Wide Screen Movies Magazine
edited by John Hayes

Issue 1 : June 2002

An appreciation of widescreen 35mm and 70mm films, past and present, in magazine format.

To obtain the fully-illustrated print edition of the magazine, contact John at the email address above.

Welcome to WIDE SCREEN MOVIES; the first of what I fervently hope will become a quarterly magazine 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 (though many are still with us!) over the years.

So, "Widescreen"; how are we going to define that term? Well, that's easy. For the purposes of this magazine we are mainly going to consider films that have been presented with an aspect ratio of 2.2 : 1 or wider. I say "mainly" because I do not want to rule out important systems such as VistaVision, or IMAX and its competitors, (Not so much "Wide Screen" as "Big Screen"!) as it would be grave error to underestimate their relevance to, or deny them their place in the pantheon of the wide screen systems that abound.

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

In this issue:

A Brief History of Widescreen

The Making of Helen of Troy

Harry Nadler - A Recollection

Forbidden Planet - A CinemaScope Sci-Fi Classic by Harry Nadler

ROBBY - Science Fiction Cinema's most endearing robot by Tony Meadows

Question:- When was Widescreen not Widescreen? by Bill Blaney

DVD - The Best Thing That's Happened To Widescreen

DVD Reviews

And finally . . .
Thanks for reading WIDE SCREEN MOVIES, and I hope you enjoyed both it and them.
Now, it would be nice to have a "Letters to the Editor" page in issue number 2, and to save me the trouble of writing them myself, perhaps you would be kind enough to share your thoughts and suggestions - positive or negative! - or even go the whole hog and contribute an article?

If you have a favourite film or films, or you know some obscure stuff about some format or other; share it with us! I won't insult you by offering to pay you in actual cash money; but you will receive the infinitely more satisfying reward of seeing your work in print. For free. Good deal eh?

But remember - should you choose to accept this mission - the subject MUST be large or wide-format film, or it will be cast aside. Please email me, John Hayes, for more information.

This is not a democracy - this is . . . WIDESCREEN!

'Til next time...

John Hayes

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Copyright 2002 John Hayes/Wide Screen Movies Magazine
Last revised: 28 June 2002

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