Christopher Nolan wants you to see 'Dunkirk' in 70mm

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THOMP16 Director/writer/producer CHRISTOPHER NOLAN on the set of the Warner Bros. Pictures action thriller "DUNKIRK," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.Credit: Melinda Sue Gordon

Director Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, shot on 70mm film, will be released in that format in 125 locations, in line with the director’s ambition to bring the movie to audiences in what he feels is the best visual medium possible.

Nolan prefers film to digital, and panoramic 70mm to any other type of film. He distributed 50 prints of his movie Interstellar in the format. Dunkirk, shot with 2D Imax 70mm cameras, more than doubles that total, and is closer to the kind of exhibition scale Nolan has in mind.

“We’ve certainly had an easier time than we did with Interstellar. I think Quentin Tarantino helped pave the way with what he did on The Hateful Eight,” Nolan said, “trying to convince theaters to invest in the technology you need to exhibit in 70mm.”

Exhibitors don’t like paying out-of-pocket for the extra equipment sometimes needed to exhibit 70mm movies. (The 100-theater run of The Hateful Eight was estimated to have cost theaters $10 million.)

Nolan sees 70mm as a big part of the future of in-theater viewing — he believes it will lure movie lovers out of their homes with the promise of unique spectacle.

“This is something that nobody will ever be able to see in their living room. And it’s the best argument that cinema has against the competition represented by improvement to home video systems. I think the studios understand that.”

Here’s a list (subject to change) of area theaters where Dunkirk will be exhibited in 70mm or 70mm IMAX: AMC Cherry Hill, AMC Neshaminy, AMC Hamilton 24, The Prince Theater, and the UA King of Prussia. Consult your local theaters to make sure.