Some views from a former 70mm projectionist
The 70mm Newsletter
by: Mike Taylor - Liverpool - England, 70mm Projectionist with
the Rank Organisation
28 October 2006
Odeon screen #1 1968.
Having spent forty years as a motion picture projectionist -
most of it through the Wide Screen Era, the demise of 70mm
has been a sore point with me for quite some time.
In Liverpool, I am the last of the original 70mm "Road Show"
projectionists with any connection to to-day’s movie
business. When the term "Blockbuster" is applied to anything
and everything with a two or three week run, and with little
or no audience watching, then it is easy to see that the
cinema has lost its way.
With all the talk of Digital Cinema taking over from
Celluloid, it has long been my view that we need to slow
down and take a look back to the days of good cinema - and
that includes 70mm. The two photographs enclosed show
Liverpool Odeon One in 1968, and the Philips DP70 in the
projection room. To-day that has all gone and the theatre
has been converted into three mini cinemas. No 70mm.
in 70mm reading:
70mm 5-perf cinemas outside North America
5-perf cinemas in North America
Odeon DP70 screen #1 1968.
To the 70mm Workshop Panel I submit some personal observations as I
see it. Firstly, I am quite happy to let the multiplex have their new
toy together with the high cost that will go with it. Unless the
standard of product improves then it will make no difference whether it
is digital or not. You might as well install 16mm or Super 8.
To take a serious look at 70mm we need to safeguard celluloid film
archives from around the world, and start a programme of restoration to
ensure we have something to show
We need to showcase some 70mm product - the best we can find - to a new
audience and not necessarily in conventional cinemas. Live theatres and
concert halls with wide stage openings are ideal.
Encourage producers to film in 65/70mm for a new audience using the
Producer Ron Howard as an example.
Compile a data base of
venues where 70mm projection equipment is installed and in what
Finally, a projectionists Technical Workshop for handling 70mm film
stock, various projectors, and sound systems. Possibly through the
B.K.S.T.S., S.M.P.T.E., and the P.P.T.
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