Central London’s leading independent cinema, The Prince Charles, have recently elected to re-introduce the large format film process of 70mm. The cinema had been equipped with 70mm facilities, running Kinoton DP75 projectors up until 2011, but with advances in technology the equipment was removed and updated with Kinoton FP30 projectors for 35mm film replay and NEC NC2000C projectors for digital exhibition. Due to the recent interest of the 70mm format a Cinemeccanica Victoria 8 projector has been installed in screen 1 of this twin screen cinema.
While there are still a handful of cinemas in the UK equipped to exhibit films in this magnificent format, many are now only able to replay 70mm in conjunction with DTS timecoded prints. As the Prince Charles Cinema is reparatory theatre it was essential that all 70mm sound formats could be replayed. To this end Bell Theatre Services installed a new audio enclosure to accommodate the six channels of Dolby A and SR type noise reduction units necessary to replay the older 70mm magnetic formats and modern DTS/Datasat timecoded prints. All formats are replayed through a Dolby CP650 cinema processor. The original 70mm Todd A-O sound formats are also supported.
UK based organisation, The Projected Picture Trust, were able to assist the installation with the provision of a Cinemeccanica dual format 35/70mm Victoria 8 projector, with the balance of equipment coming from the wide range of 35mm and 70mm spare parts still held in stock at Bell Theatre Services UK office at Borehamwood. The cinema is equipped to show all common 35mm aspect ratios as well as any 70mm picture and sound format.
The installation was carried out by Bell Theatre Services Sound and Projection Engineer, Barry Wright with assistance from Amanda Ireland, Chief Projectionist at the cinema for the last 24 years.
With the resurgence and recent interest in 70mm film from acclaimed directors such as Christopher Nolan (Interstellar) , and the forthcoming release in Super-Panavision 70 of Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight”, we wish Greg, Amanda and the team at The Prince Charles Cinema all the very best with their latest equipment.