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Mesdames et messieurs, voici le Cinerama!

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in70mm.com
The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Anders M Olsson, Sweden Date: 04.12.2015
A few years ago, when the first Cinerama travelogs came out on DVDs and Blu-rays, the last thing on people's minds would have been localized versions.

So with great surprise I found out that "This is Cinerama" and "Windjammer" have both been released on Blu-ray and DVD in France with French subtitles this past summer. They are the first - and so far the only - international editions, released by BelAir Classiques, a company best known for opera and ballet.

That's a surprising and brave move for several reasons. You might think that every Cinerama-fan in France would already have the US editions, and that there wouldn't be much of a market left for localized versions.

Unlike the US editions which contain both DVDs and Blu-ray discs, these discs are sold separately. The Blu-rays are marked as region B, but are in fact region free which might be of benefit to the French speaking populations in other parts of the world, e.g. Canada.

The DVDs are a different story. Even though they are marked as PAL on the cover, they are in fact NTSC and locked to region 2, a curious combination indeed.

No bonus features from the US editions have carried over, except a restoration featurette on "This is Cinerama".

The accompanying booklets have been assembled for the occasion, and not directly reproduced from any vintage cinema programs.

BelAir Classiques appears to have been in a great hurry to get their discs out of the door. A new restoration of "This is Cinerama" from the original 3-strip negatives was completed in August, less than three months after the French release, but the publisher didn't want to wait for it.

BelAir Classiques must indeed be complimented for their efforts in bringing Cinerama films to a wider audience, but their haste has deprived them of their greatest scoop - the first nearly flawless release of "This is Cinerama" on home video. Let's hope someone will eventually pick up the baton and do it properly!
 
More in 70mm reading:

Mystery Cinerama truck in Sweden

in70mm.com's "Windjammer" in Cinemiracle page

in70mm.com's Cinerama page

Cinerama Remaster

Internet link:

belairclassiques.com

 
   
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Updated 31-12-21