7OMM in New Zealand
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The 70mm Newsletter
|Written by: Allan
Webb, New Zealand. Prepared for in70mm.com by Anders M Olsson,
pair of DP70s in New Zealand. Unknown cinema, and unknown photographer
I have been for the past 6 years compiling a book on Auckland cinemas
covering all aspects of the industry as well. It's up to 40 volumes and we
have now started to print and bind volumes. I read your article in Cinema
Retro about Todd-AO and would like to include it in the book. There are 25
copies and will all be donated to archives, museums, universities, libraries
and historical societies around Auckland. It has cost me 3k per copy but
itís a labour of love. It will be the only document NZ will ever have that
documents the history of cinema.
This is what we have on 70mm specific to New Zealand. It is not much, in
fact we have very little included in the collection we are putting together
that is specific to New Zealand. The two pages are included in the volume
entitled ĎFilm Formatsí. Please find attached what we do have.
Amalgamated's Cinerama, Plaza and one screen at Midcity, also Kerridge
Odeon's Embassy, Westend and New Regent and finally Village Hoyts Queen St
We have tried to find further information but havenít come across anything
apart from this page. If anything comes to hand, I shall certainly let you
know. It a pity we donít see 70mmm like we used to, today, but I doubt if
anyone would know or care. 70mm didnít mean a lot to the average Joe Blogs
even in the heyday as it was the film they went to. A poor film in 70mm (or
one that was not popular) didnít do any good, just as 35mm. I went to all of
them that I could and loved them but some of the films were lousy. Its all
changed and not for the best as far as I am concerned but a lot of the
presentation was thrown out due to response. People didnít appreciate
overtures/entríactes/light displays and so on, which we savoured.
|More in 70mm reading:|
"This is New Zealand"
3-strip EXPO Film From New Zealand
DP70s in New Zealand
Cinemas of South Auckland by Allan Webb, 1995
Allan Webb, QSM,
(235 Alexandra St,
Te Awamutu, 3800),
P.O. Box 379,
photo that demonstrates the robustness and stability of the mighty DP70
projector. This photo was taken after the severe earthquake that hit New
Zealand's Christchurch a few years ago. The other projector in the photo is
an Ernemann 11 projector.
Amalgamated's Cinerama (Strand/Mayfair):
November 6, 1959 after four months and at a cost of 50,000 pounds, the 43
year old cinema was transformed into Cinerama with six projectionists (one
for each of the three projection booths, one for the sound room and one for
the console in the auditorium and one relief) opening with This Is Cinerama
using a louvered screen 65/68 feet wide, 23 feet high with a curve 11 feet
deep. The films shown in three-strip Cinerama were: This Is Cinerama,
Cinerama Holiday, South Sea Adventure, Seven Wonders of the World, Search
For Paradise, Windjammer, Best of Cinerama, How the West Was Won, The
Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm and a repeat of Seven Wonders
of the World. December 4th, 1964, the single lens system was introduced for
Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. The screen size was altered but the Todd lens was
not successful so they used Cinerama lenses.) The projectors for the
three-strip process were modified Standard Century's with Strong lamphouses.
When the single-strip process was used they installed two
Phillips DP70 projectors.
Amalgamated's Plaza (Princess):
December 12, 1958 for Todd-Ao, opening with South Pacific using Phillips
35/70mm projectors with six-track High Fidelity Stereophonic sound.
Kerridge Odeon's Embassy:
September, 1960 after two months for 70mm, opening with "Porgy and Bess" using
35/70mm Cinemeccanica projectors with Stereophonic sound.
The Embassy was the first K-O theatre in Auckland to be fitted with 70mm.
The next one was the Embassy in Wellington. Morie Morrison installed all the
70mm equipment. I worked with Morrie on the West End installation, but only
worked a few sessions at the Embassy in Auckland. This was during the two
man crew days, and I wound the film on a hand winder! The Embassy in
Auckland ran "My Fair Lady" for many weeks.
The New Regent
The New Regent opened in August, 1982, with one Cinemeccanica 35/70mm
projector using a Xenon Lamphouse and a platter spool system.
The Westend opened in November, 1966, using Cinemaccanica 35/70mm, Victoria
Amalgamated's Cinerama and State, also Kerridge Odeon's Odeon (ex St. James)
Amalgamated's Cinerama opened for 70mm in 1966 (no three strip Cinerama
films were ever shown in Wellington) and Kings, also Kerridge Odeon's
Keridge Odeon's Odeon (Mayfair)
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