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The idea of this WIKI is to create a world resource by writing the complete A-Z of Projection Glossary, explaining all the parts of being a projectionist, how a projector works (digital along with the traditional), along with cinema terms and provide links to the relevant locations on the internet as necessary. So your help is needed to help write or edit the entries below. All you have to do is register below to get involved.
1.3K/2K/4K Resolution: Proposed resolution for digital cinema projectors. The figures refer to the number of pixels across the horizontal axis of the image.
3D: Is a film technique which is designed to allow objects in a film to appear as though they are coming out of a screen towards the audience. Orginially created in the 1950’s and required two projectors to be run, locked together, one showing the left image and the other the right eye image. To seperate the two images on the screen requires the audience to wear special glasses. On cheap systems these would be red and green filters, but for full colour reproduction better systems used polarising lens filters. 3D died out as nothing more than a gimmick, until the advent of Digital Cinema technology. Digital cinema allows 3D to be created and projected as simply as running an ordinary film, and with a digital projector able to switch between 2D and 3D at a touch a button makes the options more flexible for the cinema exhibitor. The digital system uses polarising lens glasses.
3D under DCinema is seeing a new popularity, although there is still currently a requirement for audiences to wear glasses in order to see the images working. There are a large number of 3D films due to be released in 2009. There is a reasonable article on: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_Cinema
35mm is the now standard gauge of film which is used within the cinema industry. The 35mm is the width of the film between the edges.
70mm A process providing release prints twice the width of conventional 35mm. Developed as long ago as the 1930’s for a John Wayne epic called THE BIG TRAIL, the process was revived in the 50’s for the production of a number of large scale movies like OKLAHOMA and AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. One of the best resources on the subject can be found at http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/
Alternative Content: Entertainment media in addition to movies that can be played in a digital cinema environment. Examples so far have included football, rugby, F1 racing and opera.
Aperture Plates: The aperture plate sits just behind the gate and helps to make a circular light square. There are different size apertures depending on the aspect ratio of the film.
AMPLIFIER: Provides the volume of the sound. These can be setup in a variety of ways. Sometimes this maybe simply be one amplifier per channel, or they maybe bi-amps or Tri-amps which means the channel is frequency split before it goes backstage to the different ranges of speakers, I.E. Hi, Medium or Low frequency.
Anamorphic Lenses: This is the lens which stretches a squeezed picture up to the full width of the screen. First came into widespread use after 1953 when CinemaScope was introduced. Later the system came under many names. Continues in use today for ‘scope (squeezed print) films.
ABC Cinemas: Associated British Cinemas. A cinema chain which has existed in other countries, not just the UK. The UK brand disappeared in 200x when the company was sold and became part of the Odeon Brand. For a full history see (Eyles 1993)
Aspect Ratio is the ratio of the width of a screen to its height. For example, a screen that has a 1.33:1 aspect ratio and is 24’ wide will be 18’ high. From the advent of sound until the 1950’s an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 was standard. In the early 1950s Cinemascope was introduced with a much wider ratio varying between about 2.2:1. and 2.4:1 using anamorphic filming and projection. The popularity of this format resulted in standard films increasingly being projected in a wider ratio by enlarging the 4:3 projected picture and masking off the top and bottom. This finally resulted in a “Widescreen” ratio of 1.75:1 (America) and 1.85:1 (UK) and film-makers now shoot with these ratios in mind.
Although Cinemascope has been replaced by other anamorphic processes, particularly Panavision, cinema projection boxes still tend to refer to their two standard aspect ratios as Widescreen and ‘Scope. Larger format film systems such as 70mm have produced a multiplicity of aspect ratios.
AMP Abbreviation for Amperes. Measurment of electrical current. Used in cinemas sometimes for projector lamp rating, especially in the days of carbon arc lamps. i.e. a 60 amp arc.
BARCO Maunufacturers of digital projectors see link: http://www.barco.com/corporate/en/products/category.asp?catid=11
Barring was the system whereby a cinema showing a film could prevent any other cinema within a predetermined area from showing it at the same time. As the major circuits had deals with different distributors and so were showing different films anyway, it was mostly smaller cinemas that were disadvantaged by the system. In the multiplex world the system seems largely to have disappeared, with most venues offering almost exactly the same fare, however close they are together.
Base Opposite to the emulsion side, where the actual printing is done.
BKSTS CTC: is the British Kinematograph Sound and Television Cinema Technology Committee, a sub committee of the BKSTS society. More details of this organisation can be found at BKSTS CTC website. See also Cinema Technology Journal entry.
Butt Join: A film join where the two edges meet exactly end to end and do not overlap.
Cake Stand: See Platter below.
Carbon Arcs: A projector light source based on passing a constant current over a gap between two electrodes of carbon rods in free air. To ignite the arc, the rods are touched together, allowing a low voltage to strike the arc. They are then slowly drawn apart, and electric current heats and maintains an arc across the gap. The rods slowly burn away and are adjusted to maintain the arc. Ingenious mechanisms were created to automatically do this, clockwork and electromechanical. The current to form the arc is DC, this was provided by a Mag-Gen Set or a Murcury Arc Rectifier to convert the mains AC.
Cement Splice: A film join that has been made using a solvent, rather than tape.
Certification: In 2008 the BKSTS CTC and the CEA launched the Projectionist Certificate, which is an assessment of basic projection competency. For further information follow this link
Changeovers: The process of using two projectors to run a film. Each projector has an individual reel of film on it. The first reel of film starts on the first projector. At the end of the reel a changeover takes place when the second projector takes over. This technique was the main way cinemas and projectionists operated for a great number of years, until the development of long play systems such as towers and platters. These days it is less common, and mainly used in preview theatres or some arts centres. In order for a projectionist to do a changeover the projectionist needs to look for cue dots, which exist at the end of each reel.
Christie Manufactures of digital cinema projectors see link for details: http://www.christiedigital.com/emeaen/capabilities/entertainmentsolutions/
Cinema Technology Magazine: The premiere journal for any one who works in the cinema industry. This magazine is produced by the BKSTS and delivered free to every cinema projection box in the country. The magazine is now available electronically as well, and a new website has just been launched at: www.cinematechnologymagazine.com
Cinema Theatre Association (CTA): are dedicated to cinema history – not the films, but the buildings they were and are shown in. The Association organises evening lectures and weekend visits to cinemas past and present in an area, and publishes a bi-monthly Bulletin and an annual colour magazine, Picture House. For more information and membership details visit their website – CTA Website.
Cinemeccanica Italian manufacturer of cinema projectors. Many purchased by Rank for the Odeon circuit. Here is Cinemaccanica site http://www.cinemeccanica.it/eng/indexflash.htm
Circuits. Cinema exhibition has always had a tendancy towards consolidation into groups (maybe in the way that breweries and supermarkets seem to!). This became apparent from as early as the 1920s as companies such as PCT increased their presence through both acquisitions and new builds. By the mid 1930s chains including ABC, Granada, Gaumont, and Odeon were aggressively increasing their size, giving them increased booking power and leading to a releasing structure whereby the same film would be booked into the same cinemas each week across Britain, both in first- and second-run houses.
By the 1960s exhibition had polarised into a duopoly of Rank (Odeon, Gaumont) and ABC. The arrival of multiplexes from 1984 onward saw the emergence of American and new British groups but the pattern of merging and take-over re-asserted itself so that now (2009) Odeon, Vue, and Cineworld have become the major exhibitors.
For a full history of the main UK circuits over the years see the Allen Eyles books listed under References.
Circuits Management Association. By the end of World War II, J.Arthur Rank had consolidated his interests in cinema exhibition in Britain by his takeover of both Odeon and Gaumont along with a number of smaller circuits. The Labour government were wary of the monopoly implications of one company owning 60% of all cinemas and agreed with Rank that Odeon and Gaumont would continue to be separately booked and that cinemas remained within one or other of the circuits. Rank set up the Circuits Management Association to oversee all aspects of exhibition for both circuits. For a number of years tickets for all Rank cinemas carried the Association name rather than any mention of The Rank Organisation.
Continuous Performances. Until the 1970’s cinema shows usually consisted of a main and supporting feature, adverts, trailers, the news, and maybe a cartoon or general interst short. The programme would cycle with only sales breaks, and patrons could arrive and depart at any time. It was quite usual for people to arrive in the middle of the main film, and after watching the rest of the programme leave once they got to the point they arrived at, having to piece the plot together afterwards. One effect of continuous performances was that the last show at night would often inherit a large part of its audience from a couple of hours earlier, so people would queue past the start time of the programme hoping to get in later.
Colour Space: The complete range of colours that can be represented by a given device. Some devices can be reprogrammed eo enable different looks for different content.
Compression: A way of processing digital images or sound so that they take up less space on a disk.
Core: A circular plastic hub usually either 2” or 3” diameter with a hole in the centre used to support a single reel of film (or trailer etc).
Cue dots, sometimes also known as Cigarette burns are present at the end of my reels of films, although they are becoming less common. Normally they are black circles, with yellow outer rings (hence why they are known as cigarette burns), although it is also possible that the cues can be scratched into the film, which means that the circles will come out white. If the cues have to be put in by hand then they may be done by drawing a cinagraph line instead. Cue dots are used to help projectionists carry out changeovers. It is possible to see cue dots on some old films which are transmitted on television.
Dash Pot: On most projectors, the film is kept taunt around the sound drum by some kind of spring loaded roller arrangement. On other projectors usually the more expensive types, there is a hydraulic arrangement. These are referred to as dashpots. The Vic. 5 has a dashpot and consists of a floating piston inside a cylinder. The up thrust of the liquid inside the cylinder presses the piston against the film and keeps it taut around the sound drum. If the dashpot is unscrewed the fluid inside can be replaced.
DC28: A technology committee of the SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) to provide an industry forum for digital cinema.
Digital Cinema Initiatives:(DCI): A company formed as a joint venture between Disney, Fox, MGM, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal, and Warner Bros. Studios. DCI’s purpose is to establish voluntary specifications and an open architecture for digital cinema.
Deluxe Deluxe color. Color film process used as an alternative to Technicolor. Very popular with 20th century Fox films from 1953 onwards with their CinemaScope films.
Digital Cinema A cinema that projects the image by electronic means rather than film.
Digital Cinema Playback Systems: usually relates to the server which provides the means to playback the digital features to the digital projectors.
DLP A semiconductor chip with microscopically small mirrors laid out in a matrix. Each mirror represents one or more pixels in the projected image. Light is reflected by the mirrors through a lens system onto the screen. The number of mirrors corresponds to the resolution of the projected image. DLP is a Texas Instruments technology, see: http://www.dlp.com.
Dolby Originally a noise suppression system for audio tape, evolved into multi-channel sound systems used by commercial cinema and in the home.
Dowser: This is a metal plate, which is placed between the lamp and the gate so that the lamp can be switched on without the film needing to move. Should the film stop moving the lamp would burn through the film in about one second. If the film stops the dowser will shut down and the motor will stop.
Dynamic Range Normally the range of volume between the soft and loud sound in a film soundtrack. Measured in Decibels. Modern digital sound tracks have a much greater dynamic range than early pre-Dolby soundtracks. Hence older patrons may say the sound is too loud in certain films.
E Cinema: A cinema using digital projection that does not conform to the DCI Standard
Emulsion: a light sensitive material on the film base which after processing carries the image.
European Digital Cinema Forum (EDCF): A group made up of representatives from both pubic bodies and the cinema industry with the intention of encouraging co-operation within Europe relating to digitial and electronic cinema projects.
Exiter Lamp The lamp that supplies the light which shines through the optical sound track. Originally a low voltage tungsten filament lamp running on DC power (to prevent AC hum). Nowadays an LED light source is used.
Encryption: The general name for techniques used to protect data so that it cannot be access by anyone other than those it was intended for.
Frame: Is the name of the individual picture which makes up a film, be it 35mm, 16mm etc. With 35mm film there are 24 frames per second. This works out at 1.5ft of film per second.
Frames per second: Cinema works on lots of still pictures appearing on the screen per second. In cinema there are 24 frames per second on the screen, in television it is 25 in the UIK and 30 in the US, while black and white film (silent) was 18 frames per second.
Focus: the act of adjusting the lens to give the sharpest picture on the screen.
Flicker: A visible change in light level between frames. Flicker occurs when the refresh rate of an image is lower than the eyes ‘persistence of vision’. Flicker is reduced in a projectors 24fps image by the shutter interrupting the image twice a frame creating an effective 48fps.
Fader The “Volume” control. Adjust the sound level. Also shows the level it is set at (7) Picture of a modern fader here. http://www.dolby.com/professional/motion_picture/cp650_02.html
Gate: The gate consists of two metal plates, one behind the other, with a small gap in between, through which the film passes. The two plates have holes in, through which the light passes from the lamp. The size and shape of this hole determines the size and shape of the picture outline on the screen. In the 35mm projector, the rear plate has three holes, one for standard films, one for Cinemascope and one for academy ratio. These will however vary depending on the requirements of the cinema.
Gaumont. The Gaumont chain was born soon after the First World War when a French production company acquired several small British circuits. In the 1930s Gaumont became both a major UK exhibitor and producer, with the cinemas eventually coming under the Rank umbrella along with Odeon. The Gaumont name was phased out from the 1960s onwards. For a full account see (Eyles 1996)
Handling: The correct way for handling film to avoid damage.
HD-SDI: High Definition Serial Digital Interface. A standard connector for carrying high resolution images.
Intermittent: This is the part of the projector which holds the film frame in place for a second as the film moves through the projector. To see how it works, see this short film:
Image Decoder: The part of the digital cinema playback system that decodes the image so that it can be projected.
Interoperability: Compatibility between lots of different pieces of equipment from different manufactures..
Join Where two pieces of film have been glued together. This is normally done using a splicer. Film cement glue was used to bond the joint, but now most film parts are joined together using adhesive tape.
JPEG2000: An image compression technology which has been identified by the DCI for use in digital cinema.
Kodak:Founded by inventor George Eastman in 1899, Eastman Dry Plate Company, and the General Aristo Company became ‘Kodak’ in 1892. It is the leading producer of film and negative stock and processing equipment and chemicals. It set industry standards with 35mm, introduced 16mm for the amateur market, developing 8mm formats for the home market. It’s divisions include post-production and film archive and preservation companies. It has also moved into video and digital imaging, producing cameras and printers, and online print services.
Keystone correction: This is the correction of the effect of keystoning – the distortion of the projected image caused by the angle of the projector and the screen not being exactly in front of each other. With a film projector this is likely to be done through cutting the plate to the appropriate angles, while with digital there is often an option in the menu to make the corrections.
Key Delivery Message (KDM): See Licence.
Leader Film at the commencement of a reel which is not shown, but used in lacing up (see below) and enables, by means of some numbered frames, the projectionist to start the film at the right place.
Lamphouse the large case which contains the light source that is directed through the film and onto the screen. Normally a Xenon lamp is within the case nowdays, but it was for many years a carbon arc lamp.
Lacing up The action of placing the film through the film path. For example over and through the rollers, sprocket wheels, gate, sound head, etc. Sometimes called threading up.
Leader: The piece of film used to thread the projector and which provides specific information about the film, including the countdown.
Lens: Optical device for focusing an image of the film on to the screen.
License: Also known as the Key Delivery Message, is a standardised method of delivering security keys to digital cinema playback machines.
Luminance: The value used to measure brightness, in either footlamberts of candelas.
Mad Cornish Projectionist: A well known website and source of information relating to the projectionist and cinema, along with being the host for this glossary. The website is: www.madcornishprojectionist.co.uk
Masking: Is where the picture is framed up on the screen. In older cinemas masking is black material which moves in and out (or up and down as necessary) to change the size of the screen to fit the aspect ratio of the film. In some cinemas it is possible for all four items of masking to be independently controlled allowing for more control on the way the picture is presented.
Magnetic sound Film would have a magnetic coating in the form of a stripe either side of the perforation holes. This enables 4 audio tracks to be recorded on 35mm film. Became popular from 1953 when Fox bought out the CinemaScope system. 70mm (ToddAo) film also used magnetic sound. Nowadays digital sound techniques using optical tracks has replaced magnetic stripe for multi track sound on film.
Maltese Cross: The star wheel in an intermittent unit, which forms the heart of the projector. IT is so called because it bares such a close resemblance to the Cross of Malta
Making up Films used to arrive at cinemas in 1000 feet sections. This was later increased to 2000 feet sections. The film does no arrive on a reel but in a can. In a cinema with 2000 ft reels and changeover projection this can of film would have to be wound onto a 2000ft reel for use on the projector. Nowadays nearly all cinemas join all the 2000ft sections together and also join in the advertising and trailer reels to form one continuous length of film, this is then shown using one projector. In both cases this “Making Up” (i.e. Making Up the programme).
MPEG-2: An image compression technology which has been widely adopted.
Material Exchange Format (MXF): The open file format proposed for the interchange of movie file packages between digital cinema systems.
Negative: The film used to make the positive prints.
Nitrate Film: Highly flammable film base, used up to the 1950s. It still can be found in some film archives, although special rules surround it’s use.
Non Sync Sound that is played through the cinema auditorium speakers that is not sourced from or part of the film. For example interval music. Source could be from records, tape or CD.
Odeon Cinemas. For a full history see (Eyles 2002) & (Eyles 2005).
Optical soundThis is Sound on Film. The sound that accompanies the moving picture is recorded as an optical image on the film, it is positioned between the picture frame and the sprocket holes (35mm). It replaced the earlier sound system, which used gramophone disks. Optical sound had the advantage that the sound was always there with the film, (disks got lost or broken), the sound stayed in synchronization with the picture, (the gramophone disks had to be slowed up or speeded down by the projectionist to keep in sync). The optical soundtrack was copied with the picture when the film was processed, so no separate sound process for release prints. (i.e. separate disk or magnetic stripe). In the early systems the sound was recorded onto film, later tape took over at the studio end, and was transferred to film in post production. There are 2 systems Variable Density and Variable Area. Variable Area is in use today. To see an early 1943 film explaining optical sound click here: http://www.archive.org/details/SoundRec1943 and to read more click here: http://www.nfsa.gov.au/preservation/audiovisual_terms/audiovisual_item.php?term=Variable+Area
Perforations: In order for an item of film to go through either a camera or the projector it is necessary for it to have perforations. ON 35mm film there are four perforations for each frame of film, while in 9.5mm there is a single sprocket perforation in the centre, between each frame.
Perivale: The location where a large number of the UK film prints are stored.
Perception (Persistence) of Vision: This is the scientific way to describe the fact that we are seeing 24 still images each second for film. There is a brilliant film made in 1936 available on the Internet Archive all about this subject called How You See
Photocell: Thermionic valve that turns modulated light from the sound track into an electrical signal to be amplified through the sound system.
Presentation: What makes going to the cinema an experience. The surroundings, curtains, masking, lights, staff and film all together in harmony. A visit to a cinema is not just watching a film in isolation.
Projected Picture Trust: – aims to preserve the technology and equipment relating to the projected picture. They have a museum at Bletchley Park which is open to the public. For more information visit their website: PPT Trust.
Projector: A device for displaying an image on a screen. Can be still or moving images, devices range from displaying shadows using a candle, through slide projectors and film projectors, to the latest 4K digital projectors. All consist of a light source, an image source (film, DLP, LCD) and a focussing lens.
Port Holes: Window between auditorium and projection booth. Ideally large gap double glazed with optical quality glass at an angle to lenses (7deg near, 15deg far) to reduce reflections, typically a single glass sheet. Acts as sound insulation and as a fire wall.
Quota Quickies. The Cinematograph Films Acts 1927 and 1938 stipulated that a certain proportion of films shown at cinemas had to be of British origin. The required percentage peeked at 20% in 1937. Audiences made it clear that in general they preferred Hollywood offerings, and this gave birth to the ‘B’ feature so that a Quickie was played alongside a stronger offering; when the 1938 Act loosened the requirements, exhibitors started to wonder if they had made a mistake by getting customers used to expecting double features. Tales that cinemas tried to meet their Quota obligations by screening British films in the mornings to the cleaners do not seem to be true.[There is a debate as to how successful the Acts were in supporting British films. Studios increased production to meet the new demand, but quality was highly variable and many films were produced on the simple formula of £1/foot. On the other hand several important British directors and stars started out in such productions.] See (Chibnall 2007).
Rake A slope. The film projector is often in a projection booth higher up than the screen and therefore has to be tilted downwards. This tilt is called the rake. This can cause distortion on the image projectred to the screen, (Keystone) and the apeture plate may be shaped to correct for this. In a digital projector this correction is done electronically. The seats in the auditorium if they are not on a level floor will also have a rake.
Rack: This is what happens when the picture doesn’t appear on the screen correctly (i.e. half the picture is at the bottom which should be at the top and the top on the bottom – see diagram under Racking).
Racking: When a bar appears on the screen and splits the picture (as shown in the diagram), the racking or framing is incorrect. By turning the framing knob (found at the front of the projector) it is possible to move the racking up or down the screen as necessary. The framing knob can be compared to the vertical hold on a TV set.
Rectifier: An electrical device to convert a.c. into d.c. to supply a lamp. It means that the lamp is on consistenly rather than flicking.
Release Print: One of a number of duplicate copies of a feature film used for theatrical exhibition.
Road Shows. Until the 1950s almost all cinemas outside of the West End ran continuous performances, and even important musicals and lengthy epics were presented in this way. This changed with the advent of large format productions such as 70mm which required full refurbishing of selected cinemas. The opportunity was taken to give the presentation the air of a live theatrical performance, with one matinee and one evening performance and advanced booking. The print would have a sound-only overture at the start and an intermission.
By the late 1960s most sizeable towns had one or even two of its larger cinemas given over to roadshow runs. However, public interest started to wane and after several costly failures this form of presentation faded away, with the cinemas reverting to more ordinary fare.
Run Off: Film damage caused when the sprocket teeth do not engage with the sprocket holes, causing indentations in the film itself.
Saturday Children’s Matinees can be traced back into the silent era. Low-price shows for an audience solely of children suited everyone – the kids enjoyed the event even if the programme itself wasn’t always first-rate; parents got some free time; and cinemas gained extra revenue while getting the next generation used to going to the pictures. Both independents and circuits offered shows, typically a mix of documentary, cartoon, cliff-hanging serial and a feature, often either a ‘B’ western or, later, a specially produced film. By the 1930s the main chains had highly organised shows throughout the UK, with club badges, songs, and birthday treats.
Rank and ABC continued Saturday Morning Pictures into the early 1970s. By the 2000’s most operators had re-introduced the concept in a slightly varied form- still on weekend mornings but in the form of a standard show of a recent popular children’s hit with reduced admission prices but now for both children and their parents. See (Staples 1997).
Scope Short for CinemaScope. Used now to describe any film that has a squeezed image, which when projected should be horizontaly stretched through an anamorphic lens to give a wide aspect ratio on the cinema screen.
Show: A term referring to a complete digital cinema presentation.
Shrinkage: Film damage caused by the loss of moisture in a film causing a reduction in its dimensions.
Shutter: A mechanical device in the projector with two blades which interrupts the light path once while the film is pulled down by the intermittent and again while it is stationary to reduce flicker.
Sound Drum: This is a circular guide around which the film must be kept taunt, as the sound of the film will come out slurred if the sound lamp doesn’t project the precise image of the rippling line on to the “electric-eye”.
Sprockets: These are what drive/pull the film through the projector from the feed off spool/platter, to the take up spool/platter. The motor, via a series of pulleys or gears, depending on the model of projector drives these sprockets. There are normally two sprockets found on most projectors, one prior to the picture gate, and the other after the picture gate and sound head. The sprocket need to be replaced when the teeth become worn or damaged.
Splicer: The device used for making splices.
Stadium Seating initially described an auditorium layout where in place of a traditional circle overhanging the stalls there was a separate raised seating area at the rear. With modern multiplexes the term has come to mean an auditorium where there is a continuous steep rake from the screen to the back wall. This provides good legroom and an uninterrupted view of the usually large screen.
Stadium seating is popular not only with patrons but also with cinema owners and architects is it creates extensive foyer and circulation space directly under the auditoria, reducing the building footprint.
Sunday Opening. Until well after the Second World War local licensing authorities treated Sundays as a special day for cinema opening. In many boroughs permission to open was completely withheld, sometimes affecting decisions as to where new cinemas were located. In other areas opening was allowed on the proviso that a proportion of the receipts went to charity. Cinemas themselves treated Sundays differently by opening later and often booking one day runs of older films. As Sunday has evolved into more of a general leisure day, it has becomee an extremely important one for cinemas and Sundays are now timetabled on the same very busy basis as Saturdays.
Tabs or curtains across the proscenium that conealed the screen during intervals were standard in cinemas until multiplex operators started retiring them in the 1990s. Tabs were usually side opening though festoons lowered from above were also to be found. When closed they would be illuminated by fader-controlled coloured footlights and sometimes proscenium lights giving a less flat effect than spotlighting from the front. Tabs would be used between films, between adverts/trailers and films, and often during trailers if the masking was to be changed. Prestigious cinemas would often have two sets of tabs – house tabs were nearer the audience and would mostly be used at the start and end of the show; screen tabs would be used as above.
Tail: The part of the film that follows the last frame of a reel. It is used partly to protect the reel.
Telecine The process and equipment used to convert a film image into video. Typically a low power projector projecting onto a screen with a video camera aimed at the screen. Due to differing frame rates of video and film some processing is required to remove strobing effects, see pulldown.
Texas Instruments Makers of the silicon chip which is used in DLP projectors http://www.dlp.com/tech/what.aspx
Throw: The distance from the projector lens to the screen.
TODD-AO:Extremely high definition 70mm widescreen film format developed in the mid 1950s by Mike Todd. First film was Oklahoma! and was at 30fps. It is now evolved into a sound mixing and audio post-production company.
Trailer Normally a short film advertising a feature film to be shown at cinema in the future. Several trailers for different films may be shown in one performance. Also could be a sales trailer for in house cinema sales.
Turret: A revolving unit which can carry two or more projection lenses.
Usher and Usherette
Un-thread or un-lace
“V” Cut Where a cut shaped like a V has been made at the side of a sprocket hole on 35mm film to try and prevent a split at the side of a sprocket hole from speading or tearing the film.
Weave: Horizontal movement of the projected image.
Widescreen: Term used to loosely describe any aspect ratio greater than 1.66.
Xenon Bulbs: A lamp which has two electrodes enclosed in a quartz envelope that produce an arc in xenon gas, used in a projector.
Zoetrope Very early system for a moving image http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoetrope
References & Further Reading
Atwell, David (1980), Cathedrals of the Movies, The Architectural Press, ISBN 0 85139 562 7
Chibnall, Steve (2007), Quota Quickies, British Film Institute, 1 84457 154 8
Eyles, Allen (1993), ABC The First Name in Entetrtainment, Cinema Theatre Association, ISBN 0 85170 430 1
Eyles, Allen (1996), Gaumont British Cinemas, Cinema Theatre Association, ISBN 0 85170 519 7
Eyles, Allen (1998), The Granada Theatres, Cinema Theatre Association, ISBN 0 85170 680 0
Eyles, Allen (2002), Odeon Cinemas 1: Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation, Cinema Theatre Association, ISBN 0 85170 813 7
Eyles, Allen (2005), Odeon Cinemas 2: From J. Arthur Rank to the Multiplex, Cinema Theatre Association, ISBN 1 84457 048 7
Gray, Richard (1996), Cinemas in Britain, Lund Humphries, ISBN 0 85331 685 6
Staples, Terry (1997), All Pals Together, Edinburgh University Press, ISBN 0 7486 0718 8
For all those who have been involved with the making of this glossary, please add your name to the list below:
Peter Knight, the Mad Cornish Projectionist
Jeremy Perkins email@example.com
Fred Fullerton Spoolbox.net
Graham Denison (tillmechanic) http://ritzcinema.co.uk