All That Jazz in Aalborg, Denmark
"Center for Danish Jazz History" and Orla Nielsen opens a new cinema with 16mm, 35mm and 7OMM
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The 70mm Newsletter
|Written and photographed by: Thomas Hauerslev||Date: 28.07.2016|
|A few hundred meters from the blue waters of Limfjorden, in northern Jylland in Denmark, some hectic construction activity in some former office space is going on in July and August 2016. |
The premises are located on the 2nd floor level on a walkway connecting two elderly and very beautiful brick houses on Aalborg's former waterfront. The area looks a little tired, abandoned and worn out and is somewhat overshadowed by the monumental Nordkraft building on the other side of the street. What could be happening here? It's Orla, who enthusiastically shows me around the premises, and talks about the plans for how he intends to transform this former office space into a new cinema to show films specializing in jazz. and music in general.
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|Skeie's luxury Sonata seats, with a row spacing of 120 cm and a decline of about 20 cm between rows, perfect vision is secured from all seats.|
The basic process of planning rows of chairs, and where the screen must be, has been drawn on the floor so the workmen can get started. The projection port holes between the cinema and the projection room are already cut out. Three large rectangular holes. One for each machine that will throw the light beams into the cinema over the heads of the audience. We talk about the size of the holes, partly in consideration of the best projectionist view, but also for the public's sake. The cinema will have a film-museum-like touch, so perhaps it is a good idea to ensure that the audience can see into the projection room too, to be able to see the classic projectors run.
|What could be happening here? It's Orla, who enthusiastically shows me around the premises, and talks about the plans for how he intends to transform this former office space into a new cinema to show films with jazz music.|
Since the late 1970s, the Aalborg born cinematographer Orla Nielsen has been active in the North Jutland cinema scene. He has been involved in several cinemas, alongside his job as a cinematographer. Orla grew up in the '60s with the Europa Bio as his absolute favorite cinema and especially with 7OMM films as the big draw. Since 1989, Orla been one of the driving forces behind Biffen, first on Strandvejen, and later in Nordkraft. However, Orla and Biffen's paths separated in 2014, and since then Orla has been "homeless" in cinema terms.
With a significant collection of 70mm and 35mm equipment in stock, it is not easy to be a dedicated fan of motion pictures on a curved screen when you do not have a place to use it. However, the good folks of Aalborg and Orla now again will soon have a place to show movies for the big crowd of film lovers, who want to look old and rare films. Orla has started a partnership with "Centre for Danish Jazz History" which is located close to the Nordkraft waterfront in Aalborg. The collaboration means that the jazz center will have a cinema where they can show their large collection of rare 16mm and 35mm films for the audience.
|The projection port holes between the cinema and the projection room are already cut out. Three large rectangular holes. One for each machine.|
Orla explains his plans:
"... we'll show the old jazz films which the Jazz Centre have on their shelves. They are quite unique things primarily on 16mm but also 35mm. It is obvious also to show contemporary films where jazz music is the focal point. The Swedish "Monica Z" is obvious to show again. It's jazz music, which is central, but not only that, I also want to show 70mm films, which is why I install a curved screen - of course! It will be a cinema in Cinematek style with new and old movies. I want to show "Vertigo", "Joan of Arc", the new remasters of the Cinerama films and many others. In particular, I want to show "The Hateful Eight" in Ultra Panavision 70 again, and maybe I will organize a new "7OMM Event" such as the one we had great artistic success with in 2014".
|The Philips DP70, which can show Todd-AO 70mm film. It's classic film screening equipment in the Rolls-Royce class|
For the purpose of displaying the antique and rare films, Orla installs one KINOTON FP38 which can show 16mm and 35mm film, and a Philips DP70, which can show Todd-AO 70mm film. It's classic film screening equipment in the Rolls-Royce class, which you can find in many leading film libraries and film museums. In one corner of the projection room Orla sets up a KINOTON ST200 non-rewind platter system, which he has modified to be able to run 70mm.
The third film machine is a digital machine which Orla inherited from Bio Mors. It will be used for screenings of newer digital "film" in DCP format.
There are 40 seats of Skeie's luxury Sonata seats, distributed among five rows of chairs, with a row spacing of 120 cm. With a decline of about 20 cm between rows, perfect vision is secured from all seats. The screen will be curved in the best 7OMM style. Screen width approximately 5.5 meters and a height of about 2.5 meters.
|Orla and his staff of cinema builders are in a hurry to reach the first deadline for "The Blue Festival" on August 18, where the new cinema will be operational - at least in a provisional version.|
Behind the curved screen a speaker array of three audio channels in the classic 5.1 arrangement with Electro Voice speakers; left, center and right, and 2-3 subwoofers to "shake the room". In the auditoria effect speakers are from JBL and amps from QSC. The sound processor is from Dolby Laboratories, type CP65, DA20 Dolby Digital, and XD10, for DTS / DATASAT soundtrack playback.
Orla and his staff of cinema builders are in a hurry to reach the first deadline for "The Blue Festival" on August 18, where the new cinema will be operational - at least in a provisional version. Orla expects the new cinema - which still has no name - to officially open around November 2016.
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