Early Electronic Television
RCA Pre-1945 Theatre Television Systems
The first practical demonstration of large screen television was made by RCA to the Society of Motion Picture Engineers in 1939. the screen was approximately 3 x 4 ft.
A scene from the first RCA demonstration of large screen television
Later that year RCA built a projection system that produced an excellent picture on a 9 by 12 foot screen. In December of 1940, a system was installed in the New Yorker Theater on Times Square, and operated it for nearly a year. During this time, the results were viewed by leaders of the motion picture industry, high government officials and press representatives.
The programs ranged from studio presentations at Radio City to boxing matches via coaxial cable from Madison Square Garden, wrestling via high frequency relay from Jamaica, New York, and even parade ground maneuvers at Camp Upton, 60 miles away, via three radio relay repeaters.
On May 9, 1941, an especially ambitious program was attempted. A full evening program was scheduled for an invited audience of leaders of government, industry, press and the public, which filled the 1600 seat house to overflowing.