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70mm DTS at the Millennium Dome

This article first appeared in
..in 70mm
The 70mm Newsletter

Written by: Ben Wales Issue 60 - March 2000
The projection room at Skyscape. Picture by Mr. Ben Wales.

As part of the New Millennium Experience in Britain, a 750m Millennium Dome has been built on the banks of the River Thames at North Greenwich in the east part of London. A two-screen cinema has been constructed next to the Dome in a building named SkyScape.

Inside the Dome there are 14 zones of different themes. All reflect the "way we live" and that will make an article on its own, but we will now only look at SkyScape. SkyScape was designed and constructed by Edwin Shirley Staging of London, The building and operation is sponsored by BSkyB (Sky Television) and is staffed by New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) personnel who run the whole Dome site.

The stars of "Blackadder Back & Forth", Rowan Atkinson ("Mr. Bean") left and Tony Robinson right. Picture by The New Millenium Experience Company.

A special 70mm film was commissioned by NMEC called "Blackadder Back & Forth" to be shown at SkyScape as part of the Millennium Dome Experience but it will last for one year only. "Blackadder" was a popular BBC comedy program in the 1980's and starred Rowan Atkinson, star of the "Mr. Bean" series. It has been ten years since the last "Blackadder" was filmed. The production company on this new film was Tiger Aspect Productions which made the previous series as well as a host of other productions for the BBC. This production was filmed on Super 35mm and then transferred at Technicolor labs in London on to 70mm For the sound a DTS time code was used and synced to a DTS processor and maybe later to a hard drive system.

Both Cinemas seat up to 2500 in raked seating. One side may also be used for live events, and the screen is flown on metal trusses to reveal a full sound and lighting stage for concerts and live events.
SkyScape will host up to 100 days of events throughout the year in addition to screening "Blackadder Back & Forth". Some time early next year the cinema will close, as the Dome is due to close on December 31st 2000 and SkyScape will be then dismantled and move to another site in Europe.

Technical Specifications of Projection Equipment: Cinemeccanica Victoria 8 35/70 & Console 7kW Xenon. Cinemeccanica 70 CNR Platter. DTS 6AD with ES Processors. Screen size 20m wide. Millennium Dome information: www.dome2000.co.uk

Further in 70mm reading:

"Blackadder" credits
What is 70mm DTS
 Films in 70mm DTS
 "Dinosaur" in 70mm DTS
 "Pearl Harbour" in 70mm DTS
 "ID4 in 70mm DTS
 Internet link:

Digital Theater Systems

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Updated 07-01-23