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Widescreen Weekend – It is tradition!

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Ulrich Rostek Date: 09.05.2014
When people ask me why I travel to Bradford I might say: ”It’s springtime, why do you ask? It’s tradition. All people come to Pictureville in spring. Why don’t you? “

And really – being a regular attendant of the Widescreen Weekend since 2011 – approaching Bradford Interchange station causes a kind of coming home feeling in my chest. Everything is so familiar. The impressing city hall, the Alhambra theatre, the Jury’s Inn hotel, even the crumbling Odeon Theatre is in the same disastrous condition as it was back in 2011. And of course the National Media Museum and Pictureville Cinema – our holy Temple for the weekend – gives me that goose bumps feeling.

Widescreen Weekend is a kind of family business, a kind of private function. It is tradition meeting all those familiar faces, people absolutely unknown a couple of years ago, who have become friends.
More in 70mm reading:

Widescreen Weekend – Es ist Tradition!

Why drive 400 miles to see Hamlet in 70mm?

Widescreen Weekend, Bradford, 2014

2014 Widescreen Weekend Introduction by Wolfram Hannemann

Widescreen Weekend 2014, images by Ulrich Rostek

Internet link:

It’s tradition to enjoy our all time favorites either in 70mm Todd-AO, 35mm CinemaScope, 3-strip-Cinerama or digital projection on the flat or – far better – on the deep curved Cinerama screen. It’s tradition to listen to the introductions held by hard boiled experienced movie experts. It’s tradition to discuss about the movies and listening to all that trivia on the making of the films. It’s tradition to remember in a silent mood all those magnificent men and women from the movie business who passed away within the last 12 months. It’s tradition to sit open mouthed watching the latest Cinerama restoration presented by Dave Strohmaier. It’s tradition to sit laughing during the presentation of Michael Hall’ latest whatever-in-60-seconds-clip.

At least it is tradition to applaud when the curtain is closing after the show. What is it good for? Neither the movie’s directors nor the actors would take any notice. It’s a big cheer to Duncan McGregor’s projection team who do that marvelous job bringing our widescreen dreams to life.
Unhealthy lifestyle is also a kind of tradition during Bradford Widescreen Weekend. High speed food intake during the short breaks between the movies is not really recommended by nutritionists but at least we are all in a hurry. Watching movies all day long is a hard work to do. We are not there for fun. And what would Widescreen Weekend be without finishing the day at Sir Titus Salt’s Pub with a couple of pints or at Omar’s Balti restaurant with a rich choice of tasty curries and giant garlic bread?

My journey to Bradford ended up with another tradition. Besides Widescreen Weekend I use to pay a visit to another english city on my way to or from Bradford. Having visited London, Liverpool, Newcastle, and York in the past years this time I spent a couple of day at Manchester and I enjoyed the versatility of life in this vivid place. Manchester is busy, hectic, modern, run down, loud, full of music, shiny, dirty, and idyllic at the same time. By incident I met Jennifer Hall – the Widescreen Weekend’s good spirit for the past years – in a small arthouse cinema where she is working now after leaving National Media Museum. We talked for a while, sharing memories and remembering widescreen. Meeting friends – it's tradition.
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Updated 21-01-24