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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film-Yak   » Could 35mm ever return to mainstream cinemas? (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Could 35mm ever return to mainstream cinemas?
Cobi Fox
Film Handler

Posts: 18
From: Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Registered: May 2018


 - posted 05-21-2018 08:59 AM      Profile for Cobi Fox   Author's Homepage   Email Cobi Fox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This is something I've been wondering about lately. I guess one possibility could be that theaters could get tired of upgrading D-Cinema formats and having security loopholes patched, so they may choose to replace D-Cinema with 35mm due to it being a more stable format. Obviously this is unlikely, but it would be neat. What are your thoughts? Could 35mm ever return in any way?

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Martin McCaffery
Film God

Posts: 2319
From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-21-2018 09:35 AM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Not unless the studios are willing to underwrite all of the new labs that would be needed. It can continue for awhile as a boutique format, but the industry as currently configured (ie: big studios and big movie chains) are not going back, and the small theatres do not have the clout to make a dent in the current system.

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James Biggins
Film Handler

Posts: 20
From: Leicester U.K.
Registered: Oct 2014


 - posted 05-21-2018 09:35 AM      Profile for James Biggins   Email James Biggins   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In a word, no.

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Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1826
From: West Milford, NJ, USA
Registered: Jan 2001


 - posted 05-21-2018 10:25 AM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'll second, NO. The infrastructure no longer exists to produce large number of 35mm prints, and the movie distributors have absolutely no incentive to bring it back. D-Cinema issues are an expense for the theatre owners, not the studios.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12083
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 05-21-2018 10:58 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Not a chance,

The entire infrastructure for film is gone. We are down to what, one lab in LA now and a few scattered throughout the world.

But more than that, even the means to manufacture projectors and relating support equipment is gone.

And least we forget, the vast majority of cinemas put out a pretty crappy show and mutilated film.

What is more likely is that there will be a shrinkage of the quantity of cinemas in any given marketplace to better fit the demand and to be able to be profitable supporting the current and future technologies.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12393
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-21-2018 11:27 AM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A related question is, would the exhibitors WANT to have film back. Speaking as one, I would say no. I mean, film was fun, I like film, it made a better picture (although most people wouldn't know the difference, in fact we STILL have people who don't know we've switched), the fact is digital saves so much work and is so much more versatile, I would never want to go back to film.

The one feature of film that I wish we still had is, in trailers I would often cut out the release date of movies we weren't going to play on the break....but other than that, I'm happy with digital.

From a collector standpoint, I do wish I had the means to watch all the trailers I collected over the years (about 3 1/2 6000' reels worth) but I can live without that, I guess.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12083
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 05-21-2018 11:33 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mike, one aspect that most exhibitors would like about film is its longevity (the equipment, if not the medium). That is, how often did you have to change out your film equipment? You are already on your second server, conversely.

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Aaron Garman
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1461
From: Notre Dame du Lac, Indiana USA
Registered: Mar 2003


 - posted 05-21-2018 11:39 AM      Profile for Aaron Garman   Email Aaron Garman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
70mm is in a way kinda back, but not 35mm. It could still be used for smaller, boutique cinematheques but not the local Cinemark or AMC.

And even that is going to dwindle as the available prints die off due to poor handling. Does anyone know what the last 35mm print that was released by a major? Are any indie studios even printing them for exhibition? I'd imagine some may still be getting made for archival purposes.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

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From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-21-2018 12:20 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Steve Guttag
Mike, one aspect that most exhibitors would like about film is its longevity (the equipment, if not the medium).
True, cost of ownership is much lower. I did like that aspect as well, but I knew that going in. I still wouldn't want to go back.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

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From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-22-2018 07:26 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I love film as much as anyone, but I'm not sure that this would be a desirable outcome. For most theatres, DLP projection provided a significant upgrade in sound quality and, often, picture quality as well.

As long as the economics support negative and print film manufacturing and processing, I am perfectly fine with film being a niche format for the filmmakers who like the aesthetic and for repertory screenings. The current 70mm-mini-revival has been lots of fun and I hope that it will continue in some way for many years.

That said, film is a great acquisition and archive format and I hope that we never lose that capability.

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Sean McKinnon
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1561
From: Peabody Massachusetts
Registered: Sep 2000


 - posted 05-22-2018 09:27 AM      Profile for Sean McKinnon   Email Sean McKinnon   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Unfortunately, no. The infrastructure is gone. It was a massive undertaking to provide 120 70mm machines and supplies for the hateful 8 and I couldn't imagine increasing that scale enough to re-equip commercial cinemas as a whole.

However, we do a fair amount of film projector installs in single, and twin type of multi use higher end venues, and colleges. I think film will live on in these niche locations as well as regular 70mm releases in major markets.

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8290
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 05-22-2018 02:47 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
No. Film is gone.

Cinemas have adjusted to the fact and operations of digital (even though the units are now washing machines instead of a well oiled and precision tooled machine), how it ticks and the issues that arises from these units...

And now, with laser projection and the upcoming video screen thing, it's quite apparent that this new generation of ideas and procedures have taken over.

It's their world now and not ours anymore.

Besides, in a hundred years, who is going to notice any difference?

- Monte

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Cobi Fox
Film Handler

Posts: 18
From: Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Registered: May 2018


 - posted 05-22-2018 03:54 PM      Profile for Cobi Fox   Author's Homepage   Email Cobi Fox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mike Blakesley
True, cost of ownership is much lower. I did like that aspect as well, but I knew that going in. I still wouldn't want to go back.

Does the Roxy Theatre still have a 35mm projector? When was the last time it's been used to show a movie? Just curious.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12393
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-22-2018 05:20 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We kept our 35mm machine in place when we switched to digital in 2010, but it sat there for years and never showed a movie, so we took it out to make room for storage. I'm not sure what year - sometime around 2015 or '16.

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Victor Liorentas
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 794
From: london ontario canada
Registered: May 2009


 - posted 05-22-2018 05:36 PM      Profile for Victor Liorentas   Email Victor Liorentas   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
At the Hyland Cinema in London Ontario Canada I've not only kept both 35mm machines in place but...upgraded to the best lenses and parts I can find.
When I do show film...it really rocks!
The Christie 2220 sits in the middle.

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