Cinerama screen, 1952.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Cinerama used three synchronised projectors, projecting film onto a deeply curved screen to produce images with an extremely wide angle of view - similar to that of human vision. Instead of a flat screen and mono sound, here was a spectacular phenomenon - a huge, curved screen and sound that surrounded the audience. Cinerama was invented by Fred Waller (1886-1954) who had been Head of Special Effects at Paramount. After 'This Is Cinerama', the first Cinerama film, another eight feature films were made using Waller's three-camera system and over 100 Cinerama theatres were opened around the world. During the 1960s, Cinerama was supplanted by other widescreen systems such as Cinemascope which used anamorphic lenses and did not require multiple cameras and projectors.