The widescreen film became a special theatrical event in the 1950s through three key developments:
- Films being booked as blockbusters to a small number of first-run theatres as opposed to standard distribution.
- The theatres were refurbished creating a more spectacular experience
- The total experience between the widescreen and refurbishment created a form of participatory recreation where the audience were active contributor in the process.
These changes to cinema becoming a theatrical event were significantly important because there was a decline in box office after World War II and a greater emphasis placed on leisure time creating a broader range of competition.
André Bazin who is one of the most influential film critic and theorists distinguished an audience’s participation in theatre and cinema by noting theatre as a live experience requiring an active involvement by the audience whereas, cinema separated the performance space. John Belton in
In the 1950s there were four key developments in widescreen:
- Eratz Widescreen