The BIG Picture in Edinburgh
Filmhouse, Edinburgh, UK
The 70mm Newsletter
Boyd, Chief Technician
of the Filmhouse cinema. Image by Alasdair McCrum
We are housed in a former church building in
the city's West End. Our main 280-seat screen 1 (7.38m x 3.5m for 70mm),
opened in 1982 is in the upper half of the church with the café and bar
underneath. Screens 2 and 3 are housed at the rear in the former church
hall buildings, seating 100 and 70 respectively.
Equipment for 70mm in screen 1 is two Philips DP70 with Strong Super 80
arc lamps. As mentioned before we had a very bad fire in January but we
did take the opportunity to re-equip and to refurbish the projectors. We
now have a Panastereo CSP4600 for mag which replaces the damaged Dolby
processor, and for the first time we are able to play 70mm DTS by having
installed a special venue DTS XD10 - this last was installed to replace
the damaged and obsolete Dolby ScreenTalk with DTS-CSS, so of course we
took the opportunity to equip for 70mm DTS by buying two 70mm DTS
timecode readers. Since installation in May we have played "2001: A
Space Odyssey", "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Aliens". Of
course those are all mag but we will finally be screening "Vertigo"
in 70mm DTS on 22 January 2009, a title I have been nagging our
programmers about for some time.
in 70mm reading:
A Visit to the Filmhouse in
Gallery: 70mm Cinema, "Filmhouse",
Edinburgh, August 2015
Filmhouse, Edinburgh, UK
t. +44(0)131 228 6382
f. +44(0)131 229 6482
88 Lothian Road
Edinburgh EH3 9BZ
cinema screen 1, with 70mm. Image by Alasdair McCrum
Operationally we run the projectors as a
pair on changeovers and don't have a 70mm facility on our platter. Since
rewiring the machines can also run any speed via a microverter rather
than changing belts and pulleys. In interestingly our screen 2 is
equipped with two DP75s but only geared up for 35mm - they did have 70mm
capacity in their original location the Caley across the road from
In Edinburgh from 1958 the two main circuit cinemas the New Victoria
(Odeon) and Regal (ABC) were equipped with DP70s for 70mm, the Odeon
later re-equipping with Victoria 8 and the ABC with DP75. Then in 1968
the Caley Picture House equipped with two DP75s, now installed for 35mm
on our screen 2. In 1982 the recently reopened 3,000-seat Playhouse
equipped with the DP70s from the Odeon but by 1986 sadly they had been
disposed of and there are no film facilities remaining in this now live
theatre. So that leaves us as the last 70mm house in Edinburgh and one
of only two in Scotland, the other being GFT Glasgow.
cinema screen 1, with 70mm. Image by Alasdair McCrum.
Some 70mm titles shown here over the years:
"Heaven's Gate", "Pathfinder", "Playtime", "The Big Blue", "South Pacific",
"Innerspace", "Alien", "Alien 3", "Aliens", "2001: A Space Odyssey", "Flatliners",
"Spartacus", "Apocalypse Now", "Howard's End", "Doctor Zhivago", "Baraka",
"Little Buddha", "Custer of the West", "My Fair Lady", "West Side Story", "E.T.",
"Remains of the Day", "the right stuff", "war and peace" (USSR, 2 part
version), "Hamlet", "The Sheltering Sky", "Indiana Jones and the Last
Crusade", "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom", "Raiders of the Lost Ark",
"The Thing", "Lawrence of Arabia".
"For 30 years Filmhouse has been *Edinburgh's best independent cinema*,
showing over 500 incredible films each year. Filmhouse *celebrates world
cinema* in all its brilliance and diversity.
foyer. Image by Alasdair McCrum.
Our programme features new
releases and classic re-releases, retrospectives, film seasons and
specialist festivals, including the Italian and French film festivals,
Africa in Motion, Dead by Dawn horror film festival. Other regular events
include Psychotronic Cinema, monthly late-night off-beat cinema, and Gone,
But Not Forgotten, commemorating the recently deceased of the film world.
Filmhouse is also the home of the *Edinburgh International Film Festival*
which takes place in June.
Centrally located at 88 Lothian Road in the West End of Edinburgh’s city
centre, Filmhouse has three cinemas which are open to the public seven days
a week. Cinema One screens the latest international releases and presents
special events with guests talking about their work in different branches of
the film industry. Cinemas Two and Three include a wider range of material
from the history of world cinema, 16mm, video and digital video work.
1 projection box showing platter, DP70s and DLP. Image by Alasdair McCrum.
The result is that Filmhouse presents a more *varied programme* than any
other cinema in the country. The choice that is available to the people of
Edinburgh and the many tourists who visit the city makes Filmhouse one of
the leading entertainment and cultural venues in the Capital City. Filmhouse
runs a number of *courses, workshops and special events*, such as a
Introduction to European Cinema series, family events, scriptwriting
workshops and animation courses for adults and children. Mondays at 10.30am
it is ‘For Crying Out Loud’ time, when carers can see a film from our
programme without having the worry of their little darlings making a noise
and upsetting other members of the audience. Baby changing, bottle warming
and buggy parking facilities are available during these screenings.
up of DP70 projecting 70mm film. Image by Alasdair McCrum.
As well as three screens, Filmhouse also houses a *lively Cafe Bar*, a
popular meeting place, that offers fresh, affordable and imaginative food
and a great choice of hot and cold beverages - open 7 days from 10 till
late. Once a month Filmhouse Cafe Bar hosts the phenomenally successful (and
rather tricky) *Film Quiz*.
Filmhouse has *charitable status* and highly values any additional funds
that help to continue the development of the premises and expand the
activities that take place throughout the year. For £30 a year you can
become a *Friend of Filmhouse*. As well as supporting the cinema you will
receive a number of free tickets special offers and deals, the Filmhouse
brochure delivered to your home each month and invitations to Friends of
Filmhouse receptions. As part of our on-going fundraising strategy,
Filmhouse has also launched a *Seat Dedication Scheme*. With Tilda Swinton
as Honorary Patron, this scheme provides the opportunity for people to
dedicate a personalised seat plaque to role models in the film industry,
media professionals, loved ones or organisations.
screen 1. Image by Alasdair McCrum.
Filmhouse screens can be hired for *private events and corporate functions.*
Filmhouse foyer and box office are reached via a ramped surface from Lothian
Road. Our cafe/bar and disabled toilet are also at this level. There is
wheelchair access to all three cinemas. There are induction loops and
infra-red in all three cinemas for those with hearing difficulties. Our
brochure carries details on which films have subtitles. There is a large
print version of the brochure available at the Box Office on request, or it
can be posted out to you free of charge."
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