1965 saw the Koorda Drive-In Outdoor Cinema open and, like many drive-ins across the world was very popular for several years. The cinema closed in the early 80s and later that decade began use again on an ad hoc basis.
Excitingly for movie buffs and retro-fans, the Koorda Community Drive-In is booming again. It now features a new digital projection system and crowds flock to regular screenings of new release films. Sound is playable direct through your car’s radio.
As an added attraction, visitors will often find a line-up of vintage cars in the cinema with car clubs regularly venturing out for a retro-experience.
While the Koorda cinema now features an ultra-modern projection system, the traditional method for creating a moving image was simply an illusion. Still images were used to trick the brain into thinking that it was watching a moving image.
A series of consecutive still images were captured and chemically developed into a strip (along length of consecutive images printed in a row), and then wound around a film reel. It sounds simple but, in fact, a very scientific process is needed to achieve this.
The process starts with undeveloped film being run through a series of processing tanks, or baths, which creates a chemical reaction. Once dried, this converts the undeveloped film into a strip of images that is ready for projection.
The circular film reel is attached to the ‘spool’ of the projector. From there, it is spun around very quickly, and the film strip is passed through the machine and coiled around a second reel (called the takeaway reel). Whilst being sent through the machine, the film strip passes a lamp. The light from this lamp sends a reflection of the still image through a lens, which projects the image away from the projector. The still images move at such a speed that the human brain cannot see the slight break between shots, thus creating the illusion of a moving image.
This ingenious technique that allowed for the development of traditional cinema is matched by alignment of the still image with the soundtrack. Next to the still images on the film strip is a series of optically recorded soundwaves. After the film strip has passed the lens, it is then run across asound drum. Here, another lamp sends a concentrated strip of light into a photo sensor. This photo sensor measures the amount of light created by the optical image and converts it into a current which produces sound.