See this article: Digital History: The Rise of Hollywood and the Arrival of Sound.
It refers repeatedly to "movie houses", and uses the term "wired for sound". these are certainly what the Variety extract is referring to.
Note: I've also seen it hyphenated "movie-house", and contracted "moviehouse".
The band was the Grateful Dead and the invention necessary was an analog delay line that was inserted between the main audio mix signal line and the power amps that drove the speaker arrays (which were co-located with the speakers themselves). Delays on order of a tenth to a half a millisecond were needed and the amount of delay had to be adjustable to ...
They had jeweled points set into bronze tube drills. Artisans used generations of experience and secret grinding methods with a good knowledge of metallurgy.
This is a related article old Egypt drilling methods
"In 1996, this tube-drilled piece of granite was on display in the Cairo Museum"
The physical efficiency, convenience and simplicity is probably the right answer. But yes it would be better to have a big oval wider on the sides screen to watch videos because how our eyes sees the world.
You can ask the same question about our writings. Imagine instead of letters we had organic looking shapes and patterns like the aliens in the movie ...