2001 at Arclight tonight

Tonight the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood launches their September Cinerama Showcase with screenings of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, Stanley Kubrick's monumental science-fiction epic. The film will at 8:00 and 11:40pm in the Cinerama Dome theatre in the 70mm Cinerama format with six channel sound, as it was screeened there when originally released in 1968. 100 copies of the Special Edition Blu-ray disc of the film will be given to the first 100 ticket holders in line for the 8:00pm show.

Unfortunately, the 8pm show is already sold out. There are still tickets for 11:40, available here.

Just to get pedantic for a moment, the use of the term "Cinerama" in reference to SPACE ODYSSEY has always struck me as a bit of a misnomer. The original Cinerama process created a triple-widescreen effect by filming with three camera - left, right, and center - and projecting the imags in sync. The aspect ratio was three times as wide as a standard format film (approximately four feet wide for every one foot of height).

SPACE ODYSSEY was filmed in anamorphic 70mm, a combination of two different widescreen processes. 70 mm is twice as wide as standard 35mm film, creating a project image approximately twice as wide (it comes up a bit short because some of the width is used to accomodate six separate soundtrack stripes). Anamorphic uses special lenses to stretch the image even wider, resulting in an aspect ratio of 2.75. The result is a spectacular image that captures the vast vistas of both "The Dawn of Man" and "Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite." But it's not really Cinerama. In truth, it is probably a little better, as Cinerama was frought with troubles (e.g., the three projectors going out of sync).

If that's not enough great science-fiction on the big screen, the Arclight Hollywood will presente BLADE RUNNER: THE FINAL CUTon September 10, with director Ridley Scott in person for a Q&A after the screening. This show, too, seems to be sold out, but there is always a chance you can get a ticket on the night of the event if some of the pre-sales turn out to be no-shows.