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The moviegoers shone like the sun when "Windjammer" celebrated its 60th anniversary in a newly restored digital print at the Colosseum Theatre in Oslo. The red carpet had been rolled out as it should be, and the film music was heard from the speakers outside. The queue seemed endless when 415 expectant moviegoers took their seats. No other cinema show in Oslo had a larger audience that day.
The audience was greeted by Vidar Pederstad who is the new director of the Christian Radich Foundation since the beginning of this year. He also talked about some projects that the ship is currently involved in.
After that, Randy Gitsch came on stage to tell some historical facts about the film. David Strohmaier held a brief illustrated lecture on how the new restoration of the film came to be.
Not only has the film been restored. The cinema was also refurbished in the fall of 2017 with a new digital laser projector, a new screen and new seats. Some of the seats are even electrically adjustable for the best comfort. However, there is no longer a curtain, which may seem strange and petty in view of the overall renovation.
Once the film was on, we found both image and sound to be stunning. It's probably no exaggeration to say that "Windjammer" has never looked better. The screen is only slightly curved, but the smilebox-process made the illusion of a deeply curved Cinemiracle screen complete.
The only mistake was that the movie kept running with the second act immediately following the first. David Strohmaier had to rush out in the lobby to catch some staff member to stop the film. Intermission is a concept that is not quite easy to understand for today's young people.
There were several elderly gentlemen in the audience who had been in the film as young cadets when it was shot. They brought children and grandchildren, some of whom saw the film for the first time. Many audience members were moved to tears when the majestic ship appeared on the screen.
After the film came an opportunity to go on board the Christian Radich, the ship from the movie, for a three-hour fjord-trip. The ship had been moored at the "Sukkerbiten" ("The Sugar Cube"), a berth close to Oslo's Opera House. There it's found a temporary home while construction work is being carried out at its usual wharf at the Akershuskaia.
A prawn buffet with butter and bread was served on board. There were also tours of the ship, and some musical entertainment by the "Boys from Bjelleklang", Frank Øren and Robert Skrolsvik.
Overall, it was a perfect day. The film would probably have attracted a larger audience on a cloudy day, but that would also have made the fjord trip less enjoyable.