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Visit biografmuseet.dk about Danish cinemas
Sune L Thomsen about GIFF 7O @ the Gentofte Kino, Denmark
|Read more at|
The 70mm Newsletter
Written and photographed by: Thomas Hauerslev. Sune interviewed May 5, 2021.
Interview transcribed by Mette Pedersen
Sune Lind Thomsen is ready to sell you the tickets @ Gentofte Kino.
The editor met with Sune on the evening of May 5, 2021, for an informal chat about
Gentofte Kino and the Gentofte International (70mm Film) Festival [GIFF 70],
which would take place about three weeks later, at the end of May. Sune, who is a fast talker, gave an enthusiastic,
vivid introduction to the upcoming 70mm festival, Gentofte Kino and his
childhood cinema memories. In a record 17 minutes the editor was "carpet
bombed" with details about his dreams and vision for the Kino. Sune's
enthusiasm for cinema and 70mm is highly contagious. Here it is
for you to read.
THa: Sune, tell me about Gentofte Kino's 70mm film
festival and the 2021 program.
Sune: The Gentofte International 70mm Film Festival [GIFF 70] is the first
time we are going to do this. It is a brand-new concept for Gentofte Kino.
We should have actually released this event, or festival, back in January
'21, but due to the Corona pandemic it has been delayed several times. But
it is going to happen now, at the end of May  and we are really looking
forward to trying this for a Danish audience. This is the first 70mm film festival
of this kind in Denmark since
Besides Gentofte Kino, only two
additional commercial cinemas in Denmark can screen 70mm. One is a small
cinema in Jutland [Bio, Malling] and the other one is a major cinema in
downtown Copenhagen, Nordisk
Film's iconic Imperial Bio. An amazing
cinema, but due to the market situation, and normal competition, they rarely
show any 70mm classics. They have
to screen new titles to stay competitive. I don’t think they have in their cards to
be able to clear a weekend in order to do a 70mm festival. They can't just let that money go away, so
that opens space for
us to organize a 70mm festival.
• Go to
GIFF 70, Copenhagen,
• Go to Picture portrait of Gentofte Kino,
May 5, 2021
• Go to
The Greatest 70mm Race
This year, due to
the Covid pandemic, we are only showing films that are available [in 70mm]
in Denmark. We haven’t brought anything in from abroad. We will [probably] do that next
year. It is my goal to have one, maybe two films imported from abroad. We have to learn the mechanics and because of Covid, we
are not doing the big festival package. But we will do that in 2022. For
2022, if you
decide to buy a festival pass, you can get that included. You will get some
sandwiches, coffee, soft drinks and your popcorn. All that
can be included in one festival pass – a platinum festival pass.
|More in 70mm reading:|
The Greatest 70mm Race
GIFF 70, Copenhagen,
Gallery: Gentofte Kino May 5, 2021
70mm Retro - Festivals and Screenings
Splendour of 70mm. Preserving Wide Film History
Herrlichkeit von 70mm"
styled curved screen, approximately 12 meter wide. Note the handy BAR to the
This years opening night will be
"The Hateful Eight", which is a bit
of a challenge to do in 70mm, because of the Ultra Panavision 2,76:1
aspect ratio. We need different lenses and so on. It is a big task to make that
work, and it is a long film, but that is going to be a fantastic opening
film Friday evening. On Saturday we continue with three films, which
is a lot of work for a single screen cinema with only one
DP70 projector. Saturday morning at 10:00
it is going to be
"Dunkirk", and then
at 14:00 we are screening an old fantastic print of "Out of Africa", which is about the Danish author Karen Blixen.
We finish the day at 19:30 with a presentation of
"Joker". On Sunday morning, we are
starting up with
"Interstellar" at 10:00, and in the
afternoon at 15:00 we are presenting "The Great Race". An original 70mm
premiere print from 1966. That is going to be exciting to see how that holds up.
Is going to be a busy day in the projection room.
There will be introductions to everything. For "Out of
Africa", we are
working with the Karen
Blixen Museum at Rungstedlund. They will be here to introduce the film, and pass out
free tickets for the new special Karen Blixen exhibition.
THa: Do you have an impression of the interest for 70mm amongst your audience in Gentofte Kino?
Sune: Yes, actually there is some 70mm awareness out there. First of all among some of our senor guests,
who remember the previous times there were 70mm screenings back in the 1960's in Gentofte
[Villabyernes Bio and Bellevue, ed].
also noticed a lot of interest [for 70mm] when we premiered
in 70mm in August last year. People came from well beyond the "borders" of
this community cinema just to watch and experience this 70mm event. We have
had guests travelling from all around the country to come and watch 70mm. 70mm, has broadened our horizon.
It is my hope for the Gentofte International Film Festival 70,
that it will become an annual weekend where you are able
to see films
splendour" of 70mm. So, it's been great and has given us high hopes for this festival.
THa: How would you describe the Gentofte Kino?
Sune: The Kino is an cinema from
1938, located in the Gentofte municipality, just north of Copenhagen. It is an old classic single-screen
cinema, 35 meters long with a a big auditorium, originally built for
564 seats. We have 13 rows and more than two meters
between each row, so there
is a lot of space in there. Presently we have 290 seats plus a special VIP lounge
with six seats. The VIP lounge is under reconstruction, but it will be
ready in the time for
James Bond [in September]. Once Bond is here you can have your own VIP lounge.
of Arabia" is prominently on display in one of the vintage display cabinets
from 1938, which were re-discovered in 2020 after being hidden away for 40
When the cinema opened in '38, it had five big
display cabinets, for posters and stills. Around 1981 these cabinets were
covered up and forgotten. Last year in 2020 when we renovated the Kino, we re-discovered these beautiful display cabinets. When we opened them, we
found several posters nearly 40 years old. Including a "Raiders of the
Lost Ark" poster still hanging there! We have restored these cabinets
and brought them back to life. They add a feeling of authenticity to the cinema, and we
like to display posters from the big poster collection we have in the cinema.
We have a collection of more than 11.000 posters upstairs which have been
kept and maintained. It's like browsing through history, as much has been
kept all through the years. Posters give a good vibrant spirit in an old
non-multiplex cinema like the Kino.
It is kind
of a "movie madness" place. We will do everything about movies, from screenings
new films, to screening old classics and people can request films as
well. So, it is used daily from 9 o'clock in the morning until midnight. And it is great fun. If
you love movies, go to Gentofte Kino, that's it! Kino is old style cinema experience,
in a cool way in a sense.
THa: What does 70mm mean to you and what inspired you to organize this
Sune: I think it is important for a one-screen cinema to
be able to screen as many different film formats as possible. Of cause, we have
got the modern [digital] formats, and we also have professional 16mm and 35mm of
and the "king" of them all, 7OMM! That was important for us,
because it is an almost dying film technology. It is important for people to
be able see real film and that is the important thing for me. It is enormously effective
to see films in digital, but to watch them in 70mm, it becomes a completely
different experience. Somebody has to tell people, that this
is something you cannot miss. You have to see it.
THa: When did you discover 70mm?
Sune: I think that it must have been
"Lawrence of Arabia" 20-25 years ago. I saw that for the first
time, and it was a really amazing experience with the colours and texture. I was blown
away because it was just so much better than 35mm. Just so much better!
Since then, I have been a bit of a film nerd, and I have been in the business
for a long time. I was thrilled to see that Christopher Nolan started making
new films in 65mm. It kind of spread into Tarantino ["The Hateful Eight"], then Todd Philips
["Joker"] and Kenneth Branagh is coming up with
"Death on the Nile"
[January 2022]. Hopefully, even though Covid-19 is really putting a toe on cinemas, we will still see some new 70mm
productions being done.
Kino is tastefully equipped with lamps, plants and 70mm festival flyers.
THa: Tell me about yourself.
Sune: I am from 1969 and I
remember the first time I was here. I was seven or eight when I saw the first films
here in Gentofte Kino. The Kino is my childhood cinema. I grew up with this
cinema. It was my first real cinema experience.
It was a completely different time for cinemas before home entertainment systems.
In Denmark back in the '70s we only had one
television channel, so the Kino was the place we
went to. It was not a first run cinema, it was second or third or maybe even
fourth run cinema at the time [laughing], but during every summer vacation we saw
James Bond, and all the old stuff. I was here for many, many years and
this is where
I grew up
I have had a long professional career in the Danish film distribution business,
Brothers, 20th Century Fox and Walt Disney and so on. I have been around the
world and done interviews, with
celebrities like Harrison Ford and Peter Jackson and many more.
When I turned 50 I realised the one thing I never had, was having a cinema of my
own. I wanted to be able to go to work, and give people something they
didn’t know they wanted. It's the most exciting experience to be
able to say "Hello" and welcome the audience who come here to be
entertained. They are happy when they arrive. The babysitter is taking care
of the children and they and full of excitement when they enter. They might be
disappointed when they leave,
because the film didn't live up to their expectations [laughing], but they were happy when the
THa: And they come back!
Sune: And they come back, and that is the great thing.
You can never make a
proper living of having a one-screen cinema. It is impossible. I am happy to
have a wife who has a great job, because this is a con-amore project
in a sense.
With one screen, you basically only have one good show a day, and that is
the evening show. The remaining are just less attended shows because people
are at work. One thing you can have when having a one-screen cinema, is the excitement
of having everybody in the same room seeing the same film. They come to see the same film.
They know that, so they start connecting, as they realise;
"Oh, you read the reviews about this
film as well? I am so excited about this film".
building, as they know they are going to have a
shared experience. The moviegoing experience is so much bigger in a one-screen cinema
compared to a multiplex. This means we can show
"Star Wars" in the
early afternoon, and
have "Downton Abbey" in the evening. The audience doesn’t
necessarily mix, but they all feel that it is their local community cinema,
different the movies we are playing really are.
Kino is located on the main street in Gentofte, 20 minutes by train from
Copenhagen city center.
THa: Are you anticipating "70mm" guests from abroad here in Gentofte?
Sune: Our aim for 2022 is definitely to have international guests and to
have guest speakers. I have attended several 70mm festivals in Europe.
"The Todd-AO Festival" in Karlsruhe (DE),
"Widescreen Weekend" in Bradford (UK),
"KRRR!" in Krnov (CZ), and
"Size Always Matters" in Oslo (NO). These festivals are amazing, I mean
really amazing. Highly profiled, and really,
really well organized. They are my guidelines for what I want to do. We can
probably not match them, but if we can get close to them, and more
importantly, if we try to be as professional as these 70mm festivals, then
we have something.
My ambition is to be make sure everything is fine, and the technique works
and to become the "little brother" of these festivals. GIFF 70 is going to be scheduled
around the other festivals at the end of January every year. We
don’t disturb them, and they don’t disturb us in that mix of those
four European 70mm festivals.
THa: Have you heard from people abroad about
Sune: Only from a few friends of 70mm in Sweden. Because of the pandemic and because we have been
closed down for five months [7. December 2020 - 5. May 2021], we did not
make attempts to market the festival internationally. I was too scared
to do any marketing in case we had to shut down again.
For now, I only want to run GIFF 70
in May 2021, in order for
us to gain some experience, and to be able to do an even better and more prominet
festival in 2022.
THa: What about accommodation, scheduling, titles, tickets, catering etc.,
for the festival? Is that
something, which is also organized by Gentofte Kino?
Sune: Before Covid, it was definitely the plan that we should do catering
We also have a very nice local hotel, just 200 meters away from the cinema. They
were going to have special prices for people flying in from abroad. There
are multiple restaurants and catering services in the neighbourhood close to the cinema.
THa: What about sponsorships?
Sune: The Danish Film Institute is sponsoring
GIFF 70. They are excited and think this is a great event, as they don’t
have the capacity themselves to screen 70mm at the Cinematek in Central
Copenhagen. Carlsberg, the big Danish brewery, is also chipping in some
sponsor money for making programming and so on. But, it is not like
a big sponsor thing. If anyone likes to sponsor they are welcome in 2022.
THa: Good luck
Sune: Thank you
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