US 3695751 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Watanuki  HEMISPHERICAL MOTION PICTURE SCREEN  Inventor: Toshio Watanuki, Tokyo, Japan  Assignee: The MIDORI-KAI Co., Ltd.,
Minamiku, Osaka, Japan  Filed: Oct. 26, 1970  App]. No.: 84,050
 Foreign Application Priority Data Oct. 30, 1969 Japan ..44/87438 Oct. 30, 1969 Japan ..44/87439  US. Cl. ..352/70, 350/117, 353/122 [51 Int. Cl. ..G03b 37/04  Field of Search ..352/70, 69; 350/117, 118, 119;
[5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,834,177 12/1931 Petrowsky ..350/119 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,204,643 8/1959 France ..352/69 [4 1 Oct. 3, 1972 OTHER PUBLICATIONS Polyvision by Peter Gessler from Camera, June 1964, pg. 13- 17.
Domerama-Theatre of the Future by J. G. Jackson International Projectionist, Feb. 1957, pg. 23.
Primary Examiner-Samuel S. Matthews Assistant ExaminerRichard L. Moses Attorney-Dawson, Tilton, Fallon & Lungmus  ABSTRACT A hemispherical motion picture screen is provided with a spherical or arcuate lower extension, and the screen is comprised of a plurality of individual screen strips. The screen is in the form of a sphere which is truncated below the equator, the lower extension extending downwardly below the equator of the screen and being a continuation of the spherical shape so that dead zones in the projected image are eliminated. The spherical shape of the screen is provided by a plurality of frame units, each of which includes a plurality of generally horizontally disclosed screen strips. The screen strips are positioned in overlapping relationship with their disclosed faces directed downward.
3 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATEN-TEDHBIB I9 2 SHEET 1 [IF 3 PATENTEDnma I972 3.695. 751 sum 3 BF 3 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a hemispherical screen for motion pictures.
conventionally, screens for motion pictures were in the form of plane and consequently the images projected on such screens were planar and could not fully appeal to the audience. In an attempt to make the images look three-dimensional, a curved screen has been developed as used for Cinerama. However, it is ultimately desired to provide a three-dimensional screen which enables the audience to watch projected images all around and above.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a hemispherical screen for motion pictures which enables the audience to watch the projected images with the same feeling as when they stand on the ground and look up or around. The screen is not exactly in a hemispherical shape but in the form of a sphere which is truncated below the equator. When a person stands upright and looks at the front, the lower end of the view he commands is positioned some distance below the horizontal line at the level of the eyes. If the screen is exactly in the form of a hemisphere, the lower end of the screen is positioned on the horizontal line at the level of the eyes, with the result that the lower portion of the view is not covered by the screen. In the case where the screen is in the form of a sphere which is truncated below the equator, the screen covers both the upper and lower ends of the view commanded by the person. Further if the lower extension of the screen is in the form of a cylinder which extends downward from the equator, there arise dead zones where no image is projected, whereas the extension which extends downward from the equator in the form of a sphere insures elimination of such dead zones. The spherical shape of the screen is provided by a plurality of frame units which are assembled together in series and each of which includes a plurality of inclined screen strips disposed horizontally in overlapping relationship with the disclosed faces thereof directed downward. This arrangement insures reproduction of clear images, eliminating diffused reflection of rays. In addition, the structure comprising frame units including screen strips facililates construction of the hemispherical screen.
The present invention will be described in greater detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a view in vertical section schematically showing an image projecting assembly provided with a hemispherical screen in accordance with this invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along the line 2-2 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary front view on an enlarged scale showing the screen of FIG. 1, part of the screen being broken away;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along the line 4-4 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along the line 55 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view on an enlarged scale showing a frame unit in which the method for fixing screen strips is partly shown;
FIG. 7 is a schematic front view illustrating the theoretical ground that the dead zone can be eliminated by the hemispherical screen of this invention; and
FIG. 8 is a schematic bottom view of FIG. 7.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a screen 1 is in the form of a sphere which is truncated below the equator E and includes a spherical or arcuate lower extension la which extends continuously downward from the equator E. The hemispherical screen 1 is fixed to a domelike building 2 which surrounds the screen 1. Formed between the screen 1 and the building 2 is a space for disposing a number of sound systems (not shown). The annular lower portion 2a of the building 2 is provided with suitable passages serving as entrance and exit (not shown) and five projection rooms 4 having projection windows 3 and equidistantly spaced apart. A motionpicture projector 5 of the horizontal film transport type is installed in each of the projection rooms 4, the projector 5 being equipped with an equidistance projection lens or three-dimensional image projection lens. The projector 5 is disposed at each comer of a regular pentagon and is so adjusted that its optical axis L passes through the center 0 of the sphere defined by the screen 1. Each division A of the screen 1 which is vertically divided into five is covered by each projector 5. The space surrounded by the annular lower portion 2a of the building 2 and positioned below the screen 1 provides a place for the spectators. In order to make it easy for the spectators to watch the images projected on the screen 1, the place for the spectators is defined by a circle S indicated in two-dotted chain line in FIG. 2 which is concentric with and slightly smaller in diameter than the circle defined by the lower peripheral end of the screen 1. In accordance with this embodiment, five films are simultaneously projected on the screen with five projectors, but the number of the projectors is not critical and may be varied as desired.
Referring to FIG. 3 to 6, the spherical form of the screen 1 is provided by a number of frame units 6 which are joined together one after another vertically and horizontally, and held by support frames 7 secured to the inner wall of the building 2, the adjacent frame units 6 being inclined inward at a predetermined obtuse angle. As shown in FIG. 6, the frame unit 6 is constructed of vertical members 9 spaced apart in parallel by a given distance and having sawteeth 8 and horizontal members 10 and 11 disposed at the upper and lower ends and intermediate portions of the vertical members 9. The opposite ends of each of the horizontal members 10 and 11 are fitted into L shaped cutouts l2 and U- shaped cutouts 13 formed in the outer side of the vertical members 9 at the opposite ends and intermediate portions respectively and fixed with adhesive. The inclined faces of the sawteeth 8 of the vertical members 9 are directed downward and a screen strip 14 extends across the sawteeth 8 of the opposite vertical members 9. The opposite ends of the screen strip 14 are secured to the outer side faces of the vertical members 9 by means of staples 15. The screen strips 14 are disposed in overlapping relationship with each other in the manner of Persian blinds, the screen 1 thus being composed of a great number of horizontally extending screen strips 14. More specifically, the screen 1 is 2,000 m in total area and is made up of 190,000 screen strips 14, each 60cm in length and 4 cm in width. The material for the frame unit 6 may be wood, synthetic resin or metal, the most preferable being wood. The screen strip 14 may be made of a fabric, preferably a fabric woven of nylon yarns. To apply the screen strips to the frame units 6, the strips are provided with moisture beforehand to allow them to expand sufficiently and the wet strips are then fixed to the frame units 6 while being kept taut and dried. The horizontal screen strips 14 fixed to one frame unit 6 are inclined relative to the frame unit 6, with the disclosed faces directed downward, and all of the screen strips 14 are disposed in parallel. In order to obtain clear images free from diffused reflection of rays, the angle of the screen strips on each of the frame units 6 relative to the image projecting rays as each frame unit 6 is secured to the domelike building 2 is critical. This angle is so determined that all of the rays reflected by all the screen strips 14 on the frame units 6 enter the circle S which defines the aforementioned place for the spectators.
For elimination of the dead zones, the lower extension 1a of the screen 1 must not be cylindrical but spherical as already described. The theoretical ground for providing such structure is illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8. Suppose the screen 1 is provided with a spherical extension la as shown in the solid line and a cylindrical extension 1b as shown in the dotted line. The radius r' of the circle defined by the lower peripheral end of the spherical extension la of the screen 1 is given by the equation wherein r is the radius of the hemispherical screen 1, namely the radius of the cylindrical extension 1b, and 6 is the angle defined by a horizontal line H which passes through the center of the sphere forming the screen 1 and by a line 23 connecting the center 0 to the lower end X of the screen 1.
The difference d between the radius r of the cylindrical extension lb and the radius r of the lower end of the spherical extension la is given by In the present embodiment, r 15m, and 0 20, hence the above equation gives Assuming that one projector 5 covers an angle of 2 0, the angle 0' which produces a dead zone is given by In the case where five projectors are used for the he is herical scre n of the resent embodiment, 6' 36 s8 that the cafculation ased on the above equation shows that a dead zone having a width of 0.3 m is produced on one section of the cylindrical extension lb which is covered by one projector. The same dead zone is also produced on the adjacent section of the screen. As a result, a dead zone having a width of 0.6m occurs at the boundary of the adjacent two sections of the screen.
l. A screen for" receiving projected images, the screen being formed from a plurality of frame units joined together to provide the screen with the general shape of a sphere truncated below the equator thereof to provide a generally spherical segment extending below the equator of the screen whereby dead zones in the projected images are eliminated, each frame unit including a pair of vertical members provided with sawteeth and a pair of horizontal members extending between the vertical members.
2. The screen of claim 1 including a plurality of elongated screen strips, each screen strip extending horizontally between the sawteeth on opposite vertical members of a frame unit in overlapping relationship.
3. An image projecting assembly comprising an outer generally domeshaped building providinga generally hemispherical inner wall, a screen secured to the inner wall of the building and spaced inwardly therefrom, the screen having the shape of a sphere truncated below the equator thereof to provide a spherical segment extending below the equator of the screen, and a plurality of spaced-apart projectors positioned adjacent the lower periphery of the building so that the optical axis of each projector passes generally through the geometric center of the spherical screen.