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"Sharper, richer, more colorful and feels like you are inside it"
Schauburg's 14. Todd-AO 70mm festival, Karlsruhe, Germany

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Thomas Hauerslev Date: 29.09.2018
Welcome to the fourteenth edition of the Todd-AO Festival at the amazing Schauburg Cinerama in Karlsruhe. Finally, after a long hot summer, days are now getting shorter, and it is time to go indoors and watch sharp 70mm films on the curved screen. We invite you along for a BIG weekend, with a BIG film format on a BIG screen. Is it the atmosphere which makes movie going attractive? You arrive at the cinema. There are some people before you, full of anticipation. People whispering about the film they are about to see. The curtains opens. Trailers and maybe advertising. The curtains closing. The light goes down. The overture begins, and suddenly the curtain opens, and you see the roaring lion logo of MGM in the splendor of 7OMM. That is a roadshow performance just starting. The roadshow presentation really kicked-off with the advent of Todd-AO (1955) in the Fifties. Todd-AO was introduced by Michael Todd in 1955 with the musical “Oklahoma!”, and he is often credited with having coined the term “Roadshow” for his spectacular “Around the World in 80 Days”, (1956).

The term 'Roadshow' applied to movies that were intended to stand out and be different from the normal cinema-going experience. In general, these films were presented in 70mm with 6-track stereophonic sound. They ran for around 150 minutes and included an intermission. Generally, admission prices were higher than those of 'regular' screenings, they were reserved seating presentations, and souvenir programmes and LP records of the film's score could often be purchased in the foyer. With only one or two performances a day, and running for many months, it took cinema-going to a new level, with audience anticipation of going to an 'event', rather like seeing a live stage show. The magical “70mm” on the facade has always meant a superior presentation format in the cinema. Something extra for the audience. A lot more extra.

Thanks to Todd-AO's High Fidelity 6-channel sound system, and the sharp 70mm pictures on a huge screen, the process was a sensation when it first appeared. So life-like, it gave the audience a sensation of being "in the movies". A new cinematic experience, which allowed the audience to be part of the action on the screen and not just passive spectators. New Sight! New Sound! New Screen! It was audience participation, which we all take for granted today. Todd-AO became very popular, and by 1957, two years after the premiere, there were 60 North American Todd-AO installations, and Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Malta and Japan were about to get Todd-AO. “In 70mm” has remained in cinemas to this day, and during 2017 Kenneth Branagh's new “Murder on the Orient Express” photographed in Panavision System 65 appeared in cinemas. For 60 years 70mm has remained the premium cinema presentation format, and as Sir Kenneth explains it:

"We wanted to bring the FULL experience to the audience, so I shot on [70mm] film. It essentially means it looks sharper, richer, more colorful and feels like you are inside it."

Special welcome goes to Morten Skallerud from Norway and his award winning 70mm short film "A Year Along The Abandoned Road". We are delighted to welcome the sensational new Magellan 65mm camera engineered by Tommy Madsen in Denmark. We are also pleased that Jürgen A. Brückner has accepted our invitation to bring his vintage MCS 70 camera for an encore visit. Both 65mm cameras will be on display in the foyer both Saturday and Sunday.

The Todd-AO Festival 2018 proudly presents a program in Todd-AO, MCS 70 Superpanorama, DEFA 70 and Super Panavision 70. We will take you from dystopian Los Angeles in 2019, to the Oasis in 2049. From the Siberian tundra in 1902 to the English countryside in 1954. From outer space in 2001 to a train murder mystery in 1934. Old classics, and modern adventures. Mostly in color and a few faded "original vintage classics". Short films and a Todd-AO lecture. 7OMM as we think a weekend should look like. Seeing 7OMM adventures on the curved screen in an authentic 7OMM cinema is very rare. At the Schauburg, it is like seeing the films as they were originally presented - in a big cinema, on a huge curved screen with red curtains. It's all about showmanship and presentation, and very few cinemas today do it better than the Schauburg here in Karlsruhe.

Rest assured, the usual elements to make The Todd-AO Festival unique are also here. The beer garten, good German Hoepfner beer, daily refreshments and food on Saturday and Sunday with your Festival Pass. Enjoy the 70mm film poster galleries and authentic 70mm projectors exhibited in the foyer. It is a privilege to welcome you to the Todd-AO Festival, and we hope you will enjoy it. Willkommen. Bienvenue. Welcome. Velkommen. Välkomna. Vítejte. Welkom. Benvenuto. Yokoso. Bienvenida.

...and now, in the expanded spectacle of 70mm Big-Screen projection, we present - The Greatest Show in Todd-AO.

More in 70mm reading:

Todd-AO Festival Home
14. Todd-AO Festival
Wilkommen | Welcome
Intro | Festival Images
Festival Flyer (PDF)

Festival Archives
Festival Through the Years
Festival Schedule and Archive

More Schauburg Cinerama

Festivals in Pictures
Schauburg Cinerama
Best of Todd-AO Festival
Guests | Billboards | Posters

Internet link:
• Ticket reservation

Filmtheater Schauburg
Att: Herbert Born
Marienstraße 16
76137 Karlsruhe

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Updated 07-01-23