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The museum, IMAX and Pictureville are temporarily closed. Find out about our major transformation.

Widescreen Weekend film festival makes new programme announcements as tickets go on sale

  • Festival returns to the National Science and Media Museum’s Pictureville Cinema from 28 September – 2 October 
  • New additions to the programme include a 60th anniversary screening of Billy Liar and exclusive 70mm screenings of The Hateful Eight and Roma; plus, a 35mm screening of Rebel Without a Cause in partnership with the BFI, and new community screenings
  • Full festival programme, passes and tickets are available online now  

Widescreen Weekend film festival will return for its 27th edition this autumn with a programme showcasing the pioneering process of CinemaScope, marking its 70th anniversary.  

From Thursday 28 September – Monday 2 October, festivalgoers can experience a blend of classic and contemporary film, showcasing the widescreen aspect ratio using Pictureville Cinema’s world-class projection facilities and highly skilled projectionists. With exclusive talks from industry leaders, alongside glorious print screenings, Cinerama restorations and more, Widescreen Weekend aims to reignite our love for the magical experience of going to the movies.  

New additions to the festival's huge lineup include a very special 70mm screening of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight (2015), which was shot in Ultra Panavision 70 for the first time in nearly 50 years and given a very limited roadshow-style release eight years ago. 

The festival is also delighted to add Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma (2018) to the bill. This landmark piece of cinematic storytelling in black and white will be shown on 70mm in an exclusive screening.  

Local CinemaScope classic Billy Liar (1963) has also been announced, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year and was filmed in Bradford. Festivalgoers can also see a brand new 35mm print of the momentous Rebel Without a Cause (1955), part of the BFI’s Keep Film on Film campaign, this will be only the second time this print of the film has been shown.  

This year’s festival will pay homage to CinemaScope, a process that dominated cinema in the 1950s and 1960s. The process was created in reaction to the growth of television, with the aim to entice audiences back to the cinema with a more immersive viewing experience. 

The festival will open with a rare screening of Kaagaz Ke Phool or Paper Flowers (1959), the first South Asian film to be in CinemaScope. This heartfelt story is told in black and white and was widely considered to be ahead of its time.  

Other key titles include screenings of The Robe (1953), the first film to be released in CinemaScope, and Lady and the Tramp (1955), the first animation using the process. The festival will also spotlight international adaptations of the process, including the French ‘Franscope’, with a screening of The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967), as well as Japan’s ‘TohoScope’, with The Hidden Fortress (1958). 

Celebrating some of the trailblazing actors of this era of cinema, the Queens of the Scope Age strand will spotlight Joanne Woodward, Deborah Kerr, Jean Simmons, and Hideko Takamine, with screenings of No Down Payment (1957), Guys and Dolls (1955), Bonjour Tristesse (1958), and When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960).  

On Saturday 30 September, the festival will also host its first overnight movie marathon. Festivalgoers can experience all three of the extended cuts of The Lord of the Rings trilogy back-to-back. This not to be missed event will show the films on Pictureville Cinema’s unique curved Cinerama screen, the last of its kind in the world, providing a truly unique and immersive experience.  

With Pictureville Cinema now the only place in the world to see Cinerama, the festival programme will feature opportunities to see this cinematic spectacle in both analogue and digital formats. There will be a series of one-off Cinerama screenings, including Windjammer: The Voyage of Christian Radich (1958) and This is Cinerama (1952).  

This year the festival will also be heading out into the city, with a series of partner screenings, including an earlier screening of The Greatest Showman (2017) as part of Saltaire Festival on Friday 8 September.  

Festivalgoers can also see The Iron Giant (1999) at Bradford Cathedral, as well as partner screenings with Bradford Queer Film Club, The Unit, and The Bradford Movie Makers. There will also be nightly double bills at Bradford Playhouse, including House of Usher (1960) and The Babadook (2014); Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and Heat (1995); and Lola Montes (1955) and The Handmaiden (2016).  

Commenting on this year’s programme, Sally Folkard, Head of Screen and Cultural Engagement, said: “We are thrilled that Widescreen Weekend Festival is returning this autumn with a packed programme celebrating a diverse range of stories from around the world. This year’s programme is particularly special as it marks the 70th anniversary of CinemaScope, a process which dominated cinema in its golden age.  

We’re excited to be opening the festival with a screening of Kaagaz Ke Phool, the first South Asian film to be made in CinemaScope, it’s a beautiful film and a real treat for audiences to see in it on the big screen. Our programme allows festivalgoers to be immersed in truly unique cinema experiences, from film on film to being able to see Cinerama in the last remaining venue in the world to screen it. This year, we’re also excited to be working with so many great local venues and partners and taking Widescreen out on the road.” 

The full Widescreen Weekend programme and tickets are available on the National Science and Media Museum website.

The National Science and Media Museum is currently closed to the public until summer 2024 to undergo a £6m once-in-a-generation transformation. Thanks to support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and money raised by National Lottery players, the major Sound and Vision project will create two new galleries, an additional passenger lift and an enhanced foyer space.   

Throughout the period of closure, Pictureville Cinema and Bar will remain open seven days a week with an enhanced programme of film screenings.  


Notes to Editors

For more information, interviews, and images please contact Brittany Noppe, Senior Press Officer on / (0)1274 203356 or Katie Canning, Communications Manager on / (0)1274 203027 

A press pack of images can be downloaded via WeTransfer.

The National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, West Yorkshire, opened in 1983, and has since become one of the most visited UK museums outside London. It draws on more than three million objects from its national collection to explore the science and culture of image and sound technologies, and their impact on our lives.   
The museum creates special exhibitions, interactive galleries and activities for families and adults, and is home to Pictureville, Yorkshire’s biggest independent cinema with three screens including the most immersive IMAX in the region and the only public Cinerama venue in the world.  

Please note, the museum is now temporarily closed to the public until summer 2024 to undergo a ‘once-in-a-generation’ transformation. Pictureville Cinema and Bar will remain open 7 days a week. For more information and updates on re-opening, please visit our website.

The Sound and Vision Project is generously supported by National Lottery Players, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council (Associate Funder), DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund (Associate Funder), Sovereign Health Care (Supported By), Spectacle Makers Charity (Supported By).  
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