fbpx 1955-1975 | George Eastman Museum

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As the film industry rapidly changed throughout the 1950s, Technicolor faced increasing challenges to its market dominance. Eastmancolor and other similar processes were cheaper and more appealing to studios, and the new widescreen systems could not be used with Technicolor’s three-strip process. From 1952, Technicolor began to offer its superior dye-transfer printing for films photographed with other color processes. Productions shot in Eastmancolor, such as This Is Cinerama (1952) or Twentieth Century-Fox’s first CinemaScope film, The Robe (1953), were released with Technicolor prints, featuring the credit line “Color by Technicolor.” Control of color photography was returned to studio hands, although several filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock, John Huston, and Douglas Sirk continued to collaborate closely to embrace Technicolor’s adaptable palette.

The film industry conversion to Eastmancolor happened quickly, and within three years, Technicolor retired the last of its three-color cameras. Rather than decommission its large inventory, the company repurposed these cameras for widescreen photography, and in 1957 the Technirama process was launched. In the 1960s, Technicolor further diversified its options. The company entered the consumer market for the first time, offering photofinishing services, small-gauge film cameras, and other new products.