I’ve advocated and endorsed screening classic cartoons in 35mm Technicolor for years. Though most of us grew up seeing these on TV (and the younger among us, through You Tube or DVD), the great cartoons from Disney, Warners, MGM, Paramount, etc. were made to be seen in movie theaters on big screens. Seeing them this way increases your appreciation of the work – the images, the color, the sound in 35mm reinforce how great these shorts are. With film projection coming closer to its inevitable end, this experience will become rarer and rarer.
One of my film collector friends, Jim Tucker, just sent me this note – with the photos below (click to enlarge) – which I just had to share. There is no way to recreate the feeling of watching cartoons in 35mm, but Jim’s thoughts (and images) sum it up as well as can be.
“This summer I’ve had the opportunity and fun of viewing (private) some of my 35mm at the 1915 Paramount Theater in Austin. Wow, what a way-back machine. I screened cartoons, trailers plus some terrific 50’s Dr. Pepper concession ads from my Keitz & Herndon collection. Yup, just good ‘ol 2D and mono sound! In this saturated electronic era of cellphones, internet and 24 hour news, it dawned on me there is a wonderful sort of purity about the old 35’s.
“Consider: no cropping to 1:85, no over enhancement, no censoring and best of all no Whoopi warning. Sitting in this giant opulent old theater with it’s immersive big screen has a way of making you feel part of the action. This is the way movies were ment to be seen. The house lights dim as the curtain slowly parts to reveal that beautiful classic Warner shield. I have long realized the physical environment has much impact on my experience of watching a film. Gene Kelly once said, “I can remember a time when where we went to the movies was just as important as the movies we went to see….From the moment moviegoers arrived to buy their tickets, there was a sense of something special, a feeling that to step inside was to enter another time and place”. Well I drove over 3-hours to enter this other time and place and to be with Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, Charles Mintz, Bill Justice, Dave Tendlar and Jim Tyer. All this while being enticed by vintage animated ads to purchase a cold Dr. Pepper at the refreshment stand. I was in cartoon heaven.”
Ahhh… sounds good to me! Wouldn’t you like to have joined Jim in the balcony watching these classics: