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The First 70MM IMAX Cinema in England
Pictures from my first visit to Bradford in September 1990

The 70mm Newsletter
Written and photographed by: Thomas Hauerslev Date: 05.05.2015
National Museum of Photography, Film & Television. The most successful museum outside London in 1990. Home to England's first 70MM IMAX cinema.

I went up to Bradford to see National Museum of Photography, Film & Television on a 1-day return trip by train during a visit to London. I had read about this new museum in Screen International some years before and it came highly recommended. I was especially interested to see the IMAX cinema.
More in 70mm reading:

Goodbye 70mm IMAX Projector

The Basics of The Rolling Loop IMAX Projector

Imax Sound System

The Passing of Bill Shaw - IMAX Pioneer

Visiting 70MM Cinemas of London's West End, September 1990

Widescreen Weekend, Bradford, England

"Interstellar" Goes IMAX 70MM and 5/70 MM

Willem Bouwmeester

Internet link:
The giant IMAX projector loaded with 70MM film. 15 perf wide, and the largest film format ever used.

I met the chief projectionist Dick Vaughan, who is still there to this day (2015). He welcomed me and showed me around the IMAX cinema. One of the first IMAX cinemas - if not THE first of its kind - I had ever seen. Little did I know I would be invited back in 1996 and 15-16 more times to be part of the Widescreen Weekend.
15 years later this machine was retired and replaced by a pair of the new IMAX machines with a small rotor. The new set up would be able to show IMAX 70MM 3D.

The old machine was put on display in the museum by special permission from IMAX Corp in Canada.

The IMAX cinema with many red seats and perfect viewing conditions on the largest screen in England.

54' x 62', or 16,5m tall and 18,9 meters wide, and curved.

The largest screen in England.
IMAX 70MM film during projection. Note the big projection port, and the small Kodak Carousel slide projector to the left.

Downstairs with the Cinemeccanica Victoria 8 70MM/35mm projector and a great number of Kodak Carousel projectors to the right.

Note the Cinemeccanica non-rewind system in the foreground.

Before opening of the Pictureville cinema, all 5-perf 70mm screenings at the NMPFT took place at the IMAX cinema.
The great glass facade from 1990. I have seen most of "my" IMAX films at the IMAX in Bradford.  However, I have seen even more IMAX films, in my home town of Copenhagen, but they have all been in the unique IMAX Dome format.

In 1990, I saw my very first glimpse of Cinerama at the NMPFT. A large exhibition explaining all film formats had one small screen showing a short clip from "This is Cinerama". A tiny 16mm installation (I seem to remember) showed a clip of the Roller Coaster ride, and I remember standing very close to the screen and getting the goose bumps up and down my spine when I saw the "join lines".....WOW! that was interesting......and a few years later at the nearby yet-to-be-opened Pictureville Cinema you could see and hear the immortal words by Lowell Thomas. "Ladies and Gentlemen. THIS IS CINERAMA".
The tickets from my first Bradford visit 20. September 1990. "Grand Canyon" at 12:00 o'clock, and "To the Limit" at 13:00 o'clock. Both excellent IMAX films from the days of 65mm photography at its peak.

Note the price. GBP 2,50 pr film at any seat in the cinema.

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Updated 21-01-24