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This article first appeared in 70mm
The 70mm Newsletter

Reprinted from: British Kinematography Sound and Television, August 1973 and supplied by Mr Grant Lobban.. Issue 54 - September 1998
The Pik-A-Movie 70mm cassette with 70mm film. Picture by Thomas Hauerslev.

The Pik-A-Movie system was invented by Dr Leo W. Wells and developed by Panacolor in which the German company Zeiss is the major shareholder.

The system differs in that the cassette contains film and the equipment is shown by optical rear projection to the viewer. Each viewer is delivered his own set when he requests the service and consequently the system can be used in any hotel. This is a considerable advantage when it is realised that only a very small percentage of British Hotels contain a colour television in each room.

The cassette used in the system contains 300ft of film and is suffcient for two hours of programme. A single full length feature can be shown, or as many as six different subjects may be programmed in a single cassette measuring 61/2" x 7" x 4" (16,51 x 17,78 x 10,16cm). When operating the machine, facilities are available for repeating sections of the film or for studying a single frame.

Further in 70mm reading:'s 1998 News

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The Pik-A-Movie 70mm roll of 70mm film. Picture by Thomas Hauerslev.

A special film process is adopted in producing the films for the cassette. Twelve rows of super-8 sized pictures and twelve tracks of optical sound are printed on a 70mm film as shown. It is, therefore, necessary for the projector to be indexed from one row to another in order to completely show the contents of the magazine. The film is transported through the projector in a horizontal plane and the first row of pictures and sound are projected. At the end of the first row an inaudible tone is superimposed onto the soundtrack which causes the film projector mechanism to step-up one row and reverse the direction of the film. This operation is repeated for the remaining rows of the film: at the end of the twelfth row the film is returned to a start position and the projector is automatically shut-off, leaving the film completely rewound in the magazine. The film is transported at 30 ft (9,144m) per minute and shown at a frame rate of 24 frames per second. It is projected onto a rear projection type screen normally measuring 71/4" x 10" (18,415 x 25,4cm) although this size can be increased to 11" x 16" (27,94 x 40,64cm).

The operational controls are simple and in addition to the normal controls for stop, start and volume, the viewer has the facilities for selecting any row of the film and for reversing the direction of the film if required.

The system provides a solution for reducing the amount of film required to show a full length movie and substantially reduces the processing cost for producing duplicate prints. The cassette also provides protection against damage normally encountered when the film is handled. The system is obviously adaptable with the correct software to applications other than hotel movies and then it would be entering the same market as EVR.

Reprinted from Journal of the SMPTE, May 1967

The Pik-A-Movie 70mm cassette and roll of 70mm film. Picture by Thomas Hauerslev.

The Panacolor cartridge, incorporating 10 rows of a modified 8mm format on a 70mm film, uses a cartridge containing up to 350 ft (106,68m) of the 70mm film with a film projection rate of 24 frames/s at 26 ft/min incorporating photographic sound and a left-to-right and vise versa instead of up-and-down transport. The projection unit has been introduced as a rear-screen unit with a direct projection option and incorporates a rotating prism synchronized by means of a sprocket. Each cartridge can contain up to 12 different short subjects, or single-concept films up to 10 minutes running time, with random or successive selection.
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Updated 31-12-15