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Visit biografmuseet.dk about Danish cinemas


DP70s in New York (NY)

Read more at in70mm.com
Written by: Thomas Hauerslev Date: 04.07.2009
Albany Ritz Theatre (*»)
  1174 seats
Bedford Hills Robert A Harris, private (p)
  Two DP70 (1421+1423) with base no 59-189+59-191. Sold to Somerville Theatre, Somerville (MA) 2009
Brockport Strand Theatre
  One DP70 in storage from Panorama Theatre in Rochester. Machine is missing both gates. 
Bronxville Bronxville Theatre (*)
  Theatre opened 22.07.1960. DP70 not certain. 880 seats. Ampex six-track stereo. 3-strip Cinemiracle "Windjammer". Projectors in one booth. 1230 seats. Three screens today.
Buffalo Century Theatre (*»)
  "Oklahoma!" opened 15.08.1956 and played minimum 10 weeks. 2713 seats. Closed 1971. Demolished 1979.
Buffalo Granada Theatre (*»)
  Two DP70 (608+679) were sold to the Eckel Theatre in Syracuse in 1959. Later, after showing "Windjammer" in Cinemiracle, another pair of DP70s were installed probably with three digit numbers. "Around the World in 80 Days" opened 03.10.1957. 1142 seats. The Granada was demolished sometime in the 1980's.

You will note in the article, the first installation of the DP70 was in Buffalo. It was at our Granada theater, where serial #s 1 & 2 were installed. The screen at that theater was NOT curved. It was just torn down two years ago. They had 2 1/2 rotating carbons in the lamphouse, and there were no ports in the booth, just a giant sheet of glass, so the projectors could be moved. Before the theater closed, the projectors were moved to the I 290 Drive In, to test brightness and stability on a drive in screen. "Scrooge" ran in 70mm at the drive in. Marty Sadoff, 28. november 2006
Buffalo The Regent Theatre (P)
  Todd-AO test cinema 1953 - 1955. At least one DP70. Now a church.
Buffalo Young St. Drive-In
  Two DP70 were installed in 1966. These are now in the Oswego theatre, NY.
Dewitt Kallet Shoppingtown Theatre (Original single screen location 1957-68) (*)
  Two DP70 EL 4001 numbers: (605+635). DP70 installed March 1957

The film running in this photo is the original (anamorphic 70mm) "BEN HUR". Image by: George Read

Text by: TJ Edwards, Robert Throop and George Abbot.

In a suburb of Syracuse, Shoppingtown was not a mall, but a row of individual stores with separate entrances. The Kallet Theatre's main marquee sat above stores facing front, the theatre itself was in the rear facing a large parking lot.

Kallet Shoppingtown Theatre in opened in Spring 1957 with a return engagement of "OKLAHOMA!" (which first debuted in Downtown Syracuse). The theatre auditorium's position (underneath front-facing retail space) required a steeply sloped floor (holding 1009 seats). The ceiling, which stepped-up toward the screen, concealed about a dozen surround speakers. The auditorium's shape thus allowed a fairly minimal throw angle.
  Image by: George Read

The flexible 23x49' screen was curved by 128 degrees for 70mm Todd-AO (2.20:1) films. For 35mm CinemaScope (2.35:1), the screen was masked down to 21x43.5' - presumably with a gentler curve. It could be flattened out at 21x38' for regular (1.85:1 or 1.66:1) films. Fully extended, The 23x49' (nearly wall-to wall and floor to ceiling) screen was so wide, there was no room for the thick velour curtain to gather at the ends, so the curtain track (which went straight across the front) curved sharply back along the side walls behind the screen.

70mm presentations included long-run, exclusive premiere, and roadshow engagements of "BEN-HUR", "SOUTH PACIFIC", "THE SAND PEBBLES", "DOCTOR DOLITTLE" and "THE SOUND OF MUSIC", which ran a record 77 weeks, following a rather long run of "MARY POPPINS".

By the late sixties it was decided to add a huge department store in the rear of the building. The new addition would box in the theatre's entrance, cutting it off from the parking lot. Kallet took a 99 year lease on a lot at the other (right) end of the center, and construction on the big store and new twin theatre began. The original 1957 Kallet Shoppingtown Theatre closed sometime after showing "DOCTOR DOLITTLE", probably in the spring/summer of 1968.
Dewitt Kallet Shoppingtown Theatre I & II 1968 (later Shoppingtown 1-2-3-4 circa 85-96)
  The original (57) theatre's two DP70 EL 4001 Norelco (605+635) projectors were moved into Kallet Shoppingtown II, on the right side of the new twin, while Theatre I got two Cinemaccanica 35/70s.

Kallet Shoppingtown I & II, was a new structure - not connected to the stores. Its sleek identical 800 seat auditoriums similar to the original 1957 theatre, this was Central New York's first twin theatre, and the first new theatre built in the area in many years.

Kallet Shoppingtown I & II opened just before Christmas 1968, with "FUNNY GIRL" (35mm) in Theatre I and "STAR!" (70mm) in Theatre II. "STAR!" was in number II, not as prestige choice, but a presentation priority: Theatre II had the better (70mm Norelco) projectors. By Easter 1969, "STAR!" had been replaced by "THE SHOES OF THE FISHERMAN". Summer 1969 brought another 70mm roadshow: "SWEET CHARITY", and at Christmas: "HELLO, DOLLY!" (Todd-AO 70mm) and "GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS" (35mm). Todd-AO returned in 1970 with "AIRPORT".

The space held by the first (1957) Shoppingtown Theatre sat vacant for a while, then was converted to offices for a limited time...

In 1974, CinemaNational, purchased the Kallet Shoppingtown I & II. CinemaNational were later bought out by USA Cinemas, who were then bought out by Loews/Sony, from whom Hoyts Cinemas purchased the operation. In the late 80s, the two Shoppingtown auditoriums were subdivided (front and back) into four screens, with about 350 seats each.
Dewitt Shoppingtown 1-2-3-4 (Subdivided from Kallet Shoppingtown I & II) Theatre #3
  One DP70 (635). Played "The Doors" in 70mm for a week in the summer of 1991.
Dewitt Shoppingtown 1-2-3-4 (Subdivided from Kallet Shoppingtown I & II) Theatre #4.
  One DP70 (605). One projector (with a platter) was installed in each of the four booths. The two Norelco 70 Projectors were used for screens 3 & 4 (split from the Theatre II) Only the new booth #3 was made 70mm capable. "THE DOORS" played 70mm in #3 for a week in summer 1991. It was the only 70mm print to run in the building after the conversion to four screens. The other Norelco, in Booth #4, (the original Theatre II booth) could no longer run 70mm.

Meanwhile, the individual stores of Shoppingtown were converted into an indoor mall. It is not known if the space occupied by the original (1957) Kallet Shoppingtown Theatre was gutted, or the building was demolished in the mall conversion. In 1996 Hoyt's closed the Shoppingtown 1-2-3-4. The building Kallet had built in 1968 as Shoppingtown I & II held the Original (1957) Kallet Shoppingtown's two Norelco 70mm projectors (605+635) until it closed in 1996, but it was eventually demolished, and it is now unknown where those Norelco projectors went after that.

in 1997, Hoyts opened a multiplex in the basement of the mall. It is very likely that the current Regal Shoppingtown Mall Stadium 14 now occupies a space fairly close to where the original 1957 Kallet Shoppingtown Theatre was.

- The preceding was adapted from details originally provided by George Read, Robert Throop, and George Abbot) and augmented by TJ Edwards.

The following text is from George Abbot: I worked relief in that (Shoppingtown 1-2-3-4) booth through the 80s and early 90s, working four days a week from 1992 to 1995. I only ran two 70mm [pictures] in my time there. One was "Ghostbusters", the second - I do not recall the title, I only ran it once... When Hoyts purchased the operation, all union projectionists were eliminated from the booths in all of the theatres [they] purchased. - George Abbott, Relief Projectionist.

For a further history of the Kallet Shoppingtown theatres, check out Cinema Sightlines, TJ Edwards, 18.07.2009
Lynbrook Lynbrook Theatre
  Two DP70. D-150 theatre.
New York City Criterion Theatre (*»P)
  Three DP70. "South Pacific" world premiered here in Todd-AO 19.03.1958. Rebuilt into 6 theatres with 2x1090, 2x250, 200 and 150 seats. Originally 1700 seats. SR.D
New York City Loews State Theatre (*»)
  Three DP70 (+ +750) installed for the opening of "Ben Hur" in 18.11.1959. One projector (750)moved to SONY 12-plex in Webster, Rochester (NY). Re-opened 28.09.1966 with Dimension-150 and 1884 seats. Was twinned in December 1968. Demolished 1987. One DP70 went to private Roger Getsoff.

Loews State Theatre. Todd-AO Corporation still.

Brad and I thought of the Rivoli also, but their DP70's had micrometers on
the focus mechanisms, which I suspect were there from the days of the Gretner lamps. My suspicion is that the booth is the "middle" booth at Loew's State. It may have had a ceiling that sloped at the back, but the photo doesn't show it. It was built at the front of the balcony, and after the theatre was twinned, became a concession storage area behind the upper theatre's concession stand. I was there for "The Agony and the Ecstasy" when they were using that booth, which may have been put in for "Ben Hur". They had DP70s which were later transferred downstairs (if so I've run the projectors in the photo.) Loew's was a big user of Peerless HyCandescent lamps, and may well have used them for "Ben Hur", I wasn't in the booth when I was there for "Agony" so I'm not sure. I have other photos taken in that booth (I think) which were put out by Ampex and featured the Ampex 6-channel sound system, and an Ampex professional tape transport for intermission music. The pictures don't identify which booth it is, but I remember seeing them in "International Projectionist" and the booth being identified as Loew's State. Bob Endres, 29.06.2000
New York City MGM Screening room
Two DP70 at 1350 Avenue of the Americas in the 1980s. The pair of DP70's were removed in around 1993. I was over there on Wednesday (May 2005). No info on where they went. Bill Gabel
New York City National Theatre
  Two DP70. Removed, and taken to the Rialto across the street.
New York City Rialto
  Two DP70. They were dragged across the street from the National Theatre by the stage crew, and as a result one developed an incurable oil leak around it's seal. Rialto is now gone. Those machines were probably thrown in the trash!
New York City Rivoli Theatre (*»)
  Five DP70. (Two downstairs and three upstairs)

The Rivoli projectionists (left to right): Jack Rollman (Head of projection and sound), Frank Verno, Tom Rugino and Max Winton. Image from International Projectionist.

The first public Todd-AO theatre. 1554 seats. "Oklahoma!" opened 13.10.1955. Todd-AO screen: 63 x 27 ft and 13 ft deep. Chord: 52 ft. Booth at top of balcony (Projection angle 22 dgr down) and at mezzanine level. Booth at mezzanine level, originally intended for Todd-AO showroom, re-built in 1966 when Dimension-150 was installed for the premiere of "The Bible...in the Beginning" (That ran at State!). Ampex 6-track stereo.

The sound for "Oklahoma!" was obtained from a separate sound film which contained 6 track magnetic stereo. Synchronised to the 65mm print in the projector by means of a Selsyn interlock. "Oklahoma!" shown one full year and replaced by "Around the World in 80 Days" 17.10.1956. By 05.03.1960 the projectors had shown more than 12.000 hours of film since the opening (70mm 9628 hours/35mm 2490 hours). Twinned 1981 under the name UA Twin and demolished 1987. Now an office block.
New York City Warner Theatre, Broadway at 47th (*»)
  3-strip Cinerama. Took over "This is Cinerama" from Broadway theatre 05.06.1953. Removed 3-strip equipment 17.05.1959. "Porgy and Bess" in Todd-AO world premiered in this cinema 24.06.1959. 2720 seats. Three screens from 1968. Became Cinerama Twin 15.11.1976 and the Warner Twin 25.05.1983. Closed 08.02.1987 and demolished 1987.
New York City Tower Theatre/Eastman Kodak Pavillon/The worlds Fair 1964/65 (T)
  Two DP70

Image by Philips
New York City Du Pont/The worlds Fair 1964/65 (T)
  Two DP70. Ran a film called "Die Wunderwelt der Chemie".

Image by Philips
New York City Billy Graham/The worlds Fair 1964/65 (T)
  One DP70. "Man in the 5th Dimension" in Todd-AO and shown with a Technicolor print on a deeply curved screen. The soundtrack could be heard in English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Chinese languages.
Oswego Oswego Theatre
  Two DP70 from the Young St. Drive-In, NY.
Peekskell (NY) Paramount Center of Art (P)
  DP70 # 1384 & #1408 at the Paramount Theatre in Peekskill (NY, US)

Click to see enlargement

Two DP70 (1384+1408), with base no 59-174+59-175 from The Paramount in Omaha. DP70s back at work at the Paramount Theatre in Peekskill, NY
Rego Park UA LeFrak
  Two DP70. Opened in 1965 with "The Sound of Music" in Todd-AO
Rochester (NY) Kodak. "Theatre on the Ridge"
  Image by Paul Rayton

Two DP70 (923+924) bought around 1990 from The Reviera Theatre for USD 13.000. 2000 seats. The screen is a Harkness Hall Micro Perf sheet and has a matte plus surface.  It is mounted flat on a "Fly", so that it can lowered at the touch of a button. Available surface is 24 feet high X 62 feet wide. Travelling masking is present at the top and sides. 70mm image approximately 20.8 feet X 46 feet. Currently, Strong X-60 lamps are mounted on the projectors and approximately 4000 watt Xenons are used to light the screen.

#324 on the RIGHT (facing the screen), and #325 on the LEFT (facing the screen). And, the result of this anomaly is that the machine on the right is "#1", and the machine on the left is "#2", completely out of keeping with MOST places. 25.10.2007 Paul Rayton
Rochester Eastman Kodak House (P)
  One DP70 with reel of 70mm film and 50s CinemaScope projection lens exhibited. Carey Williams, Chicago (IL) donated the DP70. It was from a cinema in the NYC area.

Image by Bob Throop
Rochester Eastman House Museum
  Two DP70 (709+710) from the Monroe Theatre (1999). The machines are also in condition, but the 70mm kits are missing. (The Eastman Theatre was built by George Eastman way back in the 1920's, but it is not part of the Eastman Kodak Company.)
Rochester Monroe Theatre (*»)
  Two DP70 (709+710) 3-strip Cinerama. 974 seats. The installation was done in 1958. Base numbers presumebly 1016 and 1160. It was Cinerama, then XXX-rated, now closed. The machines have been removed from the Monroe Theatre prior to its (1999) demolition for installation (donated) at the Eastman Theatre (also in Rochester, NY) in the future.
Rochester Riviera Theatre (*)
  Two DP70 (923+924). 1000 seats. The Riveria featured a multi-format screen that was 67 feet wide fully open. It was mounted in a frame with a slight curve. Projectors were bought by Eastman Kodak in the early 1980's and installed at Kodak's "Theatre on the Ridge".
Rochester Town Theatre
  Two DP70 installed 1964. Moved to The Panorama Theatre 1966.
Rochester Panorama Theatre
  Opened 14.09.1966. Two DP70 from Town Theatre, Rochester (NY). One DP70 later moved to Stoneridge theatre in Rochester (NY). The other DP70 is in storage at the Strand Theatre in Brockport, N.Y.  The Strand machine is missing both gates. 
Rochester/Webster Loews/SONY 12-plex, screen #6.
  Two DP70 (687+750) not in use. #750 from Loews State in New York. Also in storage is #687. This is the head only.
Rochester Stoneridge theatre
  One DP70 from Panorama Theatre, Rochester (NY). Closed
Syosset Syosset Theatre (*»)
  Two DP70.

Projectionist Herb Butterworth. Image from International Projectionist

37th 3-strip Cinerama theatre. Opened 26.06.1959 as the first purpose built 70mm/Cinerama theatre in the US. 1450 seats 18 m screen and Ashcraft Super Cinex arcs. Cinema closed and demolished early 90s.

The Syosset opened in late 1956 or early 1957. They opened with a special showing of "Oklahoma!". They ran regular 35mm for several weeks and brought "Oklahoma!" back for a 2 week run. Later in 1957 they ran "Around the World in 80 Days". Somewhere I have an issue of International Projectionist from I believe April 1957 describing the installation. Cinerama came later although the theatre may have been constructed with it in mind. I knew a projectionist there years ago and it was a class operation. They routinely got backup prints of the films they were playing. Alas I never visited there. Bob Throop

The theatre had a gigantic screen and the unusual occurrence of 2 mini side screens - one to the left and one to the right of the big screen. To this day I’ve still never seen that! There was a tremendous capacity for the lower orchestra area and a nice, large balcony area. There’d always be an intermission since these movies tended to be so long there. In the early 90’s or maybe late 80’s they converted it to a 5 multi-plex. Of course that ruined all its uniqueness. The outside front façade of the building had "Syosset" written in giant script. In maybe the late 1960’s or early 1970’s they built another gigantic movie theatre, the UA 150 Syosset down the road in what’s actually Woodbury. That just closed recently. That also was a single title movie theatre, basically configured like the other, older theater.

While I no longer live there, it’s definitely a shame that those theaters no longer exist. David Seagal
Syracuse Eckel Theatre (*»)
  Two DP70 (608+679). 3-strip Cinerama. Schine Theatres bought the DP70 from Granada Theatre, Buffalo (NY) in 1959 to show "Sleeping Beauty" in 70mm. Became discount house and closed several years ago. Equipment to Todd-AO/Glen Glenn Sound #3 in Hollywood (CA). 913 seats. Now a store

The Eckel installed Cinerama in 1958. They did move the DP70's from the Granada in Buffalo in !959. They were both Schine houses and the Granada installed Cinemiracle for "Windjammer". The Granada later installed another set of DP70's. When I was younger I hung around the booth at the Eckel. The chief projectionist, George Raaflaub would let me thread the projectors. I thought I was in heaven! The Eckel was demolished sometime in the '80's. Bob Throop

Machines are now running in the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica in California
More in 70mm reading:

DP70 - The Todd-AO Projector
DP70 Story
DP70 Cinemas everywhere
DP70 Serial Numbers

DP70s in USA

70mm Projectors

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Updated 21-01-24