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Tab Presentation

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Ramon Lamarca Marques, Brian Guckian and Mike Taylor Date: 07.03.2009
Imperial Bio's blue tabs also protect the screen from dirt and dust. Image from December 2007 by Thomas Hauerslev

Proper curtain tab presentation in cinemas was once commonplace but today has sadly been neglected, along with associated lighting effects that helped create a sense of anticipation in the audience.

The multiplex cinema model generally does not allow for tab and lighting installation due to the low-margin nature of the present cinema industry and the cost effect of multiple screens.

However, within the Premiere screen concept there is scope for the Exhibitor to re-introduce curtain tabs and associated lighting into their most important screen(s) in a complex, to accompany a 70mm upgrade in the same auditoria.

To assist with re-introducing the "lost art" of tab and lighting presentation, we are very grateful to Nordisk Film and Thomas Hauerslev for a photographic sequence of the tabs presentation
at the Imperial Bio, Copenhagen.

The sequence is presented as a MS PowerPoint file, which allows the viewer to step through each part of the lighting and tab movement sequence, in order to study its design. The intention is to inform and inspire, and to promote further enquiry.

DOWNLOAD Curtain tab presentation at the Imperial Bio, Copenhagen

DOWNLOAD Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer
More in 70mm reading:

Tabs Imperial Bio, Copenhagen 2008
65/70mm Workshop

Internet link:

Tab (screen curtains) for presentation (by Mike Taylor)

From Ideal Kinema. Courtesy Mike Taylor / PPT Collection

It has always been my view that the discontinued use of screen curtains has certainly dumbed-down the presentation of motion pictures.

Particularly in the case of 70mm - presentation for what was the Premiere Screen in the large down-town or ornate theatre during the golden years of cinema.

What is lacking to-day is the original spirit of the showmanship of the likes of Mike Todd. The sense of occasion of going to a cinema where showmanship and presentation is the first priority of the management has virtually gone forever.
From Ideal Kinema. Courtesy Mike Taylor / PPT Collection

It is also my view, that to return to 70mm presentation, we should not be looking at multiplex involvement as their criteria is towards Digital Imaging and NOT cinema. The added attraction for these cinemas is alternative content such as concerts, boxing, and football matches. 70mm projection would be of no interest to these people.

I still feel we should be looking at single-screen cinemas with large screens and where the curtains still exist with the scope to expand and promote 70mm in the true Mike Todd spirit.
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Updated 21-01-24