Indiana University to Open New Cinema

Tomorrow, Indiana University will hold a press opening for its new state-of-the-art 300-seat University Cinema.

Jon Vickers, the cinema’s director, and Grover Crisp, senior vice president of asset management, film restoration, and digital mastering at Sony Entertainment, will discuss the cinema’s mission, its technology, and the art of digital restoration. Then David Lean’s The Bridge on the River Kwai, newly restored from the original negatives, will be shown for the first time in the same 2:55:1 aspect ratio in which it was shot—the closest approximation of the director’s original vision ever available to the public, organizers say.

The cinema has 16mm and 35mm as well as 2K and 4K digital projectors. It is one of about 10 THX Certified university cinemas in the country, Indiana University says, and when the theater opens to the public in January, Vickers says it will be a much-needed Midwestern venue for independent, documentary, and foreign films. It will also showcase silent films, festivals, premieres, retrospectives, traveling exhibits, and guest lectures, as well as screening materials from the Black Film Center Archive, the David S. Bradley Collection, and the Peter Bogdanovich Collection.

The 1930s building that once housed the University Theatre features several panels from murals painted by Thomas Hart Benton for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair.

The cinema is part of a larger $15-million University Theatre Renovation Project that will connect the Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center, opened in 2002, with the university’s old Theatre and Drama Building. Other improvements will include a new loading area for the IU Auditorium, a new black-box Studio Theatre, a loft-like Movement Studio with mirrored and brick walls and skylights, and new classrooms and practice studios.

(Photos and artist-conception illustrations from Indiana University’s Web site)

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