The Paramount Theatre's week of 70mm films begins tonight
By Marjorie Baumgarten, 12:00PM, Tue. Aug. 21, 2012
One of the genuine joys of spending the summer in brutally hot Austin is the opportunity to indulge in the Paramount Theatre's annual Summer Film Classics program. And as it does every summer, the Paramount schedules several 70mm screenings that show off the historic theatre's majestic screen to its best advantage. The series begins tonight.
The September release of Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master has made 70mm a buzzy topic these days, especially since the Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz has just installed the necessary equipment to screen 70mm movies at that venue. Since The Master is reported to be the first movie in 16 years to be entirely filmed for 70mm projection, the films presented in any 70mm program are retrospective in nature. (The Alamo, after hosting the surprise world premiere of There Will Be Blood, clearly wants to remain in the Paul Thomas Anderson business, and is scheduled to open The Master at the Ritz on Sept. 23.)
Meanwhile, the Paramount continues to do what it does every summer: Showcase repertory films on its big downtown screen. And every year, one of the highlights is their presentation of 70mm movies. Two of the films in this week's 70mm program are among the great epics of widescreen cinema: Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Scheduled in between Kubrick's look back at an ancient slave revolt in Spartacus and the director's bone toss into the future as ape man transmogrifies into space man in 2001, is the children's classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang starring Dick Van Dyke and the blockbuster that wasn't: Last Action Hero starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Spartacus: Tuesday and Wednesday, 7:30pm
Last Action Hero: Thursday, 7 and 9:35pm
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: Sunday, 2pm
2001: A Space Odyssey: Sunday, 5:30pm