The search for the Todd-AO 70mm projector
The EL4000/01 DP70 / Norelco AA11.
The 70mm Newsletter
by: Thomas Hauerslev
- June 1996
Thursday October 13th, 1955. The world premiere of
"Oklahoma!" and Todd-AO
at the Rivoli Theatre in New York. The new format was going to change
exhibition standards the next 40 years. However, no existing 70mm projector
was available before 1955. An all new projector had to be made. Michael Todd
approached Philips in Holland in late 1952. Philips built the new projector
from ground up, in a staggering 9 months, specifically as a 70mm projector,
but suitable for all 70mm and 35mm formats. The first shipment of 50
machines was sent to The Michael Todd Company Inc. in New York just before
the premiere of "Oklahoma!". April 8th, 1963, the designer of the DP70, Mr
Jan J Kotte, received a class 2 OSCAR plaque for his Todd-AO 70mm projector.
An outstanding achievement to this day.
The name of the projector is EL4000/01 DP70 or just DP70 for short. North
American Philips named the projector NORELCO AA11 and nicknamed it "Dollar
Princess" because they made a fortune developing it for The Todd-AO
Corporation. The DP is short for Double Projector. The DP70 projector was
made in series of 100 in Eindhoven in Holland from 1955 until the mid 60'es.
However, a number of projector parts (not mecanisms) were made in Buffalo,
New York. It is likely that less than 1800 projectors were made. By 1962
there were more than 450 DP70 Todd-AO installations worldwide. The DP70 has
remained with us for 40 years, and is still regarded as the finest 70mm
projector ever made and it is often referred to as "The Rolls Royce of 70mm
I have located 334 DP70 projectors since 1986. With enthusiastic support of
DP70-friends everywhere I have traced 19% of all DP70 projectors during the
past 10 years. To find the rest of the projectors, and keep the file up to
date, I would like to ask all readers of The 70mm Newsletter who can add
further information to this search, to join me now.
* Serial number of each projector mechanism.
* Serial number of upper base (only USA).
* The name of cinema (private, studio etc).
* Location of projector(s) (left, center, right).
* (If possible) A picture of the DP70.
in 70mm reading:
DP70 / Universal 70-35 / Norelco AAII
- The Todd-AO Projector
The Todd-AO Saga
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