stadium seating theaters, 1.85:1 >works out just about perfectly. IMAX theaters >are an extreme of steep seating arrangement. >Given how people see, if one wanted to increase >the area of an IMAX screen, the best way to >stretch it would be to the sides. So why did they decide instead to stretch it vertically, actually moving to a more narrow aspect ratio...NARROWER than what Bert calls SQUARE TV (i.e. 4:3). Most new iMAX theaters have a 1;1 aspect ratio Bert. It turns out that this more closely matches the human visual systems field of view... > >This is all a matter of filling up the available >screen area, in spite of Craig's constant >objections. Any regular long-time movie goer would >know this implicitly. > >In the '50s, when movies became very popular, >movie houses had seating on a flat surface, so >the front walls were much wider than high. Often >they were theater halls, for example. > >So it was a real bonus when the screen could fill >up the entire front wall with movie content. >That's what made Cinerama and Cinemascope so >attractive. > >It makes sense for TV to try to catch up with >this aesthetic, especially because the walls >in most rooms nowadays are also wider than they >are tall. > What an unmitigated pile of crap. I wonder if Bert has been talking to Michael Moore recently. Moore did use the 1.78:1 aspect ratio for Farenheit 911. Regards Craig ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.