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A Brief History of Theatrical Screen Size

Fandor’s David Ehrenstein writes a brief history of theatrical screen size, and how most content is consumed on smaller screens these days.

He writes, “When it comes to the cinema it’s clear we’ve shrunk severely. For while we may have IMAX, more and more of us are watching our movies on iPhones. That we have come to this could have been predicted. The movies, after all, began as ‘Peep Shows’—carnival exhibits where customers watched moving images on miniature devices. This all changed when the Lumiere Brothers showed their films of everyday people and places in theatrical settings by converting cafes for this purpose, thus creating the prototype of movie theaters as we know them today. Or perhaps knew.”