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The 70mm Newsletter
Written and photographed by: Francesco Gualeni, ARCADIA’s patron and super fan ;) Date: 25.11.2014
After years and years of Digital projections, 70MM film is back to ARCADIA, the only cinema in Italy to present "Interstellar" in both 70MM film and 4K Digital formats. ARCADIA opened in 1997, has 5 auditoriums, all THX certified. The biggest one the 630-seats ENERGIA auditorium was especially built for 70MM presentations. With its screen of 30x16,5 meters (98x54 feet) is the largest seamless continuous screen in the world, courtesy of British company Harkness, Perlux technology. From the very beginning, ARCADIA choose to give its audience the best movie experience using the best technology available with the goal to respect filmaker’s true intentions & hard work on one side and movie patrons on the other side. Everyone still remember the 5/70 presentations of "2OO1: A SPACE ODYSSEY" (with producer Jan Harlan special guest), the 8/70 presentation of MYSTERIES OF EGYPT (national premiere) and many many other 70MM presentations. What memories!

Then in 2001 the Digital evolution began in ARCADIA with the first Digital projection in Italy of Walt Disney’s ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE. At that the time, in 2001, with the first generation of digital projectors (many years before the 2K and the 4K formats were available).
More in 70mm reading:

Gallery: 70MM is back to ARCADIA CINEMA

Interstellar: La Magia Del 70mm Al Cinema Arcadia Di Melzo (Milano)

Arcadia Cinema, Melzo, Italy

"Interstellar" Now Playing in 70MM


From then the celluloid prints have become fewer and fewer and ARCADIA became the first all-Digital Cinema complex in Italy. Alongside Digital projectors (in Energy booth there is a dual projection configuration system with two 4K Christie Digital projectors, the only one in Italy and presumably one of the few dual 4K configuration in the world), it was decided to maintain projection booths with Cinemeccanica Victoria 8 35/70mm projectors, Dolby CP500-D, DTS 70 and magnetic sound. When director Christopher Nolan choose to shoot "Interstellar" in 35mm anamorphic and 15/70 IMAX formats he wanted to give the non-IMAX theater the opportunity to show his movie in the best way as possible and 70MM prints were made.

First love never dies … when Mr. Piero Fumagalli (ARCADIA owner) heard about that possibility, he asked Warner Bros Italy for a 70MM print beside the 4K Digital version. The 70MM print arrived from London on Monday the 3rd of November 2014 in 8 film cans all locked. Mr. Piero Fumagalli himself inspected each reel making sure the film was free of any damages. The print was in a very good condition and he did himself all necessary work loading it on 70MM platter. I saw the 70MM show of "Interstellar" on Friday the 7th of November.
The theatre was full of patrons, Excitement was very high, projection was perfect, picture and sound were great, the experience was wonderful!
I saw the 4K version the next Saturday, still in ENERGIA. In conclusion, what is the best way to see "Interstellar"? There is not a correct answer. They are different. I'm used to travel through 70MM festivals across Europe watching sometimes scratched, pink 70mm prints ….

Everyone experience a movie with her/his own eyes and with her/his own heart. 4K Digital has an image cleaner and steadier and a pristine presentation from the first to the last show…70MM with its own terrific definition and its own little imperfections has a SOUL that goes straight to the heart.

Many Thanks to Mr. Piero Fumagalli and ARCADIA CINEMA. I know how much work is behind. They have given the opportunity to Italian patrons to experience "Interstellar" in 70MM film and 4K Digital formats, a special occasion that I wonder IF and WHEN will ever happen in the future. Film prints are going to die, but that doesn’t mean that in the future, for specific movies, there could be some special 70MM presentations. I hope so and alongside many other patrons am looking forward to repeat the experience in both formats for upcoming Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful Eight.

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Updated 21-01-24