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Belguiral's Max Linder Panorama

The 70mm Newsletter
Written and photographed by: Pascal Belguiral, Paris, FranceDate: 20.11.2010
My relationship with the Max begins in 1988. In September this year, I am back to school again. Last year of high school. There, I meet Yves, a fellow classmate. Soon we become good friends. One weekend, we go out and he suggests having a long and memorable night. I say: OK! Let's go! So here we are on the Grands Boulevards, near the Grand Rex.

In front of me, a neon sign says: "Max Linder Panorama". Yves tells me about the program: a Kubrick festival from midnight till dawn, with the showing of "2001", followed by "A Clockwork Orange", closing with "Dr. Strangelove." To me, this is just Chinese. I have to admit that at that time, my culture in films and my interest in movie theaters is close to zero. Kubrick? Never heard!

70mm, THX sound? We end up getting in after a long wait outside. And there I am in for a shock: giant screen, pristine white... and a room, dark like hell. A unique design as Yves tells me. Which will be widely taken up by other rooms thereafter. The architecture is just as innovative: a real theater in a movie room. One orchestra and two upper levels for three visual perspectives. Ingenious! To my big surprise, the room is packed despite the late hour. The show can begin.
More in 70mm reading:

Me and the Max - French

Gallery 2010:
Max Linder Panorama
A collection of pictures 1990-2008

70mm Cinema and Film in France

The THX logo sticks me down to my seat right away. Physical sensation of pressure! Opening of "2001"... closing titles of "Dr. Strangelove". To make it simple and short, I would say that this night was like a rebirth. From that moment I discovered myself a passion for movies (in original version), movie rooms, technology and broadcast quality. The following years consisted in a surfeit of films of all kinds, all backgrounds, from all periods. A primary need... like a drug.

April 2001: after an unusual career path, I decided to get a cinema projectionist diploma. With the degree in my pocket, I started out in the Latin Quarter.

November 2001: the Max is looking for a projectionist. Through my relationships, I come to meet its projection manager Christian. The chemistry works between us from the beginning.
After one month of training on a DP70, I am hired in December for the release of Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings". It has been just happiness since then. I had the opportunity to project 70mm prints of "Lawrence of Arabia", "Indiana Jones", "Play Time", etc. great times.

In the end, it is as much the fun to watch as the fun to project movies that motivates me. I am a spectator before everything and each session I run must be perfect: focus, framing, immobility, sound level. It is the respect of the public and of the work being projected that are at stake, as well as the pride I take in providing quality to each projection.

For sure, the switch to digital changes somewhat the situation. But the fun, the multiple sensations when visioning a cinematographic piece are always the same. This is what matters most to me. Voila! That's all I had to say in short! So… enjoy the movie! and see you very soon... at the Max Linder Panorama.
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Updated 12-02-23