Music Box Theatre 70mm Festival

Friday 15 – Thursday 28 February 2013

The Music Box Theatre is proud to bring you a two-week festival of films presented in glorious 70mm. See these films as their creators wished them to be seen: on the big screen, in a theatre, on film, and in 70mm.

Almost since the advent of film there have been variations of 70mm film used to capture visual clarity unequalled in 35mm filming. As 70mm films became popular in the 1940’s through the 1980’s most were filmed in 65mm with the remaining 5mm devoted to sound.

Due to the costs of 70mm film few films were ever shot in this large format, and following their initial release many of them were also released in 35mm to facilitate wide release. Other films were shot in 35mm and “blown up” to 70mm to facilitate more sound information. When DTS sound and Dolby Surround were introduced to cinemas, 70mm (and auditoriums devoted to 70mm) all but disappeared. The result: few people have had the chance to see true 70mm presentation.

Contrary to popular belief, 70mm is not a larger image—it is a format that allows for more information and more visual clarity than its 35mm counterpart. There is a depth to the image that is unlike 35mm, and certainly very different from digital projection.

Over the past several years the film industry has moved away from film in favor of digital projection. Film, in any format, is expensive to use for production and replication. For the first time since the advent of sound, cinemas have had to make a major change in their projection capabilities, making the number of auditoriums outfitted for 35mm or 70mm film projection very few.

The Music Box Theatre is committed to film presentation in any and all formats available and is one of the very few cinemas in the United States able to screen 16mm, 35mm, 70mm and almost all digital formats. It is with this capability that in this very special series we proudly present to Chicago these nine films as examples of 70mm film. All of these films were filmed in 65mm and will be presented the way their makers intended.


Friday, February 15th, 2013

  • 5:30pm: Vertigo
  • 8:00pm: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

  • 1:00pm: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • 4:30pm: Lord Jim
  • 8:00pm: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

  • 1:00pm: Vertigo
  • 4:00pm: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • 7:00pm: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Monday, February 18th, 2013

  • 6:30pm: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

  • 6:30pm: Vertigo

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

  • 6:30pm: Lifeforce

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

  • 6:30pm: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

  • 5:30pm: Playtime
  • 8:00pm: The Master

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

  • 1:00pm: West Side Story
  • 4:30pm: Playtime
  • 7:30pm: The Master

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

  • 1:00pm: Hamlet
  • 5:45pm: West Side Story
  • 8:40pm: Lifeforce

Monday, February 25th, 2013

  • 6:30pm: The Master

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

  • 6:30pm: Hamlet

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

  • 6:30pm: West Side Story

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

  • 6:30pm: Playtime


Tickets for all film screenings are $9.25.

The Music Box also offers 70 very special 70mm passes for $70 that give the holder admission to every screening of every film in the series (yes, that means pass-holders can see a film more than once at no additional charge).


  • Fri 15 Feb 2013, 5:30pm
  • Sun 17 Feb 2013, 1:00pm
  • Tue 19 Feb 2013, 6:30pm

Vertigo (1958)

directed by Alfred Hitchcock starring James Stewart, Kim Novak and Barbara Bel Geddes in English

A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend’s wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.

  • Fri 15 Feb 2013, 8:00pm
  • Sat 16 Feb 2013, 8:00pm
  • Sun 17 Feb 2013, 7:00pm
  • Mon 18 Feb 2013, 6:30pm
  • Thu 21 Feb 2013, 6:30pm

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

directed by Stanley Kubrick starring Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, and William Sylvester in English

To begin his voyage into the future, Kubrick visits our prehistoric ape-ancestry past, then leaps millenia (via one of the most mind-blowing jump cuts ever conceived) into colonized space, and ultimately whisks astronaut Bowman (Keir Dullea) into uncharted realms of space, perhaps even into immortality. “Open the pod bay doors, HAL.” Let the awe and mystery of a journey unlike any other begin.

  • Sat 16 Feb 2013, 1:00pm
  • Sun 17 Feb 2013, 4:00pm

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

directed by Ken Hughes starring Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, Lionel Jeffries, Gert Fröbe, Anna Quayle, Benny Hill

Dick Van Dyke stars as quirky inventor Caractacus Potts, whose magical flying car transports his family and lovely lady friend to Vulgaria, a kingdom strangely devoid of children, ruled by the evil Baron Bomburst.

Please read this blog post about the film print quality, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is pink.

IMDb Page

  • Sat 16 Feb 2013, 4:30pm

Lord Jim (1965)

directed by Richard Brooks starring Peter O'Toole, James Mason, Curd Jürgens, Eli Wallach, Jack Hawkins, Paul Lukas, Daliah Lavi, Akim Tamiroff, Andrew Keir, Jack MacGowran

Writer Joseph Conrad’s stirring maritime novel charts the emotional course of British seaman Jim (Peter O’Toole), a thrill-seeker aboard a merchant vessel who longs for adventure.

He finds that in spades when the ship is caught in an all-consuming storm. But he also discovers that he has no courage to spare, and he soon abandons ship — an act that drives him to redeem himself in a dangerous Southeast Asian jungle.

IMDb Page

  • Wed 20 Feb 2013, 6:30pm
  • Sun 24 Feb 2013, 8:40pm

Lifeforce (1985)

directed by Tobe Hooper starring Steve Railsback, Mathilda May and Peter Firth in English

American and British astronauts on a joint mission exploring an alien spacecraft discover that the vessel contains several seemingly human bodies. But after they’re brought back to Earth, they come alive and start turning Londoners into zombies.

  • Fri 22 Feb 2013, 5:30pm
  • Sat 23 Feb 2013, 4:30pm
  • Thu 28 Feb 2013, 6:30pm

Playtime (1967)

directed by Jacques Tati starring Jacques Tati, Barbara Dennek and Rita Maiden in French, English, German with English subtitles

Monsieur Hulot has to contact an American official in Paris, but he gets lost in the maze of modern architecture which is filled with the latest technical gadgets.

  • Fri 22 Feb 2013, 8:00pm
  • Sat 23 Feb 2013, 7:30pm
  • Mon 25 Feb 2013, 6:30pm

The Master (2012)

directed by Paul Thomas Anderson starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams

Paul Thomas Anderson’s first film since 2007’s There Will Be BloodThe Master is a 1950s-set drama centered on the relationship between a charismatic intellectual known as “the Master”, whose faith-based organization begins to catch on in America, and a young drifter who becomes his right-hand man.

  • Sat 23 Feb 2013, 1:00pm
  • Sun 24 Feb 2013, 5:45pm
  • Wed 27 Feb 2013, 6:30pm

West Side Story (1961)

in English, Spanish

The famous musical about two teens from rival New York City gangs who fall in love.

  • Sun 24 Feb 2013, 1:00pm
  • Tue 26 Feb 2013, 6:30pm

Hamlet (1996)

directed by Kenneth Branagh starring Kenneth Branagh, Julie Christie and Derek Jacobi in English

Veteran Shakespearean actor Kenneth Branagh delivers a brooding performance as the Danish prince driven to madness by his father’s death in this four-hour production of one of the Bard’s finest plays, featuring cameos by several stars.

Tormented by his father’s ghost and enraged by his mother’s plans to wed his uncle, Hamlet concocts a revenge plot that leaves the stage dripping with blood.

Look for Billy Crystal, Robin Williams and Kate Winslet.

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