TCL Chinese Theatre

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TCL Chinese Theatre

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Uploaded on: February 21, 2020

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TCL Chinese Theatre

All-Stereophonic Program (February 20th, 1963)

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Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on February 21, 2020 at 8:14 am

Superscope was an anamorphic process similar to CinemaScope.

terrywade
terrywade on February 21, 2020 at 10:00 am

I think Superscope┬« was RKO Pictures answer to CinemaScope┬« Many early Disney films went RKO then with Buena Vista their own company. Fantasia was done I think in 1.33 sq flat. They probably just made the print wider or just put on a scope lens at the Fox West Coast Theatres Chinese Theatre? Must of sounded great in 4 ch mag stereo in 1963 as I don’t think the Chinese played all the surround channels that the original Fantasia had on the tracks with FANTASOUND┬«

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on February 21, 2020 at 11:59 am

An internet database claims that the Superscope/stereophonic sound edition of “Fantasia” was first released in 1956, which might explain this 1963 booking. Dating back perhaps to “Gone With the Wind,” it was believed that major movies could reach entirely new audiences by being reissued every seven years.

RobertEndres
RobertEndres on February 28, 2020 at 1:16 pm

When we got our booking to play “Fantasia” at Radio City I called to see if we could get a Dolby encoded print to lower the magnetic track noise. To my surprise I was put in touch with Irving Ludwig who was in charge of Buena Vista. I mentioned in our conversation that the first time I saw “Fantasia” it was presented in Superscope. He replied, “Yes, and if you ever find any of those prints let me know so I can destroy them!” Superscope was a variable anamorphic process which allowed the projection lens to vary the “stretch” of a picture from anything to none to the standard 2:1 squeeze. In the case of “Fantasia” they varied the width of the picture by cropping the top and bottom of the frame. It worked pretty well for the Toccata and Fugue which was abstract, but less well for narrative content. In the case of the “Sorcerers' Apprentice” portion with Micky Mouse the screen reverted to the standard 1.37:1. Since Disney was being distributed at the time by RKO which was promoting the Superscope process it probably seemed like a good idea at the time by their promotion department, but needless to say the critics and discerning public raised a fuss. You won’t find any reference to this version in standard Disney histories today, but on the original Laser Disc release a picture of the ad is included in the supplemental material.

vindanpar
vindanpar on June 18, 2020 at 4:10 am

If Fantasia was shown in it’s correct ratio at the Music Hall(I saw it and it was wonderful)what I don’t understand was why when Singing in the Rain was shown in its correct ratio in ‘75 the screen was very small which all films seem to have been at the time until Shane. It was a surprise. Fantasia was a larger image almost the size of the magnascope screen and yet held its clarity and brilliance. Other films I saw that were on the larger screen with the old ratio but which were dismayingly washed out and grainy were Show Boat and Good News. I felt they would would have been improved visually if they had been shown on that postage stamp screen.

Why did Fantasia looks so good and those others did not? In fact why were all the old films from the 30s to the early 50s shown on such a small screen? Flower Drum Song and Seven Brides seem to have been old prints but were still impressive in their respectively Panavision and Cinemascope 2.55 ratios. The Vistavision Funny Face was an absolute knock out.

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