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Update of 70mm screenings at City Screen York Ltd

The 70mm Newsletter
Pictures and text by: Darren Briggs Date: 22.12.2003
The 70mm logo used by City Screen.

70mm projection was installed over 10 months over 2002. The first show was "Lawrence of Arabia", on October the 13th 2002.

This first show was an immediate success and we had to re-screen "Lawrence of Arabia"‘ again on the 15th of December. Again, another sell-out show.

70mm High Definition Cinema had arrived in York.

From the outset, the plan was to present a 70mm film once per cinema brochure (4-6 weeks). 
Further in 70mm reading:

70mm in York

Internet link:

The films screened so far are as follows

"Lawrence of Arabia" 13th October 2002, Super Panavision 70. Dolby SR
"Spartacus" 15th November 2002, Technirama 70. Dolby SR
"Lawrence of Arabia" 15th December 2002, Super Panavision 70. Dolby SR
"The Right Stuff" 26th January 2003. 35mm Blow-up. Dolby A type.
"My Fair Lady" 2nd March 2003. Super Panavision 70. Dolby SR
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" 29th March 2003, 35mm Blow-up. Dolby A type.
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" 30th March 2003, 35mm Blow-up. Dolby A type.
"Hello, Dolly!" 18th May 2003, Todd-AO. Original 1969 Print.
70mm open day 29th June 2003, Various Formats.
"Far and Away" 29th June 2003, Super Panavision 70. Dolby SR
"Spartacus" 27th July 2003, Technirama 70. Dolby SR
"The Longest Day" 3rd August 2003, 35mm Blow-up. Orig Print
"Cry Freedom" 7th Sept 2003, 35mm Blow-up. Dolby A type.
"Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom"
11th Oct 2003, 35mm Blow-up. Dolby A type.
"Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom"
12th Oct 2003, 35mm Blow-up. Dolby A type.
"Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"
25th Oct 2003, 35mm Blow-up. Dolby A type.
"Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"
26th Oct 2003, 35mm Blow-up. Dolby A type.
"The Thing" 31st Oct 2003, 35mm Blow-up. Dolby A type.
"Earthquake" 22nd Nov 2003, 35mm Blow-up. IN SENSURROUND
"Krakatoa East of Java"
23rd Nov 2003, Original 70mm Cinerama print. 
"Earthquake" 23rd Nov 2003, 35mm Blow-up. IN SENSURROUND

We are constantly searching for 70mm prints and have been checking prints for various U.K. distributors. UIP have been very helpful, and we currently have seven of their prints on site for inspecting prior to playing to the public in the future. This is an on going situation, and we will continue this process on as many 70mm prints we can get our hands on.
List of confirmed and un confirmed films for 70mm shows in 2004

Earthquake in SENSURROUND 31st Jan 2004
Out of Africa 14th and 15th Feb 2004

Not confirmed...
2001 May 2004
Mag Men in their Flying Machines April 2004

Lawrence of Arabia Oct 2004
Oklahoma Oct 2004
West Side Story 2004

Plus many More

Final list of future screenings


Technical improvements

The Victoria 8 projecting 70mm. Picture by Darren Briggs

Technically the 70mm installation has advanced over the past months. 

When I first installed the 70mm projection and sound equipment, I had to cut costs in some areas, and use any equipment I could, to get the system up and running. This meant using a second-hand lens for the projector; a first generation Cinemeccanica Magnetic pre-amp and I had to modify the Dolby CP65 sound processor to run all the 70mm sound formats correctly. 

But as all the shows have been a major success, I have been able to upgrade the various items. Firstly a New Isco projection lens was purchased. 

As 70mm magnetic sound is classed as an obsolete format, Dolby had stopped making their Magnetic Pre-amp unit, so I had to source one from the second hand market. ‘Future Projections’ of London, who supplied many items and advice for the initial installation, sourced one that had the latest design pre-amp cards, and a 12khz-switching card for 35mm, 4 track magnetic sound. 

The non-rewind platter with a 70mm print of "The Thing". Picture by Darren Briggs

The company City Screen expanded their business, and we are in the process of opening up a closed cinema in London. 
One of the cinemas requires a sound upgrade and a Dolby CP65 would be ideal for this site. This gave us the opportunity to change the CP65 in York and upgrade to a Dolby CP200, the only Dolby processor designed to play back all the 70mm sound formats along side all the 35mm sound formats. So in May 2003 we purchased a CP200 that ‘Future Projections’ in London sourced for us. This was installed ready for "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" in October.

To promote 70mm, we held an open morning on the 15th of June 2003, and screened various clips demonstrating WideScreen history, ranging from an excerpt of "This is Cinerama" in 70mm, 35mm CinemasScope with 4-track magnetic sound, to the latest 70mm with Dolby SR. 

Anyone who attends a 70mm screening at City Screen in York will be treated to a presentation normally starting with an introduction talk about the film you are about to see, and then a true 70mm Road-show experience in one of the only cinemas in the U.K. with THX, 35mm with Digital sound and 70mm film presentation abilities.

The latest addition to the list of technical assets is Dolby’s ScreenTalk digital subtitle system for 35mm, enabling us to screen the latest blockbusters with or without subtitles and descriptive audio, using a standard 35mm release print.


"Earthquake" In Sensurround

In November 2003, the walls of City Screen shook with the sound of "Earthquake" in Sensurround. The first time this was seen and heard in its original format since 1975. We re-created the Sensurround system to screen the film twice to great success. The event will be repeated on the 31st January 2004 as a Saturday Late night film. And will be toured to other 70mm sites in the U.K. during 2004.

A film event not to be missed!

The run-up to "Earthquake" was very busy, trying to get the event perfect, and making sure the show was THE film event of the year!! The Saturday show went great, and a audience comprising of Students, to two people who came from South Africa! The Sunday double bill started off at 10-30am with "Krakatoa East of Java", then "Earthquake" at 1:30. 

This attracted many 70mm fans from all over the country. To add to the Sensurround, we had smoke and strobe lighting in the auditorium, and actors before the show hyping the audience up by handing out 'last will and testament' papers etc!

With the Sensurround shaking and the smoke filling the cinema, the 70mm projection beam looked so sexy! 

Duncan, Tony and friends came over from
Bradford and were very impressed with the showman ship etc, which was great to hear from other projectionists in the U.K that know how to run 70 correctly!!

A journalist from Screen Trade came to the Saturday show, and is writing an article that will be published in early 2004.

Current Technical Facts of Screen 1 City Screen York LTD.

THX certified Auditorium
10.75m x 4.5m Screen
Cinemeccanica Victoria 5 35mm Projector
Cinemeccanica Victoria 8 35/70mm Projector
Cinemeccanica CNR 3-35/70 Platter system
IREM rectifiers
Cinemeccanica CX20H Lamp-house with 2KW Lamp (Vic 5)
Cinemeccanica Zenith 4000H Lamp-house 3KW Lamp (Vic 8)
Superior Quartz Xenon lamps
Dolby CP200 sound Processor 
Dolby MPU-1 Magnetic Pre-Amp
Dolby ScreenTalk Subtitle and Audio Description system
OSC amplification
Martin Audio 3 way stage speaker system
Martin Audio Surround’s(10) and Subs (3 subs)
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Updated 21-01-24