The Film Guild Cinema was designed by architect Frederick Kiesler in 1928. Keisler was more than an architect, among other things he was a theater designer, artist, and a theoretician. Located on the main street of Greenwich Village in New York City, the Film Guild Cinema seemed to react with the very pulse of the city’s momentum. Kieslers’ intention with this theater was to create a ‘house of silence.’ The theater was conceived with a specific type of film spectatorship in mind. Careful acoustical aspects and spatiovisual considerations were taken into the design intentions of this theater. Among one of the most defining characterics of this theater was the controlling of the screen.
Kiesler’s screen could change with respect to the size of the image being projected. An expanding and constricting “irus” could be controlled to adapt to the geometry of the film being displayed. This device was called the “screen-o-scope” and resembled that of the aperture of a camera. According to the design specifications the screen could contrict down to a one-inch square, as well as become enlarged enough to reveal full sized screens. This design choice accomodated a variety of mediums ranging between that of 35 and 16mm presentations. —JPEG JEDI