A very high resolution and high contrast laser addressed liquid crystal color display has been developed for use in the acquisition and exploitation of high density alpha-numeric and graphic data. The display system consists of two smectic liquid crystal light valves (SLCLV) which are thermally addressed by a single laser selectively. Each light valve is capable of generating 2048x2048 addressable pixels within a 1"x1" data format. There are 8x106 pixels available for data presentation. The laser writing system consists of the laser, a modulator which enables the formation of discrete data elements on the SLCLV, a two axis galvanometer deflection unit and beam splitting optics designed to multiplex the writing laser on each SLCLV. A closed-loop galvo deflection system can position the focused laser beam to an accuracy of 0.1% across the screen. Laser focus lens is an f/8.0 telecentric design to produce a 1"x1" data format on the SLCLV with spot size less than .0004". Color images from each light valve are superimposed onto the screen by a wide angle f/8.0 projection lens with 48X magnification relays the combined color image to a 48"x48" screen with less than 0.1% of distortion. The possible contrast of the display is up to 60 to 1. The overall dimension of the rear projected color display is 60"x52"x31".