edited by John Hayes


Welcome to WIDE SCREEN MOVIES; a site dedicated to those movies that have been shot and presented in one of the many and varied wide screen formats that have come and gone over the years.

So, ‘Widescreen’. How are we going to define that term? Well, for the purposes of this magazine we will mainly consider films with an aspect ratio of 2.2:1, such as Todd-AO, Super Panavision etc., or wider; Cinemascope’s 2.55:1 (2.35 and 2.40:1), or wider still with Cinerama and Ultra Panavision’s 2.76:1. Fans of VistaVision and IMAX won’t be forgotten, either, in case anyone’s wondering; although fans of new movies will probably be disappointed, as we will mostly be concerned with films that were released in the ‘Golden Age’ of widescreen—from the release of the first Cinerama film in 1952, until around the end of the sixties. They really don’t make them like that any more, you know.

Back in the 1950’s one of our local cinemas closed for a week to have something called “CinemaScope” installed. The following week found me sitting awestruck at the first showing there of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. From that moment on, these were the films I wanted to see; the ones with “..in CinemaScope” in their newspaper ads. We went to the pictures twice a week in those days, before TV came along, and I must have seen hundreds of films, but the wide ones were special. I can remember seeing The Ten Commandments and in spite of the cast of thousands, I was disappointed that it wasn’t in ’scope.

I became aware of other catchy names for different systems that all came down to the same thing for me; a wide, wide picture. “Technirama” , for The Vikings- my all time favourite film; “Todd-AO” for South Pacific—my mother dragged me to see that one. And of course, “Camera 65” for Ben-Hur. (“Camera 65” wasn’t a particularly inspiring name, but it eventually became “Ultra Panavision 70” which was really cool.) It wasn’t until the 1960’s that I was able to see the ultimate in widescreen systems—and the one that had started it all—when Cinerama came to Manchester’s Theatre Royal, bringing with it the giant curved screen and the sound that came from everywhere!

Those were indeed the days—and those were indeed, the films. And that’s what we aim to recreate in this magazine: the anticipation and excitement, that certain thrill that accompanied the sight of the cinema curtains slowly swinging back to reveal the wide, wide Window Of The World (MGM Camera 65) that only the wide screen formats could take us into. Come and join me in looking back at those at those Big Movies of the Wide Screen, the creative talent behind them and the systems they used.

Welcome to the world of WIDESCREEN!

John Hayes, Editor & Publisher

 

Departments

3D Department

Cinerama Department

DVD Department

Production Department

Recommended Reading Department

 

Copyright Notice: This website is intended solely to promote an interest in the subject of widescreen and large format movies. This is a not-for-profit project and carries no paid advertisements or merchandise promotions of any kind. Pictures are used either with the consent of the copyright holder or within the meaning of ‘fair use”; that is to say, for historical, educational or review purposes only. If any copyright holder objects to the use of their property on this site, they have only to contact the Webmaster and it will be removed immediately.

Widescreen Movies Magazine Website Directory

Click the link above to read past print issues and feature articles

Site Reconstruction Warning!

When we launched Widescreen Movies Magazine 2002, it was conceived, primarily, as a print magazine.  The web version came into being when the initial project faltered with the unfortunate death of my pal, Harry Nadler, who was going to organize the printing.

Our good friend Bill Burns created the website in order to keep the project alive; and certainly, because of this, we have reached a far wider audience than the print medium would have allowed.  When Tony Edwards came on board, taking on the printing chores as well as contributing articles, we were able to revert to plan A and produce the print version.

However, due to a whole lot of technical problems which seemed to thwart us at every turn, I have reluctantly decided to cease publication of the printed magazine and concentrate on expanding and improving the website, beginning, as you will have noticed, by adding the spiffy posters to the home page above.

I’ll ask you to bear with us over the next few weeks as we make these changes and improvements.  And hopefully, when we’ve done, you will enjoy your visits to Widescreen Movies Magazine even more!

Thanks, as always, for your continued support.

John

All original material copyright © 2002-2010
John Hayes/Wide Screen Movies Magazine

Last revised: 9 July, 2010

Site created by FTL Design