Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [fans_of_showmanship] UltraVision -- What Was It? How Many Were There?

Expand Messages
  • Jack Theakston
    The company that owned it was called Wil-Kin Inc. out of Atlanta, which was a sister company to ABC Southeastern, who used it the most. For this reason, it
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 1, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      The company that owned it was called Wil-Kin Inc. out of Atlanta, which was a sister company to ABC Southeastern, who used it the most.  For this reason, it was mainly a regional phenomenon.  Ultravision used only Century projectors.

      Flipping through a few BoxOffices, here are a few of them with the theater, location, chain and date of installation or opening:

      Oglethorpe Theater, Oglethorpe Mall, Savannah, GA (Georgia Theater Co.) 8/1969
      The Ultravision Theatre, Grant City West Shopping Center, Charleston, SC (Wilby-Kincey) 1969?
      Montgomery Mall, Montgomery, AL (ABC Southeastern) 9/1970
      Mall Theater, Mall Shopping Center, Johnson City, TN (ABC Southeastern) 8/1971
      Cheaha Theater, Blue Pond Shopping Center, Oxford, AL (??) 8/1971
      Ultravision Theater, Miami, FL (??) Before 1973
      WesTown Ultravision Theatre, West Town Shopping Mall, Knoxville, TN (ABC Southeastern) 1/1973

      J. Theakston


      From: michael_scott_coate <michael_scott_coate@...>
      To: fans_of_showmanship@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tue, December 1, 2009 10:45:20 AM
      Subject: [fans_of_showmanship] UltraVision -- What Was It? How Many Were There?

       

      Is anyone familiar with the Ultravision Theater concept?

      (Alternate spellings/stylizati on: Ultra Vision, UltraVision, Ultra-Vision. )

      Apparently, there were numerous theaters with that name built during the 1960s & 1970s. Trade reports indicate there were as many as 60 of them in the U.S., but theater websites such as CinemaTreasures and CinemaTour account for a whopping two of them.

      I believe Glenn Berggren was involved.

    • Jack Theakston
      By the way, the whole thing wasn t so much a process as it was just a type of theater built around scope presentations in malls. The chairs were rocking
      Message 2 of 9 , Dec 1, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        By the way, the whole thing wasn't so much a process as it was just a type of theater built around 'scope presentations in malls.  The chairs were rocking chairs, the screen was extra large, stereo sound installations and there was some sort of attachment called the "Optiverter" which I can't figure out what it was for the life of me, but I think it was some sort of keystone adjuster.

        No "special" process here.

        J. Theakston


        From: michael_scott_coate <michael_scott_coate@...>
        To: fans_of_showmanship@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Tue, December 1, 2009 10:45:20 AM
        Subject: [fans_of_showmanship] UltraVision -- What Was It? How Many Were There?

         

        Is anyone familiar with the Ultravision Theater concept?

        (Alternate spellings/stylizati on: Ultra Vision, UltraVision, Ultra-Vision. )

        Apparently, there were numerous theaters with that name built during the 1960s & 1970s. Trade reports indicate there were as many as 60 of them in the U.S., but theater websites such as CinemaTreasures and CinemaTour account for a whopping two of them.

        I believe Glenn Berggren was involved.

      • rotoflex
        ... Yes, there s a picture of one installed in the last edition of the SMPTE Motion Picture Presentation Manual.
        Message 3 of 9 , Dec 2, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          > some sort of attachment called the "Optiverter" which I can't figure out what it was for the life of me, but I think it was some sort of keystone adjuster.

          Yes, there's a picture of one installed in the last edition of the SMPTE Motion Picture Presentation Manual.
        • michael_scott_coate
          Message 4 of 9 , Dec 2, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            < it was just a type of theater built around 'scope presentations in malls >

            Scope only? Not 70mm?
          • rotoflex
            ... Wil-Kin is almost certainly a descendant of Wilby-Kincey Theatres, which dated from the 1920s and built theatres with heavy & often mildly-concealed
            Message 5 of 9 , Dec 2, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              > The company that owned it was called Wil-Kin Inc. out of Atlanta, which was a sister company to ABC Southeastern, who used it the most.

              Wil-Kin is almost certainly a descendant of Wilby-Kincey Theatres, which dated from the 1920s and built theatres with heavy & often mildly-concealed Paramount backing & investment partnership. ABC Southeastern is one of the ABC entities that wound up with Paramount theatre interests when the studio/theatre vertical integration was busted up.
            • Mark
              From CINEMATREASURES. Found under Ultravision Theatres 1 & 2 Post by Bob Endres on 6/17/2009 The Ultravision Theatres were developed for the Wilby-Kincey
              Message 6 of 9 , Dec 2, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                From CINEMATREASURES.

                Found under Ultravision Theatres 1 & 2
                Post by Bob Endres on 6/17/2009

                "The Ultravision Theatres were developed for the Wilby-Kincey (sp?) circuit. Glen Berggren who later was to work for the Schneider Optical company among others was deeply involved in the engineering of the projection system which was unique at the time. In the days when these theatres were developed 35 and 70mm film projection was still largely done with 2,000' reels, since originally carbon arc lamps were stil predominant. This meant a "keystone" in the projected image since two projectors were used and both couldn't be on the screen center line. Ultravision used an image "multiplexer" with both projectors pointed directly at each other parallel with the screen. They projected the image into mirrors so that both projectors put out just one image that was centered on the screen. In addition, all of the projection elements were carefully matched, from the mirrors in the lamphouses to the lenses, and the gate and traps in the projectors were carefully adjusted. This along with a curved screen that preserved the focus across its surface gave a picture significantly sharper than most of the theatres in those days. The use of xenon lamps further improved the image. (These days of course, the use of platters and just one projector in the booth per screen has eliminated the need for the multiplexer.)

                The theatres were equipped for either 4 or 6 track magnetic sound from 35 or 70mm. prints. One of the interesting stories Glen told was that when one of the theatres opened (possibly this one), the first three or four pictures happened to have stereophonic tracks which had become a relative rarity for 35mm by that time. No one in the audiences commented on the superior sound, which must have been a disappointment. However, when the first optical/mono picture played a number of audience members complained to the manager, "What happened to your sound? It used to be so good!"

                One of the two ABC/Plitt theatres in Century City in Los Angeles was also equipped for Ultravision as well as the W-K theatres in the South."
              • filmformats
                UltraVision was several developments all put together to make theatrical projection and presentation better. It had a large curved gain screen that reflected
                Message 7 of 9 , Dec 3, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  UltraVision was several developments all put together to make theatrical projection and presentation better. It had a large curved gain screen that reflected more of the light back towards the audience and spread out the hot spot. This was not a hyper-concave screen like Cinerama or D-150, but rather just a prescribed use of a particular curve to even out the light. Some of the theaters were 35mm only, while others were both 35mm and 70mm.

                  The main odd bit of equipment in an UltraVision theater was that "Optiverter" thing, which actually had several advantages. Functionally, it was like having a sidways periscope in front of each of the two projectors. This avoided the sideways keystone distortion present due to the lateral spacing of projectors. This reduction was deemed particularly desirable with the curved screen. But the other problem it helped with was reducing the sound of the projector as heard through the port glass, and the light loss from reflections off the port glass. That is becuase the inside of the Optiverter was lined with sound absorbing material, and there was no port glass used - just the first surface mirrors.

                  -Dan


                  --- In fans_of_showmanship@yahoogroups.com, "Mark" <mlensenm@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > From CINEMATREASURES.
                  >
                  > Found under Ultravision Theatres 1 & 2
                  > Post by Bob Endres on 6/17/2009
                  >
                  > "The Ultravision Theatres were developed for the Wilby-Kincey (sp?) circuit. Glen Berggren who later was to work for the Schneider Optical company among others was deeply involved in the engineering of the projection system which was unique at the time. In the days when these theatres were developed 35 and 70mm film projection was still largely done with 2,000' reels, since originally carbon arc lamps were stil predominant. This meant a "keystone" in the projected image since two projectors were used and both couldn't be on the screen center line. Ultravision used an image "multiplexer" with both projectors pointed directly at each other parallel with the screen. They projected the image into mirrors so that both projectors put out just one image that was centered on the screen. In addition, all of the projection elements were carefully matched, from the mirrors in the lamphouses to the lenses, and the gate and traps in the projectors were carefully adjusted. This along with a curved screen that preserved the focus across its surface gave a picture significantly sharper than most of the theatres in those days. The use of xenon lamps further improved the image. (These days of course, the use of platters and just one projector in the booth per screen has eliminated the need for the multiplexer.)
                  >
                  > The theatres were equipped for either 4 or 6 track magnetic sound from 35 or 70mm. prints. One of the interesting stories Glen told was that when one of the theatres opened (possibly this one), the first three or four pictures happened to have stereophonic tracks which had become a relative rarity for 35mm by that time. No one in the audiences commented on the superior sound, which must have been a disappointment. However, when the first optical/mono picture played a number of audience members complained to the manager, "What happened to your sound? It used to be so good!"
                  >
                  > One of the two ABC/Plitt theatres in Century City in Los Angeles was also equipped for Ultravision as well as the W-K theatres in the South."
                  >
                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.