Cinema Borealis

Technical Details

The Films

"Ran" was a common 35mm print.
"Days of Heaven" was one of only two 70mm "blow-up" prints made for this film and the only one left in running condition.
"2001: A Space Odyssey" was all but impossible to obtain in 70mm. For a time it seemed likely that the film would have to be shown in the form of a 35mm reduction print. Although much of the orginal clarity of the 65mm negative would come through, a great deal would be lost and as the 35mm print would be in mono the 6-track sound would be lost as well. (There was some talk of running a print interlocked with a separate stereo soundtrack.) Fortunately, Turner Entertainment finally saved the day by agreeing to allow the use of the only good quality 70mm print extant, one made only about a year before. Why all the fuss? Well, for starters a 70mm print costs about $20,000 and it only takes a tiny mistake to cause a scratch and permanently ruin it. (This information was correct at the time. Since that time a number of 70mm prints have been struck as well as 35mm prints with both optical stereo and all three types of digital soundtracks.)


The screen was a 70' x 30.5' matte white manufactured by Technikote.
Screen frame constructed by Nick Malone.
Scaffolding was erected by a contractor.


70mm presentations (2nd & 3rd evenings) used a Norelco AA-2 Todd AO projector refurbished by Mark Gulbrandsen. The AA-2 is arguably the finest projector ever made. And easily portable. (Kidding!)

Although the Norelco AA-2 will run 35mm as well as 70mm, the first evening's film, "Ran" was run on a Simplex XL equipped with a high speed pulldown which allowed for greater light on the screen while projecting the less efficient 35mm 1.85 format. Mark Gulbrandsen supplied the XL.


Despite James' threats to bring out his giant VentArc carbon arc lamps and run reel by reel instead a Christie H40 4kW Xenon was used. This lamphouse has been modified with a Kneisley Xenex II reflector for greater efficiency.



Sound Processors

"Ran" was in 35mm Dolby Stereo Type "A" and a Dolby CP-55 was used for this film. The 70mm presentations used a Dolby CP-100 system put together by Mark Gulbrandsen. This unit was equipped with a Dolby MPU (magnetic preamp unit) with updated preamp cards supplied by Dolby Laboratories. "2001" was in straight, non-Dolby 6-track while "Days of Heaven" was in Dolby discrete 6-track (rather than the more common Dolby "boom" format.)


5 Full range JBL speaker systems were required behind the screen for the 70mm presentations; Only 3 were active for the 35mm show. They were: 2360 Horns, 2445 HF drivers, 2225 LF Drivers in Rent-Com RC215 cabinets.
Supplied by Rent-Com.


10 Intersonics SERVO-DRIVE SDL-5 Subwoofers at ground level in front of the screen.
Supplied by Intersonics.

Surround Speakers

JBL 4612's.
Supplied by Rent-Com


BGW 750E's
Supplied by Rent-Com.


Forces Inc. Silenced Diesel

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