July 19, 2015
Restoration of classic Indian trilogy will be highlight of 4K series
By John Ewing
Where to begin?
We recently posted the first calendar of films that will show in the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque’s new home, the Peter B. Lewis Theater at 11610 Euclid Avenue, only a half mile from our previous location. This handsome, 300-seat, state-of-the-art auditorium is inside the Cleveland Institute of Art’s new George Gund Building in the growing Uptown district. It is easily identified by its sign and by the façade’s distinctive blue-glazed bricks. The theater is set back from the main road, in the rear of the new building, surrounded by Euclid, E. 117th St. (a red brick road that curves around from Euclid to Mayfield Road), and a new one-way street that runs off Euclid alongside the CIA building but currently has no sign or name (though I’m told it will be E. 116th St.). There are two entrances to the new Cinematheque on the E. 117th side of the CIA building (Entrances C and D), and a third entrance off the one-way street (Entrance E). It’s all a little hard to describe—but easy to find, recognize, and negotiate once you try.
Where to park?
The Cleveland Institute of Art has three lots for its new unified campus, and all of them are accessed from E. 117th Street. (Just follow the red brick road.) Cinematheque patrons should use Lot 73, located in the rear of the complex and encompassing the CIA loading dock. It’s the closest lot to the Cinematheque entrance. But if it is full, there is an annex lot on the other side of E. 117th along the railroad tracks. (CIA’s third lot, Lot 74, at the corner of Euclid and E. 117th, is reserved for faculty and staff.) All of these lots are gated, but in August the gates to the rear lot (73) and the annex lot will be open for Cinematheque patrons. Parking is free for now. (But be aware that the annex lot will be a paid lot on August 14 and 15 during the Feast of the Assumption in Little Italy.)
There is also plenty of Uptown parking beyond the CIA lots. There’s now a metered lot at E. 115th and Euclid. There is free parking behind Constantino’s Market on a different corner of E. 115th and Euclid. There is an Uptown lot off Mayfield and another one across from the Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern (at the corner of 117th and Euclid). There is free street parking on E. 117th and portions of Mayfield and Euclid. Visit cia.edu/cinematheque for a map that shows all the parking in the area.
What to see?
The Peter B. Lewis Theater will be a great venue for movies. This is because our consultant and contractor on the project was Boston Light & Sound, an internationally known Massachusetts firm that specializes in perfect film presentation. BL&S’s clients include the Sundance and Telluride Film Festivals, the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, Martin Scorsese (for his private screening room), and the Cleveland Orchestra (for 35mm film programs shown at Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center). The Peter B. Lewis Theater is the first permanent film facility that BL&S has installed in Ohio.
Our new space has amenities that Aitken Auditorium lacked. But rest assured that some things will not change. We will continue to show 35mm film, and inside the theater, there will still be raked seating down front and stadium seating in the back, separated by a center entry aisle. There’s still a stage, too. The theater’s new features include: cushioned seats, updated film projectors, a bigger screen, and vastly improved acoustics and Dolby 7.1 digital sound. We will also have digital cinema capabilities for the first time in our history, allowing us to show films from DCP (Digital Cinema Package), a hard drive containing encrypted files that comprise a feature film. (DCP is the new theatrical standard for the digital age.) But whereas most movie houses have 2K digital projectors and show 2K DCP’s (2K refers to the number of pixels constituting horizontal resolution), the Cinematheque has a 4K projector that can show 4K DCP’s. 4K has more than double the resolution of 2K and four times that of HD! The first film series in our new space is entitled “This Is 4K!,” and it will show off our new capabilities. The series name is a play on 1952’s This Is Cinerama (which introduced the panoramic three-projector process to the world) as well as a nod to Film Forum’s 2012 series “This Is DCP” (during which the venerable New York City repertory house broached digital projection to its 35mm-loving audience). But that Film Forum series was three years ago. By now, even Cleveland filmgoers have seen many classics on DCP at local art houses and multiplexes. But few of these movies have been projected in 4K from 4K DCP’s, as we will do. 4K is now the standard format for major restorations of classic motion pictures. So when these films are screened from 4K DCP’s at the Cinematheque, 100% of the restored image data will be transmitted to the big screen.
The centerpiece of our “This Is 4K!” series will be a new 4K restoration of Satyajit Ray’s great “Apu Trilogy,” one of the undisputed masterpieces of world cinema. This trio of superlative Indian features made between 1955 and 1959 will show three times during August, including a marathon screening on August 30. It seems fitting that we inaugurate our new digs with these Indian cinema classics. In August 1986, we also launched our Aitken Auditorium film screenings with Indian classics. (Those came from a major film series, “Film-Utsav India,” circulated by the UCLA Film Archive.) If those earlier Indian gems by Raj Kapoor, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen, and others brought us the good fortune that we enjoyed for 29 years in our old location, then let’s hope that the “Apu Trilogy” will do the same for our new home
John Ewing (shown above in the new Peter B. Lewis Theater) is director of the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque.
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