Movie Theatre Information:  Huntsville and Decatur, Alabama

©1995-2001, Evans A Criswell

2:1 Anamorphic Squeeze (Scope) Format

The use of a 2:1 anamorphic attachment to optically squeeze a wider image into the image area of the film when shooting, then optically unsqueeze it when projecting, was the first method that gained widespread popularity. The first movie to be made in this format, under the trade name "Cinemascope", was "The Robe" in 1953. This method is still used for many movies today, under the name "Panavision", as well as others.

The aspect ratio of Cinemascope, after standardization, was 2.35:1. This was the aspect ratio for all 35mm 2:1 anamorphic films until 1971, when the aperture height was reduced slightly to keep splices out of the image area being projected, making the apsect ratio 2.39:1. Here is how it works. Consider the following "scene" that is to be filmed.

The desired "scene" to be filmed.
The image, squeezed by 2 to fit on the film!
Scope film format
Camera aperture (black): 0.864" by 0.732"
Projector aperture (red): 0.825" by 0.690"
The image on the film.
Unstretched by 2 during projection for movie screen!

Site created February 9, 1998