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The 70mm Promotion Tour
Los Angeles 1 - 15 October 1994

This article first appeared in
..in 70mm
The 70mm Newsletter

Written by: Johan C M Wolthuis, secretary International 70mm Association Issue 36 - December 1994
It was a valuable experience to visit San Francisco and Los Angeles as part of our "70mm Promotion Tour". On my way to California I had to spend one night in the "Boeing city" Seattle and guess what: just around the corner of my hotel, what a surprise: they screened the just restored 70mm version of "My Fair Lady" on the large curved screen of the former Seattle Cinerama Theatre. And it was unbelievable, but on a Thursday evening there was a large queue outside the theatre and the performance was sold out! The manager invited me into the cinema and gave me a review and the new advertisement of "My Fair Lady". It was a special experience to see this wonderful musical back on the big screen after so many years.

In San Francisco we visited Dolby Laboratories and saw how they had restored an enormous old wooden factory building into a beautiful Dolby film theatre with offices all around it and transformed it into an earthquake safe building. In this city we also saw two beautiful old film theatres, the Alhambra that looks like a mosque and the Castro theatre with its famous cinema organ.

Arriving in Los Angeles we had not enough time to visit all the companies and theatres we wanted. But thanks to our friendly host, Mr Dan Leimeter, a lot of appointments could be made.

Let me mention a few highlights: at first we visited the Todd-AO soundstages where we saw one reel of the unsurpassed musical "Oklahoma!" in 70mm 30 fps. And the visit to the Panavision plant in Tarzana, where we met Mikael Salomon and watched the chariot race from "Ben Hur" in the original 70mm 2,76:1 format! And of course we saw all that beautiful old and new 70mm cameras. And let us not forget the visit to the MGM headquarters in Santa Monica where we had a very important conversation with Mr Larry D Gleason about old 70mm prints. We too made a short visit to the Academy Film Archives and Library where we could have stayed for dayes to see everything.

After a short visit to the DTS digital sound company, in the late Friday afternoon we visited the Amblin Studios which were located on the Universal lot. I was very exited to be so near to Mr Steven Spielberg, but he himself was too busy forming his new company. But we saw the offices, entertaining rooms and the projection booth with among other things an original 35mm horizontal VistaVision projector for screenings of special effect rushes.

On our last evening we visited the famous Samuel Goldwyn theatre and saw a special screening of a restored lovely "Mary Poppins" in the presence of one of the leading characters and some people of the original production team. That was a nice end of our trip and you can imagine that we were very tired when we flew home the next day.

Further in 70mm reading:

The 70mm Promotion Tour 1994, part #2

Wolthuis Interview

"Digital & 65mm" - New book from International 70mm Publishers

“Old fashioned” 70mm promotion

My Fair Lady

The 1964 8 time OSCAR winner and Super Panavision 70 blockbuster has been restored by Robert A Harris. The film was re-released in the States in September with a few 70mm prints. "My Fair Lady" was released in London November 18th at MGM Shaftbury Avenue for a two week limited engagement in 70mm. 35mm prints are available in both SR.D and DTS digital sound. The film originally premiered 21. October 1964 at the Criterion Theatre in New York.


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Updated 21-01-24