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Facts about Perspecta Stereophonic Sound (1 Viewer)

john a hunter

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The Dominion used two prints for their 4 year run.
The original longer cut and then the shorter version which used the overture.
Not sure when they changed.
When the original version was shown, South Pacific immediately started with the titles (no overture)straight after the
"crash "at the end of the Miracle of Todd-AO.
House lifts remained off.
Great showmanship
 

roxy1927

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Do you remember generally the width of the Dominion screen? I read once 40 ft which seems pretty small for a proscenium of that width especially as it was a major 70 MM house.
 

john a hunter

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Hi Vincent,
Yes the Dominion's screen was 46ft wide,21ft high and with a depth of curvature of 5ft.
As the proscenium was only marginally wider at 56 feet, it still provided an impressive eye filling experience.
It was the first 70mm house in the UK opening 21st April 1958-somewhat late in the widescreen wars.
South Pacific ended its run on 30th September 1962- 4 years 22weeks later.
Cheers
 

roxy1927

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I don't know what the situation was with Oklahoma and London but I do know that around the world in 80 Days opened in 35 mm at the Astoria which seemed a bit odd to me. But for some reason there was taxation on 70 mm prints? I guess that changed by the time of South Pacific.
 

john a hunter

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As I understand it, Mike Todd kept all the 70mm prints of 80 Days for North America and the rest of the world(and certainly UK) would screen 80 Days in Cinestage, his 35mm "poor man's Todd AO "system.
The UK had a quota on 35mm foreign productions at the time so Todd shaved of 1 mm from the Astoria print so he didn't have to qualify.
By the time South Pacific opened there was no quota for 70mm and I think there never was one.
 

OliverK

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As I understand it, Mike Todd kept all the 70mm prints of 80 Days for North America and the rest of the world(and certainly UK) would screen 80 Days in Cinestage, his 35mm "poor man's Todd AO "system.
The UK had a quota on 35mm foreign productions at the time so Todd shaved of 1 mm from the Astoria print so he didn't have to qualify.
By the time South Pacific opened there was no quota for 70mm and I think there never was one.
Those Cinestage prints were quite interesting and I once saw a French print but it was very warped. They made excellent use of the real estate of a 35mm element and in theory superior to normal 35mm reduction prints.

I think the 1957 West German premiere also was in some kind of 35mm or Cinestage and we only later got German 70mm prints, probably around 1958. I have seen one of those 70mm prints so I know they existed and it seems quite strange today that one would have opened a movie in an inferior format but back then there were good reasons for that. Mike Todd may have had his reasons, too but certainly one of them was that many movies ran for a very long time and therefore they blocked the few 70mm screens that existed when the format was new in Europe and other parts of the world.
 

Douglas R

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As I understand it, Mike Todd kept all the 70mm prints of 80 Days for North America and the rest of the world(and certainly UK) would screen 80 Days in Cinestage, his 35mm "poor man's Todd AO "system.
The UK had a quota on 35mm foreign productions at the time so Todd shaved of 1 mm from the Astoria print so he didn't have to qualify.
By the time South Pacific opened there was no quota for 70mm and I think there never was one.
I saw Around the World in 80 Days as a roadshow attraction in Wembley, North London, about a year after it opened at the Astoria. Selected suburban cinemas would occasionally present such roadshow presentations on an exclusive basis for a run of several weeks, with all seats bookable in advance, before the film went on general release. As a family outing, it obviously saved the time and expense of having to travel into central London to the Astoria. I assume 80 Days would have been shown with a standard 35mm print at that local cinema. Other roadshow style presentations which I saw in the London suburbs included The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur (35mm) and The Nun’s Story. They all had intermissions but I don’t recall if any had Overtures. I suppose you could call them a "poor man's roadshow presentation" but it’s an aspect of cinema presentation which doesn’t seem to be recorded anywhere.
 
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Robert Harris

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I saw Around the World in 80 Days as a roadshow attraction in Wembley, North London, about a year after it opened at the Astoria. Selected suburban cinemas would occasionally present such roadshow presentations on an exclusive basis for a run of several weeks, with all seats bookable in advance, before the film went on general release. As a family outing, it obviously saved the time and expense of having to travel into central London to the Astoria. I assume 80 Days would have been shown with a standard 35mm print at that local cinema. Other roadshow style presentations which I saw in the London suburbs included The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur (35mm) and The Nun’s Story. I suppose you could call them a "poor man's roadshow presentation" but it’s an aspect of cinema presentation which doesn’t seem to be recorded anywhere.
Ben-Hur was another interesting 35mm dye transfer, matted to yield a wider aspect ratio than 2.35. Guessing around 2.50.
 
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Stephen_J_H

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Ben-Hur was another interesting 35mm dye transfer, matted to yield a wider aspect ratio than 2.35. Guessing around 2.50.
That’s what Marty Hart believed, and he frequently got his hackles up at people who insisted Ben-Hur “had” to be shown in 2.76:1. There are great examples of 2.5:1 reduction prints over at his website, widescreenmuseum.com.
 

Henry Gondorff

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That’s what Marty Hart believed, and he frequently got his hackles up at people who insisted Ben-Hur “had” to be shown in 2.76:1. There are great examples of 2.5:1 reduction prints over at his website, widescreenmuseum.com.
I recall Marty explaining to me that 70mm Ultra Panavision 70 prints, although protected for 2.76:1 on the frame, were generally expected to land at about 2.65:1, factoring in the effects of aperture plates and screen masking.
 

Joseph Goodman

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A new 4K restoration of "The Mysterians" (1957) will be screened this August in Japan, complete with the original Perspecta audio track.
https://asa10.eiga.com/2023/cinema/1218/

Various reactions (from Japanese Twitter accounts, most retweeted by https://twitter.com/nmakapa, who IIRC is the head of marketing at Tokyo Laboratory, where the restoration was performed) to a preview held at Tokyo Laboratory are reported as being quite impressed by the Perspecta track. Tokyo Laboratory, which unfortunately will be ceasing operations as a film lab in November, has restored several Toho films with Perspecta tracks over the last few years, scanning the original track negatives with a Sondor Resonances scanner, and then decoding the tracks with a restored Perspecta integrator.

Of course, this is the original Japanese version being presented... I've heard from collectors with prints that the US version has Perspecta control tones present, but who knows if that version will ever be heard again.
 

Vern Dias

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Those Cinestage prints were quite interesting and I once saw a French print but it was very warped. They made excellent use of the real estate of a 35mm element and in theory superior to normal 35mm reduction prints.

I think the 1957 West German premiere also was in some kind of 35mm or Cinestage and we only later got German 70mm prints, probably around 1958. I have seen one of those 70mm prints so I know they existed and it seems quite strange today that one would have opened a movie in an inferior format but back then there were good reasons for that. Mike Todd may have had his reasons, too but certainly one of them was that many movies ran for a very long time and therefore they blocked the few 70mm screens that existed when the format was new in Europe and other parts of the world.
I was a teenager in Honolulu HI. and saw the Cinestage version of '80 Days' at the Kaiser Aluminum Dome many many times. I knew the manager and attended many a weekend matinee there. I got to know the projectionists (yes, it was a two man booth and the only one in the territory) very well.

The beauty of the Cinestage system was that it used a 4 track mag 2.55:1 print with a custom squeeze and a custom anamorphic lens to deliver a 2.20:1 image. The image on the floating screen which used the standard Todd-AO deep curve was absolutely beautiful.
The only downside was that it was, of course, sourced from the 24 FPS negative.

I'm pretty sure the print was IB Tech. It ran for roughly a year. There was a backup print still in its boxes (which was never used) at the end of its run and the image from the original print still looked pristine on the screen.

For those who are wondering what this has to do with Perspectasound, here it is:

The system also used split surround signals (left rear, center rear, and right rear) which were generated by a Fairchild Perspectasound integrator fed off of the 4th channel of the mag print. That's the connection.
 
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OliverK

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I was a teenager in Honolulu HI. and saw the Cinestage version of '80 Days' at the Kaiser Aluminum Dome many many times. I knew the manager and attended many a weekend matinee there. I got to know the projectionists (yes, it was a two man booth and the only one in the territory) very well.

The beauty of the Cinestage system was that it used a 4 track mag 2.55:1 print with a custom squeeze and a custom anamorphic lens to deliver a 2.20:1 image. The image on the floating screen which used the standard Todd-AO deep curve was absolutely beautiful.
The only downside was that it was, of course, sourced from the 24 FPS negative.

I'm pretty sure the print was IB Tech. It ran for roughly a year. There was a backup print still in its boxes (which was never used) at the end of its run and the image from the original print still looked pristine on the screen.

For those who are wondering what this has to do with Perspectasound, here it is:

The system also used split surround signals (left rear, center rear, and right rear) which were generated by a Fairchild Perspectasound integrator fed off of the 4th channel of the mag print. That's the connection.

Great story and I just looked up the info of that print I saw 15 years ago. It was presented with special Schneider lenses and with Perspecta Sound and it was also an IBTech print, not sure if they ever struck Eastman release prints:


1689140065581.png


I have no recollection how they "reconstructed" the Perspecta Sound but it was a special thing to get such a presentation at a 70mm film festival.
 

John Skoda

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Aren't there some CinemaScope films that have the Perspecta logo in the credits (which is kind of confusing)? I'm thinking it sometimes shows up as a little logo near the bottom on the same title screen with the copyright notice.

I just did a quick check of a few DVDs/Blus and I can't find any right now, so maybe I'm making this up.
 

Drew Salzan

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Aren't there some CinemaScope films that have the Perspecta logo in the credits (which is kind of confusing)? I'm thinking it sometimes shows up as a little logo near the bottom on the same title screen with the copyright notice.

I just did a quick check of a few DVDs/Blus and I can't find any right now, so maybe I'm making this up.
Yes. Many of the MGM Cinemascope releases had Perspecta as well magnetic 4 track.
 

Stephen_J_H

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Aren't there some CinemaScope films that have the Perspecta logo in the credits (which is kind of confusing)? I'm thinking it sometimes shows up as a little logo near the bottom on the same title screen with the copyright notice.

I just did a quick check of a few DVDs/Blus and I can't find any right now, so maybe I'm making this up.
Best example of this is Jailhouse Rock.
jailhouse3.jpg
 

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