Cinema Screen


are never given much thought by the cinema customers

They only realise that there is a screen if it is dirty, or the film breaks

After all, they appear to be very simple, just a large white sheet that the film is projected onto, but they are a very important part of the projection chain

There is a large amount of technology in their design and installation

A screen is normally constructed of vinyl panels, and is known by the amount of light that it reflects back to the viewer

For a start very few screens are solid

Most have a great many small holes in them to let the sound through from the speakers mounted behind them


here are four main categories:

Matte White that reflect about 5% of the projected light

Pearl that reflect about 15% of the projected light.

Silver that reflect about 30% of the projected light

Glass beaded that reflect about 40% of the projected light

(Considering the small reflective amounts, plus the 25% of light lost on the projection porthole glass, it is a wonder that any light is seen by the audience at all. This proves the efficiency of the arc lamp, and projector optics)

Matte White is normally used only in smaller theatres of under 100 seats

Pearl & Silver are the two most common types used

Glass beaded is normally too bright, and only used in very special circumstances

To make the common Pearl or Silver screens a reflective coating is sprayed over a matte white surface

Glass beaded screens have thousands of glass beads embedded into the surface

Behind the screen there are usually three sets of loudspeakers, left – centre- right

The audio comes through the appropriate speaker