The American Cinematheque will have exclusive rights to exhibit a new 70 mm print of David Lean’s 1962 film “Lawrence of Arabia” in Los Angeles. The movie will receive two extended runs per year, one at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and the other at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. The first of these runs will take place Dec. 15-30 at the Egyptian.
“Renewed interest in 70 mm print exhibition has generated many requests for new 70 mm prints of ‘Lawrence,’ and we decided that this would be a good time to honor those requests,” said Grover Crisp, Sony Studios’ executive vice president of asset management, film restoration & digital mastering, in a statement. “The new 70 mm prints are really meant for those audiences who truly appreciate the art and technology of film production and exhibition.”
Crisp is scheduled to introduce the first screening of the new print on Dec 15.
“David Lean’s epic tale has long been extremely popular with Cinematheque audiences. With its sweeping desert vistas, it demands to be seen on the big screen and has become a rite of passage for film fans to see it projected at the Cinematheque in 70 mm,” said American Cinematheque Executive Director Barbara Smith, also in a statement.
“It is one of our most requested titles and continues to fill our 600- and 400-seat theaters. Our patrons tell us they want to see it as the director intended, in 70 mm. We decided we needed a new print to satisfy the interest in this title and to ensure that viewing it was a satisfying experience,” said Cinematheque programmer Gwen Deglise.
Starring Peter O’Toole as a character based on the real-life British military officer T.E. Lawrence, “Lawrence of Arabia” won seven Academy Awards, including best picture, director for Lean, color cinematography for Freddie Young and editing for Anne V. Coates
The new print of “Lawrence of Arabia” comes at a time of renewed interest in screening formats, as a special showing of a movie may be the deciding factor to leave the house. Last year, the Cinematheque announced exclusive rights to a new 70 mm print of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.” This year, both “Dunkirk” and “Murder on the Orient Express” were released to theaters in 70 mm. It has also been announced that the upcoming “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” will be shown in Imax 70 mm.
“If you haven’t seen ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ in 70 mm, you have not seen the film,” Cinematheque programmer Grant Moninger said in a statement. “We are fortunate to be able to project in 70 mm, as it still reigns as the greatest projectable format. Its sharp, detailed image does a great service to one of the most epic adventure stories ever told on-screen.”