“2001,” “Spartacus” and more – in glorious 70MM at Music Box

David J. Holcomb


The Songs Box Theatre’s regular display screen is pretty vast. But for its 70 mm Film Pageant, slash limited in March 2020 by the pandemic, the theater’s particular 37-foot rectangle of goals, utilised for epically huge occasions, receives hauled out of storage and placed, cautiously, near the lip of the Music Box phase.

And then? The sights! The dimensions. The North African vistas of “Lawrence of Arabia.” Kirk Douglas and Woody Strode, glowering in the gladiator ring in “Spartacus.”

And this yr, in a New music Box very first, you’ll retro-thrill to a newly struck 70 mm print of the 1970 schlockbuster “Airport,” which features the tender agonies of Capt. Dean Martin wrestling with chief stewardess Jacqueline Bisset’s pregnancy while suicide bomber Van Heflin wrestles with plans for his wife’s insurance coverage payout.

Jogging June 17-30, the latest version provides back several audience favorites from festivals earlier. The Tunes Box’s own 70 mm print of “2001: A Room Odyssey” returns — it is, to date, the greatest draw competition after festival — as does the 1961 “West Side Story” and John Carpenter’s intergalactic ‘80s romance “Starman.”

Also returning: a around-pristine print of the extravagant Gene Kelly-directed Barbra Streisand showcase “Hello, Dolly!”, to start with revealed in 2020.

“Airport” is a further story: a lot more of a wonderful all-star cheese wheel than what cineastes may well call “a very good movie.” Undeniably it is a hugely influential instigator of the ‘70s disaster motion picture cycle, a crucial part of millions of significant-cholesterol huge-screen childhoods.

“I’m definitely enthusiastic about that a person,” said Julian Antos, Songs Box technological director and fastidious print inspector, “partly since it doesn’t have a fantastic name. Individuals movies are often enjoyable to reevaluate. Or see for the first time.”

“Airport” is bound to be very a sight: a lovely, newly struck 70 mm print, in its next-ever public screening pursuing very last month’s TCM Traditional Film Pageant, of a catastrophe movie with some of the harshest interior lights of any Nixon-era picture.

“Yeah, effectively. Now they underlight all the things,” Antos responded.

A different initially-time 70 mm for the Songs Box festival: director Walter Hill’s 1993 “Geronimo: An American Legend,” which boasts a remaining, elegiac western vista just designed for situations such as this one particular.

June 17-30 at Music Box Theatre at 3733 N Southport Ave., pageant tickets go on sale at midday May possibly 20 for New music Box associates, and at noon May well 23 for the common community. All-festival passes $80 ($60 for New music Box associates), particular person tickets $14 ($11 for New music Box associates) at musicboxtheatre.com

Michael Phillips is a Tribune critic.

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Twitter @phillipstribune

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