Wizard of Oz IMAX 3D to Relaunch Chinese Theater

The Wizard of Oz will receive the first IMAX 3D premiere at the new TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood on Sept. 15, followed by an exclusive one-week IMAX engagement at the Chinese and IMAX theaters across North America beginning Sept. 20.

Tickets for all showings of The Wizard of Oz: An IMAX Experience at the IMAX TCL Chinese Theatre are on sale now at TCLChineseTheatres.com.

After a summer hiatus, the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX will reopen as IMAX’s largest auditorium in the world in terms of seating capacity and the first IMAX theater in Hollywood. It will be equipped with all of the elements of The IMAX Experience, including ground-breaking, crystal-clear digital projection, cutting-edge sound technology and a curved screen spanning from floor to ceiling and wall to wall, providing moviegoers visiting this historic site the world’s most immersive cinematic experience. The theater’s world-renowned forecourt, featuring the handprints and footprints of 250-plus Hollywood legends, remains the area’s top attraction and draws as many visitors a year as the Sistine Chapel.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to host the premiere of The Wizard of Oz in IMAX 3D,” says Alwyn Hight Kushner, president and COO, TCL Chinese Theaters. “This film and the TCL Chinese Theatre are among the best-known and most-beloved icons of Hollywood filmmaking, and, of course, the amazing IMAX technology represents the future of moviegoing.”

The 3-D conversion of the ’39 classic was a painstaking project which Warner Bros. initiated (overseen by Ned Price, Warner Technical Operations’ VP of Mastering) with a very high resolution (8k) scanning of the original three-strip Technicolor camera negatives. The restored 2-D image was then transformed by creating a depth-map of each frame to construct 3-D imagery and determine distances from the viewer’s vantage point. This was followed by the long process (with the use of a rotoscope) to further refine viewer distances and fully layer shapes and objects.

The IMAX release of The Wizard of Oz will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX 3D Experience with proprietary IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images, coupled with IMAX’s customized theater geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment.

The Wizard of Oz has many historic ties to the TCL Chinese Theater. Composer Harold Arlen, desperate to write a song for the Dorothy Kansas sequence, sought refuge in the Chinese Theater one evening and, en route, was inspired to write the iconic “Over The Rainbow.” The film had its original Hollywood premiere at the TCL Chinese Theater on Aug. 15, 1939, and the film’s Dorothy (Judy Garland) was the honoree for the 50th handprint footprint ceremony in the theater’s famous forecourt in 1939.

“This is the perfect way to launch the opening of the new TCL Chinese Theater IMAX, with the IMAX premiere of one of the most beloved films of all time in the venue in which it premiered 75 years ago,” said Greg Foster, CEO of IMAX Ent. and senior executive VP, IMAX Corp. “It is truly exciting to be part of this special occasion alongside two of the most iconic brands in Hollywood and we look forward to offering moviegoers an experience they will never forget.”

“We couldn’t be happier to partner with IMAX as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of this iconic film,” said Dan Fellman, president, domestic distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures. “ The Wizard of Oz IMAX 3D Experience is an integral part of our studio-wide 90th anniversary initiative and we are excited to give fans the rare opportunity to see this stunning version on the big screen.”

Following the IMAX theatrical release, Warner Bros. Home Ent. (WBHE) will release a limited and numbered The Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary Collector’s Edition on Oct. 1. The Collector’s Edition will debut as a five-disc set that will include Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and UltraViolet versions of the film; a new documentary, “The Making of ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’”; bonus features and premium collectibles ($105.43 SRP). New exclusive collectible 75th Anniversary memorabilia includes deluxe pin set from The Noble Collection , 52-page hardcover photo book, Ruby Slippers Sparkle Globe, hard covered journal, a Map of Oz, and more. Three more editions will be available separately: a two-disc Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray ($35.99 SRP), a one-disc Blu-ray ($19.98 SRP) and a two-disc DVD ($16.95 SRP). All four will contain the new documentary and extra content.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Below the Line, Blu-ray, Books, Home Entertainment, Movies, Tech, Trailers, VFX

Add a Comment