'West Side Story'

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The Somerville Theater in Davis will host their first-ever 70mm and Widescreen Film Festival Sept. 16th to the 25th. The week-and-a-half festival will feature more than a dozen 70mm and widescreen 35mm films, projected in all their vivid glory on the big screen. Among the titles: “West Side Story” on Sept. 22 at 8 p.m., “Spartacus” on Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Walt Disney’s 1959 “Sleeping Beauty,” with two screenings on Sept. 18 at noon at 4:45 p.m.

But what’s so great about 70mm? According to our film editor, Hollywood films, when traditionally shot on film, were typically 35mm so a 70mm film was twice as big with twice the resolution, making them extra sharp and even more beautiful than their smaller counterparts. The process has, for the most part, died out (with the exception of Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino) so to see a film projected as such is a rare treat.

The festival was the brainchild ofFilm Programmer and Director of Operations Ian Judge with the assistance ofchief projectionist David Kornfeld, who told the Boston Phoenix in 2012 that he hoped to bring a series of 70mm films to the theater. However, citing costs (“The 70mm cans can cost up to $1500 to ship, and he wants to show several over multiple nights,” they wrote) the festival didn’t come to fruition until this year.

Full festival passes are $200 for adults and $175 for seniors and include admission to all films; per flick tickets are available for $15 a pop.


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