VistaVision is a variant of the 35mm motion picture film format created by Paramount Studios in the 1950s. The film is run horizontally, as in a still camera, with a width of 8 perforations per frame. This gave a wider aspect ratio of 1.67 against the conventional 1.33, and a sharper image.

The format never really caught on, however, as it required new or retooled equipment all the way across the supply chain, from the camera to the theater projector, as well as twice as much film. In the end, Vistavision lost out in the general market to the less expensive anamorphic systems and the more capable 70mm format. Since 1977 the format has enjoyed a renaissance as an intermediate format used for shooting special effects, thanks to the reduced grain and easy adaptability of compact still cameras.

Prior to the introduction of VistaVision, Paramount Pictures promoted the 1.66:1 aspect ratio as THE ideal shape for movies. But when VistaVision came into being they quickly changed their tune and strongly supported a ratio of 1.85:1. Their framing guide, (see bottom of this page), made provision for showing films at 1.66:1, 1.85:1 and 2:1. For struggling theatres Paramount felt that they could use 1.66:1 and not need to spend a huge amount of money installing a new screen and having major achitectural changes to their prosceniums. For theatres that had put in big screens for CinemaScope, Paramount felt that the Technicolor print could hold up to being cropped to an aspect ratio of 2:1, though it was not a recommendation. It was good old 1.85:1, the same shape that the other studios were quickly adopting for their cropped wide screen films that Paramount recommended for VistaVision. And compared to your run of the mill cropped wide screen image, VistaVision just blew them away. In Europe, where 1.66:1 was a much more commonly used ratio for cropped wide screen, VistaVision was still recommended to be shown at 1.85:1. The Rank Organisation, the Eastern hemisphere's promoter of VV, even developed an anamorphic print that had a 1.85:1 ratio.

Helldrivers  -  Billy Childish  -  Sexton Ming  -  VistaVision