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The Future is Now - The Future of Feature Film Exhibition

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Showscan Film Corporation, brochure from around 1990Date: 26.06.2011
Layout of Showscan cinema. Note the long distance from first row to screen. Everyone sees well in this High Impact Cinema.

Click image to see enlargement

All of us in the industry are aware that theatre attendance has been decreasing steadily for a number of years. Revenue derived from video (once an ancillary market) is approaching a level equal to that of theatrical film rentals. It is our intention to reverse this trend and substantially improve theatre attendance throughout the world. Showscan can provide a revolutionary film presentation that can never be duplicated in the home. The obvious results will restore you, the exhibitor, to a more profitable position in the industry.

Our industry is investing little if anything in future technology. Only a radical improvement in both image and sound will keep people conning to theatres. Normal formats which exist today—35mm, 35mm blown up to 70mm with 4-track analog sound spread into 6 tracks — will no longer suffice.

Some theatres are improving presentation by implementing improved stereo sound coupled with noise reduction systems, slightly bigger screens, and better seating, but Showscan is so dramatically different that it simply cannot be compared to any other medium.

Discussions are already underway with major studios and independent production companies for the first feature films to be made in Showscan.
More in 70mm reading:

Showscan: The Best 70mm I have ever seen

Showscan: A High Impact Experience in 70mm

The Impact of Showscan

Showscan Films

"SpaceBio" in Denmark 1995

Showscan enters liquidation process

"2001: A Space Odyssey" in the presence of Douglas Trumbull

Internet link:

Douglas Trumbull
Gerrit Graham ("New Magic" as Jeremy)
Sir Christopher Lee ("New Magic" Mr. Kellar)

Showscan Entertainment (New company)

Screen Brilliance
Entertainment Resource
imdb news 10.04.2011


Showscan (70mm)

Layout of Showscan cinema. Note the long distance from first row to screen. Everyone sees well in this High Impact Cinema.

Click image to see enlargement

Showscan (70mm), running at 60 frames per second, marries the finest image and sound, neither of which has been available in motion picture theatres until now.

The Showscan theatre is designed to maximize the moviegoing experience by evoking in the audience a heightened sense of involvement. The viewer feels a more powerful sense of physical as well as emotional involvement in the picture.

The Showscan screen encompasses the entire front wall of the theatre in order to fill the viewer's full field of vision. The steeply raked seating is based on human engineering data and provides an unobstructed view of the screen from every seat.

The configuration of the theatre is nearly square in order to provide the audience with an optimum field of view. The theatre is designed to make Showscan a more powerful experience in which the viewer feels a heightened sense of participation.

The theatre is equipped with a discreet 6-channel stereo sound system with 3 screen channels (center, left, right), and split surrounds (left and right), as well as sub-base enhancement.

The acoustics of the theatre are designed to complement the high quality film image. All walls are covered with a soft sound-absorbent surface in order to create an acoustic environment with virtually no reverberation. The Showscan sound system, with a sound pressure level of up to 120 decibels, creates an experience of absolute realism.
Additional standard frame rates adopted by SMPTE

Showscan: How it works

NBC on Trumbull's Showscan 1984
Showscan Digital from Douglas Trumbull 2010
Immersive Cinema Technology

Other Showscan Presentation Formats

We recognize that not every theatre can be physically or economically converted to Showscan (70mm).

Upon consideration of the specific needs of each theatre and evaluation of existing screens, projectors and sound systems, Showscan will be made available to all theatres in 70mm or 35mm formats, always running at Showscan's 60 frames per second rate.

Showscan (70mm), projected onto a gigantic screen and with digital sound, is the ultimate in motion picture quality for large theatres. Smaller theatres which have restricted space for large screens will still benefit tremendously from Showscan's 35mm format, which is dynamically superior to standard 24 frames per second 35mm format.

New productions released with digital sound will be available in both 70mm and 35mm Showscan film formats.


What the papers said

"... the first fundamental change in motion-picture projection and exhibition in decades."
—Charles Champlin, LA Times

"..-Unbelievable... Astounding... A breakthrough that may someday rank with the first deployment of sound and color in film.. . "
—Richard Harrington, The Washington Post

"This new system may revolutionise show business. Showscan™ is the high-water mark of cinematic illusion."
—Scott Sublea, The Washington Times

"A truly magnificent entertainment concept!"
— James B. DeWitt, president of the Washington Film Council

"A major innovation in filmmaking. . ."
- Ron Hendren, NBC Today Show

"Impressive- . .eye popping clarity. . . the image appears totally lifelike."
— Dennis Wharton, Daily Variety

"This new film format is guaranteed to make an impression. It will not only grab you, it will twist, push, flip, and pull you along —and it doesn't even need your permission. It's that powerful,"
—Sam Stalos, AVideo

".. .even the most confirmed videophile must admit that the demonstration of Showscan™ at the Toshiba Pavilion is light years ahead of anything in video, even HDTV."
— Marjorie Costello, Videography
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Updated 07-01-23