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
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
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
Festival Flyer (PDF)
Festival Through the Years
More Schauburg Cinerama
Festivals in Pictures
Best of Todd-AO Festival
• Guests |
• Ticket reservation