The Society was founded in 1916, its purpose as expressed in its constitution being the "advancement in the theory and practice of motion picture engineering and the allied arts and sciences, the standardization of the mechanisms and practices employed therein, and the maintenance of a high professional standing among its members."<br><br>The membership of the Society is composed of the technical experts in the various research laboratories and other engineering branches of the industry, executives in the manufacturing, producing, and exhibiting branches, studio and laboratory technicians, cinematographers, projectionists, and others interested in or connected with the motion picture field.<br><br>The Society holds two conventions a year, spring and fall, at various places and generally lasting four days. At these meetings papers dealing with all phases of the industry - theoretical, technical, and practical - are presented and discussed and equipment and methods are often demonstrated. A wide range of subjects is covered, many of the authors being the highest authorities in their particular lines of endeavor. Reports of the technical committees are presented and published semi-annually. On occasion, special developments, such as the S. M. P. E. Standard Visual and Sound Test Reels, designed for the general improvement of the motion picture art, are placed at the disposal of the membership and the industry.<br><br>Papers presented at conventions, together with contributed articles, translations and reprints, abstracts and abridgments, and other material of interest to the motion picture engineer are published monthly in the Journal of the Society. The publications of the Society constitute the most complete existing technical library of the motion picture industry.