Silver's Return to the Big Screen

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It’s interesting to see not so much a new use for silver but a re-discovery of the benefits of silver long after its original use has faded. I refer of course to the use of silver in cinema screens. In the  early days the very term silver screen, which has become synonomous with the movie industry, was a reflection (pun intended) of the silver content in the projection screen. The highly reflective surface allowed the use of lower power projectors for early celluloid film. Due to the limitations of viewing angle and color the shift from silver embedded silk or synthetic fiber screens was largely phased out ” until today. Hollywood is jamming the release calendar for 2009 with 3D films in an attempt to maintain the viewing public’s enthusiasm for visiting cinemas. The new 3D films are digital in nature and require a  silver screen for best effect. Cinemas around the world are following the US lead and converting to digital which will allow movies to be downloaded from satellite and held on the theater’s server. The films show at 72 frames per second as against the  current 24 frames per second and require the highly reflective properties that metallic silver embedded in the screens surface  can provide in order to show at their best.

We don’t expect a major change in silver demand as a result but one can be sure the marketing men will use the iconic silver screen label to full effect as cinemas are upgraded.

–Stuart Burns

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