Cutting Edge Cinema Technology for the next generation of Feature Film Production and Exhibition.
 
What is an Event Motion Picture Experience?
 
A detailed look into the History of Event Motion Pictures.


      Event motion pictures have been with us since the invention of the medium. Every so many years a milestone in movie technology would occur and going to the cinema reached a new plateau. When the first silent films were shown on a sheet in storefronts, it was an event. The "Jazz Singer" and its synchronized sound sequences made it the movie to see as well as to hear, it was an event. When Technicolor movies were first introduced, the public was excited to see natural color on the screen, it was an event. All of these techniques advanced the medium considerably, but the overall presentation was restrictive. The projected image was shown on a small screen and the mono sound was low in fidelity. In other words, "you looked straight ahead and heard what was straight ahead" as described by Lowell Thomas in "This Is Cinerama." It was not until Cinerama, Todd-AO, VistaVision and other large format film processes did the public get something totally revolutionary, not only to watch a movie, but also to experience it!

During the golden age of the Wide Screen, something very special was happening: the era of the special engagement "Road Show" theater. These event theaters had huge screens, 60-to-80 feet wide with big, bright, sharp images. Large format projectors ran 70mm film, accompanied with six-track surround sound. Reserved performances and reserved theater seating was the policy for these special presentations. Box office prices for these movies were $3.50, more than $35.00 in today’s dollars, verses .35 cents for the conventional 35mm film. A person or group had to travel great distances, sometimes as much as hundreds of miles to see these special motion pictures. Why was the public willing to pay considerably more for a ticket, along with having to travel great distances to see just a movie? Because it was an event. No matter what the content was, whether the subject was an epic, a musical, or an exotic travel spectacular, the presentations were breathtaking. From both a visual and aural standpoint, these motion pictures were a total experience. The audience was part of the movie. Why was this new form of motion picture entertainment so successful? It was about giving the public more than they could get from competing leisure time activities, such as television. Many of the films produced during this period are today considered classics, and many of then won Academy Awards including Best Picture. "Around The World In Eighty Days," "Ben-Hur", "How The West Was Won," "2001, A Space Odyssey," "Lawrence Of Arabia," "West Side Story," and "The Sound Of Music," just to name a few. In many cases these films ran for more than two years at these Event Road Show theaters before they were released in 35mm to the local theaters. For more than two decades, this form of motion picture entertainment flourished until a down turn occurred.

So what was the downturn of this form of motion picture entertainment? For one thing, studios no longer owned the theaters and they now had different business agendas. The studios were hitting hard times and were cutting back on big films, especially 70mm productions. To help keep product flowing into the Road Show, the studios resorted to providing them with medium budget non-event productions shot in 35mm and blown-up to 70mm. The public was not fooled and stayed away in droves, the era of the big screen Road Show Event movie ended. As the years progressed, large downtown theaters that once were event movie palaces were replaced by the suburban multiplex. The concept was to have these theaters closer to where people lived and to have several films playing in one location. This provided patrons with a greater selection of feature films. For the theater circuit, it meant more revenue. Many of these new multiplexes had auditoriums holding as few as one hundred patrons, with the largest often holding a few hundred. The movie going experience was now relegated to the "mini screen."

During the early ‘70’s, a new non-theatrical 70mm format was born in Canada and it was called IMAX. It had a square frame and was three times as big as theatrical 70mm frame. IMAX was born out of a need to provide an immersive film experience for world fairs, museums and planetariums. The screens were tall, about seven stories high and one hundred feet wide. The auditoriums were very large and had stadium seating so that the tall screen could be comfortably viewed. The process required the use of a unique proprietary projector, as well as a special camera in production. The IMAX technology was leased to the institution, along with taking a percentage of the house and a fee for maintenance. The movies produced were usually about nature and science. The films ran for around forty minutes, about as long as a person could tolerate the imposing visual information. Over the years, more than a hundred of these special venue theaters were populated all over the world. Going to an IMAX Theater was event. IMAX slowly over time became a household brand name. The public loved what they saw and came back to again and again.

 

 

Fast Forward to Today!

      The event theatrical motion picture is a studio marketing strategy, not an experience. The films are based mainly on action-oriented subject matter, heavily dependent on star appeal, computer-assisted special effects and budgets close to $200-million or even more. The exhibitors, in an attempt to stay competitive with other forms of leisure time activities, created the megaplex, with some theaters having as many as thirty screens. Seating in many of the auditoriums hold almost a thousand patrons and have stadium seating. The screens are as wide as seventy feet and accompanied with multi- track digital sound. The only problem is that they are showing 35mm format prints that result in poor picture fidelity, soft focus, dim images and unacceptable "jump and weave." Some major circuits realized that they had to have high impact exhibition, and possibly other types of entertainment to compete with burgeoning high definition, wide screen home theaters. Their answer: IMAX. Currently there are more than forty-five IMAX venues in the modern theatrical market place and they are growing. Even though expensive buildings must be erected for IMAX and seating is usually limited to a little over four hundred, theater circuits are still entering into costly leases with IMAX. After much exploration, Hollywood studios do not believe that IMAX 15-perforation large format feature length films can be produced from a creative and practical standpoint. In addition, the IMAX format does not visually translate well to 35mm for wide release theatrical exhibition. Attempting to counter this major fault, IMAX developed DMR, a repurposing technology method for converting regular 35mm features to IMAX. Unfortunately, a significant number of these films must be "panned and scanned" because they were shot in wide screen and do NOT adequately fill the IMAX square screen. And finally, significant issues with IMAX are costly 15-perforation prints and the huge cost of two print 3-D IMAX. There must be another alternative!

The time has arrived. Super Dimension-70™ a revolutionary new motion picture system that is so remarkable it makes going to the movies an event once again. Never before has today’s film going public experienced a theatrical film presentation like Super Dimension-70™. Images so full of depth and clarity, they are startling. The screen is wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling and curved. Stadium sloped seating in these Super Cinemas™ range between 600 and 1000 seats. When Super Dimension-70™ is projected on the screen, the screen seems to disappear. Digital 8- channel sound is so dynamic and realistic that when combined with the large format picture, the audience believes that they are "in the movie." Productions produced and exhibited in Super Dimension-70™ will be identified by the public as the ultimate movie going experience, the must see movie event.

SUPER DIMENSION -70™
Redefining the Movie Going Experience.

For more than two years, Super Vista Corp., in collaboration with cinema equipment designers, digital engineers and optical experts have worked together to bring Super Dimension-70™ to reality. With more than 6-million pixels per frame (as compared to 35mm’s four or digital cinema’s two), the film images are unequal. With SDS-70™, 65mm large format cameras are used to photograph a feature film at 48 frames-per-second. The cameras are only slightly larger than typical 35mm, and the film image area and resolution is more than four times that of conventional 35mm. The proprietary process can be "down converted" to conventional 35mm or digital cinema technology, thus providing maximum distribution in all markets.

In addition to originally produced SDS-70™ large format productions, the company has developed DNX™ digital repurposing technology. The patent pending DNX™ process reformats 35mm (24 frame-per-second) and 24p digital-to-full frame 70mm, 48 frame, SDS-70™. The "DI" transform actually creates a true "in-between" frame to render smoother motion, reduced motion blur and grain for the large 50-80 foot SDS-70™ Super Cinema™ screen. Productions with major action sequences especially benefit from the DNX™ process, whereby the images often take on a dimension of depth. Even motion pictures from the early days of CinemaScope can be successfully transformed to images of brilliance and clarity, providing potentially new theatrical distribution opportunities for Hollywood studios with classic film vaults. With the combination of new SDS-70™ feature productions and restored classic films, a continuous flow of quality product is assured for the event SDS-70™ Super Cinema™ theater.

In preview screenings to film industry executives and theater owners in Hollywood, the response has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic. The SDS-70™ projection system and screen fits into existing commercial theaters. No special buildings have to be erected. And SDS-70™ theaters benefit from having seating between 600 and 1000, which results in far greater audience turn over, and bigger box office grosses per screen.

The SDS-70™ Impact™ projector double shutters each frame, resulting in the absence of projection flicker. The film images are "pin registered," which means there is no jump or weave. The design of the protector does not allow any part of the image area of the film to come in contact with the projector; hence there are no scratches or dirt artifacts. SDS-70™ large format 70mm film prints are one third less expensive than IMAX, which is significant to film distributors. Because the image is so clear and sharp, all seats in the theater, including front rows seats, are viable for viewing. As commented after a screening of Super Dimension-70™ by the president of a major U.S. theater circuit, he said, "The picture is brighter, sharper and clearer than IMAX. And best of all it fits into our theaters. It is an impressive achievement."

SDS-70 Super Cinema Theater™

If the motion picture megaplex is to survive and prosper, it must offer the public the best in movie entertainment, both in content and presentation. With as many as 30 auditoriums for exhibitors to fill at one location, it’s going to require both conventional presentation as well as large format big screen event entertainment. For movie circuits to fill their buildings and viably compete for the consumer entertainment dollar, the production and exhibition industry must offer value-added, big screen event productions. Super Dimension-70™ does just that; it provides the important "big bang for the movie entertainment buck" for all!

 

 

 
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