Paul Rayton Remembers "Scent of Mystery" in 3
minutes and 49 seconds
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The 70mm Newsletter
by: Thomas Hauerslev, 30 April 2014, Copenhagen Airport Kastrup.
Interview transcribed by Brian Guckian, Ireland
Tell us about your childhood memories of seeing “Scent of Mystery” in
New York –
PR: Well, in the early months of 1960 – I was about 18 at the time – we were
part of a school group. A big thing for us in New Hampshire was to go to New
York City – “the big city” – but a bit of a drive though (I believe we went
in cars, but can’t remember). It’s just under 300 miles, and most of the
expressways at the time were still not completed, so it was a long trip for
a kid from Hanover, New Hampshire, to New York City.
So we got there – it was kind of a big thing for us kids – it was a
chaperone school, or some other youth group, so most of our events were
But we had one afternoon that was available for something of interest to us.
I had seen ads in the newspaper advertising this thing, “Scent of
Mystery”, and it said, “In Smell-O-Vision”. So I’m thinking, “Well, I
have my afternoon off – cool! Let’s go to see this ‘Smell-O-Vision’ thing”.
So I ended up being one of the apparently few people who actually saw the
original movie as a 70mm print, with the Smell-O-Vision process in effect.
What I remember about the movie was that I believe the odours were directed
towards us by little pipes in between the seats in front of us. And it was
okay – I don’t remember a lot of them – I remember a scent of some shaving
cream, and a couple of other smells, vaguely. But I didn’t think the process
worked all that great – I didn’t have the complaint about the smell
lingering afterwards, which apparently was one of them – but still I was
getting some smells. But OK – it was a process, but possibly not perfect.
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the movie ended, and I had a recollection that it was the
but according to the newspaper ads I looked at subsequently it seems it was
the Warner Theatre. In any event, I was looking around the theatre, and I
guess the projection room was on the main floor so it had a straight shot at
the screen. I knew about movies and projection rooms by then – I had already
done some work with projection rooms, etc. There was a door – “OK, why don’t
I just – I’m a kid from, you know, outside the city, so let’s see if I can
So I opened the door, and in there, it looked to be, from what I recall now,
a pair of DP70s, and it all looked
neat, and the older projectionist in there said, “What are you doing in
here! You don’t belong in here – get out!” So – I was summarily dismissed
and sent packing. My little booth tour was fairly short, but at least I saw
And that’s all I recall really, about “Scent of Mystery”, other than
about 40 years later, when we started to get those old prints out, in all
their pink glory, and watch them.
TH: Do you remember if the film was preceded by “The Tale of Old
Whiff” – the cartoon?
PR: I can’t remember that – that’s waaay too long ago...makes my head spin,
to think of all those years! But I don’t remember anything pre-show at
all...just the fact of the name of the movie, and the process: that was the
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