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• 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.

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7OMM in New Zealand

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Allan Webb, New Zealand. Prepared for in70mm.com by Anders M Olsson, Sweden Date: 13.03.2016
A pair of DP70s in New Zealand. Unknown cinema, and unknown photographer

I have been for the past 6 years compiling a book on Auckland cinemas covering all aspects of the industry as well. It's up to 40 volumes and we have now started to print and bind volumes. I read your article in Cinema Retro about Todd-AO and would like to include it in the book. There are 25 copies and will all be donated to archives, museums, universities, libraries and historical societies around Auckland. It has cost me 3k per copy but itís a labour of love. It will be the only document NZ will ever have that documents the history of cinema.

This is what we have on 70mm specific to New Zealand. It is not much, in fact we have very little included in the collection we are putting together that is specific to New Zealand. The two pages are included in the volume entitled ĎFilm Formatsí. Please find attached what we do have. Amalgamated's Cinerama, Plaza and one screen at Midcity, also Kerridge Odeon's Embassy, Westend and New Regent and finally Village Hoyts Queen St

We have tried to find further information but havenít come across anything apart from this page. If anything comes to hand, I shall certainly let you know. It a pity we donít see 70mmm like we used to, today, but I doubt if anyone would know or care. 70mm didnít mean a lot to the average Joe Blogs even in the heyday as it was the film they went to. A poor film in 70mm (or one that was not popular) didnít do any good, just as 35mm. I went to all of them that I could and loved them but some of the films were lousy. Its all changed and not for the best as far as I am concerned but a lot of the presentation was thrown out due to response. People didnít appreciate overtures/entríactes/light displays and so on, which we savoured.
More in 70mm reading:

"This is New Zealand" 3-strip EXPO Film From New Zealand

DP70s in New Zealand

PDF: Cinemas of South Auckland by Allan Webb, 1995

Internet link:

Allan Webb, QSM,
Regent Theatre,
(235 Alexandra St,
Te Awamutu, 3800),
P.O. Box 379,
Te Awamutu,
New Zealand,
A photo that demonstrates the robustness and stability of the mighty DP70 projector. This photo was taken after the severe earthquake that hit New Zealand's Christchurch a few years ago. The other projector in the photo is an Ernemann 11 projector.

Auckland, Amalgamated's Cinerama (Strand/Mayfair):

November 6, 1959 after four months and at a cost of 50,000 pounds, the 43 year old cinema was transformed into Cinerama with six projectionists (one for each of the three projection booths, one for the sound room and one for the console in the auditorium and one relief) opening with This Is Cinerama using a louvered screen 65/68 feet wide, 23 feet high with a curve 11 feet deep. The films shown in three-strip Cinerama were: This Is Cinerama, Cinerama Holiday, South Sea Adventure, Seven Wonders of the World, Search For Paradise, Windjammer, Best of Cinerama, How the West Was Won, The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm and a repeat of Seven Wonders of the World. December 4th, 1964, the single lens system was introduced for It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. The screen size was altered but the Todd lens was not successful so they used Cinerama lenses.) The projectors for the three-strip process were modified Standard Century's with Strong lamphouses. When the single-strip process was used they installed two Phillips DP70 projectors.

Auckland, Amalgamated's Plaza (Princess):
December 12, 1958 for Todd-Ao, opening with South Pacific using Phillips 35/70mm projectors with six-track High Fidelity Stereophonic sound.

Auckland, Kerridge Odeon's Embassy:

September, 1960 after two months for 70mm, opening with "Porgy and Bess" using 35/70mm Cinemeccanica projectors with Stereophonic sound. The Embassy was the first K-O theatre in Auckland to be fitted with 70mm. The next one was the Embassy in Wellington. Morie Morrison installed all the 70mm equipment. I worked with Morrie on the West End installation, but only worked a few sessions at the Embassy in Auckland. This was during the two man crew days, and I wound the film on a hand winder! The Embassy in Auckland ran "My Fair Lady" for many weeks.

Auckland, The New Regent
The New Regent opened in August, 1982, with one Cinemeccanica 35/70mm projector using a Xenon Lamphouse and a platter spool system.

Auckland, The Westend
The Westend opened in November, 1966, using Cinemaccanica 35/70mm, Victoria Ten projectors.

Amalgamated's Cinerama and State, also Kerridge Odeon's Odeon (ex St. James)

Amalgamated's Cinerama opened for 70mm in 1966 (no three strip Cinerama films were ever shown in Wellington) and Kings, also Kerridge Odeon's Embassy

Palmerston North:
Keridge Odeon's Odeon (Mayfair)
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Updated 04-05-22