Stefan Adler (July 1999)


  • Back to the Widescreen pages

    Picture credits and cinemas:

    DP70 - original photo from Philips, Holland

    Bauer U2 - Vicoria Gothenburg, Sweden, late 60´s, photgrapher unknown

    Bauer U3 - original from Bauer promo-catalogue

    Cinemeccanica Victoria 8 - Vinterpalatset Stockholm, Sweden, mid 70´s, photo: Håkan Silwer

    Favorit 70 - Draken Gothenburg, Sweden, mid 70´s, photo: Magnus Elm

    The Swedish Widescreen Menu

  • The Philips Todd-AO© 70mm projector
    (Norelco in the US) and some others...

    Look closely - there will never be a better cinema projector built in the history of mankind. The construction was originally made for the 70mm 30 fps Todd-Ao system by Philips, who had the best sortiment of professional cine projectors during the fifties and sixties, before they too went "plastic and driverbelts" with the horrid DP75 construction. The picture is of the original Todd-AO projector. It was almost immediately modified a bit and released as Philips DP70 (Norelco AA-II). The most apparent design change was the switch of the hangers on the door from left to right. The first version opened to the left for some reason, which was a bit unpractical for the projectionist.

    The construction, with the heavily curved filmgate, big surface watercooled shutterhouse of copper for good heat transportation and the double bearing intermittent movement, made it extremely suitable for the super high intensity carbon arc lamps needed for lighting the really big screens, with maintained steadiness of film during projection and minimum of heat flicker, no matter how big the screen was.

    It´s a pure dream to work with. Easily kept clean, quickly changed to 35mm projection and runs ever so smoothly and quiet, even with the most torn, cracked, spliced and overused 70mm-print.

    Go to Thomas Hauerslev's DP70 site, if you want more in-depth knowledge of this beautiful projector!

    I´ve done some 70mm shows in my days, on several theatres with a number of different projectors and it tops them all. Here is my review of the others:

  • The Bauer U2 (early sixties) was fun, pretty and green, but far too complicated and compact for easy loading and maintanance, not to mention the hazardous loop and guidance/break roll before the magnetic soundheads. Produced beautiful images though. Deutsche Qualität! ;-)

  • The Bauer U3 (early seventies) is noisy, too plastic and with a far too short filmgate and to high frictions everywhere to keep the image perfectly still and perforation undamaged in the long run.

  • The Philips DP75 (late sixties) was even worse. How could the producers of the DP70 forget that ballbearings actually were invented? Every DP75 projectionist had to keep a big box full of plastic spare parts whenever he had a 70mm. Worked OK as a 35mm projector though. It was actually a modified FP30, a fair projector for smaller theatres...

  • The Cinemeccanica Victoria 8 is still in production and a fair gig. The weakest point on all Cinemeccanicas are the sound units. Especially the magnetic one. Seen far better craftmanship, actually.

  • You can also buy a new of the one I spent most time with, the Zeiss Favorit 70. It is a modified Italian Prevost 70, with a bit harder steel and some improved mechanics. No DP70 qualities, but well maintained it ran beautifully and silent with a minimum of film damage. I´ve run more than 1000 shows on some movies and returned prints almost as new. Weakest points are the sound here too. No really good sound without certain local cutomization.

  • Here's a strange one... The Pyrcon UP 700, buildt in the Democratic Republic of Germany. Never seen it live, though. Guess it worked just as smoothly as their cars.. (sorry)
  • The Philips Todd-AO 70mm projector