Movie Theatre Information:  Huntsville and Decatur, Alabama

©1995-2001, Evans A Criswell

Flat Widescreen (1.85:1) Format

This format achieves a wider image than the academy format by wasting part of the image area of the film by cropping the image during projection, while increasing the magnification as necessary to fill a wider screen. It was the format of choice to those who did not want to film with anamorphic attachments. This technique is very popular today and the aspect ratio of such films in the United States is 1.85:1. Here is how the flat widescreen process works. Consider the following scene to be filmed.

Intended theatrical image.
A 1.37:1 image is recorded on the film,
using academy camera aperture of 0.864" by 0.630",
with intention to crop to yellow rectangle area.
This shows the flat 1.85:1 film format.
Camera aperture (black): 0.864" by 0.630".
Projector aperture (red): 0.825" by 0.446".
Note the wasted image area.
This shows the image on the film.
The 0.825" by 0.446" 1.85:1 area is projected onto the theatre screen.

Site created February 9, 1998