Synchronised cinema

The first known use of multiple cameras and multiple screes, Thompson said, was in 1896 in a process called “Cineorama.” Ten cameras were mounted . in a balloon. As the camera ascended the Paris rooftops, the cameras photographed a 360-degree image simultaneously. Synchronization was accomplished by a shaft running vertically upward from a platform where two men stood. The chaft had an eccentric in it so that each man could hold the section as he turned it manually. A huge cogwheel at the top operated the cameras in unison. Needless to say, the speed of the cameras was not constant. An attempt was made (the film was shown, I believe) to show this film at the Paris Exposiiton of 1896. To give the maximum illusion of reality, the audience was asked to stand in a basket similar to the gondola of the balloon. An alarmed and aroused fire department terminated the performance. Like all motion-picture film of that time, the stock had a nitrate base. When heated, it could have blown up and literally dispatched the entire audience.

  • Kranz, Stewart. Science & Technology in the Arts: A Tour through the Realm of Science/Art. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co, 1974. 181.