Designed by The Mutoscope and Biograph Company
The Poliforma, designed sometime between 1928 – 1932, was the world’s first interactive theatre chair. The chair was the first of its kind that enabled the user to view four different films at the same time, simply by switching between them. This meant that the user could view the news, and then watch a film, back to the news etc simply by moving one of the four levers. This would have been a revolution had it not been for another invention that came around at the same time, the Television. Using the Poliforma could not be simpler. The user would take a seat in the theatre chair, insert a penny into the coin box to the side and the performance would begin. To change what you are viewing you would simply move one of the four levers and this switches between the four separate film reels. The only problem with this is that each penny only buys you a minute of film time so you have to insert a penny each time you want to watch more, even if you are in the middle of a film.
This documentary contains archive footage of the Poliforma in use and a brief description of how it came about.