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Who is Grant Lobban?

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Jim Slater, Managing Editor Cinema Technology Date: 05.10.2007
Grant Lobban in Bradford, 2007. Photo by Thomas Hauerslev

Grant was BBC projectionist as far back as 1963, by coincidence when "Dr Who" began too, and he remained at the BBC for the rest of his career, never enjoying the pleasures of a 'proper' cinema projection box, except on his days off. His recent 'Tales of a BBC Projectionist' published in Cinema Technology, were enough to give any Health and Safety manager a heart-attack - just be glad that you weren't his boss back in those days!

For as long as we can all remember Grant has been researching, writing and producing fascinating archival material about film-related topics for the BKSTS. He has been going to the cinema since he was a young lad, fascinated by all the large format and widescreen developments. He was the driving force behind many of the early film wall charts [Film Format Posters, ed], and his long series of articles on The Restoration Business, Showmanship, and The History of Colour Film have kept CT readers fascinated for years, as well as forming a magnificent reference source for any film history researchers.

He seems to have spent his life fascinated by film, and there is little he doesn't know about any aspect of the business - he even won a BKSTS Film Quiz against some of the most knowledgeable people in the business. Grant never stops - the editor of CT is always glad to have a backlog of Grant's material ready for publication, and there are currently articles on lenses and other film-related developments waiting in my in-tray. Every film magazine editor should have a Grant Lobban.

Grant Lobban has also written the definitive story about the history of 70mm film "In the Splendour of 70mm" (also available in German, translated by Susanne Finken, Köln). A story which Richard Vetter (of D-150 fame) has describes as "..the most accurate and comprehensive history of wide gauge film and 70mm....the finest contribution to wide gauge film that has ever been recorded!".
More in 70mm reading:

New cinema history book "All Shapes and Sizes"

A Distorted View of Todd-AO

Grant's Blow-up Blog

The Technirama Story

In the Splendour of 70mm

"Die Herrlichkeit von 70mm"

Come Back D-150

Todd-AO Distortion Correcting Printing Process

BKSTS Technical Wall Charts

Internet link:

More Large Format History from Grant Lobban

Todd-AO - Distortion Correcting Printing Process
Come Back D-150 ....All Is Forgiven
The Technirama Story
The Technirama Story Update
In The Splendour of 70mm (Four parts)
In The Splendour of 70mm
Grant's Blow-Up Blog
New cinema history book "All Shapes and Sizes"
A Distorted View of Todd-AO

Grant's Blow-Up-Tagebuch

"Die Herrlichkeit von 70mm"

New cinema history book "All Shapes and Sizes"

A Letter from Dick Vetter

I don't normally send e-mail at 2:20 a.m. But I felt compelled to send you this message after having just read the article "In The Splendour of 70mm" (Preserving wide screen history). Grant Lobban is to be congratulated! He has written the most accurate and comprehensive history of wide gauge film and 70mm that I have ever read. His research is remarkable! He even filled in some gaps in my knowledge and recounted many facts I had forgotten. This is the finest contribution to wide gauge film that has ever been recorded!

Many thanks for sending the article to me. I personally would like to congratulate Mr. Lobban some day. Can you tell me more about his back ground which would explain the reason for his consummate contribution?

Best regards and many thanks

Dick Vetter, 25. August 1998
Director of Research and Development, Todd-AO Corporation.
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Updated 07-01-23