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Cinestage Theatre Specifications
from The Michael Todd Company

Provided through the courtesy of Jeff Joseph, Sabucat Productions.
Thanks to Jeff for his contribution of this rare piece of technical data.

Entrepreneur Michael Todd's production of Around The World In Eighty Days was released in three distinct stages, each differing substantially in their technical requirements.

(1) The initial release was the TODD-AO reserved seat roadshow version. The release prints were 70mm contact prints from the 30fps negative. The sound system was six track magnetic, which became the standard for that film gauge. Additionally, it is highly likely that cueing tones were recorded in the sixth, (surround), track to steer auditorium effects. We do not have any proof of this at the museum at present but evidence pointing in that direction will be seen in this section.

(2) Following the initial TODD-AO run, another release format was made, with advanced ticket prices. This format was referred to as "Cinestage", and the prints were produced optically by Technicolor to a special 35mm anamorphic format from the 24fps version of the negative. It was the intention of The Michael Todd Corporation that the Cinestage version of their film would look and sound as much like the 70mm TODD-AO version as possible. The film used a lower compression ratio in the 35mm anamorphic format than CinemaScope, 1.567X versus 2X. This yielded approximately a 2:1 a/r, much closer to TODD-AO than CinemaScope's 2.55:1. The four track magnetic stereophonic sound system was identical to CinemaScope except that the fourth track included Perspecta control tones to steer auditorium sounds. (So we find it logical that a similar scheme was used in the 70mm version). It is this special 35mm version of the film that is covered by the specifications contained in this document. You will see that this was a very expensive film for exhibitors to run, even though it was quite similar to CinemaScope.

(3) The final release form was a CinemaScope compatible 2.35:1 a/r version made from the same 24fps negative used in the Cinestage release. The film carried an optical mono soundtrack with Perspecta steering tones for the screen speakers. It is this version that today's pan and scan video release is made from.

Read The Cinestage Document