"The most advanced motion picture processing lab in this country" -- wrote Joseph Scrabonia, formerly of Technical Maintenance Branch -- "at the time when motion picture production was being done in Building 1, is now the American Museum of Moving Images in what was APC Building 13.
"Chemical processing machines were design by skilled craftmen of Army Pictorial center of the Service Div. Until 1953. After that period, outside contractors were brought in to build machines at our specifications.
"Since we were not controlled by any union rules, we created techniques that were not accepted by the outside production system.. That is why our speed of film production, processing, printing, was so impressive to technicians in Hollywood and all around the world. It really shows that our leaders outside of Army Pictorial Center did not know our abilities.
"Apparently, it has been over looked because there was not that much glamour in high speed production.
"As a sample, during the Vietnam war a machine ran for 6 months around the clock without stopping. I personally had to order it stopped because of damaging mechanical parts. Hollywood technicians inquired on how we did this and that. Many foreign nations who were preparing to operate a lab also requested information of film processing techniques."
Expressing the frustration of those who saw the end of APC, Joseph Scrabonia wrote, "Whoever is viewing this forgive me, I loved APC. I am so mad that a great operation went down the drain, and training films went backwards. To save money, and give it to private contracts is not a saving."
"Building 13, which houses the American Museum of the Moving Image," wrote Joseph Scrabonia, "was at the time of the Army Pictorial Center the fastest processing motion picture lab in the world."
Scraboni, who was leader, photo equipment repairer, Technical Maintenance Branch, in Building 13, recalled, "Because of the mild glamour it sure was overlooked. My last statement in this matter claiming that Hollywood was so impressed with our quality and speed they were impressed. Foreign nations visited us to find out our techniques.
"You see Army Pictorial Center was beneficial to the world, and it closed. I was there when I and a crew were dismantling the high speed machines. A colonel of infantry visited us and complained that the films he received from a private contractor were in black and white. He said I could not distinguish the color of the mustard gas shell with any of the other shells, because mustard shells are yellow."
(Updated March 25, 2005)