“Almost like a real web site”

Search | Contact
News | e-News |
Rumour Mill | Stories
Foreign Language
in70mm.com auf Deutsch


Todd-AO Festival
KRRR! 7OMM Seminar
GIFF 70, Gentofte
Oslo 7OMM Festival
Widescreen Weekend

Premiere | Films
People | Equipment
Library | Cinemas
Todd-AO Projector
Distortion Correcting

Ultra Panavision 70
Super Panavision 70

1926 Natural Vision
1929 Grandeur
1930 Magnifilm
1930 Realife
1930 Vitascope
1952 Cinerama
1953 CinemaScope
1955 Todd-AO
1955 Circle Vision 360
1956 CinemaScope 55
1957 Ultra Panavision 70
1958 Cinemiracle
1958 Kinopanorama
1959 Super Panavision 70
1959 Super Technirama 70
1960 Smell-O-Vision
1961 Sovscope 70
Cinerama 360
1962 MCS-70
1963 70mm Blow Up
1963 Circarama
1963 Circlorama
1966 Dimension 150
1967 DEFA 70
1967 Pik-A-Movie
1970 IMAX / Omnimax
1974 Cinema 180
1976 Dolby Stereo
1984 Showscan
1984 Swissorama
1986 iWERKS
1989 ARRI 765
1990 CDS
1994 DTS / Datasat
2001 Super Dimension 70
2018 Magellan 65

Various Large format | 70mm to 3-strip | 3-strip to 70mm | Specialty Large Format | Special Effects in 65mm | ARC-120 | Super Dimension 70Early Large Format
7OMM Premiere in Chronological Order


Australia | Brazil
Canada | Denmark
England | France
Germany | Iran
Mexico | Norway
Sweden | Turkey

7OMM Projectors
People | Eulogy
65mm/70mm Workshop
The 7OMM Newsletter
Back issue | PDF
Academy of the WSW

• 2026 | 2025 | 2024
2023 | 2022 | 2021
2020 | 2019 | 2018
2017 | 2016 | 2015
2014 | 2013 | 2012
2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006
2005 | 2004 | 2003
2002 | 2001 | 2000
1999 | 1998 | 1997
1996 | 1995 | 1994

in70mm.com Mission:
• To record the history of the large format movies and the 70mm cinemas as remembered by the people who worked with the films. Both during making and during running the films in projection rooms and as the audience, looking at the curved screen.
in70mm.com, a unique internet based magazine, with articles about 70mm cinemas, 70mm people, 70mm films, 70mm sound, 70mm film credits, 70mm history and 70mm technology. Readers and fans of 70mm are always welcome to contribute.

Disclaimer | Updates
Support us
Table of Content

Extracts and longer parts of in70mm.com may be reprinted with the written permission from the editor.
Copyright © 1800 - 2070. All rights reserved.

Visit biografmuseet.dk about Danish cinemas


The Biggest Format, in the Smallest Cinema

This article first appeared in
..in 70mm
The 70mm Newsletter

Written by: Thomas Hauerslev Issue 55 - December 1998
Orla Nielsen in Karlsruhe 2. October 2009. Image by Thomas Hauerslev

In this interview Danish cinematographer and 70mm cinema owner Mr. Orla Nielsen, DFF, gives your Editor his thoughts on why he is managing the smallest public cinema on the planet with a DTS 70mm installation and a curved screen. The interview was done on November 21st, 1998, after another performance of "Titanic" in DTS 70mm. The cinema "Biffen" is located in Aalborg, Denmark and has appeared before in The 70mm Newsletter.

Further in 70mm reading:

Todd-AO at "Sea"

Orla Nielsen opens temporary cinema to show "The Hateful Eight" in Ultra Panavision 70

Biffen - 70mm cinema profile

DP70 Home Page

70mm Get Together and in Danish

Biffen's Three Curved Screens

70MM Film Event at Biffen, Aalborg Denmark, 26. April 2014

Biffen (1992-2009) Facts:

Strandvejen 19
DK-9000 Aalborg

Opened: April 1, 1989
Seats: 50, stadium seating
Screen size: 6,15 x 2,45 meters (20 x 8 ft). Curved.
Throw: 10 meters
Sound processors: Dolby CP65, Dolby mag pre amps, Dolby Digital, DTS for 70mm and 35mm
Speakers: JBL
Projectors: Philips DP70 and DP75


"I run 70mm at Biffen for the simple reason I think it is a fabulous format"

Biffen. Picture by Thomas Hauerslev.

We opened our Cinema café in May 1997 after getting our own entry door. For many years we shared the entrance with a concert venue. We have a few café tables, antique film equipment on the walls, and various other "old" things everywhere. Mahogany furniture, mirrors and glass shelves contain numerous film books. We got the furniture from an old sweet shop. The interior reminds me of my childhood cinema. It is a mixture of old and new. Old furniture and modern illumination. Just above the entrance to the cinema there is an old Arriflex 35mm camera and a reel of 70mm film.

We have a small auditorium with 50 seats. There are very good sightlines to the screen from all seats. We have a curved screen made according to the plans for a CinemaScope curve, originally drawn up many years ago. The screen is 6,15 meters along the curve and 2,45 meters high. It is a bit larger than our previous screen built when we opened in 1989. It's a very nice screen.

What we have tried to do with our cinema is to take all good parts, or the best things, from the large cinemas where we like to see films, and downscale them to our cinema. We have excellent sightlines and a large screen. Our screen isn't huge, but it does appear large to the spectator. You really get maximum impact here. We give the light on the screen much attention, and of course we have good sound. We have analogue optical and magnetic sound but also two digital formats; DTS and Dolby Digital. DTS even in 70mm! Our audiences appreciate our sound, and our good seats. They often tell us how good they are to sit in. They are soft and comfortable, of Spanish design and more than 10 years old. Originally they came from Nřrreport Bio in Copenhagen, after it closed in 1981.
Biffen's projection. Picture by Thomas Hauerslev.

We have many good pieces of projection equipment in our booth. I am very impressed by the Dutch DP70 projector from Philips, and one is installed as our main projector. All performances are run on the DP70, both 70mm and 35mm. The DP70 is located dead-center, slightly above the center line. Every effort has been made to ensure a perfectly sharp picture. Secondly, we have a DP75 to run the commercials and trailers. It is also a very fine projector. We also have a 70mm/35mm 4-table non-rewind platter system which we built a few years ago when we needed to run several 70mm films on one machine. Originally we wanted to buy a Kinoton, but at a price of DKK 100.000 (USD $15.500), it was too expensive for us. The price has dropped since, I believe. Some of our projectionists at that time convinced me, however, we could build our own non-rewind for DKK 30.000, or DKK 35.000 if we were extravagant. It would not be a problem at all, they assured me. Anyway, they started working on it and they ran into many problems along the way and there were many delays. When it was finally finished, it ended up costing as a Kinoton, and it took us three years to pay for it. Not a very good solution, but that is life. We should have bought a Kinoton in the first place. The quality is very good though, and we rarely have problems with it.

Our sound system is centered around a Dolby CP65 processor with 70mm Dolby-A noise reduction and a Dolby DA-20 digital sound unit. Last year we had a good offer from Nordisk Film in Copenhagen to buy DTS 70mm including installation. We thought we were going to show "Vertigo" in 70mm DTS. In the end UIP imported a 35mm version. Anyway, we have now shown our first 70mm DTS film; "Titanic" a year and a half later. We ought to run more of that. It is so easy to run, and looks and sounds excellent. No more problems with magnetic sound. Magnetic sound can be exceptionally good with a new print and all that, maybe even better than digital sound.
Biffen's logo / poster.

I run 70mm at Biffen for the simple reason I think it is a fabulous format. I like to look at it, it is easy to handle and we can run it. It is a pleasure for me to see a large well-illuminated 70mm image on the screen. And with that large hole in the projector aperture plate, it is easy to punch some light onto the screen. Those are the primary reasons why I run 70mm here. Our CinemaScope picture looks good too, but there is something special about 70mm which is hard to describe. If you see a picture filmed in that format, it is beyond competition, like "Baraka". All those details, the definition and brilliance, it is unbelievable. It is like looking out of a huge window. It is almost three-dimensional.

Our audience is very happy to see 70mm. There is a large faithful crowd coming back every time we show 70mm. And especially "Baraka". I think we have shown it more than 85 times, which is a record here at Biffen. We are running it again in two weeks time, and 83 tickets are already booked. We have also shown "2OO1: A Space Odyssey" in 70mm many times, and "Spartacus" once which was seen by many people. And finally we have shown "Far and Away".

The audience prefers for our cinema and the equipment to be in fully working order, and they like to have a chat with us before or after the film. We are there every evening and quite often they address us. If they are technically interested, we invite them to the projection room for a chat. A typical complaint in cinemas is a picture out of focus. It can happen here too of course, but I do make an effort to tell our projectionists to focus. If they can't, they are asked to get glasses or find a new job. Above all, it must be nice to work here, but a well-focused picture is essential here. We have a guest book, and when the audiences time after time write how happy they are with our techniques and presentations, well, that makes us happy.
Go: back - top - back issues
Updated 21-01-24