Regent Theatre 191 Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000 – 1956 "The King & I " in CinemaScope 55

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Regent Theatre 191 Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000  – 1956  "The King & I "  in CinemaScope 55

Regent Theatre 191 Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000 – 1956 “The King & I” In CinemaScope 55

One of only two films shot in the CinemaScope 55 process – which used a 55mm negative, seen as the optimum trade-off between cost and image quality – this adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical saw Yul Brynner transferring his stage role of “The King & I” to the big screen and turning himself into a major star in the process. The film also spawned one of the best-selling soundtracks of all-time, spending several years at number one in the album charts.

BIG SCREEN * In the mid 1950s the major American film studios found themselves fending off serious competition from the new medium of television. Their retaliation against the terror of the small screen? To make the big screen even bigger! Heavy investment into image making technology brought the gimmickry of 3D into the limelight, as well as several forms of large gauge and wide screen formats including Cinerama, Panavision and the Todd-AO 70mm film process. What better way to show off these spectacular new widescreen delights than with the razzle and dazzle of a Broadway show? Hence the Hollywood musical was reborn – in glorious widescreen and 4-channel surround sound & in this case the superior Big Negative CinemaScope 55..Contributed by Greg Lynch –

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Comments (38)

terrywade
terrywade on May 26, 2020 at 8:20 am

Thanks FILM/Greg for all the CinemaScope® 55 info. I don’t think in the USA many theatres had C55 projectors installed in the booth. Most cinemas just ran the nice looking curved C55 ad and the picture looked a little cleaner in 35mm scope on the few Fox films they shot in this process. Thanks again!

bufffilmbuff
bufffilmbuff on May 26, 2020 at 8:19 pm

Aside from a couple of press showings neither film shot in Cinemascope 55 played in anything but 35mm reduction prints. Some engagements had 6 track sound which was synchronized from a separate sound element. The Cinemascope 55 projector much like the VistaVision projector where the film traveled horizontally never caught on as they were not compatible with any other format. This is where the 70mm projectors had an advantage, they were easily converted to 35mm. Highly recommended is the American Widescreen Museum, a truly amazing site which has details on all the widescreen formats, their history, and how they were promoted. It is pretty much the last word on the subject. http://www.widescreenmuseum.com

film
film on May 29, 2020 at 6:10 am

1955 Carousel in CinemaScope 55 – Personally I thought that the 35mm reduction print from the original 55mm negative (55.625mm) was sensational. The image on the Regent screen was as sharp & as sweet as anything I have ever seen. I wish they had continued with this format. “The King & I” in CinemaScope 55 was good, but nothing like Carousel – One man’s opinion ! – Contributed by Greg Lynch –

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