Home
Resources
More Obituaries for Richard Vetter
Looking for an obituary for a different person with this name?

Richard H. Vetter


1928 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Richard H. Vetter Obituary
February 24, 1928 - August 11, 2015 CARLSBAD - Richard H. Vetter (Dick) was born in San Diego in 1928 and educated in the local schools. After graduation from Hoover High School he enlisted in the Navy and was assigned to an intensive School of Photography in Pensacola, Florida, which furthered his motivation and fascination of the subject of photography. As a child he was already captivated with photography and especially motion picture magic. Following his brief service in the Navy he continued with his formal education at Pepperdine University receiving a Masters in Education and taught high school for a short while when he decided to pursue his PH.D. at UCLA in Audio Visual Studies and Theater Arts. Subsequently he was appointed Associate Professor at UCLA and taught there for several years where he invented a motion picture simulator having received a special grant from the Institute of Transportation and Traffic Engineering. This widescreen development caught the attention of Louis de Rochemont, a well-known documentary and dramatic producer, who introduced him to the executives of United Artists Theatres. Dr. Vetter eventually became Vice President of Research and Development for UA Theatres. Development of the driving simulator system into a theatrical technology for producing and releasing Hollywood's feature films resulted in the formation of a new subsidiary of United Artists named Dimension 150. This combination of using Todd-AO 65 mm cameras and D-150 optics was designed to compete with Cinerama, Panavision other widescreen formats that became premium venues during the 50's and 60's. By the mid 60's the production and exhibition hardware and software was an unprecedented success. Dick's patented technology was installed in over sixty D-150 systems in the U.S., Mexico, South America, Europe and the Far East. Following a demonstration of the D-150 system at the UA Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, Frank McCarthy, producer for 20th Century Fox and Franklin Schaffner, Director of "Patton", selected D-150. Photographer Fred Koenekamp received a well-deserved Academy Award Nomination for best photography along with Dr. Vetter's Dimension 150. Dick Vetter holds over 40 patents of which many are associated with the technology of wide-screen motion picture exhibition as well as other patents that resulted in improvements for the science of the motion picture industry. Dick Vetter was a proud voting member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Society of Cinematographers among many other such organizations. Dick enjoyed traveling with family and friends taking numerous cruises over the years along with his faithful participation in our many family celebrations. He was a devoted husband, truly dedicated to his wife, Elizabeth Storrow, who pre-deceased him in 1970. Both his brothers, George and Norman Vetter, also, predeceased him. He is survived by his two children, Catherine Vetter-Johnson and Rodney Vetter, his sister Gail Marshall (Phillip), sister-in-law L'roida Vetter along with his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins. Dick was loyal, caring, humorous, fun-loving and generous with all of us who knew him best as well as being a significant contributor to various philanthropies and an icon in the motion picture industry. We will cherish the memories of the many years he so lovingly spent with us. Private memorial services and interment were held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Sept. 14 to Sept. 19, 2015
Read More