Podtalk: Chicago’s Music Box Theatre 70MM Film Festival Preview, Thru March 19, 2020

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
No votes yet

CHICAGO – Occasionally our reality needs a super sizing, and what better media than the movies to deliver that expansion. The historic Music Box Theatre of Chicago presents its annual 70MM Film Festival – now through March 19th, 2020 – celebrating movies that were rendered, historically and now, in the large format screen size. Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com recently appeared on Mike Crowley’s “You’ll Probably Agree” Podcast to preview the festival.

The 70MM size of film gauge is three-and-a-half times larger than the 35MM standard, and was tinkered with since the earliest days of film. In 1928, the Fox Film Corporation developed their “Grandeur” 70MM film for commercial films, but that was dropped during the Depression. When television started to siphon off movie goers in the 1950s, 70MM formats like Todd-AO and Panavision expanded the possibilities for filmmakers and exhibiters, but it was costly and films were also still released in 35MM. After a golden age of 70MM through the 1960s, the format was used in the 1980s “blow-up” era and during the last ten years by director Quentin Tarantino and other specialized event films.

The Podcast: “You’ll Probably Agree,” Hosted by Mike Crowley
Photo credit: YPAReviews.com

Over the next several days, screenings of the following 70MM films will take place at the Music Box Theatre (click the links for further details). Returning to the festival is Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. Some of the more unfamiliar 70MM offerings include KHARTOUM and TRON, in addition to examples of “blow-up’ films, THE LAST ACTION HERO and LIFEFORCE (along with the more familiar THE UNTOUCHABLES). Two splashy Hollywood musicals will be screened, the venerable WEST SIDE STORY and HELLO, DOLLY. And finally, examples of recent 70MM fare include INTERSTELLAR, MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, Tarantino’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD and 2018’s ROMA.

Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appeared this week on the “You’ll Probably Agree” Podcast, with host Mike Crowley. Below are a couple of excerpts from that discussion, with the entire podcast available by clicking here.

In Part One, Patrick and Mike talk about the history of Chicago’s Music Box Theatre, and the communal experience of the 70MM Film Festival.

In Part Two, a preview of some of the films at the 70MM Film Festival.

The 2020 70MM Film Festival will take place through March 19th, 2020 at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 North Southport Avenue, Chicago. To access the website for the podcast “You’ll Probably Agree,” click here.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Writer

© 2020 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing


  • YippieFest 2020 Logo

    CHICAGO – It’s coming! YippieFest 2020 – joining the virtual and online revolution during these particular times – is set for August 21st through the 23rd. Details to come on schedules and times, but the whole fest can be downloaded for FREE on those dates through TWITCH streaming service. Click here for more details.

  • Space Force

    CHICAGO – Seemingly ripped from the headlines, by way of “Dr. Strangelove,” the new Netflix TV series “Space Force” debuted on May 29th, 2020. Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com reviewed the series during the Eddie Volkman Show (Star 96.7 FM in Joliet, Illinois) on June 5th, 2020.


HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter


HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions