The RCA Pavilion

Occupying an enviable site at the Fair's Main Gate, the RCA Pavilion is highlighted in this photo of the giant World's Fair model, on display at the American Express pavilion across the street from RCA.
World's Fair Model



Wayne Bretl with excerpts from BROADCAST NEWS

RCA Model

RCA Model with legend The main form of the RCA building was a set of intersecting drums. The exterior was white with copper decorations at the top of the walls. The largest, central room was the color TV studio. The next smaller drum was the reception area and "see yourself on color TV" area. The third major room was the control center. There was also a small room for demonstration of stereo sound.
The illustrations from Broadcast News that are shown above depict the model as the pavilion would be approached by visitors. The entry was at the junction of the studio and reception "drums," and the "welcome sign" used a color TV instead of an ordinary sign. This was very leading-edge for that date! Visitors could enter a queue leading to the "see yourself" area.

Welcome "sign" at the RCA Pavilion was a Color TV broadcast too!

SOURCE: © 2005 Wayne Bretl, personal collection June/July 1965

Welcoming monitor

The rest of the trip through the pavilion was by walking a series of ramps. First, visitors circled up around the reception area. Here, RCA products were to be displayed. Broadcast News states that RCA had decided to concentrate on Color TV rather than to attempt to compete for attention regarding the computer or defense businesses which were represented strongly by other companies at the Fair.

Detail of the cut-away model shows how the Production Studio would look from a visitor's-eye view. The detailed model left nothing to the imagination! Notice the broadcaster at the podium stands in front of a miniature Unisphere backdrop!

SOURCE: All model shots on this page from BROADCAST NEWS, Vol 118, Oct. 1963, published by Radio Corporation of America Broadcast and Communications Products Division, Camden, NJ

Model's "Studio View"

The ramp then became a gallery along one side of the studio and passed over the control room as a bridge so that one could look to either side to see various equipment and operations (the bridge is removed in the cut-away models shown below).

Close-up views of the RCA Pavilion from two different angles. The cut-away model shows detailed mock-ups of the main exhibit areas. Circular central drum contains the studio area with control room immediately adjacent. Brown carpeted drum contained the Reception Area with the "See Yourself on Color TV" exhibit. Smaller rooms to the side contained listening areas for hi-fi stereophonic equipment.
Cutaway Model
Cutaway Model

Finally there was a down-ramp around the back of the control area. The studio-produced pictures were displayed in black-and-white and color simultaneously. Various monitors in the control room showed other productions or films that were being transmitted to the gallery by closed circuit.

According to Broadcast News, the facility was planned for five major activities: live studio, closed circuit television carried over telephone company cables to multiple receivers (those that were scattered over the Fairgrounds, presumably), "See Yourself on Color TV," supplementary film video for the gallery, and live transmission and tape recording of remote pickups.

An organist plays in the studio and visitors see the television broadcast in black-and-white and color on different monitors.

SOURCE: © 2005 Wayne Bretl, personal collection June/July 1965

 Black & White image

 Color image

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