On This Day … 16 September [2022]


Events

  • 1956 – TCN-9 Sydney is the first Australian television station to commence regular broadcasts.
  • 1959 – The first successful photocopier, the Xerox 914, is introduced in a demonstration on live television from New York City.

People (Deaths)

  • 2002 – James Gregory, American actor (b. 1911).
  • 2012 – Roman Kroitor, Canadian director and producer, co-founded IMAX (b. 1926).

TCN-9 Sydney

TCN is the flagship television station of the Nine Network in Australia. The station is currently located at 1 Denison Street, North Sydney. The licence, issued to a company named Television Corporation Ltd headed by Sir Frank Packer, was one of the first four licences (two in Sydney, two in Melbourne) to be issued for commercial television stations in Australia. TCN-9 is the home of the NRL coverage and national-level Nine News bulletins.

James Gregory

James Gregory (23 December 1911 to 16 September 2002) was an American character actor known for his deep, gravelly voice and playing brash roles such as Schaffer in Al Capone (1959), the McCarthy-like Sen. John Iselin in The Manchurian Candidate (1962), the audacious General Ursus in Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), and crusty Inspector Frank Luger in the television sitcom Barney Miller (1975-1982).

Roman Kroitor

Roman Kroitor (12 December 1926 to 17 September 2012) was a Canadian filmmaker who was known as an early practitioner of cinéma vérité, as co-founder of IMAX, and as creator of the Sandde hand-drawn stereoscopic animation system. He was also the original inspiration for the Force, popularised in the Star Wars series.

He studied philosophy and psychology at the University of Manitoba and then worked for the National Film Board of Canada, first as a production assistant and then as a film editor. He directed his first film, Rescue Party in 1949. He wrote the NFB animated short It’s A Crime (1957), produced Propaganda Message (1974), and produced and directed In the Labyrinth, released as a theatrical film in 1979. On 17 September 2012, he died of a heart attack at the age of 85.

IMAX

IMAX is a proprietary system of high-resolution cameras, film formats, film projectors, and theaters known for having very large screens with a tall aspect ratio (approximately either 1.43:1 or 1.90:1) and steep stadium seating.

Graeme Ferguson, Roman Kroitor, Robert Kerr, and William C. Shaw were the co-founders of what would be named the IMAX Corporation (founded in September 1967 as Multiscreen Corporation, Limited), and they developed the first IMAX cinema projection standards in the late 1960s and early 1970s in Canada.

IMAX GT is the large format as originally conceived. It uses very large screens of 18 by 24 metres (59 by 79 feet) and, unlike most conventional film projectors, the film runs horizontally so that the image width can be greater than the width of the film stock. It is called a 70/15 format. It is used exclusively in purpose-built theatres and dome theatres, and many installations limit themselves to a projection of high quality, short documentaries.

The high costs involved in the construction and maintenance of the dedicated buildings and projectors suggested the introduction of several compromises in the following years.

To reduce costs, the IMAX SR and MPX systems were introduced in 1998 and 2004, respectively. The smaller projectors were used to retrofit existing theatres, so as to make IMAX available to multiplex and existing theatres, though losing much of the quality of the GT experience.

Later came the introduction of the IMAX Digital 2K and IMAX with Laser 4K in 2008 and 2015 respectively, still limited in respect to the 70 megapixels of equivalent resolution of the original 15/70 film. Both technologies are purely digital and suitable to retrofit existing theatres. Since 2018, the Laser system has been employed to retrofit full dome installations, with limited results due to the large area of a dome screen.

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