You are here

Two sound systems

There were two movie sound systems: Vitaphone’s disc-based system, which required projectionists to handle a lot of equipment, all at once; and Fox’s sound-on-film, which required someone to operate faders.  No one knew which system would ultimately be adopted as the standard, and the Alliance was determined to protect the jurisdiction of its projectionists.  Whatever system was finally accepted should and must be operated by IA members.

Pressure from theatre owners to keep only one man in the booth led to disputes, aggravated by declining box office revenues.  Just as the Alliance was intensifying its efforts on behalf of projectionists, as well as studio craft workers in Hollywood, the stock market collapsed and with it the entire national economy.