Chicago Cinema Celebrates 70MM Film Format

Steve Miller
September 13, 2018 - 6:00 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Before digital, films were presented in 35-millimeter prints. 

"TV comes in and all the exhibitors and studios are freaking out because everyone's going to stay at home and watch TV instead of going to the movies,” said Julian Antos, the technical director at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre.

That was the fear, anyway, that movies had to give something extra. Thus, 70-millimeter film came along.

"It's basically the highest quality image you can possibly get in a cinema, pretty much in any format,” Antos said.

The Lakeview cinema, which has a high regard for celluloid, is presenting its latest 70MM Film Festival, which begins Friday.

Among several films being shown is David Lean’s 1962 classic "Lawrence of Arabia.”

"And there's one shot where the guy is riding in from quite a distance away, and you see him, and it's just a little speck,” Antos said. “And then he gets closer and closer to the screen. It's just - it's a very dramatic format."

Another feature being shown is “The Sound of Music.”

"I'm actually very excited to see 'Sound of Music' because every year we show it in a sing-along version. It's kind of kitschy. Everybody loves it; don't get me wrong. It does very well,” Antos said.

"But it'll be kind of nice to just see the movie without the stupid yellow subtitles."