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Finding Aid of the Walter Beyer Papers
2006  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Items Removed from Collection

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Walter Beyer Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1935-1968
    Collection number: 2006
    Creator: Beyer, Walter, 1913-1969
    Extent: 45 boxes (22.5 linear ft.) 3 oversize boxes
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Abstract: Walter Beyer (1913-1969) joined Paramount Pictures in 1952 as a special projects engineer and worked on shutter timing devices, design of stereo-camera setups, experimental stereo projection, and the development of VistaVision, Paramount's wide screen process. In 1955, he joined the staff of the Motion Picture Research Council (MPRC) and oversaw mechanical and optical design problems. He worked briefly for Review Studios before becoming head of research engineering at Universal Pictures. The collection consists of correspondence, reports, catalogs, brochures, manuals, files, and ephemera related to Beyer's career as motion picture engineer.
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE: Advance notice required for access.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Walter Beyer Papers (Collection 2006). Department of Special Collections, University Research Library, UCLA.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Mrs. Walter Beyer, 1971.

    Biography

    Beyer came to the U.S. from Germany in 1951; joined Paramount Pictures in 1952 as a special projects engineer and worked on shutter timing devices, design of stereo-camera setups, experimental stereo projection, and the development of VistaVision, Paramount's wide screen process; joined staff of Motion Picture Research Council (MPRC) in 1955, and oversaw mechanical and optical design problems; later he worked briefly for Review Studios; became head of research engineering at Universal Pictures; died on January 14, 1969.

    Scope and Content

    Collection consists of correspondence, reports, catalogs, brochures, manuals, files, and ephemera related to Beyer's career as motion picture engineer. Includes material from his work with Paramount Pictures, the development of wide screen and 3-D film processes, the Motion Picture Research Council, and Universal Pictures Company. Also contains material related to wide screen film processes such as: Techniscope, Todd-AO, Technirama, Superscope, Cinemascope, VistaVision, Panavision, and Cinerama.

    Expanded Scope and Content Note

    Walter Beyer came to the United States from Germany in 1951. He joined Paramount Pictures in 1952 as a special projects engineer, working on shutter timing devices, the design of stereo-camera setups, experimental stereo projection, and the development of VistaVision, Paramount's wide screen process. In 1955 he resigned from Paramount and joined the staff of the Motion Picture Research Council, where he was in charge of problems relating to mechanical and optical design. The MPRC disbanded in March, 1960, and after working briefly for Review Studios, Beyer was appointed head of research engineering at Universal Pictures Company, Incorporated - a position he held until his death on January 14, 1969, at the age of 55.
    The Beyer collection consists of 47 document boxes of letters, papers, files and catalogues ranging over the whole of Beyer's work. Major subjects include: Wide Screen Processes and stereo sound; 3-D; the Cordova Mark I Projector; the Motion Picture Research Council; Mardovan method of film conservation: American Society of Cinematographers (files); Traveling Matte Process Photography and the Blue Screen System; films and film processing; lighting and lamps; theater screens; American Standards Association; catalogues, brochures, and manuals; shutter and flicker data; slides and transparencies; miscellaneous blueprints, graphs and charts; misc. photographs and negatives; and 88 reels of 8, 16, 35, and 70mm film.
    Of the material available, that concerning wide screen and 3-D process should have particular interest for film scholars, as many of these processes are no longer in use. Included files: 70mm installation survey (world wide); Dimension 150; Techniscope; Todd-AO; 70mm drive-in operations; wide screen information (general, domestic and foreign); Grandeur 70; Technirama; Scanoscope; Superscope; Cinemascope 35 and Super C-Scope 55; VistaVision; Panavision; Cinerama; Arc 120 System; and Panavision 35mm to 70mm. Film clipping which illustrate many of these processes are also available.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged in the following series:
    • Wide screen process and stereo sound data (Boxes 1-2).
    • 3-D (Box 3).
    • Cordova Mark I projector (Box 4).
    • Motion Picture Research Council (Box 5).
    • Mardovan method of film conservation (Box 6).
    • American Society of Cinematographers (Boxes 7-8).
    • Completed files (Boxes 9-11).
    • Traveling matte process photography and blue screen system (Boxes 12-13).
    • Film and processing data (Boxes 14-15).
    • Lighting and lamp data (Boxes 16-18).
    • Theater screen data (Box 19).
    • American Standards Association (Boxes 20-21).
    • Blueprints, graphs, charts (Boxes 22-24).
    • Software (Boxes 25-28).
    • Catalogues, brochures, and manuals (Boxes 29-40).
    • Correspondence, flicker and shutter data, photographs and negatives (Box 41).
    • Materials (Boxes 42-44, 47).
    • Slide boxes (Boxes 45-46).
    • Oversize materials (Box 48).

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the repository's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Beyer, Walter, 1913-1969--Archives.
    Motion Picture Research Council.
    American Society of Cinematographers.
    Cinematographers--Archival resources.
    Motion picture cameras--Design and construction--Archival resources.
    Cinematography--Equipment and supplies--Research.
    Wide screen processes (Cinematography)--Research.

    Items Removed from Collection

    • 88 reels of 8, 16, 35, and 70mm film (Turned over to Bob Epstein and the UCLA film archives).