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Centrum Panorama Varnsdorf, Czech Republic

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Pavel Nejtek, CENTRUM PANORAMA Varnsdorf, Czech Republic Date: 13.07.2014
Cinema Panorama in Varnsdorf was designed in the late 60ies and began its operation in 1971 with the film "The Battle of the Bulge".
Three years later, in 1974, neighbouring building was put into operation - hotel with rather big accommodation capacity, large and small dance hall and bar. Together with Cinema it formed essentially important cultural and social centre in Šluknov region.

The cinema offered 550 seats of which can be seen on the panoramic screen films of all formats of the frame, which was then offered a 35mm copy of the film and especially cinema was one of the few in the Czech Republic for the 70mm film screenings. This was logically equipped for multi-channel reproduction of 35mm film - the format 2,55:1 with four-channel magnetic sound recording. The amplifier Czechoslovak production - Tesla ACP 635 and two projection machines as well as domestic production - UM 70/35 were installed, completed by one machine 35mm - Meopton IV. – Manufacturer by Meopta Přerov.
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In all of the projecting machines as the light source the carbon cooled by water were used and later changed for the horizontal xenon lamps. Height of the screen while watching the film 70 mm was 6.8 m, when projecting 35 mm films of all formats the height of the projected image was of the third lower. (We do not know how it was in the world, but this was ordered by standard for cinemas valid in the former Czechoslovakia). It should be noted that even the acoustic of cinema was designed on a very high level, at such a level that when reopening the cinema more than 30 years later, all the acoustic elements were preserved in its original form, only their surface has been renovated.

Noteworthy is also the unique roof structure, which is suspended from steel cables. (In a similar manner, such as roof of the stadium in Munich).

In 1991 the cinema was closed. This was after the revolution and the subsequent collapse of communism in the Czech Republic, because of the privatization of assets. Privatization has been made so illogically that the city Varnsdorf obtained the cinema, but the hotel part, were the toilets, cloak room and especially boiler room for heating of the whole complex of building became the property of a private company.
Internet link:


Contact :
Západní 2618, 407 47 Varnsdorf
Česká Republika

e-mail : info@centrumpanorama.cz


Click the image, to see an enlargement

After the end of the cinema operation all equipment remained there. Seats, all technical equipment such as dimmers, sound system, screen, curtains, etc. Of course, everything starts to degrade and sometimes later, when the roof has been damaged the devastation of the cinema began to accelerate. The biggest problem was the rapid corrosion of steel cables due to leaking rainwater, which carried the entire roof of the cinema that was put in danger of collapse.

I learned about the closed cinema in 1999, especially about the fact that there is still projection equipment in the cinema that I wanted as a collector of projection technology to get into my collection. Although previous regime lapsed in the Czech Republic before 10 years, the bureaucracy remained. City Varnsdorf could not sell me at any price the projection equipment hardly working after ten years of cinema closing, but the city could sell for a symbolic one Czech crown the whole cinema falling already ten years into disrepair.
Click the image, to see an enlargement

I became owner of the cinema in 2001. My final decision to buy the cinema from the city Varnsdorf was influenced by opinions of structural engineers, builders and designers that cinema could be saved with reasonable expenses. However, it was mainly the desire to reopen in the past prestigious and thriving 70mm cinema.

Saving the cinema began with repair of the roof. Respectively, new roof construction above the original roof was built. Original cable structure that still carries a soffit ceiling of the hall has been preserved. To the existing object another buildings have been built, in which a new boiler room, toilets and cloakrooms are situated. Reconstruction of the original terrace restaurant with a bar of 90 seats was established.
Click the image, to see an enlargement

Panorama cinema reopened 5 February, 2005 with Cinemascope format and Dolby Digital sound system - the film "Bridget Jones's Diary". Height of the screen for film projection of 35mm and 70mm increased for the height of the projected image 7,1 m.

Exchange of seats for more comfortable and modern caused that the capacity of the auditorium decreased to the current 513 seats.

Hardware: 2x projection machine UM 70/35. 2x MEO V XB 1x MEO II X. DOLBY DIGITAL sound.

In 2010, there was another major reconstruction of technical background of the cinema due to the installation of a digital projector. Operation was interrupted for six weeks. After this adaptation, the cinema Panorama was one of the first in the Czech Republic, which offered a digital projection according to DCI standard.
Click the image, to see an enlargement

The current technical equipment:
2 Projection Machines UM 70/35 with DTS sensor for 70mm. 2x MEO V XB 1x MEO II X. DCP projector Christie and Doremi server. Cinema Processor CP500 and CP750

After the reopening of the cinema in 2005 a complete repair projectors UM7035 has been made and put in operation. In 2009, in connection with playing the film reported in the Czech Republic under the name "Paris 36" we have set up DTS sensors and at the same time we have installed encoder, which can control the data projector and during repeated projection reflect headlines as they were prepared.

In addition, within celebration of 40 years anniversary of the cinema in 2011 we played the sample projection 70mm. Since the old copies with magnetic recording are characterized by noise interference and we solved noise suppression, so that it is not audible. Kino Panorama is able to project any 70mm films in high quality audio and video.
Click the image, to see an enlargement

In May 2013 there has been a significant expansion of gastro operation in the cinema Panorama by opening multifunctional space FilmPoint, an area of 200 square meters with capacity of 90 seats. Space design and technical equipment allow organizing film projections, musical performances and theatrical performances so called small stage forms in this space.

Film Point was created from for us previously inaccessible parts of the former hotel, which we bought in 2010 in very dilapidated condition - designated for demolition.

CENTRUM PANORAMA complex is situated in a park with attached parking at a distance of 1.5 km from the border with Germany. Availability by train is very good from Liberec via the German Zittau. The station is just 600 meters from the cinema. Even closer is the bus stops, offering frequent connections to Prague. (126 km).
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Updated 21-01-24