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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A PROJECTIONIST VIEW WHO WAS THERE., 23 Oct 2012
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This review is from: The Curse of Frankenstein (Blu-ray + DVD) [1957] (Blu-ray)
To put this aspect ratio into perspective I offer the following

I was a Projectionist showing this film at the ABC Cinemas In Dewsbury UK & it was shown in WideScreen
as all films after THE COMMAND with Guy Madison (First Warner CinemaScope film)to be shown on the ABC circuit.
All NON SCOPE films were shown in a ratio of 1,66 to 1.85,depending on what screen you visited.

The aspect ratio being dictated by the size of the proscenium.Plates were cut out to fit the screen,
though not done to exact measurements,as any Projectionist will tell you. The plates were cut to match the screen and masking installed.
So the aspect ratio varied from screen to screen.

When Curse Of Frankenstein came out all the ABC Cinemas in the UK had been converted for WideScreen.
I used to do relief work at various throughout the country and all showed Curse in WideScreen.

CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN was shown in WIDESCREEN.Whether that was the intention originally before it was filmed,well that's another story.

The 5 Stars are for the Film not the dodgy transfer to Blu-ray.

Hope this helps.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 Oct 2012 18:19:45 BDT
EMcG says:
So shown in widescreen. But that doesn't automatically mean that the director and DOP composed the picture for widescreen does it? Not trying to be clever. Just asking.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Oct 2012 22:20:42 BDT
Paul Scott says:
Your perfectly right about that,I was just pointing out my experiences,way back in the Dark Ages.
Thanks for your comment Regards Paul

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Oct 2012 00:42:37 BDT
Rick F. says:
Paul, there's been much debate regarding this, do you remember where the framing was set in regards to the top of the image?

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Oct 2012 07:36:33 BDT
Last edited by the author on 26 Oct 2012 07:38:00 BDT
Paul Scott says:
Hi Rick.
We set the framing usually via the racking handle (or Framing knob as its now called) ,so the titles were centralized,however on some films after the titles were gone,we would drop the picture down a fraction,so we didn't cut of peoples heads.

This happened on various films in the 50,s ,Later the studios had everything in frame on the print.
As some people have suggested, Curse may have been loosely framed for either 1.37 ratio or 1.66.
We would only drop it down about 1 foot on CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN.
Other films varied.

In those days we had at all times three Projectionists on duty ,so we had plenty of time to make sure the show was as perfect as it could.(This was for a single screen)

We used to have old 40's films every Sunday,usually a Double Bill ,but we only had two sets of lenses WideScreen
& C/Scope. so they were framed for the titles quite severely,(Not all the title appeared of course)then framed down for headroom.

Of course Subtitled films in 1.37 ,were a Hugh problem,as you couldn't frame down too much or you miss the subs off.
Welcome to the wonderful world of the 50;s.
Hope this helps Rick . Regards Paul

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Oct 2012 15:02:43 BDT
Rick F. says:
Thank you Paul, that was very helpful and informative. It's great to get some input from someone who dealt with these framing issues firsthand.

Regards, Rick

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Oct 2012 01:54:18 BDT
Paul Scott says:
Your Welcome Rick.
Nice to talk about the old days
Regards Paul

Posted on 7 Feb 2013 12:02:03 GMT
Reader45 says:
Paul, I hope you don't mind me adding a comment. I grew up in Dewsbury, on Crackenedge Lane, and I remember the ABC with great affection. You must have been behind the projector on many occasions when I visited. What a lovely cinema! Unfortunately I was too young to see the X rated Hammer films in those days, but I vividly remember seeing the posters for PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES and dearly wishing I were older. However, I'm sure I must have seen ONE MILLION YEARS BC at the ABC on first release. Used to go to the ABC Minors on a saturday morning, also. I'm now a professional screenwriter, due in large part to those childhood influences. Thanks for indirectly contributing! Your post was extremely interesting, by the way, as I've just bought the Blu-ray CURSE. Best! Clive Dawson

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2013 12:33:28 GMT
Last edited by the author on 27 Feb 2013 12:38:22 GMT
Paul Scott says:
Hi Clive,
Yes great days, Nice to get a comment from someone from Dewsbury.
My first 10months when I was born was in a small house in Crackenedge.
I started going to the ABC Minors when I was about 6 with friends,when I was 16 I joined the Projection Staff.,that was in 1956,
First film I ever ran was The Command & East Of Eden in glorious CinemaScope
They were to me exciting days.
I met a guy from Dewsbury called Simon about 3 weeks ago,on the Internet, who is making a film about The Playhouse so that will be interesting to me when he sends me a copy.
I retired about 10 years ago ,having ended up at Hoyts Sydney Australia and 5 years running a Chinese Cinema in Sydney.
Happy days indeed.
Your Screenwriting sounds like a facinating way to earn ones living too.
Thanks for your post Kindest Regards Paul

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Mar 2013 22:10:48 GMT
Reader45 says:
Hi Paul,
Great to hear back from you. My memories of the ABC cinema extend from about 1963/4 (I was born in '58), through to around 1970, when I believe it closed. However, I do remember going in there with my Dad in the mid 70's, when it was a bingo hall. Sad to see it reduced to such a lowly fate, but it was still nice to see the interior one last time. Even back then I was nostalgic for the old place! I'd love to hear more about the film of the Playhouse, if possible; that sounds very interesting. I've been a screenwriter for nearly twenty years, mainly in TV (THE BILL, for example, which I know you get down-under) but latterly I've been working exclusively in film. Currently writing a sci-fi script for Fox, and have another in post production, due out in September. Anyway, great to swap notes. Many thanks for taking the time! Best wishes! Clive

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Mar 2013 12:37:59 GMT
Last edited by the author on 2 Mar 2013 22:29:33 GMT
Paul Scott says:
Hi Clive,
Write to me personally at (REMOVED) and I will keep you informed about The Playhouse film.
Love Sci-fi,ie the script your doing.
Hope to hear from you soon
Kindest Regards Paul
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