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In terms of standard 35mm “anamorphic” (CinemaScope, Panavision, et al), no correction was made to the prints. The reason they curved the ‘scope screens for 35mm early on was because it was easier to get a focus on the edges of the image. As the projection optics improved, the curvature wasn’t as neccesary.
For films exhibited in 70mm single-lens Cinerama, they made optically-rectified (on the sides) prints to compensate for the extreme curvature of the screen. Standard 70mm films (West Side Story, Sound of Music, et al) were generally not designed for curved screens. Please note that there are also exceptions, MGM’s Camera65 productions such as Ben-Hur had special 70mm prints made that required a special anamorphic lens to project the extreme wide ratio of that film. Normal 70mm films are not as wide as 35mm CinemaScope/Panavision films.
Much more information about this can be gained by visiting the Widescreen Museum website: www.widescreenmuseum.com
No, a run of 27 shows wouldn’t wear a print out unless there was a mechanical issue. But that print and the other MFL’s from 1993 – there were probably only 3 or 4 struck – played a number of other venues and at each stop there would certainly be a chance for additional wear and tear. When most films finish their runs, the majority of the prints are junked whether they are worn or not. The Music Hall print would have come from Kit Parker, so it’s most likely gone. If MOMA has a 70mm print in their permanent collection, they probably would not loan it out.
Vincent – Not neccesarily, but it will be more and more rare since the only new prints they can strike are 70mm DTS prints and there are even fewer theatres that can play that format than standard 70mm mag sound. And virtually all of the vintage 70mm prints from prior to 1983 have faded and/or succumbed to warping by now. So the only 70mm prints you’d be seeing – if any – will be prints struck from 1983-2001 (that probably have a lot of mileage) or newly struck with DTS tracks. If you want to see 70mm, your best bet is to keep your eyes on the festivals in L.A. in England, where they sometimes run the rare good condition studio prints but often also run totally faded prints.
Re: junking prints – they would usually do it once the print reached a certain level of wear. And when a company closes up shop, it’s cheaper to junk the prints than it is to store the films until the new buyer is ready for them. Sad but true.
I would doubt that they are in 70mm – I don’t think MGM had any runable prints of WSS in 70mm and now that Sony owns the film, they would probably not strike 70mm prints since the capability to run them is so limited (they can’t do magnetic striping at the labs any longer). I think MFL’s 70mm prints were junked when Kit Parker Films closed up shop. I don’t know about Ben-Hur, the last 70mm of it that I saw was in 1990 or so – I’m running it in 35mm for 4 days in April at the Lafayette.
This theatre has apparently closed permanently as of last Thursday.
Correct. The Galaxy Theatre Corp. operates out of New Jersey – their website is www.bigscreenclassics.com .
The Kendig Square 6 is being re-configured for traditional retail space by the landlord.
The Lafayette Theatre in Suffern, New York currently has the capability to run dual-strip 3-D films and even had a three-day festival in early 2004. We recently ran House of Wax and a program of super rare 3-D short subjects in November of 2005. There will be more 3-D in 2006.
The theatre is closed and Albert Bialek, the landlord, is searching for a new tenant to replace Mr. Elson.
No, if a building’s design causes it to block the signals, that is not against the law. Using a device such as a cell phone jammer to jam or block signals is against the law.
It’s federal law to tamper with cell phone communication signals, it’s not a lightweight thing. See the stories about the guy in New Jersey who is being prosecuted for innocently focusing a key-chain laser beam onto an airplane from his backyard.
Check your email – the link to “remove” is at the bottom of it.
That blocking system would be illegal in the United States as the laws currently stand. Many theatres do not have auditorium paging systems – I’ve never heard one in all my years of going to and working in theatres.
From what I understood, the organ always used to be amplified – the microphones were embedded in the outer edges of the chambers. Once when the interior was repainted, the microphones were painted over and ruined and then never used again. As of now, it’s difficult to hear the organ when there’s a large crowd.
UPDATE for those who’ve asked regarding the print quality for the festival, I’ve inspected and run the following:
Abbott & Costello Meet Captain Kidd looks excellent, sharp as a tack with very good color (compared to the ever-so-slightly soft look of the SuperCineColor original). The print itself appears flawless and new.
Doctor X is a slightly older print – mid-90s – but also looks great. The odd two-color Technicolor look is maintained in this printing and it makes the movie even creepier than I remembered.
The Big Parade is brand spanking new, right out of the lab and never run, it appears. It’s the full-length version complete with color tints.
A Star is Born, again a beautiful-looking UCLA preservation of the Technicolor original. The print itself appears flawless.
I saw the 3-D Follies prints 18 months ago and they are uniformly excellent. The only other print I’m waiting for is the Hell’s Angels, but Universal assured me it would be their best copy.
Director of Film Programming
Big Screen Classics at the Lafayette Theatre
That double-feature showing would shown the films converted to the anaglyph (red & blue glasses) format in 16mm rather than the original 35mm polarized dual-strip projection format. That’s why the rear projection worked with them (as well as anaglyph can work, which is barely acceptable).
S.O.P. for advance studio screenings – the writer must not go to many of them if this seemed unusual.
The SALUTE TO FILM PRESERVATION coming November 12 & 13!
An incredible two-day festival honoring the heroic efforts made by film archives around the world to preserve our motion picture heritage. Rare features and vintage short subjects will be showing, highlighting films photographed in black & white, two-color & three-strip Technicolor, SuperCineColor and 3-D!
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12
12:45 pm – ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET CAPTAIN KIDD
(1952, directed by Charles Lamont, starring Bud Abbott, Lou Costello and Charles Laughton) The East Coast Premiere of the newly created UCLA Film & Television Archive print from the original SuperCineColor elements along with rare Bud & Lou coming attraction trailers and film footage. Featuring a personal appearance and Q & A with Louâ€™s daughter Chris Costello, moderated by Bob Furmanek & Ron Palumbo (authors of â€œAbbott and Costello in Hollywoodâ€), in cooperation with the Fort Lee Film Commission.
3:30 pm – DOCTOR X
(1932, directed by Michael Curtiz, starring Lionel Atwill & Fay Wray)
Presented in Warner Bros. vault print created from the two-color Technicolor materials.
7:15 pm – THE BIG PARADE
(1925, silent, directed by King Vidor, starring John Gilbert)
Presented in a new restored print from Warner Bros. with live accompaniment by John Baratta on the Lafayette Theatreâ€™s Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13
1:30 pm – Bob Furmanek presents 3-D FOLLIES
A selection of unique and rare short subjects preserved by the 3-D Film Archive and introduced by 3-D film historian Bob Furmanek. Presented in the miracle of perfected polarized 3-D.
3:30 pm – A STAR IS BORN
(1937, directed by William A. Wellman, starring Fredric March and Janet Gaynor) Presented in a restored print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive created from the original 3-strip Technicolor negatives.
7:15 pm – Howard Hughesâ€™ HELLâ€™S ANGELS
(1930, directed by Howard Hughes, starring Jean Harlow)
Presented in its full-length original version – complete with color sequences – with a restored print courtesy of Universal Pictures.
More information at the website: http://www.bigscreenclassics.com/preservation.htm
Don’t forget the big HORRORTHON this weekend, October 22 & 23:
Universal horror, Hammer Horror, silent horror, modern horror, and House of Wax in double-system polarized 3-D!
See ya' there!
You should make it up to my shows at the Lafayette in Suffern. A Hollywood classic every Saturday and the big HorrorThon this weekend.
The producer/studio would not let him – via the budget – film Dr. Z in SuperPanavision, he certainly wanted to do it that way.
I was at the first show on what was (I think) the final day of the engagement at the Cinema One. The presentation was spectacular and the film was very good (contrary to the critics' opinions). The audience applauded at the end. The next day, Rex Reed’s column said that he was at that same showing and that the audience booed the film and walked out, both statements patently untrue. Pauline Kael was at that show also, sitting in the back row and drinking heavily from airplane-style booze bottles.
JNZ – We have long-term leases at both locations. The landlord of the Sparta Theatre building wants to sell the property (and has been trying for some time), but that does not mean the theatre would close if that ever happens. The Newton Theatre building is not for sale as far as we know.
Mikey – Regarding the Hudson Street Cinemas, the location was never profitable – and never would be. We chose not to renew our lease and stayed there after it expired to allow time for the landlord to find another tenant and convert it to regular retail space.
Galaxy Theatre Corp.
That’s been floated from time to time. The latest proponent of it is Mark Cuban, who owns the Landmark Theatres chain well as High Def satellite services and other things. It’s a foolish idea and most likely won’t happen with mainstream films, but for some of the lower-level art films it might happen.
This is not true.