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The Passing of Stefan Adler
The creator of The Swedish Widescreen Center passed away 26.12.2017

The 70mm Newsletter
Written and photographed by: Thomas Hauerslev Date: 27.12.2017
The Projectionist Stefan Adler in 2003 during a visit to his beloved Draken cinema, and "his" Favorit 70 projectors.

Click to see enlargement

I am very sorry to report the passing of the editor of The Swedish Widescreen Center pages, familiar to many internet surfers. Stefan Adler (1954) died Tuesday morning, December 26, 2017, age 63. He is survived by his two children Elin and Mats, and his beloved fiancé Monika. Stefan's first love Ilona passed away in 2005.

Before in70mm.com was born, there was - and still is - The Swedish Widescreen Center - subtitled "Who Says it wasn't better in the old days?" - which was edited by Stefan starting way back in 1996. Stefan did not update the pages every day, in fact, only very rarely was anything new added, but his pages were well written and hugely interesting. His pages served as a collective memory for himself, and his friends in Sweden. The pages were edited with help from his friends, in the form of anecdotes and pictures. I didn't know Stefan when I started my pages in 1999, but liked his internet site a lot. Both our pages were built when computer screens were 4:3, and with low resolution. With deep passion, Stefan told the story of his favorite cinema
The Draken in Göteborg, where he worked for nearly 20 years as a projectionist and cinema technician. His love of the big screen and dedication for proper 70mm presentation leaped out of his pages as an inspiration to me. We soon got in contact - mostly by e-mail, but also met in person once in a while.

Over the years I learned a few things about the life as Stefan. He usually said his life was "disrupted" at age 6 in 1960, when he saw "South Pacific" in Todd-AO at the Victoria in Göteborg. The second incident of disruption came 3-4 years later when he saw "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" in Ultra Panavision 70 on the Cinemiracle screen at the Royal in Malmö. Ever since, not a day was spent without thinking about Mitzy Gaynor and the big curved screen. 70mm was definitely love at first sight for little Stefan, and little did he know this interest was going to be his interest of a life time - right up until the day he died.
More in 70mm reading:

Gallery: Examples of Stefan Adler's Wit

I only met Stefan once

I’m as normal as a Blu-Ray Pie…

Draken - A Brief Technical History

Me and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World - a 50 year Love Story.

Internet link:

Swedish Widescreen Center

Information om begravningen:

Stefan jordfästs den 19 januari i Råda Kyrka i Mölnlycke kl 13. Efteråt blir det minnesstund i församlingshemmet.

Om man vill vara med på kaffe efteråt så kan man anmäla sig till Begravningsbyrån +4631 88 21 00 senast 14/1

Stefan and Thomas between two Favorit 70 projectors, temporarily installed in his living room for The First 70mm Bullshit Convention in 2001.

When he was 16, he got his big break, when he started as a projectionist at
The Draken (The Dragon Cinema). Over the years he ran almost every available 70mm print in Sweden. Re-runs like "Where Eagles Dare" and "Kelly's Heroes" were shown countless times, and often for several months. Stefan knew the dialogue by heart, and could make the change-overs blindfolded. Stefan believed firmly in old fashioned cinema virtues like change-overs and single screen cinemas. He disliked modern stuff like non-rewind and multiplexes (Don't even mention digital cinema!). Towards the late 1980s he became increasingly dissatisfied with multiplexing and automation, and became a bit disillusioned with the industry. Finally in 1988, he semi-retired after nearly 20 years in the projection room, never to return. He left the business with which he had had a love affair. Instead he became a full time teacher - or teachress, as he preferred to call himself - in the suburbs of Göteborg.

Stefan was a passionate person, a strong believer in the social values of his beloved Sweden. He hated the right wing movement, and never missed a chance to criticize them on his Facebook page with comments using his great wit. He was a big fan of the EU, and disliked any attempt to discredit the common values, which have been built up across the continent the past 60 years.
In July 2017, Thomas, Sebastian, Kristoffer and Stefan in "Odeon Rivoli Colosseum Cinerama Todd-AO 70" (Government controlled Organisation) - Stefan's home cinema.

I finally met Stefan in person in June 2001 when he invited me to his house to stay for a weekend, and participate in what he described as The First 70mm Bullshit Convention. I will never forget him meeting me with open arms on the central station. He was very open hearted and hospitable and I soon felt at home and welcome. The First 70mm Bullshit Convention was a big surprise to me, as I did not know what to expect. Although Stefan had left the projection business career somewhat discouraged, he still maintained a close relationship with his former friends and colleagues. Old and new, young and old, friends and family had gathered at Stefan's place to see 70mm film at his home. One night only. To my enjoyment, Stefan and friends had installed a complete projection room in his living room, and a curved screen in the garden. Two Favorit 70 machines, complete with xenon and rectifier, and 6-track magnetic sound. I realised how serious these guys were, and how their camaraderie and friendship kept the spirit of 70mm alive in a suburb of Göteborg. I returned to visit him again several times over the years. The last time we met was in July 2017, for the yet another 70mm Beer Bash Convention, which would turn put to be his last.

In later years when Monika moved in, and a room upstairs became available, they decided to renovate the kitchen and build a proper home cinema with seating space for 8 guests, a big wall-to-wall curved screen, and motorised curtains. Stefan organized regular film screenings for his friends under proper conditions with free popcorn served 15 min before show start. His BluRay collection was huge and impressive, and Stefan enjoyed sitting in the corner pushing the buttons to present "The Perfect Show in Todd-AO" in his home environment. In his home cinema, which he christened: "Odeon Rivoli Colosseum Cinerama Todd-AO 70" (Government controlled Organisation), he could continue to enjoy his classic 70mm films on curved screen with a big smile. Those of us who could not be part of this could follow what was going on on his Facebook group "Edvin's Extreme Christmas and Obscene Beer Bash Bar Movie House", "Edvin's Autumn Lethargy Beer Bash & Infinite Work Related Tristesse" or how about "The Residence of the Noble Sir Edvin and His Valid Servants" - where Edwin was the cat in the house. Just a few examples of Stefan's sense of humor. Who else would think of this?
Stefan's "The Sound of Music" inspired Christmas card.

Stefan was a plain person who liked beers and Schnapps. He cried like a baby when he showed "The Sound of Music", although he didn't particularly like the film. On Facebook his address was in "Ulan Bator, Mongolia", his interest was "women", and his political view was "against everything". Very simple. And fun. His way of expressing civil disobedience? Perhaps. Stefan's wit also extended to his creative Christmas cards which he happily made himself, and sometimes even starred Monika. He enjoyed adding himself into famous scenes from "The Sound of Music" and "South Pacific". Great humour, which I admired a lot.

• Gallery: Examples of Stefan Adler's Wit

I was lucky to be invited into Stefan and Monica's life a few times. I would not have missed it, and I only regret it wasn't more often. Stefan was a big person with a big smile, who cared for his friends, even if they lived in a foreign country like I do. Although we rarely shared the same room, we stayed in regular contact via e-mail, and exchanged Facebook comments and likes. Our friendship stayed like this until a few days ago, when he performed his final change over marks - and there was no film for the incoming projector.
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Updated 21-01-24