In a big building between the studios of Famous Players and R-K-0 in Hollywood a man was running a spool of film through a polishing machine. Something went wrong with the machine. A spark flew from a whirling gear and set the film on fire. A few seconds later every film in the room was on fire. Burning gas exploded and blew out the door, the flame rushed into other rooms. People staggered out of blazing doorways. Some were taken away in ambulances. One man died of his burns.
The use of nitrocellulose film for motion pictures led to the requirement for fireproof projection rooms with wall coverings made of asbestos. The US Navy shot a training film for projectionists that included footage of a controlled ignition of a reel of nitrate film, which continued to burn when fully submerged in water. Unlike many other flammable materials, nitrocellulose does not need air to keep burning as the reaction produces oxygen. Once burning, it is extremely difficult to extinguish. Immersing burning film in water may not extinguish it, and could actually increase the amount of smoke produced.
All day the building—a laboratory of Consolidated Film Industries, Since bringing colour to motion pictures 90 years ago, Technicolor has evolved into a global and diversified corporation that is now considered the preeminent worldwide provider of services to the media and entertainment industries. Headquartered in Camarillo, California, Technicolor is part of the Services division of Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS). In addition to being the world’s most prolific processor of motion picture film, Technicolor is also the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of pre-recorded videocassettes, DVD-Video, DVD-ROM, and CD-ROM. On an annualized basis, Technicolor has the ability to process five billion feet of motion picture release prints, and the capacity to produce in excess of 1.5 billion DVDs, 330 million videocassettes, and 300 million CDs. The company is also a leading developer and supplier of comprehensive, end-to-end digital cinema distribution technology and services, and channel origination and broadcast playout services. Over its nine decades of operation, Technicolor has continued to pioneer the most advanced methods of delivering visual entertainment to millions of people through film, digital cinema, video, and optical technologies.
Consolidated Film Industries (CFI) provides integrated laboratory services to the film industry. The company offers independent film support services and film trailer services. It also provides restoration and preservation, telecine services, titles, opticals, digital imaging, and integrated laboratory services to motion picture image-makers, commercial advertising clients, and the independent filmmaking community. CFI is based in Hollywood, California. As of 03/06/2000, Consolidated Film Industries is a subsidiary of Technicolor, Inc.
959 North Seward Street
Hollywood, CA 90039