Earlier this week, we came across a story in TimeOut Chicago where writer to secure the Music Box Theatre in Chicago as a venue for "The Master." The article stated that Paul was "eager" to show the film in 70mm wherever possible and that venue is one of the few places in Chicago that is "70mm capable," not to mention just being a beautiful old movie house in its own right. TimeOut spoke to the programmer at the Music Box who said that he hadn't been contacted about showing the film and had already committed to another film during the week of September 21 (when the film opens in Chicago).
Today, TimeOut Chicago posted a follow-up piece wherein some new information has come to light. Apparently The Weinstein Company "passed on the opportunity" to play the film in 70mm at the Music Box and have made other arrangements in that city. A disappointment to be sure, but the issue might be much bigger than that. The article also states that, "Paul Thomas Anderson really does want to show The Master in 70mm as widely as possible. But it’s not entirely up to him."
Yesterday I was contacted by a source close to the director who was canvassing for 70mm-capable theaters, and who’d learned about the Music Box through the post. “I showed it to Paul and he flipped out [with excitement],” the source says. Anderson apparently hopes more theaters like the Music Box will come forward. Especially with the conversion to DCP, lists like this one are out of date and incomplete. Gauging the number of theaters that can still show 70mm is essential to determining how much play the film could get in that format. Other cinemas my source is eyeing include the ArcLight in Los Angeles and the Seattle Cinerama.
But as the Music Box’s experience indicates, the Weinstein Company seems to be moving forward with its own booking plans. On Monday, I asked my TWC rep if the company knew how many 70mm prints would be made available. A follow-up query today was not immediately answered; it seems that number is still being negotiated.Please click over to TimeOut Chicago for the full article.
My source emphasizes that he’s not a party to conversations between Anderson and TWC, but he’s under the impression that the director’s push to show the film widely in 70mm has been met with “blowback.” Still, he says, Anderson remains hopeful about getting the film shown as broadly as possible in the wide-gauge format. “Paul's not one to give up on what he wants,” the source says.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- First, read Our Guide To 70mm. Then spread the word so others will understand why it's so important that the film be shown in the best possible format as Paul intended. Hopefully this will get back to the people in charge of booking the film as well as any theatre owners who might want to consider dusting off their 70mm projectors for an exclusive engagement of a highly anticipated film.
- If you're a theatre owner capable of showing 70mm please click over to the article and leave your contact info in the comments. Or reach out to us at cigsandredvines[at]gmail.com and we'll pass it along. As the article states, "The worst thing that happens is that a month after the movie comes out, they learn of a theater that could have shown 70mm and wasn't considered." We don't want this to happen.
- If you know which theatres (if any) in your city are capable of showing 70mm film let us know in the comments, especially if it's a gorgeous old movie palace (like The Music Box). Here is a list (updated as of last December) with all of the theatres in the U.S. (and here for abroad) capable of playing 70mm. Reach out to your local 70mm theatre and find out if they plan to show "The Master," then let us know if you hear back. We'll keep a running list. 42 days until September 14th. Let's do this.
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