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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » Platter History

Author Topic: Platter History
Aaron Mehocic
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 804
From: New Castle, PA, USA
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 08-23-1999 03:09 PM      Profile for Aaron Mehocic   Email Aaron Mehocic   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If any of you folks read my profile, you'll see I like to talk about history, and that includes film history. This forum has helped me correct some of my errors in both projection and dating equipment for those who care to know. I was asked recently about platter design and their use in the industry. I told the guy that most platter designs probably date to the 1950's. When did they become widspread? Who, if you know invented them? In particular, I would like to know about Potts, SPECO, and Neu-tronic. Thank You.

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Stephen Jones
Master Film Handler

Posts: 314
From: Geelong Victoria Australia
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 08-23-1999 11:17 PM      Profile for Stephen Jones   Email Stephen Jones   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I dont know when the first platters came into operation but the first one I saw here in Australia and also the first xenon I have seen in use here was at a small theatrette here in Melbourne roundabout 1970 - 1971 I also saw one in Sydney in a 2 projector projection room but they wouldnt use the platter they didnt like it ,I dont know how they came to that conclusion if the didnt even use it.The set up I saw in Melbourne in the very early seventies was a ziess projector and platter system and the automation was also a ziess (think thats the way it is spelt).I was told that it was the one of the first used here but may be corrected on this as it was 29 years ago. I first used platters in 1977 they were speccos or were nown back then as Drive-In Theatre Manufacturing Co. These were used with Bauer U3s.


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Robert Throop
Master Film Handler

Posts: 412
From: Vernon, NY USA
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 08-24-1999 07:59 PM      Profile for Robert Throop   Email Robert Throop   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The modern platter was invented by Willie Burth, a German projectionist in the late 1960's.
Old Cameron and Richardson projection books (pre 1920)
refer to the Feaster no rewind device. This was a horizontal top magazine with the film feeding from the center just as with a platter. The film took up on a special reel with a removable hub. Each reel was stored tails up and placed in the top magazine for threading.
I also remember seeing a picture of a similar device in an American Cinematographer article about the movie industry in the Soviet Union in the mid sixties.


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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9451
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 08-25-1999 10:17 AM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The first comercial platter was the Kintone rotomatic based on burths patent
the first american was the simplex areomatic built by Potts
then came Christie
and then the infamous green slyme (the rank/prime energy unit)

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David Kilderry
Master Film Handler

Posts: 355
From: Melbourne Australia
Registered: Sep 1999

 - posted 09-12-1999 05:21 AM      Profile for David Kilderry   Author's Homepage   Email David Kilderry   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I believe the Kinoton (previously Philips)platter was first. I also understand it reaped an Oscar in one of the technical catagories.
I have used many platters, but this remains my favorite.The reinforcing fins under a Speco LP270 not only blow film on the plate below, but after 10 years of gently resting my head on a Kinotons underside whilst changing trailers, I was almost knocked unconscious when moving to a Speco!

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