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The Adventures of Hateful 8 at Rigoletto!

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Mats Kullander, Executive Senior Advisor, Establishment, SF Bio AB, Sweden Date: 12.01.2016
Mats Kullander (age 27) next to the Victoria 8s at the Vinterpalatset cinema in Stockholm, 1978. The reel on the machine is "Ben Hur"

The writer of this article -- that would be me, Mats Kullander -- and I worked as projectionist during University studies in the '60s and '70s, showing more or less all 70mm films that came out at the Classic Nya
Vinterpalatset in Stockholm (2 x Victoria 8s) at Palladium (2 x DP70), Chinateatern (2 x DP70) and Skandia (in those days 2 x Favorit, later 2 x DP70), among them "Ben Hur" 200+, "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" 100+, "The Great Race" 150+, "Heroes of Telemark" 100+ times. I can promise you that there is almost no 70mm film that I haven't projected, may it be American, English, Russian, German or some other obscure country!

Of the original 10 Ultra Panavision films I've shown 9. I then started as Cinema Manager at the first FILMSTADEN in Sweden in 1980 and after that worked as Executive Vice President and President at SF Bio, President at SF Studio, Manager at SF Video etc etc, ended up (my own wish since I LOVE building cinemas!!) as Vice President Establishment / Executive Senior Advisor with SF Bio, hit 65 years Monday 11th of January and retire June 3rd after these many positions during 48 years. All of my life I've worked with and loved Cinemas! I've built more or less all our FILMSTADEN-multiplexes and rebuilt all of the rest, including Rigoletto many times, the last one in 2012.
More in 70mm reading:

Quentin Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight" in Ultra Panavision 70

DP70s in Sweden

Vinterpalatset A Story of Magnificence, Proud and Mourned

70mm, Cinerama and Cinemiracle shown in Sweden

Internet link:


A Little Love Story

Mats Kullander at the rewind table at the Rigoletto cinema in Stockholm, December 2015.

This will be a little love story on how we managed to get Rigoletto to show 70mm film again!

It all started when Sture Johansson, vice President Programming, told me about eight months ago about Tarantino's latest idea, wanting to show the film in Ultra Panavision! Well well, an obscure format, it would have been nicer with Todd-AO, but the World doesn't belong to people who love existing nice things!! But Sture is a real “jerk” and so am I am I so we didn't give up, and started the adventure!

I began the technical investigation, it was not too hard since we have DP70s at Royal Malmö, Skandia Stockholm, Saga Stockhom and Rigoletto Stockholm. We decided for Rigoletto, being a cinema that I totally refurbished in 2012 BUT kept the 2 DP70s that I moved to Rigoletto from Nya Ritz in 1984 (for the premiere of "Ronja") and were maintained in mint condition.

So, working with legendary projectionist/technician Leif Pilefors (what a professional!!) we serviced, adjusted and made everything ready for the copy to come, using a test reel that we were loaned from Richard Liljedahl (THAT IS AN ENTHUSIAST!!). It was an old reel from "Brainstorm", but we could see that everything worked perfectly.

We borrowed DTS-readers from the Swedish Film Institute (Thank you Jerry!!) and waited for the copy to arrive. Two weeks before premiere the "Hateful 8"-copy arrived, together with anamorpic lenses (beautiful new ones) and two old standard ones from ISCO (unfortunately 120 mms, 105 would have been perfect). Then time to carry up the reels! What joy to rewind it, make KÖRSCHEMA, check everything, make crossover marks and the so important white tapes that tell you when to draw curtains in the beginning and after intermission when the music is played, just like in the old times!! This was my job, and last time I did it was was "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom", more than 30 years ago…
The Rigoletto cinema in Stockholm, January 2016.

We knew where to pick up two DTS XD10s (thank you Filmstaden Söder and Filmstaden Råsunda) and Leif fixed them, also checking out the changeover devices that was built by legendary engineer Tryggve Svensson in the '80s. We decided to work with the two projectors instead of using platters.

Quite unique, I think we were one of the very few cinemas working with two projectors (if not the only one), just like in the old times!! This meant a lot of mailing with the distributor in the States, they really had hard times understanding that we wouldn't use platters!

December 22nd we were helped by Björn Kleinert, digital genius. After some mailing, I used my personal credit card to pay for two DTS licenses for texting (did the ordering from my apartment at 02 at night December 22nd, how exciting!), which came through December 23rd, working flawlessly!

Well, well, now came the Gala! December 28th and our loyalty club was invited to the stalls, VIPs to the VIP-balcony, totalling 756 fans. I worked as projectionist! Oh! Joy!! Sture and I gave speeches and during the intermission I showed more than 30 persons around in the booth!

European Premiere

Now time for the European premiere January 1st !!

I had the pleasure to be Mr projectionist also for the three performances that day. Three performances totally sold out! Sture and I did a little show as we did at the Gala, showing a DCP and comparing it to one of the ten reels in 70mm. To shorten toilet line on the balcony during intermission, I went down and let people use “my” toilet, at the same time showing them the projectors, the film etc. It really was a terrific “family gathering”, sold out in the booth, I had to promise some of them to visit after the performances. After the last performance, at 01:50 I had shown the film to almost 2.300 fans and didn't leave the cinema until 02:45 after the last curious person had left the booth!

15 Hours of Pleasure

I still think that digital is the future, but for special events 70mm will also be a big part of it for special jerks like Tarantino and me!!

Mats Kullander (age 64) next to the DP70s at the Rigoletto cinema in Stockholm, December 2015.

15 hours of pleasure!!

The result has been tremendous, the week starting January 1st up to January 7th has had (for Rigoletto alone) 12.175 visitors, box office more than SEK 2.000.000. The VIP bar has sold for 150.000:- (beer and schnapps actually, being a Tarantino film!). Technically it's been magical, working perfectly!

Personally I must say that this is some kind of peak in my long career, back to basics!

I still think that digital is the future, but for special events 70mm will also be a big part of it for special jerks like Tarantino and me!!
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Updated 04-05-22