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Todd-AO Format at the "Stadtkino"
The Story about Salzburg's "Stadtkino"

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Gerhard Witte Date: 31.01.2020
Stadtkino, Salzburg, winter 2012. The former Todd-AO cinema of Salzburg. Originally equipped with the Todd-AO projector. Now home of the "SZENE Salzburg", and the projectors are long gone. Picture by Thomas Hauerslev

In February of 2012, Thomas Hauerslev visited Salzburg on a special mission. A long time ago – from April to June 1964 * – the well-known film musical "The Sound of Music" (Meine Lieder, meine Träume, USA, 1965) had been shot in Todd-AO 70mm there. It was pretty cold and Thomas was wrapped up warmly. Of course, he went to all the fantastic filming locations of the film, and he often used his camera.

• Go to Mission Todd-AO: Salzburg, Austria

On this occasion, he also took pictures of Salzburg's former Todd-AO cinema – the "Stadtkino". He writes in his report:

 "I wonder if "The Sound of Music" was ever shown there?"

A good question, which I, of course, would also like to have answered. So, I tried to get as much information about the cinema as possible. Answer: YES … the film was shown there in Todd-AO 70mm from 18.03.1966 to 31.03.1966 (for 2 weeks / premiere season). Salzburg's "Stadtkino" was Austria's second theatre that was able to show 70mm films with 6-channel magnetic sound – at that time, and still today, a very impressive film experience. The first venue was Vienna's "Gartenbau-Kino", which was festively inaugurated with the movie "Spartacus" (USA, 1960) on 19.12.1960. At this point of time, Salzburg's "Stadtkino" was probably already equipped with Philips DP70 projectors. However, the premiere of a 70mm film with 6-channel magnetic sound did not happen at "Stadtkino" until 05.01.1961 – namely Joshua Logan's "South Pacific" (USA 1958). That was then also the Austrian premiere of the film. By the way, the "Stadtkino" was already Salzburg's second cinema that had been converted to CinemaScope. The first was the "Lichtspielhaus Maxglan" – here premiered CinemaScope movie "Beneath the 12-Mile Reef" (USA, 1953) on 17.09.1954. CinemaScope was first presented in the "Stadtkino" with the film " How to Marry a Millionaire" (USA, 1953) on 01.10.1954.

More in 70mm reading:

Salzburg's_Stadtkino, #1
Salzburg's_Stadtkino, #2

Das Todd-AO-Format im "Stadtkino"

Gerhard Witte's in70mm.com Library

Internet link:

A short article from the trade magazine "PHILIPS-Kinotechnik" (Issue 38, 12/1962).
"Gartenbau-Kino", Vienna

The first 70mm film to be screened in Austria ran at the "Gartenbau-Kino" of the KIBA, the Cinema Operating, Film Rental and Film Production Company mbH in Vienna. As the "Stadtkino" in Salzburg (which belongs to the same company) had already been equipped with Philips Universal Projectors of the Type DP70, the "Gartenbau-Kino" was set up as Austria's second cinema for the screening of Todd-AO films. The spacious projection room is equipped with two universal projectors of the type DP70, and a Philips standard film projector for the supporting program. After the technical conversion, this Viennese premiere theatre was opened with the 70mm film "Spartacus" (USA, 1960) in December of 1960. (Author's note: on 19.12.1960)
Salzburg's "Stadtkino" around 1965, and Lewis Milestone´s movie "Mutiny on the Bounty" (USA, 1962) – filmed in Ultra Panavision 70. Image courtesy of "Stadtarchiv Salzburg, Fotosammlung" (Salzburg City Archive, Photo Collection).

Salzburg's newly built "Stadtkino" existed from 01.08.1950 to 30.06.1985 (the last movie ran there on 20.06.1985). Previously, films had been presented (from December 1948) in Salzburg's old "Festspielhaus" (festival hall) for only a short time.

Today, the "SZENE Salzburg" is located in the imposing "Stadtkino" building, in the former cinema auditorium the "SZENE Theater"– an important cultural organization of the city, which is celebrating this year (2019) its 50th Anniversary. More on this topic can be read in the report. Because of its length I have divided it into 2 PDF files (21 and 25 pages).

• Go to Salzburg's_Stadtkino, #1
• Go to Salzburg's_Stadtkino, #2

At the end, in an EXTRA section, I also report on the World Premiere of the MCS 70 movie "Der Kongress amüsiert sich" (Congress of Love, Austria, West-Germany, 1966) in Vienna, and about the movie "Windjammer: The Voyage of the Christian Radich" (USA, 1958) in "1-strip" 35mm that was released in this version in Austria in 1965. Here and there I also briefly inform about film premieres in Hamburg – I had lived there for several years.

I decided to write the report in 2 languages. I hope that my English translation is on the whole fine. Enjoy ...

* Source: Christian Strasser: The Sound of Klein-Hollywood, Filmproduktion in Salzburg:
"Following the long Hollywood studio shooting a crew of 61, Robert Wise and a cast of 40 travelled to Salzburg in order to film the outdoor scenes for "The Sound of Music" from April to June 1964. Four luxury hotels were rented to accommodate the staff. Another 100 Salzburg citizens were hired as stage staff, assistants and drivers. On some days, around 250 people were working on the production."
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Updated 04-05-22