there are over 2.000 16 mm film libraries in the U.S.A.
& Studio Telescriptions
The very first short
16mm musical films made specifically for television, were the
Snader Telescriptions ,
produced by Louis Snader between 1950 & 1952, These were 3 minute
films of musical performances that were marketed to television stations for use
in variety shows or as filler material. The name combines "Television"
with "Transcription" to get "Telescriptions".
were produced in 1952 & 53. Between the 2 companies more than 1000 short
musical presentations were filmed for use as television filler between 1950 and
1954. The Snader Telescriptions were mostly of conventional pop performers or
popular orchestras, while the Studio Transcriptions covered the entire musical
landscape including rhythm and blues, classicaljazz, and country music
it's hold on the color field with the introduction of Eastman Kodak's
single strip color negative & printing film stock, introduced
in 1949, it was perfected by 1953. Unfortunately for 16 mm collectors
their once beautiful Eastman color prints would turn to a rosy red
within 2 to 10 years.
16 mm IB
is vastly improved with the introduction of gray
which unlike the blue track was developed in 16 mm.
TELEVISION & 16
16 mm film Fact:
first 15 years of live television in America survives to this day on 16 mm Kinescope
Howard Hughes sells RKO Pictures.
The first order of business the new owners does is
sell their library of films to television in late 1955. This was the first major
16 mm feature film package for television. Buyers broadcast the package
under a format called Movie Time USA . The major sponsor was C & C Cola, so
C & C Film Corp. a division of Cantrell and Cochrane was formed. The
films were provided free of charge or for a nominal fee in return for free
advertising time. The point was to sell soda. C & C removed all traces of
RKO from the prints. C & C was reborn in 1958 as Television Industries, Inc.
In 1966, the company changed names again to Trans-Beacon Corp. The company
finally went bankrupt in 1971. The library of RKO films was auctioned off, and
United Artists became the owners.
The 1950's LOGO'S we see on our favorite 16 mm prints
U.M.&M. T.V. Corporation was a consortium of television stations that bought up film libraries, headed by Charles M. Amory.
They got the pre-1950 Paramount cartoons except for Popeye and Superman, along with most short subjects. U.M.&M.
In 1953, Warner Bros.
sells to Sunset Productions, its library of black and white cartoons, except for the Harman-Ising Merrie Melodies.
The Harman-Isling cartoons were sold to Guild Films. Warner Bros. at the time
did not want their name associated with television, so Warners insisted that Sunset put their own title card at the start of the cartoon, omitting all references to Warner
Bros. Sunset sold their Warners cartoons to Guild Films in the late
1950's. Guild Films was acquired by Seven Arts Associates in the 1960s. In 1967, Warner Bros. and Seven Arts
merged, which resulted in Warners getting the rights back to the cartoons.
Associated Artists Productions
(a.a.p.) was founded in 1949. In 1956, a.a.p., bought all of the color pre-1948 Warner Bros. color cartoons,
(Actually the last Warners cartoon they got was 'Hare Devil Hare'
released July 24 1948) and the WB live-action film library.
a.a.p. also bought the Paramount Popeye cartoons, through a deal with King Features Syndicate.a.a.p. added their logo to the WB cartoons, and left the WB shield opening on.
So the Merrie Melodies theme played twice. Also, WB animator Bob Clampett, was hired to help a.a.p. catalog the cartoons. This led to
Clampett to produce Beany and Cecil cartoons for a.a.p. Like
Warners Paramount, insisted that a.a.p. remove all of the references to Paramount, except in the copyrights at the bottom of the cartoon's titles. Paramount retained theatrical distribution rights at the time.
In 1959, AAP was sold to United Artists for about $30 million.
16mm's FIRST THREAT
introduces the worlds first videotape recorder. The Ampex VRX-1000 (later
renamed the Mark IV) videotape recorder is introduced on March 14, 1956, at the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters in Chicago. This is the world's first practical videotape recorder and is hailed as a major technological
costs $50.000. CBS goes on air with the first videotape delayed
broadcast Douglas Edwards and The News, on November 30, 1956, from Los
years after Soundies came on the scene, SCOPITONE
the early 1960s
precursors to today's music videos. Scopitone Films
were filmed on 35 mm
Technicolor film, then reduced to 16mm (Using both Eastman &
Technicolor film). Magnetic soundtracks were used because it provided a higher
than optical, and were made to be shown on a Scopitone film jukebox
using a 16 mm
projector. The Scopitone craze spread throughout Europe,
particularly in West Germany
and England, before crossing the Atlantic to the United States in mid-1964. The Jukeboxes
were installed in a wide variety of venues including Bars, Bowling Alleys, Camps,
dormitories, etc. Nancy
Sinatra, Dion, Frank Sinatra Jr., Debbie Reynolds,Neil Sadaka,
& Paul Anka,
weresome of the big musical stars of the time that made Scopitone films.
time the Scopitone craze fizzled out in 1967, approximately 1300 machines
made in the USA.
is the first airline to begin regular in-flight movies showings on
, The film
shown is BY LOVE POSSESED, starring Lana Turner and Efrem Zimbalist Jr.
on a flight between
of the 3 major publications for 16 & 8mm collectors begins life.
Samuel K.Rubin's The
Classic Film Collector
as a newsletter of 12 pages, and within 6 years becomes a 64 page plus
tabloid where collectors could put in ads to buy & sell films. By
the 1990's under the name CLASSIC IMAGES
it strictly advertises posters & video's.
to the Film
Daily, 1962 Year Book Of Motion Pictures:
The total 16 mm sound projectors in use in the U.S. 802,000
July 1st with the merger of the Agfa
Co. & the Gevaret
Agfa-Gevaret group is ready to take on
the company that dominates
the photographic industry Eastman Kodak. Agfa begins printing 16
mm & 35 mm professionally. Films printed on Agfa stock is
preferred by collectors, as it does not fade.
Several hundred film
collectors get together & form the Society For Cinephiles LTD an
association which holds annual conventions with members attending from
all over the country. The Cinecons have been held in Chicago,
Pennsylvania, Syracuse, Indiana
& Hollywood. 16 mm films are
shown & representatives from Blackhawk, Eastman Kodak & other
film distributors would sit side by side with collectors & talk
about film. The three day shows would usually be held over Memorial
Day or Labor Day.
the North American market and gives competition to Kodak &
Agfa, printing 35 mm & 16 mm film. Fuji color is a fairly
stable stock, much better than Eastman as most prints have not
Kodak launches the SUPER 8
& HOLLYWOOD'S ATTITUDE TOWARD 16MM FILM
Strict rules on
the exhibition of 16mm feature films in public
Since the 1930's
16mm film has always been a thorn in the side to theatre exhibitors, with this
problem becoming even more serious in the 1960's.
The following are
several articles from the Motion Picture Exhibitor in the mid 1960’s
York-- The basic business
of Walt Disney
Production is to produce films for motion
picture theatres and therefore Disney will
not permit 16mm prints to be shown where
they are in conflict with or competitive
to any regular 35 mm commercial
motion picture theatre.
firm assurance of policy has been given to the nation’s exhibitors by
Carl Nater, director of Walt Disney’s 16mm division, in response
to inquiries by Fredric A. Danz,
chairman of NATO’s non-theatrical competition committee.
will not even permit schools or
PTA’s to schedule
Disney 16mm films on
Saturdays, taking the position that Saturday
showings will be in direct
conflict with motion picture
Seeks Assurances from 16mm Distribs to Avoid
May 6 1964
continuing discussions with the distributors
of 16mm films on the
serious & growing problem's of
unfair 16mm competition, National Allied Motion Picture Theatre owners
has insisted that 16mm prints of motion picture features available for theatre
bookings should not be used in
direct competition to commercial motion picture theatres.
has defined direct and unfair competition as existing whenever the 16mm
showing is open to the general public ; subject to an admission charge
donation advertised or publicized in
any media including newspapers, radio, posters etc.
has further maintained that if schools and colleges are sincere in
requesting 16mm features for educational
purposes, they could not possibly object
to restricting showings to classroom hours and to agreeing not to show
the features on weekends.
Incorporated, the largest of the domestic 16mm film distributors, has
expressed an willingness to cooperate with theatre owners.
Inc., states that They
are notifying all of their college and university accounts that in order
to obtain 16mm
bookings in the future, they must
to the following,
The film will only be shown at the time and place
specified in the application, Each unauthorized
exhibition of the film will subject the applicant to
additional rentals and penalties.
Entrance to the exhibition hall will be policed to
insure that only students faculty will be permitted
to enter, and the public will not be permitted to
There will be no off campus advertising or
publicity to either students or and faculty or to
the general public off-campus.
Films will not be shown on the weekend.
Motion Picture Exhibitor
a vacation recently? Whether you spent it in a posh resort or
a shack in the woods, chances are the operators were presenting
regular 16mm showings of theatrical films for their guests. Add to
this the showings in colleges, schools, luncheon's etc., and you
have a real problem for theatres forced to pay top terms and charge
top admission prices. Admittance in most cases is supposed to
be restricted to students or members or patrons, but that just isn't
always the case. The cumulative effect of these non-theatrical
showings can't help but hurt theatres. Sidney Cohen of N.Y.
Allied has been a leading figure in this fight , but no one man has
won a war. It takes a united effort. Natually, there are cases where
16mm films are shown to shut-ins, etc. and no one minds that. It is
the unjustified competition that is riling exhibitors.
A polyester base
film is introduced by Eastman Kodak, in Oct. under their trade name
The process which was
around for nearly 20 years, originally developed by Dupont under the
Polyester film, it
came into Kodak's hands in 1956. Estar film supposedly was to
be less likely to scratch and unable to rip which meant that the life of
the print would be a lot longer, but there were reports of damaging
projectors. Even though it was far from a perfect film stock, by the
1990's Estar was the only film being used by the big three, Kodak,
Agfa, & Fuji.
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