Movie Theater Aspect Ratios

Mike Broadman

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
4,951
I apologize if this question belongs in another forum, I couldn't decide where to put it.
With all the posts about OAR and P&S, I wonder how movie theaters handle different aspect ratios. Do they just all use 2.35:1 screens and black out the unused portion of the screen? Do they have different screens for films with different aspect ratios?
On another note, one thing I find interesting is that my favorite director, Kubrick, actually didn't prefer widescreen, because he was a photographer. It just goes to show you that a good director doesn't need wide aspect ratios to make a great-looking film.
 

Jason Seaver

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
9,303
It depends on the theater. Most have curtains that they can either lift up and down (common-width) or move side-to-side (common-height) to matte the screens for different aspect ratios. Sometimes, a cheap second-run theater will go without.
In general, I prefer common-height to common-width because it makes the widescreen movies bigger, as opposed to smaller.
 

Brett_B

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 26, 1999
Messages
886
Mike,
The last time I used to run movies in the theater (about 8 years ago), we used 2 different lenses. Scope (2.35:1) and flat (1.85:1). I am not sure if they make lenses for the different aspect ratios other than what I listed. As for the screen, we masked off vertically.
Brett B.
[Edited last by Brett_B on October 09, 2001 at 04:02 PM]
 

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