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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
"The Towering Inferno" is identical to the earlier Special Edition DVD except that the added
pixel count makes the image sharper. I did notice that there was much more of a sub-woofer
kick to the explosions on this blu ray disc so it's probable that they enhanced them from the
standard edition. Remember that the subwoofer effect was originally developed as "Sensurround"
with "Earthquake". They they reformulated the six track stereo for 70mm to incorporate them
into the front left and right tracks for later movies like "Close Encounters" and "Star Wars". "2001"
were re-issued with a subwoofer effect for the final stargate sequence even though it wasn't
contained on the original release and many distributors are adding it to their older stereo releases
to enhance the audio sound field.

This is my favorite disaster film and there is a minimum of hokiness in the dialogue and
characterization. While every role is a stereotype, the cast is so good they are able to
get beyond their poster descriptions of 'the architect' and 'the fire Chief'.
What's impressive is that this was the first feature film to be financed and released by
two studios which was unheard of at the time. Also, despite the elaborate special effects
and stunt work, no one was injured. And no artifical CGE back in 1974. Those are real
stuntmen and women flying through the air on fire. Much more impressive and suspenseful.
The cast list is amusing if you know the story behind it. McQueen and Newman were two
superstars of equal status. So how could you list them without getting one offended with
a second billing. The compromise was to list McQueen first and Newman second but the latter's
name is higher in the credits and poster. It may seem silly to us but this was critical for the
movie stars of that era. Billing reflected on salary requirements in the industry.

If you have the original Special Edition DVD I suggest keeping it as a suppliment to this disc
because the blu ray did not have the miniature program book or stills.
 

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I saw this movie when it first aired on Television in 1978 and never forgot it. For a kid it was over the top and gave me nightmares of fires in our house and smoke filling my room through the vents for days after.
I bought the DVD a few years ago and still liked it allot for a movie of its time it still has lots to offer and even a decent plot and effects.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The version you saw on television was quite different than the theatrical
release. It originally was projected in 70mm and six track stereo. The
pan/scanned network version cut a lot of the fire footage and replaced
it with out-takes that are contained on the suppliments of the DVD. Nothing
important, just padding and you can see why it was cut. The TV version cut
the Robert Wagner and his secretary's death along with the swearing. It was
also quite murky for a pan/scanned big budget film for that era. The Special
Edition DVD and blu ray accurate replicate the Panavision/70mm widescreen
visuals as well as enhansing the 6 track audio with extra subwoofer explosions.

The only 'hokey' parts of the film is when Paul Newman saves the Brady Bunch
kid and his sister. Otherwise, the movie is played realistically with a great deal
of suspense. And there's nothing like real stuntmen and women in an action film.
I cannot get used to the digital CGE stunts in contemporary movies. They look so
artificial to me. Great John Williams score as always and I enjoyed the scene when
all the lights are turned on the tower which was spectacular even though I knew it
was an enormous miniature building. The CD of the expanded soundtrack goes for big
bucks on ebay since it's out of print.

I saw this movie in a very strange cinema back in 1974. The screen was tilted downwards
like a drive in screen except it was an indoor theater. At least for this movie, the illusion
that the screen was going to fall on the audience added to the impact. However, two hours
and forty five minutes without an intermission is a bit tough on the bladder for a kid guzzling
coke from the concession stand. Never the less, it was one of my favorite moviegoing experiences
as a teenager.

Personally I think Steve McQueen kicks the *** of Paul Newman. I never though McQueen was
acting, he always seemed to become the role. I always knew Newman was play acting even
if he was effective in the part. McQueen is also much more rugged and tough looking than
Newman. He looks much older than he was because of a poor childhood which he was able
to utilize in his best roles. Too bad the two super stars couldn't come to terms to play opposite
each other in "Butch Cassidy". It would've been an interesting picture with this team.

It's certainly tragic that McQueen died only six years after this film was made at the age of
50. He's my personal favorite of the "Method" actors.
 

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Great info as usual Richard. I bought this Spec Ed DVD when it came out not too many years ago. I love this movie! It's a real throwback to that 70s disaster epic they used to make.

One thing I notice those movies had in common possibly a result of being so star studded - the waning stars died first and the rising stars lived to the end.

I think this might have been my first movie ever seen at a theater. I saw it at Square One Mall movie theaters in Mississauga ON. I'll never forget going downstairs to see the movies then. They had Laurel and Hardy and Three Stooges shorts before the film began. That's something you don't see anymore!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wayde,

You're quite right. Stars either survived or died off based on their industry status
at the time.
I recall seeing some shorts too before the feature many years ago. Today there's
no time for them because they need to show the commericals first. The problem with
showing older shorts is that they usually projected them in 1.85 rather than the 1.33
format they were designed in.
 

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Hi Richard

I’m rather disappointed in the technical standards of bluray that it can’t replicate the original five-screen and single monaural surround since Sony owns (SDDS8) and they can’t even be asked to implement this into the home.

I remember seeing The Towering Inferno at ABC Bournemouth, screen 2 downstairs and during the intermission this where the floor blows–out! A few moments later a low defused rumbling is heard coming from somewhere overhead? I knew they had Earthquake in screen 1 Sensurround and couldn’t tell which part from the film I knew it wasn’t “The Big One” it must have been an aftershock!

I saw Earthquake a few days later and thou The Towering Inferno was mostly likely a 35mm print while upstairs has dual projection 35/70mm and its rather had to tell if Earthquake was 35mm Sensurround or 70mm magnetic? The screen was huge!

The could have had the ole Westrex sound system in screen 2.

Its sad that the Gumount got rid of the 70mm projectors during the early 1970’s because The Towering Inferno moved a up to what is now called Odeon and all they had was possible stereophonic at the time until Tommy played in Dolby stereo optical twin track A type (Dolby CP50) followed years later by Star Wars which got the attention of the audience!

Earthquake sub bass impacted into my chest! The cinema sounded like the ceiling was going to collapse any moment soon!:hsd:

The Towering Inferno was blast of fun back then and again today it’s a blast of listen fun on region 2 DVD Dolby 2.0 where I have to tell the AVR or switch it to Dolby stereo matrix.

I like the dialogue panning half/pans and full hard pans. Looks good on the LCD video projector at 6 feet 2” wide which dwarfs previous televised broadcasts with its dreadful pan & scan!

The matte paintings still to this day look marvellous I mean spectacular!

This is wetting my appetite for the film since Warner is too lazy to issue a six-track version on region 2. I’m sure I’ll be seeing this side of the shores soon and now that bluray is cheap as chips at throw away prices I’ll add this to the one of many/first in line to pick-up, maybe, first I have to buy a throw away bluray at less than £200 pounds and £200 is a lot of money!

Here’s a simple thing that bluray encoding can do and for those who have the savvy to figure it out?

Encode 1left 2centre 3right onto the fronts and 4left-centre 5right-centre onto surrounds and use the LFE.1 as surround. Now you have the film the way it was heard back in 1974 all is required is some re-plugging and extra matching fronts.

If that’s too hard for some then matrix deciding of the (left centre) (right centre) with two Y leads and two matching Dolby stereo decoders and bingo now you have inner left and inner right fronts!

So have they made the surrounds on this split-surround since that process idea wouldn’t have even been an idea back then and would be very disappointing thou if done well it can be an added bonus if there are two alternative soundtracks to choice from.

Also the projectionist would turn up the heating in the auditorium I wonder why? :bigsmile:
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Andysu,

70mm prints and screens were very selective in the seventies and there weren't
too many cinemas capable of playing them. Then after "Star Wars", the format
gained in popularity to increase the number of 70mm screens here in the US. Then
after "Titanic" in the late nineties the newly built megaplexes intentionally phased out
the format because you needed qualified projectionists to show the large format and
they didn't want to deal with anything except automated 35mm projection on platters.
"Earthquake" was 35mm but had a mag track on the print that contained the subwoofer
sensurround effects. Did you say "The Towering Inferno" had an intermission in England.
It didn't here even though it was 2 hours and 45 minutes. Most films that were 2 1/2 hours
automatically had intermissions in the US but there were some exceptions.
Remember that the six track stereo used in 70mm is different than today's 5.1 format
for films made before 1977. 5 front channels containing dialogue, music and effects spread
across the wide screen and a single mono rear channel (but not surround) used very selectively.
The only problem with the magnetic stereo tracks was that you could hear some hiss when
there wasn't any sound coming out of the speakers. Later they added Dolby noise reduction
to the magnetic tracks which helped reduce track hiss.
The most interesting magnetic format was Cinerama. They actually had multiple mikes
on set so you could hear the actor move from one speaker to the next. By the sixties they
just used a single mike on set and panned it across the channels in the mix but it didn't sound
the same.
 

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Hey Richard :wave:

That’s right it had an intermission just when Newman says its busted pipe get back! KABOOM! KABOOM! Intermission!

A few moments later I heard the deep rumble of Earthquake. I think the intermission lasted for 5 to 7 minutes.

A ticket was 79p for child and adult around or less than £2 pounds I think.

I think Logan’s Run used Dolby A type on the six-track magnetic it was the Todd-AO format I think?

It didn’t sound the same I’m guessing and its only a guess that the sound in the same space would have something unnatural about it or maybe a Doppler shift is needed to make it sound more real.

The mixing boards aren’t like the ones of today or what I read that music mixing boards was later used and modified into a movie mixing counsel.

So how does The Towering Inferno sound you do have it don’t you?

As for the surround channel not being active this has carried onto other films like in no order…

Forest Gump (1994) 35mm Dolby SR-D
Black Rain (1989) 70mm Dolby SR
Far and Away (1992) 70mm Dolby SR

That’s just some I can think of, off the top of my head! I sometimes mute the LCR/LFE.1 and listen to the surrounds.
Today the surround remain fairly active throughout the running time.

Going back to Forest Gump the jungle scene when it starts raining is mostly covered by LCR surrounds remain muted at this time until all hell breaks loss and the gunfire mortars etc, etc.

If you want to make the surrounds active all the time its easy. You’ll need to take some of the left and right signal and pass it into Dolby stereo matrix decoder and send the surround output to the surround though a second like preamp or mixer and bland the signals together with tiny sprinkle of ambiance.

Then the rain will be all around you, don’t worry you’ll still be impressed with the split-surrounds.

As for Cinerama it had 7-track mix wow would like to hear what that was like for better or worse doesn’t matter. I guess this pre-curses Sony SDDS8 minus .1 :rofl2:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Interesting that they had an intermission at that point. "The Wild Bunch" British release also
had an intermission. The image faded out as the Gang was riding away to rob the train. Then
there was a rustic intermission card and an entre' acte with Mexican music. The second part
of the film started with a fade in of the train coming around the bend. The American version
dissolves the two shots and there wasn't any intermission. So the distributors created different
versions for some countries.

I thought the blu ray version of "The Towering Inferno" sounded fine and better than the original
mix of the film.

For some titles they do include both 5.1 mix and original 4 channel magnetic mix as they did
on the blu ray of "The Sand Pebbles" so you can compare the two audio versions of the picture.

Cinerama sounded very interesting and quite different than contemporary mixes. Not only the
dialogue was directional with multiple mikes on the set but also the sound effects. In fact one
of the things I recall about seeing "How the West Was Won" in real three panel Cinerama and
7 track magnetic stereo was this dog run around George Pepard's house in one scene. You could
hear it yelping from speaker to speaker. Unfortunately, this type of nuance was lost in the 5.1
adaptation which sounds good but quite different than the original 7 channel version. The
Cinerama Dome in Hollywood made new three panel Cinerama prints of "How the West Was Won"
and "This is Cinerama" and plays them occasionally so those who live near LA can check out what
they looked and sounded like back in the fifties and sixties.

I guess this is really a separate discussion. Stereo sound mixing and sound design from 1952
through 2009. Different aesthetics over the decades. The earliest stereo was rather gimmicky
and everything was directional from the dialogue to the sound effects based on the person
or objects position on the wide screen. They don't do that as often any more since the
image area is ultimately 16:9 for the long run rather than 2.76 x 1 or 2:35 x 1. Making the
dialogue spread out directionally doesn't work unless the screen is very wide.
 

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Hey Richard :wave:

Wouldn’t you like to see The Towering Inferno (1974) projected again in 70mm and in really good THX cinema so that it delivers a hard punch! I wonder if there are any still decent prints of it left?

I just dislike remixes where you read the excuses that some mixers are trying to cover-up something!?

2001: A Space Odyssey 2001 edition is sheer botched up mess to listen too! All the tender crazy dialogue panning has been ether placed in the centre channel! Or mucked up so much, its enough to use it for dinner plate for my cat to eat off!

The laserdisc late edition matrix version before the yet again re-release Dolby AC-3 which I’m sure is the same as the region 1 DVD from what I’ve been told is the original mix with all the crazy dialogue panning going on!

It’s like being aware of counterfeits and that’s putting it mild. I’m not going to pay for rubbish DVD again, if mixers are going to take the Mickey, it doesn’t do any justice what so ever to the films soundtrack and please no LFE.1 it didn’t exist around that time, of the films release.

Sorry mate, I’m just getting senile now in my early age.

I don’t know? Maybe I got out of the wrong side of bed this morning?:gah::bigsmile:

Is it true that the bluary has smiley version of How The West Was Won?

I was talking to guy over at Lansing Heritage about a possible DIY Cinerama with three video projectors and some customized aperture plates for each projector.

Left for right image has 1/3 cut-off so that only that portion is projected onto the DIY curved screen
Centre has the left and right field of image cut-off so that only that portion is projected onto the DIY curved screen
Right for left image has 1/3 cut-off so that only that portion is projected onto the DIY curved screen.

It would work but you need matching projectors and preferable placed behind a wall with port windows due to fan noise!

The image will be sent equally so to keep the image in sync.

I did have the idea of three versions of the film on DVD/bluay but what if, one of the players layer change wasn’t perfect then the image will be out of sync!

Only a few handful Cinerama films made or a few three-stripe ones that is. I was reading information about it a few days ago.

Do you have any idea on what type of lens you, can use to stretch it wider for (Cinerama look) as possible for home use without costing no more than £$200! I know that is wishful thinking but that is the challenge less than!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I'll answer you first question then get back to you on the others.

It's highly unlikely any 70mm print of "The Towering Inferno" exists but even if
it did, it would be totally faded by now. 70mm was Eastmancolor so all stock
in that format (negatives, prints in 70mm, 35mm and 16mm) would be faded to
pink or red because the dye couplers in the cyan layer were unstable and evaporated
after 5-10 years. They didn't have low fade Eastmancolor stock in the various formats
until 1983. That's a long story unto itself.

Of course 35mm and 16mm Technicolor dye transfer prints didn't fade. I saw
"How the West Was Won" in 35mm three panel Cinerama and in Technicolor.
The original 1962 print had all of it's color. There were only 7 three panel
Cinerama films. The first five were travelogues and the last two narrative
features. I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did after the introduction of
two 70mm formats...Todd AO (2.21 x 1) and Ultra-Panavision/MGM Camera
65 (2.75 x 1). The latter was as wide as Cinerama and didn't have the panel
joins.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
In terms of re-mixes of older features, all magnetic fullcoats of stereo films deteriorated
over the years and lost some of the sound data. Regardless of whether the movie was
presented in 7 track Cinerama, 6 track 70mm or 4 track Cinemascope 35mm, the master
mix was on a fullcoat.

A fullcoat was a roll of 35mm film with no image on it. The image area contained magnetic
sound stripes (almost like a 1/4" tape reel but on film) in the various formats (7, 6 and 4).
Unfortunately, magnetic sound was based on oxide which flaked off and acted as a corrosive
to the film base it was on. Many if not most old 35mm fullcoats are now severely warped
with the oxide just shedding off. To restore them the technicians thread it into a dubber and
transfer it to a digital file. In some cases, they put their finger on the actual film to keep it
on the sound heads. After the transfer the sound heads have to be cleaned of the shedding
oxide and in many cases they only get one run to do this before the magnetic fullcoat is
completely unplayable.

So, once they have a digital file, they have to correct the problems which includes excessive
track hiss from the missing data and even thumps from partially magnetized dubbing heads.
It's very complex and difficult. Now there are various methods of removing the hiss but you
also crush some of the dynamic range and sound that was recorded when you do this. It's
not ideal but it's better than hearing loud hiss come out of the 7, 6 or 4 tracks. To make things
more complicated, 35mm 4 track CinemaScope had a sub audio tone on the rear channel that would
switch it on and off when it wasn't in use so that has to be removed by a filter before transferring
that track.

Once they have the original mix in a digital file, they can do various things including creating
a new digital master on 35mm film for the long run in the original format as well as re-mixing
the film for the 5.1 system used on DVD. What that usually means is to re-channel the directional
dialogue into the center channel only and add stereo surrounds to the isolated rear channel
tracks. The reason they do this is because it's easier for foreign territories to re-mix the movie
for their country. All they have to do is to create a new center channel with the dubbed dialogue
and the rest of the tracks can play as is. In the past with directional dialogue, they had to remix
all of the channels to remove dialogue that was contained in the left/right and rear for dubbing
which was very expensive.

In terms of 'stretching' the Cinerama film that isn't possible. I'm not sure what you're referring
to. At least in terms of blu ray, the correct aspect ratio is contained within the 16:9 ratio which
means there will be black borders on the top and bottom of the image to accomodate the extremelly
wide ratio. Are you referring to the 'anamorphically enhansed' standard DVD? That is stretched
out from 3 x 4 to 16:9 but once again, whatever the ratio the film was in would have to be contained
within those borders. Only movies designed for 1.85 projection in theaters comfortably fit into
the 16:9 ratio. All other ratios will contain black borders on the sides or top and bottom of the image.

I wish there was a way of curving the screen for DLPs but I don't know of any lens that can compensate for that without going soft on the edges. Curved screen presentations in Cinerama,
Todd-AO or CinemaScope were quite effective and simulated the peripheral illusion. But they required specific projection equipment and lenses for the cinemas they were shown in. Current
DLPs only can be shown on flat screens no matter how wide the image is. A curved screen gives
a very limited viewing angle too which is why they fell out of favor in the sixties. Only viewers sitting
directly in the center of the cinema had the ideal viewing angle. They were known as 'sweet spot
seats'. From the side aisles or balconies the audience saw a very distorted image. The screens were not
solid either but louvered. If you got up close to the Cinerama screen it looked like a bunch of venetian
blinds that were slightly opened. This was utilized so the right and left portions of the curved screen would
not reflect light into the center creating a hot spot. No one sells louvered home theater screens to my
knowledge for this purpose.

Creating a three projector DLP to show Cinerama three panel films would be pointless. You'd still see the panel
joins. It would make more sense to take the three negatives and recombine them into a seamless ultra wide
image as they did on the blu ray for "How the West Was Won". Unfortunately, it cost a small fortune but that
movie is popular enough to recoup the restoration costs. "The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm" and
the travelogues "This is Cinerama", "Cinerama Holiday", "Seven Wonders of the World", "South Seas Adventure"
and "Search for Paradise" would never recoup the restoration costs which is why they are unlikely to be restored
even though the negatives exist. As least there are some three panel clips (with the join lines) of some of these
movies in "Cinerama Adventure" which is a suppliment on the "HTWWW" special edition. The best hope for these
movies is for some archive to restore them because of their historical importance. At the very least they should
do "This is Cinerama" since it started the widescreen craze in the fifties.

They still make 70mm print stock but no longer offer 6 track magnetic sound. So if they want to show a 70mm
film now they use the DTS system which has the tracks on a digital CD-ROM. The problem there is that the
fullcoat has to be transferred and restored to make a CD-ROM. They've done this on some of the 70mm films
like "South Pacific" but not on all of them.

The problem for restoration is always money. Throughout film history the stock manufacturers and others
have only offered unstable materials for productions. Nitrate, Eastmancolor and magnetic sound were all
very volatile and subject to deterioration and decomposition. These problems have been remedied with
modern estar low fade film stock and digital sound but that means all older movies need extensive restoration
and preservation. With the economy is a recession and getting worse, these archival efforts will
be slowed down. It may be too late for some movies as a result.
 

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I'll answer you first question then get back to you on the others.

It's highly unlikely any 70mm print of "The Towering Inferno" exists but even if
it did, it would be totally faded by now. 70mm was Eastmancolor so all stock
in that format (negatives, prints in 70mm, 35mm and 16mm) would be faded to
pink or red because the dye couplers in the cyan layer were unstable and evaporated
after 5-10 years. They didn't have low fade Eastmancolor stock in the various formats
until 1983. That's a long story unto itself.

Of course 35mm and 16mm Technicolor dye transfer prints didn't fade. I saw
"How the West Was Won" in 35mm three panel Cinerama and in Technicolor.
The original 1962 print had all of it's color. There were only 7 three panel
Cinerama films. The first five were travelogues and the last two narrative
features. I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did after the introduction of
two 70mm formats...Todd AO (2.21 x 1) and Ultra-Panavision/MGM Camera
65 (2.75 x 1). The latter was as wide as Cinerama and didn't have the panel
joins.
Morning i mean afterernoon Rich

That’s a shame that’s a real shame it now possibly faded away. Wonder if (Bob Harris) out there would like to restore it? :bigsmile:
 

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LOL I got no problem with hiss I’ll look on eBay for a Dolby A/SR module to deal with the hissss.

I have heard first hand in the cinema where magnetic has total loss of sound!

(Star Trek marathon day) Empire Leicester Square Sunday October 8th 1989 in screen 1 JBL/13KW/THX!

Most of the rest of the films where road show prints expect Star Trek the motion picture. Anyway towards the end of Star Trek IV The Voyage Home (1986) the one with the whales! This where the bird of pray is powerless and heading towards the golden gate bridge all the sound went MUTE!

I thought the projectionist was drinking and stumbled onto the Dolby CP200 and knocked the volume down!

No it was the magnetic tracks all if not all six of them ether had faded or got damaged doesn’t matter which, so if you, come across this print thou it might have (faded to pink) like you said earlier.

The sound was restored after 15 to 20 seconds? To chest pounding vibration of the Klingon ship crashing into the bay. The rest of the whole day was nothing short of OUT OF THIS THX/JBL WORLD!

Another print that I experienced was a 70mm print of Batman (1989) this was in the batcave where Vicky and Bruce chat for short while about love bat meets girl, girl meets bat LOL. Suddenly the top range high frequency goes all you can hear was a low muffled range down at 500Hz in the centre channel.

I thought it was the HF horn, but no impossible because it was soft dialogue moment and then I thought it’s a 70mm print and its magnetic, the top range as gone after all it was on old print at the time around (1996 – 1997).

The sound restored or the HF that is on the centre magnetic strip.

I’ve heard issues even with Dolby SR-D before reading about it and knowing if, the digital track was damaged it will automatically switch over to Dolby SR.

L.A. Confidential (1997) getting on towards the end it was the scene where Gladiator (Crowe) and 9 ½ weeks (Kim) was arguing outside in the pouring rain! The digital was ping-ponging back and forth to SR for at least (2 or 3 minutes).

Rather than cutting out I guess the damage was minor and would pass on though the projector without breaking.

It was interesting to hear it working and the differences between digital and SR clearly stood out. The rain would get louder in SR due to extra crosstalk filtering onto the surrounds.

The centre was hard to tell unless the centre is muted then you’ll hear the small low level of dialogue on left and right. This was around early mid (1998) as the cinema only just installed a Dolby DA20 with the CP200 at local Bournemouth ABC cinema screen 1.
 

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In terms of re-mixes of older features, all magnetic fullcoats of stereo films deteriorated
over the years and lost some of the sound data. Regardless of whether the movie was
presented in 7 track Cinerama, 6 track 70mm or 4 track Cinemascope 35mm, the master
mix was on a fullcoat.

A fullcoat was a roll of 35mm film with no image on it. The image area contained magnetic
sound stripes (almost like a 1/4" tape reel but on film) in the various formats (7, 6 and 4).
Unfortunately, magnetic sound was based on oxide which flaked off and acted as a corrosive
to the film base it was on. Many if not most old 35mm fullcoats are now severely warped
with the oxide just shedding off. To restore them the technicians thread it into a dubber and
transfer it to a digital file. In some cases, they put their finger on the actual film to keep it
on the sound heads. After the transfer the sound heads have to be cleaned of the shedding
oxide and in many cases they only get one run to do this before the magnetic fullcoat is
completely unplayable.

So, once they have a digital file, they have to correct the problems which includes excessive
track hiss from the missing data and even thumps from partially magnetized dubbing heads.
It's very complex and difficult. Now there are various methods of removing the hiss but you
also crush some of the dynamic range and sound that was recorded when you do this. It's
not ideal but it's better than hearing loud hiss come out of the 7, 6 or 4 tracks. To make things
more complicated, 35mm 4 track CinemaScope had a sub audio tone on the rear channel that would
switch it on and off when it wasn't in use so that has to be removed by a filter before transferring
that track.

Once they have the original mix in a digital file, they can do various things including creating
a new digital master on 35mm film for the long run in the original format as well as re-mixing
the film for the 5.1 system used on DVD. What that usually means is to re-channel the directional
dialogue into the center channel only and add stereo surrounds to the isolated rear channel
tracks. The reason they do this is because it's easier for foreign territories to re-mix the movie
for their country. All they have to do is to create a new center channel with the dubbed dialogue
and the rest of the tracks can play as is. In the past with directional dialogue, they had to remix
all of the channels to remove dialogue that was contained in the left/right and rear for dubbing
which was very expensive.

In terms of 'stretching' the Cinerama film that isn't possible. I'm not sure what you're referring
to. At least in terms of blu ray, the correct aspect ratio is contained within the 16:9 ratio which
means there will be black borders on the top and bottom of the image to accomodate the extremelly
wide ratio. Are you referring to the 'anamorphically enhansed' standard DVD? That is stretched
out from 3 x 4 to 16:9 but once again, whatever the ratio the film was in would have to be contained
within those borders. Only movies designed for 1.85 projection in theaters comfortably fit into
the 16:9 ratio. All other ratios will contain black borders on the sides or top and bottom of the image.

I wish there was a way of curving the screen for DLPs but I don't know of any lens that can compensate for that without going soft on the edges. Curved screen presentations in Cinerama,
Todd-AO or CinemaScope were quite effective and simulated the peripheral illusion. But they required specific projection equipment and lenses for the cinemas they were shown in. Current
DLPs only can be shown on flat screens no matter how wide the image is. A curved screen gives
a very limited viewing angle too which is why they fell out of favor in the sixties. Only viewers sitting
directly in the center of the cinema had the ideal viewing angle. They were known as 'sweet spot
seats'. From the side aisles or balconies the audience saw a very distorted image. The screens were not
solid either but louvered. If you got up close to the Cinerama screen it looked like a bunch of venetian
blinds that were slightly opened. This was utilized so the right and left portions of the curved screen would
not reflect light into the center creating a hot spot. No one sells louvered home theater screens to my
knowledge for this purpose.

Creating a three projector DLP to show Cinerama three panel films would be pointless. You'd still see the panel
joins. It would make more sense to take the three negatives and recombine them into a seamless ultra wide
image as they did on the blu ray for "How the West Was Won". Unfortunately, it cost a small fortune but that
movie is popular enough to recoup the restoration costs. "The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm" and
the travelogues "This is Cinerama", "Cinerama Holiday", "Seven Wonders of the World", "South Seas Adventure"
and "Search for Paradise" would never recoup the restoration costs which is why they are unlikely to be restored
even though the negatives exist. As least there are some three panel clips (with the join lines) of some of these
movies in "Cinerama Adventure" which is a suppliment on the "HTWWW" special edition. The best hope for these
movies is for some archive to restore them because of their historical importance. At the very least they should
do "This is Cinerama" since it started the widescreen craze in the fifties.

They still make 70mm print stock but no longer offer 6 track magnetic sound. So if they want to show a 70mm
film now they use the DTS system which has the tracks on a digital CD-ROM. The problem there is that the
fullcoat has to be transferred and restored to make a CD-ROM. They've done this on some of the 70mm films
like "South Pacific" but not on all of them.

The problem for restoration is always money. Throughout film history the stock manufacturers and others
have only offered unstable materials for productions. Nitrate, Eastmancolor and magnetic sound were all
very volatile and subject to deterioration and decomposition. These problems have been remedied with
modern estar low fade film stock and digital sound but that means all older movies need extensive restoration
and preservation. With the economy is a recession and getting worse, these archival efforts will
be slowed down. It may be too late for some movies as a result.

Yeah that’s right and it’s kinder faded or taken a back seat now because I haven’t heard of any dts70mm release since Titanic Armageddon of late (1997)

I look around the in-70mm site for news now and then.

Well if I happen to ever get a few on the cheap video projectors I’m going to give a go.

I agree that’s where I’d be front and centre without the acid! I read that there were crowds mostly tripping on acid at 2001 LOL. I’ll be tripping off it without the need of drugs!

I read that keep the (Penthouse) on the 70mm projector was pain in the neck to maintain

Fortunately when I was projectionist just a quick clean of the 35mm projector like film gate top middle and bottom sprockets around the sound head and rollers clean the aperture plate lens as well as a short burst of CO2 to make sure everything is clean! All this within a crackerjack timing of 3 minutes! Then lacing-up and waiting for the time and running the next performance.

But that’s the point of seeing the joins LOL recreating the experience!

Hold on second isn’t there a feature on the video projector (keystone) that could be fiddled around with for left and right projector at small percentages?
 

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Senior Shackster
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Discussion Starter #16
The keystone function doesn't apply to curved screen presentations although I suppose it
would be possible to create one for that.

There is nothing to restore on "The Towering Inferno". They have low fade duplicate
elements on it and the blu ray has good color and they restored the magnetic sound.
But there would be no reason to make a 70mm print because no theater would play it
in that format. It was a blow up. It was shot in 35mm Panavision. They they made
a direct first generation blow up to 70mm by putting an anamorphic lens on the optical
printer to spread out the image. There was some cropping of the original which was the
case of all 35mm anamorphic 70mm blow ups. The sides were slightly cropped from 2.35 x 1
to 2.21 x 1. Since they were first generation blow ups and the size of the film image was
greater than 35mm spread out, 70mm blow ups often looked very good providing the negative
was fully exposed and extensively lit at this film was. The six track magnetic stereo sounded
great but because of the nature of the format, the prints had limited number of plays before
the tracks started to degrade. I guess they figured the tracks would go along with the image
which would fade so as long as they lasted a couple of months for a Roadshow presentation,
that was good enough to derive income from them. 70mm was not an archival process like
35mm dye transfer Technicolor. The problems they ran into is when a movie proved to be
so popular, the 70mm print started to deteriorate by the end of the run and they were so
astronomically expensive to make (first the print, then they would strip the print then they
would dub on the tracks), they would not be replaced unlike 35mm copies which always had
extra copies available for that purpose in the exchange.

Bob Harris recently restored "The Godfather" negatives. He was the co-producer of my
Technicolor feature, "Space Avenger" back in 1989. He was simulatenously restoring "Lawrence
of Arabia" while working on my movie. He trying to raise the money to restore "The Alamo"
which was shot in 65mm.
 
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