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 alphanumeric 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 2048 X2048 addressable pixels within a 1 in. X1 in. data format. There are 8 X106 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 galvanometer deflection system can position the focused laser beam to an accuracy of 0.01 % across the screen. The laser focus lens is an f/8.0 telecentric designed to produce a 2.54 cm X2.54 cm (1 in. X1 in.) data format on the SLCLV with spot size less than 10 ,um (0.0004 in.). Color images from each light valve are superimposed onto ' the screen by a wide angle f/8.0 projection lens with 48X magnification which relays the combined color image to a 1.2 m X 1.2 m (48 in. X48 in.) 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 1.52 m X3.2 m X0.74 m (60 in. X52 in. X29 in.).