THE VISTARAMA STORY
VISTARAMA came into being when Carl Dudley, president
of Dudley Pictures Corporation, attended a demonstration of
Cinemascope. He was so impressed and so completely convinced
that this was the only practical and most acceptable system,
destined to become the new dimension of the motion picture, he
set out to develop a compatible system.
Mr. E. J. Quinn, Chicago businessman and personal
friend, brought the Simpson Optical Manufacturing Company and
its president, Mr. Stewart Eagan, into association with Carl Dudley and it was concluded that an attempt would be made
to create a satisfactory anamorphic lens. The Simpson technical staff - James Daly, Ed Bickle, Warren Smith, James Curtin -
set to the challenge and in a period of six and one-half days
they produced VISTARAMA'S first lens. Photographic tests were
made by Edwin Olsen, Dudley cameraman, and although the results
were not by any measure perfect, the results proved that given
time that the VISTARAMA lens could be the equal of any similar
Several weeks later, with developed lenses, demon-
strations were held in Los Angeles for the heads of Fox, M-G-M,
Warner Bros., Paramount, Republic, Columbia, as well as independent producers and other interested persons. In each
instance the results were pronounced impressive and the equal
or superior to any other anamorphic lens.
A few days later, in early June of this year, leading
16mm equipment manufacturers were invited to a demonstration
screening in Chicago. This, the very first demonstration of an
anamorphic wide-screen process for the 16mm field, was held be
fore some 300 interested persons at the Conrad Hilton Hotel.
The acceptance was real and gratifying and the manufacturers
present expressed their enthusiastic desire to design projectors
and screens to accommodate the new VISTARAMA dimensional lenses
and projected images.
Several days later another demonstration was held at
the RKO-86th Street Theatre in New York, courtesy of Mr. Sol Schwartz. Some one hundred fifty persons were invited -