Rear projection is one of the most frequently used compositing techniques in Hollywood cinema from the 1930s to the late 1960s. Nevertheless, this technique has been hitherto underestimated. Of the scarce existing research, some studies have pointed out the economic advantages of it in terms of the studio system of the day, while others have examined it in the limited context of certain films or film directors. But such approaches have not paid sufficient attention to the fact that the many films had used the technique in spite of harsh criticism regarding the resultant image quality. This paper aims to clarify in part how the images created through rear projection were interpreted by the audiences of the time. The images were surely lacking in terms of the “reality” pursued by classical Hollywood cinema. However, the audiences were able to understand the mechanism of rear projection and experience its effects in a mode separate to that supposed by the classical Hollywood cinema. By analyzing a moving vehicle scene, I demonstrate how the gap created between foreground and background in the images re-arouses wonder in the audience, allowing them to enjoy the medium of cinema as a visceral attraction.