CinemaScope

From CLG Wiki

Background

CinemaScope is an anamorphic lens series used, from 1953 to 1967, and less often later, for shooting widescreen films that, crucially, could be screened in theatres using existing equipment, albeit with a lens adapter. Its creation in 1953 by Spyros P. Skouras, the president of 20th Century Fox, marked the beginning of the modern anamorphic format in both principal 2.55:1, almost twice as wide as the previously common Academy format's 1.37:1 ratio. In 1955, an upgrade to the CinemaScope series, CinemaScope 55, a large-format version of CinemaScope introduced by 20th Century Fox in 1955, which used a film width of 55.625 mm. Although the technology behind the CinemaScope lens system was made obsolete by later developments, primarily advanced by Panavision, CinemaScope's anamorphic format has continued to this day. In film-industry jargon, the shortened form, Scope, is still widely used by both filmmakers and projectionists, although today it generally refers to any 2.35:1, 2.39:1, 2.40:1, or 2.55:1 presentation or, sometimes, the use of anamorphic lensing or projection in general. Bausch & Lomb won a 1954 Oscar for its development of the CinemaScope lens.

(September 16, 1953-1967)

Logo: Usually depends on the studio that uses the logo, but all of these have in common; the word "CINEMASCOPE" in a curved bold font on a differing background.

Variants:

  • 20th Century Fox: The word "CINEMASCOPE" in a serif font (early version), or in the corporate font (later version), on the same dark sky as the 1953 Fox logo, with "TWENTIETH CENTURY-FOX PRESENTS" (sometimes "PRESENTS" is replaced by "PRODUCTION") atop it. On The Robe (1953), the first film shot in CinemaScope, the early variant is on a red curtain background, like the Fox structure. See this page for more info. On Prince Valiant, also released in 1953, the logo is again in a curtain background, this time it's in blue. Large-format (70mm, CinemaScope 55) films has the logo saying "CINEMASCOPE 55" with either "A CINEMASCOPE PICTURE IN CINEMASCOPE 55" or "A CINEMASCOPE PICTURE INTRODUCING CINEMASCOPE 55". It made its first known appearance on Carousel. On What a Way to Go!, the logo is pink-tinted.
  • RKO Radio Pictures: The normal logo has the CinemaScope logo underneath it in 2D.
  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios: The logo with Tanner fades out, then the CinemaScope logo fades in in gold with "IN" atop it. Another variant has "M-G-M presents A" and "PRODUCTION" atop and under it.
  • Warner Bros. Pictures: The logo is red and blue, usually superimposed on the film's opening scene, like the WB shield that precedes this logo. On a trailer for The High and the Mighty (1954), the logo is in ivory against a coral pink-tinted field background.
  • Universal-International: The logo is red and superimposed on a WB-style sky background.

FX/SFX: Usually none.

Music/Sounds: None or the opening theme of the film or trailer. On TCF films, it's the 2nd half of the 1953 fanfare by Alfred Newman. On Down with Love and Logan: Noir Edition, the 1997 fanfare is heard. The RKO variant has the morse code sounds playing as usual. The MGM variant has Tanner's remaining roars, then none.

Availability: Common. This can be seen on films shot on CinemaScope films from the studios above. The TCF version makes surprise appearances on Fox's Down with Love (as the early version, with the TCF structure having the News Corp. byline), which was a film shot in Panavision, La La Land (2017), a Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate film, the 74th Golden Globe Awards in 2017, and the Noir edition of Logan, also using the 1953 Fox logo.

Editor's Note: None.

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