I found a writeup of the history of Cinema aspect ratios that I thought I would pass along, “The Changing Shape of Cinema: The History of Aspect Ratio“. A couple of the embeds in this link seem to have gone dead. Another link that gives more detailed technical information on the specific ratios is “The Letterbox and Widescreen Advocacy Page“.
Remember all the different innovations since the early 1950s: CinemaScope (“The Robe”). CinemaScope 55 (“Carousel”), VistaVision (“White Christmas), Cinerama (with its three projectors — “This Is Cinerama” and then “Cinerama Holiday”), and ToddAO, and then the practice, often used in the 70s and 80s, of making high-profile films with a lot of outdoor scenery in 70mm format (as with “The Hateful Eight” roadshow release from The Weinstein Company).
Let me add, I remember crying at the end of “The Robe” at a suburban CinemaScope premier at the Jefferson Theater on Rt. 50 in Falls Church VA in 1953.
Vox weighs in with this discussion by Charles Bramesco, “Film v. Digital: the most contention debate in the film world, explained” with illiustrations.
(Published: Friday, January 1, 2016 at 4 PM.)