Digital Cinema At Its Best
The Astor Theatre is proud to present the first Australian screening of this landmark restoration with our new state–of–the–art 4K digital projection system. You’ve never seen or heard Taxi Driver like this!
We have always offered, and will continue to offer, the best cinemagoing experience with film — now we can do the same with digital.
Regular cinemagoers will not have missed the almost–unseeming rush to digital cinema — fuelled in part by directors such as James Cameron and in part by the fond hope that 3D would be the industry’s saviour (for about the third time). And, of course, the studios and distributors love digital because it’s a lot cheaper than striking good–quality film prints.
We knew that we would have to “go digital” eventually but we were determined not to be caught up in that rush. It was imperative that that we installed a system that would give the best–possible performance.
Eventually, we settled on Barco’s 4K 32B projector — and the “4K” means it has, effectively, four times the resolution of the industry–accepted standard of 2K (4096 x 2160 pixels versus only 2048 x 1556).
The vast majority of movies distributed in digital format are 2K which means that only a 2K projector is needed to show them. And that’s what you’ll find installed in every other “digital” cinema in Australia.
So Why 4K?
If you saw our exclusive presentation of Blade Runner — The Final Cut a few years ago you’ll understand why.
It was a 2K movie but was shown using Sony’s 4K projector. It looked good even when filling The Astor’s screen! It was brighter with better colour and contrast than you could possibly get with a 2K projector.
That would be the case with all 2K movies. And the Barco 4K 32B, with an Osram 6.5 kilowatt lamp, is said to be “the world’s brightest digital projector.”
That on its own is more than enough justification to us for the considerably–higher cost of a 4K system but there will be a few 4K movies appearing — and the restoration of Taxi Driver is one of them!
In other words, we’re doing with digital what we have always done with film at The Astor. We can and do show 70mm prints and, of course, equipment designed and maintained for that large format makes 35mm look at its best. So it will be with digital.