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Vol.10 : A Giant Screen Lights up the Night

The giant "Sony Scope" projector

The giant image projected by Sony Scope. Content was typically public announcements
(beware of fire, drive carefully), some manga animation and Sony product announcements.
Behold the light source!
And the Sony Scope itself!

Today, there are giant screens everywhere. But in the early 1960s, they were still a novelty. In 1961, Sony which was famed for miniaturization, took on the challenge of giant screens. The massive slide projector was called the Sony Scope. Maybe young people today don't even know what a slide projector is?

This Sony Scope projected images from one Sony building onto the wall of another 100 meters away. The images were huge, measuring 24 by 14 meters.

The projectors required specially coated slides, a powerful 4 kilowatt xenon arc lamp and a 70mm prominar movie lens. The light source was cooled by water circulation - the projector itself weighed 1 ton! The giant images must have mesmerized passer-bys. Image projections were carried about three times a week for three hours after night fall for around three years and were even featured in newspaper reports.

Sony Scope was a predecessor to today's giant screens and was a technological feat but, alas, was too big to become viable as a business.

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