Movie projector

35 mm movie projector in operation
Simulation of a spinning zoopraxiscope
An early projector and seats from a movie theater
1910's 35mm hand-cranked tinplate toy movie projector manufactured by Leonhard Müller in Nuremberg, Germany.
35 mm Kinoton FP30ST movie projector, with parts labeled. (Click thumbnail for larger text.)
Mechanical sequence when image is shown twice and then advanced. 
Outer sprockets rotate continuously while the frame advance sprockets are controlled by the mechanism shown – a Geneva drive.
Imaging lens Diastar of an Askania 35 mm movie projector (focal length: 400 mm)
Christie AW3 platter, BIG SKY Industries console, and Century SA projector
nonrewind in Royal – Malmö, Sweden
A diagram of the VistaVision format
A photo of a 35 mm film print featuring all four audio formats (or "quad track")- from left to right: SDDS (blue area to the left of the sprocket holes), Dolby Digital (grey area between the sprocket holes labelled with the Dolby "Double-D" logo in the middle), analog optical sound (the two white lines to the right of the sprocket holes), and the Datasat time code (the dashed line to the far right.)
Simulated wide screen image with 1.96 to 1 ratio as it would be seen in a camera viewfinder or on a theater screen
Simulated anamorphed image with 1.33 to 1 ratio (4:3) as it would appear on a frame of film

Opto-mechanical device for displaying motion picture film by projecting it onto a screen.

- Movie projector
35 mm movie projector in operation

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Interior view of Kinetoscope with peephole viewer at top of cabinet

Kinetoscope

Early motion-picture exhibition device.

Early motion-picture exhibition device.

Interior view of Kinetoscope with peephole viewer at top of cabinet
Sheet of images from one of the three Monkeyshines films (c. 1889–90) produced as tests of an early version of the Kinetoscope
An acre in size, Edison's exhibit at the Exposition Universelle included an entire electrical power station. (Smithsonian Institution/William J. Hammer Collection)
Charles Kayser of the Edison lab seated behind the Kinetograph. Portability was not among the camera's virtues.
35 mm filmstrip of the Edison production Butterfly Dance (c. 1894–95), featuring Annabelle Whitford Moore, in the format that would become standard for both still and motion picture photography around the world.
Construction of the imposing Black Maria began in December 1892. In order to take full advantage of sunlight, the tar paper–lined studio was equipped with a hinged, flip-up roof and the entire structure could rotate on a track. "It obeys no architectural rules," declared Dickson, who found it "productive of the happiest effects in the films."
A San Francisco Kinetoscope parlor, c. 1894–95.
Advertisement announcing the initial Kinetoscope exhibition in London, held on October 17, 1894.
The 1895 version of the Kinetophone in use, showing the earphones that lead to the cylinder phonograph within the cabinet
Reverse side of a kinetophone, showing a wax cylinder phonograph driven by a belt.
In the first decade of the 1900s, years before developing the compact Home Projecting Kinetoscope, Edison marketed an essentially theatrical 35 mm Projecting Kinetoscope for domestic use.
Image of a Projecting Kinetoscope published in 1914
Promotion of Kinetophone system, January 1913

The Kinetoscope was not a movie projector, but it introduced the basic approach that would become the standard for all cinematic projection before the advent of video.

Animated GIF of Prof. Stampfer's Stroboscopische Scheibe No. X (Trentsensky & Vieweg 1833)

Film

Work of visual art that simulates experiences and otherwise communicates ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty, or atmosphere through the use of moving images.

Work of visual art that simulates experiences and otherwise communicates ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty, or atmosphere through the use of moving images.

Animated GIF of Prof. Stampfer's Stroboscopische Scheibe No. X (Trentsensky & Vieweg 1833)
An animated GIF of a photographic sequence shot by Eadweard Muybridge in 1878. His chronophotographic works can be regarded as very short movies that were recorded before there was a proper way to replay the material in motion.
A frame from Roundhay Garden Scene, the world's earliest surviving film produced using a motion picture camera, by Louis Le Prince, 1888
A famous shot from Georges Méliès Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon) (1902), an early narrative film and also an early science fiction film.
Salah Zulfikar, one of the most popular actors in the golden age of Egyptian Cinema
This 16 mm spring-wound Bolex "H16" Reflex camera is a popular entry level camera used in film schools.
Founded in 1912, the Babelsberg Studio near Berlin was the first large-scale film studio in the world, and the forerunner to Hollywood. It still produces global blockbusters every year.
The Lumière Brothers, who were among the first filmmakers
Salah Zulfikar and Faten Hamama in the premiere of Bain Al-Atlal ("Among the Ruins") in Cairo, 1959
An animated image of a horse, made using eight pictures.
An animation of the retouched Sallie Garner card from The Horse in Motion series (1878–1879) by Muybridge. His chronophotographic works can be regarded as very short movies that were recorded before there was a proper way to replay the material in motion.

The images are transmitted through a movie projector at the same rate as they were recorded, with a Geneva drive ensuring that each frame remains still during its short projection time.

35 mm movie film

Film gauge used in filmmaking, and the film standard.

Film gauge used in filmmaking, and the film standard.

Eastman (L) giving Edison the first roll of movie film, which was 35 mm
35 mm film diagram
A photo of a 35 mm film print featuring all four audio formats (or "quad track") — from left to right: SDDS, a soundtrack as an image of a digital signal (blue area to the left of the sprocket holes); Dolby Digital sound (grey area between the sprocket holes labelled with the Dolby "Double-D" logo in the middle); analog optical sound, optically recorded as waveforms containing the audio signals for the left and right audio channels (the two white lines to the right of the sprocket holes); and the DTS time code (the dashed line to the far right).
An "over-under" 3D frame. Both left and right eye images are contained within the normal height of a single 2D frame.
Comparison of common 35 mm film formats
A diagram of the VistaVision format, affectionately dubbed "Lazy 8" because it is eight perforations long and runs horizontally (lying down)
35 mm film perforation hole types.
Areas on an Academy-width 35 mm spherical film print:

The ubiquity of 35 mm movie projectors in commercial movie theaters made 35 mm the only motion picture format that could be played in almost any cinema in the world, until digital projection largely superseded it in the 21st century.

Modern cinema auditorium in Madrid, Spain

Movie theater

Building that contains auditoria for viewing films (also called movies) for entertainment.

Building that contains auditoria for viewing films (also called movies) for entertainment.

Modern cinema auditorium in Madrid, Spain
Rodgers Theatre in Poplar Bluff in Missouri. This Art Deco-style theater opened in 1949.
The view from the projectionist's booth at Ultimate Palace Cinema in Oxford. The projector is displaying the 1997 Universal Pictures logo.
A cinema auditorium in Australia
The Fox Theater in Atlanta has an old-fashioned neon sign.
Kay Theater in Rockdale, Texas
The Berlin Wintergarten theatre was the site of the Skladanowsky brothers's first film presentation from 1 to 31 November 1895
L'Idéal Cinéma at Aniche, France, opened 23 November 1905, closed 1977, demolished in 1995
A small still-active Kino Juha movie theatre in Nurmijärvi, Finland, opened in 1958
Regent Theatre in Hokitika, New Zealand
Cinema Odeon auditorium in Florence
Interior of Hoyts cinemas auditorium in Perth, Australia, with stadium seating with cup holders, acoustic wall hangings and wall-mounted speakers.
Interior of a 1950s-style fine arts movie theater auditorium. A low pitch viewing floor is used.
Tennispalatsi, one of the major Finnkino multiplex movie theatre places, in Helsinki, Finland
A typical raked (sloped) floor for a movie auditorium, which gives all viewers a clear view of the screen.
Example of a Multiplex layout
A drive-in with a 33-metre (108-foot) wide inflatable movie screen in the centre of Brussels
A giant inflatable movie screen used at a temporary outdoor movie theater (open air cinema)
1967 Bedford mobile cinema
A typical multiplex (AMC Promenade 16 in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles)
Non-movie-theater screening: movie in a culture club in Germany
35 mm movie projector
Broadcast center
Admission prices board, Cinema Museum (London)
Seating indicator
Box office of a 1950s style fine arts movie theater.
A theatre-goer enjoys a show
Some movie theaters in Finland sell alcohol to take along to the movie itself in select showings. Such showings are always adults-only, regardless of the rating of the movie.
These ratings are from the revised Taiwan motion picture rating system which took effect in October 2015.
Admission ticket for the premier of the movie A Viszkis
A bag of popcorn from the Plaza Theater in Atlanta, Georgia.
Hallway of MPX Grande, a defunct movie theater in Pasaraya Blok M, Jakarta.

The film is projected with a movie projector onto a large projection screen at the front of the auditorium while the dialogue, sounds, and music are played through a number of wall-mounted speakers.

Auguste (left) and Louis (right)

Auguste and Louis Lumière

The Lumière brothers, Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas Lumière (19 October 1862 – 10 April 1954) and Louis Jean Lumière (5 October 1864 – 6 June 1948), were French manufacturers of photography equipment, best known for their Cinématographe motion picture system and the short films they produced between 1895 and 1905, which places them among the earliest filmmakers.

The Lumière brothers, Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas Lumière (19 October 1862 – 10 April 1954) and Louis Jean Lumière (5 October 1864 – 6 June 1948), were French manufacturers of photography equipment, best known for their Cinématographe motion picture system and the short films they produced between 1895 and 1905, which places them among the earliest filmmakers.

Auguste (left) and Louis (right)
Cinématographe Lumière at the Institut Lumière, France
Tomb of the Lumière brothers in the New Guillotière Cemetery in Lyon
Lumière ou Projection privée (2010), by the French painter Arnaud Courlet de Vregille, displayed in l'Eden-Théâtre, the first cinema in the world, in La Ciotat.
Lumières La Sortie de l'Usine Lumière à Lyon 1895
Cinématographe advertising poster with image from L'Arroseur arrosé
Autochrome colour picture by Jean-Baptiste Tournassoud of North-African soldiers, Oise, France, 1917.
Their house in Lyon is now the Institut Lumière museum.

Their screening of a single film on 22 March 1895 for around 200 members of the "Society for the Development of the National Industry" in Paris was probably the first presentation of projected film.

Stadium seating rows closer to digital cinema screens offer significantly more immersive experiences.

Digital cinema

This article focuses on digital projection and distribution in cinemas.

This article focuses on digital projection and distribution in cinemas.

Stadium seating rows closer to digital cinema screens offer significantly more immersive experiences.
Texas Instruments, DLP Cinema Prototype Projector, Mark V, 2000
AMC Theatres former corporate headquarters in Kansas City, prior to their 2013 move to Leawood, Kansas.
Broadcasting antenna in Stuttgart

Digital movies are projected using a digital video projector instead of a film projector, are shot using digital movie cameras and edited using a non-linear editing system (NLE).

1908 poster advertising Gaumont's sound films. The Chronomégaphone, designed for large halls, employed compressed air to amplify the recorded sound.

Sound film

Motion picture with synchronized sound, or sound technologically coupled to image, as opposed to a silent film.

Motion picture with synchronized sound, or sound technologically coupled to image, as opposed to a silent film.

1908 poster advertising Gaumont's sound films. The Chronomégaphone, designed for large halls, employed compressed air to amplify the recorded sound.
Image from The Dickson Experimental Sound Film (1894 or 1895), produced by W.K.L. Dickson as a test of the early version of the Edison Kinetophone, combining the Kinetoscope and phonograph.
Eric M. C. Tigerstedt (1887–1925) was one of pioneers of sound-on-film technology. Tigerstedt in 1915.
Poster featuring Sarah Bernhardt and giving the names of eighteen other "famous artists" shown in "living visions" at the 1900 Paris Exposition using the Gratioulet-Lioret system.
Newspaper ad for a 1925 presentation of Phonofilm shorts, touting their technological distinction: no phonograph.
Poster for Warner Bros.' Don Juan (1926), the first major motion picture to premiere with a full-length synchronized soundtrack. Audio recording engineer George Groves, the first in Hollywood to hold the job, would supervise sound on Woodstock, 44 years later.
Western Electric engineer E. B. Craft, at left, demonstrating the Vitaphone projection system. A Vitaphone disc had a running time of about 11 minutes, enough to match that of a 1000 ft reel of 35 mm film.
Newspaper ad from a fully equipped theater in Tacoma, Washington, showing The Jazz Singer, on Vitaphone, and a Fox newsreel, on Movietone, together on the same bill.
Dorothy Mackaill and Milton Sills in The Barker, First National's inaugural talkie. The film was released in December 1928, two months after Warner Bros. acquired a controlling interest in the studio.
The Prague-raised star of Blackmail (1929), Anny Ondra, was an industry favorite, but her thick accent became an issue when the film was reshot with sound. Without post-dubbing capacity, her dialogue was simultaneously recorded offscreen by actress Joan Barry. Ondra's British film career was over.
The first Soviet talkie, Putevka v zhizn (The Road to Life; 1931), concerns the issue of homeless youth. As Marcel Carné put it, "in the unforgettable images of this spare and pure story we can discern the effort of an entire nation."
Director Heinosuke Gosho's Madamu to nyobo (The Neighbor's Wife and Mine; 1931), a production of the Shochiku studio, was the first major commercial and critical success of Japanese sound cinema.
Alam Ara premiered March 14, 1931, in Bombay. The first Indian talkie was so popular that "police aid had to be summoned to control the crowds." It was shot with the Tanar single-system camera, which recorded sound directly onto the film.
Show Girl in Hollywood (1930), one of the first sound films about sound filmmaking, depicts microphones dangling from the rafters and multiple cameras shooting simultaneously from soundproofed booths. The poster shows a camera unboothed and unblimped, as it might be when shooting a musical number with a prerecorded soundtrack.
Example of a variable-area sound track—the width of the white area is proportional to the amplitude of the audio signal at each instant.
The unkind cover of Photoplay, December 1929, featuring Norma Talmadge. As movie historian David Thomson puts it, "sound proved the incongruity of [her] salon prettiness and tenement voice."
Premiering February 1, 1929, MGM's The Broadway Melody was the first smash-hit talkie from a studio other than Warner Bros. and the first sound film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Poster for Acabaram-se os otários (1929), performed in Portuguese. The first Brazilian talkie was also the first anywhere in an Iberian language.
Westfront 1918 (1930) was celebrated for its expressive re-creation of battlefield sounds, like the doomful whine of an unseen grenade in flight.
Image of sumo wrestlers from Melodie der Welt (1929), "one of the initial successes of a new art form", in André Bazin's description. "It flung the whole earth onto the screen in a jigsaw of visual images and sounds."

In sound-on-disc technology from the era, a phonograph turntable is connected by a mechanical interlock to a specially modified film projector, allowing for synchronization.

A comparison between 35 mm and 15/70 mm negative areas.

IMAX

A comparison between 35 mm and 15/70 mm negative areas.
IMAX projector with horizontal film reel
An IMAX cinema camera, displayed at the National Science and Media Museum, Bradford, England
The 15 kW Xenon short-arc lamp used in IMAX projectors
A typical entrance to an IMAX digital theater, such as the AMC Barton Creek Square 14 in Austin, Texas
Outside of the IMAX dome in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
Planetario Alfa, museum, astronomical observatory and IMAX Dome system, Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico
The frame layout of the IMAX Dome film
The control room of an IMAX Dome theatre at Cosmonova at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, Sweden
Closeup of an IMAX Dome 70mm film reel at Cosmonova
Audiences view a film using 3D glasses.
Christopher Nolan has been a vocal supporter of the IMAX 70 mm film format, and has collaborated with the company since the mid-2000s.
STS 41-C mission specialist Terry J. Hart, holds a 70-pound IMAX camera in the mid-deck of the space shuttle Challenger in 1984.
IMAX Filming at Paranal Observatory

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.

15 kW xenon short-arc lamp used in IMAX projectors

Xenon arc lamp

Highly specialized type of gas discharge lamp, an electric light that produces light by passing electricity through ionized xenon gas at high pressure.

Highly specialized type of gas discharge lamp, an electric light that produces light by passing electricity through ionized xenon gas at high pressure.

15 kW xenon short-arc lamp used in IMAX projectors
An early short arc xenon lamp, the Osram-STUD XBO 1001 of ~1954
An end-view of a 15 kW IMAX lamp showing the liquid-cooling ports
An Osram 100 W xenon/mercury short-arc lamp in reflector
Perspective view of 3 kW lamp showing plastic safety shield used during shipping.
Output profile of a xenon arc lamp.
A xenon arc lamp (Osram XBO 4000W).
A Cermax 2 kW xenon lamp from a video projector. A pair of heatsinks are clamped on the two metal bands around the perimeter, which also double to supply power to the lamp's electrodes.
A 1 kW xenon short-arc lamp power supply with the cover removed.

It produces a bright white light to simulate sunlight, with applications in movie projectors in theaters, in searchlights, and for specialized uses in industry and research.

A modern 4K digital cinema camera in 2018, Canon EOS C700 MultiDyne

Movie camera

Type of photographic camera that rapidly takes a sequence of photographs, either on an image sensor or onto film stock, in order to produce a moving image to project onto a movie screen.

Type of photographic camera that rapidly takes a sequence of photographs, either on an image sensor or onto film stock, in order to produce a moving image to project onto a movie screen.

A modern 4K digital cinema camera in 2018, Canon EOS C700 MultiDyne
The chronophotographic gun invented by Étienne-Jules Marey.
Charles Kayser of the Edison lab seated behind the Kinetograph. Portability was not among the camera's virtues.
Film-gun at the Institut Lumière, France
The Aeroscope (1909) was the first hand-held movie camera.
ARRI ARRICAM Studio 35mm film camera
The Red EPIC camera has been used to shoot numerous feature filmsincluding The Amazing Spiderman and The Hobbit.
Basic operation: When the shutter inside the camera is opened, the film is illuminated. When the shutter is completely covering the film gate, the film strip is being moved one frame further by one or two claws which advance the film by engaging and pulling it through the perforations.
A spring-wound Bolex 16 mm camera
Multiple cameras to take surround images (1900 Cinéorama system, for modern version see Circle-Vision 360°
Various German Agfa Movex Standard 8 home movie cameras

The strips of frames are projected through a movie projector at a specific frame rate (number of frames per second) to show a moving picture.