70mm “West Side Story” in Chicago

posted by Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on December 26, 2008 at 10:00 am

CHICAGO, IL — A new 70mm print! DTS Sound! “West Side Story”, winner of 10 Academy Awards is now playing at the Music Box Theater in Chicago.

It will be playing at 2:00pm, 5:00pm, and 8:00pm all days through Thursday, New Years Day.

Hopefully Mark Noller will be playing the Music Box Organ on the weekend.

Let’s all come out and see this 1961 Super Panavision 70 movie and perhaps if large crowds turn out the Music Box will show more 70mm films.

“Something’s Coming”

Theaters in this post

Comments (21)

CinemarkFan on December 26, 2008 at 11:06 am

You best believe I will make it there ASAP.

My first 70MM, I can’t wait.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on December 26, 2008 at 11:39 am

Now if only it would come to the city that inspired the whole thing, New York. I’ve seen it in a theater 13 times since 1963, but never in 70mm. 2009 could be the year!

CinemarkFan: Please write back with your comments on the show, and also what you thought of your first 70mm experience.

markp on December 26, 2008 at 9:41 pm

By all means Cinemark, please, please tell us how it is.

MPol on December 27, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Hey, Cinemark—would love to hear about your experiences with the 70mm reprint of the great, golden oldie-but-goody movie/musical classic, West Side Story.

I’ve seen West Side Story (the film) almost 40 times since Christmastime 1968. Here’s wishing and hoping that the Boston area gets a 70mm playing of the film West Side Story sometime. woohoo!!

Twistr54 on December 28, 2008 at 11:21 am

I will attend as much as possible, living in Michigan, its not like ‘just down the block.’ Hope its a success !

Twistr54 on December 28, 2008 at 11:22 am

I think the last 70MM film I saw was Temple Of Doom, the second Indiana Jones, when it was released in 1984.

Coate on December 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm

There’s some controversy within the industry over whether or not the audio mix on this new print is complete. After comparing the new mix with the mix on the original prints, some have concluded that the new DTS audio mix is missing tracks two and four (the left-center and right-center channels).

MPol on December 28, 2008 at 4:37 pm

Ouch!! You mean the new 70mm print of the film “West Side Story”? Oooh, if that’s the case, they’d better get that print perfected first.

JSA on December 28, 2008 at 6:42 pm

This issue with respect to the WSS audio mix is puzzling, and dissapointing, if it turns out to be confirmed. I have not seen the new print, but I just bought the “Collector’s Edition” DVD with Dolby Digital (5.1) audio, and this makes me wonder if the audio mix on the disc is also missing the same channels (Have not seen it yet). I am very familiar with the soundtrack, since over the years I’ve owned various versions, including an original Columbia LP. But I am not an expert. Would not place any bets that I could spot the difference. But I can tell that the 6-track audio was absolutely terrific during a late 80’s engagement at the Cinerama Dome.

What’s your opinion Michael? Have you seen the new print?


MPol on December 28, 2008 at 10:50 pm

Thanks, JSA and Michael Coate.

With all the information in mind, I’m resigned to seeing “West Side Story” in 35mm if all of the above really is confirmed. WSS is my alltime favorite film, and I, for one, really don’t want to see such a beautiful film classic ruined.

Vito on December 29, 2008 at 6:15 am

With respect to the missing left/right center tracks missing from the DTS WSS
I suppose we have to keep in mind that when Dolby came along, the #2 and #4 tracks on a six track 70mm print became one, mixing both tracks into one mono boom track for subwoofers. Music and diolog was no longer recorded on those two tracks. Later, track #5 began being used with track #6 for stereo surrounds Considering most newer six track amplifier systems have three tracks used for music and diolog and 2 tracks used for stereo surrounds, DTS does not include these original tracks 2 and 4
I can not recall how the 6 track 70mm DTS tracks are broken down. Perhaps someone with more technical matters in theses things than I could enlighten us.
I might add, hopefully not to worsen things, but I ran WSS in 70mm for quite a while and as was the custom, all the tracks were monitored in the booth throughout the showings. I can recall information was indeed recorded on tracks 2 and 4. I mention this because on some 70mm blow up prints those tracks were not always used; not often, but it did happen.

Giles on December 29, 2008 at 7:25 am

slightly off the topic of the Chicago “theatrical engagement” – HDNet Movie’s airing of WSS in hidef is absolutely gorgeous, another spectacular 65mm to video transfer that I can’t wait to own on bluray. I hope some East Coast dates of WSS are in the cards (ahem, AFI Silver)

MPol on December 29, 2008 at 4:52 pm

Hey, Giles, while I can respect your excitement about the HDNet Movie’s airing of WSS in Hi-Def, and the prospect of your owning it on blu-ray, we want to see the film West Side Story get into theatres more often, on the great, big wide screens, the way such a great, golden oldie-but-goody classic film is really MEANT to be viewed.

vito: Thanks for all the info you’ve given us about WSS in 70mm.

Giles on December 30, 2008 at 7:28 am

oh, no denying ‘West Side Story’ on the big screen is the definite place to see and experience this film, but as film preservation, who ever did the film transfer should be commended. I’ve already sent my email to the Silver Theatre, after the 70mm Castro theatre’s website advertised it’s engagement, now it’s just a waiting game to see if (or when) the AFI Silver can showcase ‘West Side Story’ on the big screen (it’s like twisting arms to request films). The last time I saw the film in 70mm was at the Uptown theatre when they did a mini 70mm film festival, the other highlight was “Alien” (wow! that was out of this world) – but I’m digressing.

MPol on December 30, 2008 at 9:35 am

Okay, thanks, Giles. Good luck. Hope West Side Story gets a good 70mm big screen movie theatre print to Washington DC soon. I wonder if there’s a road show of WSS going on.

Giles on December 30, 2008 at 9:54 am

‘West Side Story’ is currently in play form is having it’s pre-Broadway run here in Washington DC before moving on to New York City. I hope to see it since it’s been getting decent reviews.

as for the rollout of the film’s is becoming apparent it’s making the rounds, San Francisco, LA, Chicago … it’s the East Coast theatres I’m interested in knowing where it’s going to get booked.

MPol on December 30, 2008 at 4:14 pm

I’m curious about the East Coast bookings of the film West Side Story also, Giles. I’m aware of “West Side Story” also having a Broadway revival of the stage production. If I go to a Broadway production of WSS, I’ll wait until the prices hopefully go down, first.

CinemarkFan on January 8, 2009 at 9:32 pm

I thought I posted this already, but…

Due to a last minute wrinkle in the plans, I wasn’t able to see WSS like I wanted. However, I emailed the GM of the Music Box, and he said that they plan to run 70MM again this year.

And on another flipside, I’m trying to get the Super Vista Coporation to show a demo of the SDS-70 system here in Chicago.

MPol on January 9, 2009 at 5:32 am

Sorry you weren’t able to attend the “West Side Story” screening. Glad to hear that the theatre’ll be running 70mm again this year, however. Sounds like a good idea, trying to get a demo shown of the SDS-70 system in your city. What is this new system, btw? Just curious.

CinemarkFan on January 9, 2009 at 7:26 pm

It was developed by Robert D. Weisgerber. It is an updated version of 70MM projection. Check out these

View link

I am really hoping somebody will give it a shot.

MPol on January 10, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Hi, CinemarkFan. Thanks for the interesting links. I, too hope that somebody gives the newer version of 70mm film a shot. Would love to see all the golden oldie-but-goodie classic films, including West Side Story, Spartacus, Lawrence of Arabia and many others, particularly films of the 1960’s, get re-done and shown in great movie palaces that way! How cool it would be!!

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