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Widescreen Weekend: Theatrical Cut programme announced

The National Science and Media Museum is excited to announce the programme for this year’s Widescreen Weekend film festival.

The popular festival, which celebrates the past, present and future of cinema technology, will return on 9–11 October 2020 and this year will explore the work of pioneering female film editors; restorations and rediscoveries of cult and classic films; childhood favourites; and a special look at early 3D cinema.

This year’s festival will be a unique ‘Theatrical Cut’ format over three days and featuring special one-off screenings. To ensure the safety of visitors and staff to the museum and cinemas, a number of additional safety and hygiene measures will be in place throughout the festival, including asking customers to book tickets in advance, socially distanced seating arrangements, hand sanitiser stations at key points such as entrances and exits, and enhanced cleaning of the theatres between screenings and events.

The festival will kick off on Friday 9 October with a special presentation and Q&A with photo historian Denis Pellerin, from Dr. Brian May’s London Stereoscopic Society, who will reveal the revolutionary ways that the Victorians gave life to early photographs, adding colour, 3D and even movement. In glorious 3D, the event will explore how all this happened in a relatively short time, disclosing some of the treasures held in the collections of the National Science and Media Museum. Following the talk there will be a screening of Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) in 3D.

On the mornings of Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 October the museum’s cinema Kids’ Club will take over, with showings of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018). Older kids and nostalgia-seeking parents can also enjoy childhood favourites The Goonies (1985) and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004).

The festival will continue celebrating Women in Widescreen, this year with a Mother Cutter series, presented in association with Leeds International Film Festival (LIFF) and focusing on the work of female editors. ‘Mother Cutter’ is taken from the affectionate nickname given to famous film editor Verna Fields, who edited American Graffiti, Jaws and Medium Cool. On Saturday 10 October there will be screenings of Kill Bill: Vol 1 (2004) on 35mm and Hugo (2011) with introductions by LIFF’s Alice Miller, followed by an evening screening of Mad Max: Fury Road (2015). The Mother Cutter series will continue on Sunday 11 October with a screening of American Graffiti (1973), also with a foreword from Alice Miller.

This year will also celebrate film restorations and rediscoveries with showings of cult films, classic musicals, and Cinerama. Highlights will include screenings of Sorry to Bother You (2018); Cinerama Holiday (1955) with a virtual introduction from Dave Strohmaier, Cinerama Restorationist at Cinerama Inc; Sweet Charity (1969) on 35mm; and a special 4k restoration of The King and I (1956).

Kathryn Penny, Head of Screen Operation, said:

“We are delighted to announce the Widescreen Weekend programme for 2020. The past few months have been incredibly challenging for cinemas around the world and it is really reassuring to see the industry beginning to return and to be welcoming audiences once again. This year’s festival will obviously feel a little different and the safety of our visitors and staff is the top priority. We hope despite the additional safety measures in place and the condensed format that attendees will enjoy the festival and cinemas as much as ever, and we have taken care to design a festival programme with something for all ages and audiences.

“We are also excited to welcome audiences to our cinema reopening event and special screenings of Bradford on Film on 17 September, in partnership with the Yorkshire Film Archive. Tickets for Widescreen Weekend and the cinema reopening events will be released soon, and we expect to add even more exciting events to the festival programme in the coming weeks—so watch this space!”

Tickets for Widescreen Weekend will be released at the beginning of September, along with new additions to the programme. The public can also sign up to the festival newsletter for the latest updates.

Last month the museum announced that its cinemas will have a phased reopening this autumn, starting with the Pictureville screen on 17 September 2020 and followed by the IMAX and Cubby Broccoli screens on 2 October. The cinemas have been closed to the public alongside the museum since March due to Covid-19.

To celebrate the reopening of Pictureville, there will be two special showings of Bradford on Film at 16.30 and 19.00 on 17 September 2020. The film uncovers remarkable footage from the Yorkshire Film Archive showing the sights and sounds of Bradford over the past 120 years. Tickets for the screenings are available online and must be booked in advance.

For more information about Widescreen Weekend and the reopening of Pictureville Cinema, visit our cinema page. You can also follow Widescreen Weekend on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


For further information, images or interview requests, please contact Katie Canning, Press and PR Manager: / 01274 203 027

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. The museum explores the science and culture of image and sound technologies, creating special exhibitions, interactive galleries and activities for families and adults. It is home to three cinemas, including Europe’s first IMAX cinema screen and the world’s only public Cinerama screen outside the USA. Entry to the museum is free.