1947 – At 55 years of age, Roy Stewart had an opportunity to buy out the operation – an opportunity that fit in with his vision of making large front and rear projection screens. With the help of his two sons, Marshall, 23, and Clifford, 20, the purchase was made and a small pilot operation was opened at a former WWII munitions facility in Torrance. Under the name, Roy C. Stewart & Sons, the business produced one lace and grommet screen a week for the movie industry.
Early 50’s – During the 50’s, the growth of the television industry propels the need for rear projection screens. This market also includes screens for process photography in motion picture studios and news reel presentation theaters.
1950 – LaMar Stewart, 27, joined the force as the company brought in new machinery and began producing larger screens. One of those screens went into the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. This exposure helped spur company growth.
1953 – Up until now, the largest seamless projection screen was 18 × 36 feet. Cinemascope, Vista Vision, Cinerama and Todd AO were in need of larger front projection screens. Trans-Lux Corporation wanted to get on the bandwagon and Stewart, being renowned for quality products and innovation, a merger was proposed and completed.
Stewart Trans-Lux Corporation had the capital and capabilities to propel the firm into the growing markets, expanding facilities 150 percent and creating a casting system for screens up to 40 × 90 feet. Stewart develops perforator to process screens for thru-image sound transmission. During this expansion, Patrick Stewart, 23, joins the team.
1954 – Clifford Stewart joins the company full time as Disneyland, the California State Department and other customers kept the business growing.
1956 – Roy C. Stewart & Sons of Stewart-Trans Lux Corporation wins Academy Award® in Science and Technological Achievement for the engineering and development of the HiTrans and ParaHiTrans rear projection screens used in the epic film, The Ten Commandments.
1958 – A front projection oval screen was specially curved to meet the unique requirements of engineer Charles Eames for the Brussels World Fair in Belgium. This project put Stewart Trans-lux on the map.
1963 – Stewart buys out Trans-Lux and Stewart Filmscreen Corporation was formed. Large contracts started coming in for projection screens to be used at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.
1964 – Stewart receives its second Academy Award® for a seamless translucent Blue Screen for Traveling Matte Color Cinematography for the movie Fantastic Voyage.
1966 – Material commonly used for filmscreen was put on government restriction because it was also used to make war materials for Vietnam. Stewart faced the challenge and developed a new screen vinyl resin. This development opened a door to new screen markets – large roller screens, snap-type screens and frames, large portable front and rear screens for exhibits, rock concerts, theme parks, and expositions. It also led to better theater screens and the high end home theater market, all demanding various types of Stewart screens.
1967 – Stewart contracted to make all the 220 rear projection screens and framing systems for the Dome Theater in the Texan Cultures Exhibit at Hemifair ’68 in San Antonio.
70’s/80’s – Growth continued at a slightly slower pace through the ‘70s and early ’80s, but the company’s fairly small staff produced award-winning screens.
1980 – Scott and Don Stewart join as a full-time employees.
1982 – Tom Stewart joins as a full-time employee.
1984 – Grant Stewart joins as a full-time employee.
1986 – Stewart Filmscreen produced the world’s largest seamless traveling matte (T-Matte) blue screen for Cinecita in Italy.
1986 – Stewart Filmscreen supplied screens for the Hilton Sports Book, which at the time was the largest in Las Vegas.
1989 – Stewart Filmscreen, actively involved in the AV trade associations including InfoComm and before that NAVA (National Audio Visual Association), enters its first tradeshow.
1992 – Participation in trade shows and increased international business brought another period of dramatic growth. Expanded facilities were needed and this led to the purchase of a division of U.S. Precision Lens, and the opening of an Ohio plant. Managed by Grant Stewart, the Ohio facility manufactures state-of-the-art optical lens systems leading to the first 180” optical screen.
1993 – With the international market growing, Stewart Filmscreen opens an office in Denmark.
1995 – Stewart develops Microperf, a specialized perforation process offering the world’s first acoustically transparent screen material to be certified by THX.
1997 – The screen market expands dramatically in Asia; therefore Stewart Filmscreen opens an office in Singapore.
1998 – Stewart Filmscreen Corporation opens the doors to the New World Headquarters, located adjacent to the property the company has occupied since 1950.
2000 – Stewart Filmscreen co-designed and manufactured custom projection screens for Disney California Adventure Theme Park.
2000 – With increasing demands, Stewart expands to a third manufacturing plant, an 11,000 sq ft building for the specialized manufacturing of Stewart’s award-winning screen materials.
2001 – Stewart introduces their first gray-based screen material developed for the growing consumer market. GrayHawk, an innovative front projection material designed to maximize Image Fidelity when used with the quickly evolving projector technologies.
2003 – FireHawk wins eight international awards as Stewart continues to make technological advances with its gray base projection material.
2005 – Stewart Filmscreen opens Training Center at Headquarters in Torrance, CA. Consumer dealer training became available to provide technical and sales information to authorized retailers.
2006 – Stewart Filmscreen and Sony Electronics combined forces to bring Full-HD to the A/V market with a new material developed specifically around the Sony VPL-VW50 projector, FireHawk SST.
2006 – Stewart releases groundbreaking products winning numerous awards: CineCurve, StarGlas, and the AllRise.
2006 – FireHawk is re-formulated as a “G3” screen material for optimal performance when used with 1080p projector technology.
2007 – Stewart Filmscreen Corporation celebrates 60 years as leader in precision projection screen technology. The company grew over 150% in 10 years and employees 225 employees worldwide.
2007 – The revolutionary StarGlas is designed which allows builders to integrate a glass projection screen into unique installations including floors and walls. StarGlas was used to construct the world’s largest edge-blended video wall within the IAC building in NY.
2007 – Stewart Filmscreen introduces StarLift, a motorized lift that elevates the futuristic StarGlas Screen from a hidden position allowing systems integrators to expand upon the possible applications they can offer homeowners with the revolutionary StarGlas rear projection screen.
2009 – Stewart receives Certificate of Excellence from Inside Track for the 12th year in a row.
This year has seen a number of exciting shows with many new products and innovations launched. CineNow have been at a number of shows around the world to find the best news and film the latest technology. Click on the videos below to find some of our favourites from the shows.
The most outstanding installations are voted every year at CEDIA, and this year’s selection will surely make your mouth water. The Best Large Home Theater catagories start at 40,000 $ and go up to over 800,000 $. In addition, specific themes are also awarded including :