I understand why everyone says it is "a must" in 70mm
From Dublin to London to see the premieres in 7OMM
|Read more at|
The 70mm Newsletter
In January 2016, myself and some friends
decided to travel to London from Dublin to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens
in IMAX 15/70mm as we are huge Star Wars, IMAX and film print fans. In
planning our trip we realised that were lucky, as
"The Hateful Eight"
opening that weekend in 70mm and that
"2OO1: A Space Odyssey"
would be showing
On day one we went to see
in IMAX 70mm at the Science Museum, and
despite having seen it a few times already I was dying with excitement going
in. I had never seen a 15/70mm feature film before and I couldn't wait to
see the few minutes that had been shot with IMAX cameras. In looking back
and seeing the initial 70mm screenings of the Original Trilogy, it felt
great to be seeing one of the few 70mm prints made of this film, plus it was
just exciting to see the new movie on film. From the IMAX countdown before
the film started I couldn't believe the quality of the image, it was so
steady, bright and clear. When the film started it was something special,
the colour looked so much better than on the digital IMAX I had seen a few
times before, and reminded me of when I was young seeing the Prequel Trilogy
on film. The IMAX-shot scene was very fast and full of CG so it wasn't the
best example of true 15/65mm film, but my friends and I had our jaw open by
how large the screen was when fully filled. Overall it was a truly special
experience. Later that day we went to see Star Wars again in digital IMAX 3D
in the BFI IMAX, just to see how amazingly large the screen is there.
On day two we went to see The Hateful Eight in
the Odeon in Leicester Square. This really felt like an event as we got the
programme, an introduction, and the curtain opening at the beginning of the
film. After the overture the film began and the quality was just stunning.
The width of the image was unbelievable and the colour and definition were
just something else. At the intermission I got to look around the beautiful
auditorium of the Odeon which made me feel like I had travelled back in
time. The whole experience was fantastic. After this we got to go back to
the Science Museum where the great guys in the projection booth allowed us
to go up to the booth while the print of Star Wars was playing. This was a
dream come true, I couldn't believe the size of the print, and it was cool
knowing that this was the only print of the movie in Europe. Later that day
we went to see 2001: A Space Odyssey in the Prince Charles Cinema. I had
seen 2001 before but never in 70mm as I had missed it every time it played
in Dublin. I understand why everyone says it is "a must" in 70mm as it is
definitely not like watching it at home! The picture was pin sharp, most
noticeably on the space station near the beginning, and the trippy sequence
towards the end was heightened.
|More in 70mm reading:|
Presentations in London, England 1958 - 2016
Visiting 70MM Cinemas of
London's West End, September 1990
The Hateful Eight in London at
The Odeon Leicester Square
70mm at the Odeon Leicester
Empire, Leicester Sq., London
"Star Wars" Presented
in Dimension 150
On day three we went to see Star Wars in IMAX 3D with Laser at the Empire in
Leicester Square. Because the film was finished at 2K it didn't look much
better than the regular digital IMAX 3D, but it definitely was much brighter
and steady. Later that day we went to see Star Wars again in the Science
Museum right before we went home, as we knew we would probably never get to
see it this way again.
We loved our trip to London so much that we
decided to go back again in April for the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn
of Justice. It had been playing in Dublin in 35mm, but in London it was
showing in 35mm, 70mm, and IMAX 15/70mm.
On our first day there we went to the Odeon Leicester Square to see
"Batman vs. Superman"
70mm. It was in the same auditorium as The Hateful Eight except this time we
decided to go for the royal balcony seating which was definitely worth it.
Apart from Interstellar, it was a long, long time since a blockbuster would
get a large format presentation like this so it really felt like an
experience from a time long past. This, along with Interstellar in 70mm, may
be the best 70mm presentation I had seen. Like Interstellar, it was without
a doubt the best blow-up by far, and the four IMAX-shot sequences were
insanely sharp. Compared to the shaky 35mm print I had seen, the stability
and brightness were remarkable. After the film we were allowed to go up to
the projector room and see the print. From the Odeon staff to the
projectionists, everyone was really nice. The projector room was great as
there was so much history there.
After that we went straight to the BFI IMAX to
see BvS in 15/70mm. As we arrived, the lovely staff allowed us to see their
projector room aswell. e missed the first while of the movie but this meant
we got to see the projector and print in action. The projectionist was
extremely nice and allowed us to stay up there for almost thirty minutes.
Because we had travelled so far to get there, the staff gave us the VIP
treatment and a wonderful experience. The 35mm blow-up scenes didn't hold up
so well on such a large screen, but the 15/65mm had my jaw dropped.
Everything about them was incredible and seemed to match the quality I had
seen in IMAX documentaries, despite having VFX. At the end of the day we
went to see Big Trouble in Little China in 70mm at the Prince Charles
Cinema. I couldn't believe the quality of the print. Definitely the best
preserved "old" blow-up I've ever seen, as there was no dust, no shake, no
scratches, no grain and it looked like the print had been struck yesterday.
On the second day we went to see BvS in IMAX
3D with Laser at the Empire Leicester Square, and this was a true example of
what it should be. The film and VFX for the IMAX scenes were finished at 4K,
so this is where I saw why this is the replacement for the 15/70mm
projectors. Afterwards we went to the Science Museum IMAX where there was
another 15/70mm print of BvS. We went back up to the projection booth where
the projectionist recognised us from the last time, and said we had been the
last people up there. He was extremely nice and told us to pop back in the
next time we were over, and we'll definitely be back over for Dunkirk and
whatever other new 70mm prints are shown. I love film prints of all formats,
but there's something so special about 70mm prints that really makes going
to the cinema an event.
|Go: back - top - back issues - news index