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Universal celebrates its Centennial with restorations

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Universal celebrates its Centennial with restorations

Postby Lzcutter » January 11th, 2012, 10:32 pm

Both Universal and Paramount are celebrating their centennials this year. Universal seems to be going first with this announcement:

On Jan. 10, Universal Pictures celebrated its 100th anniversary (which is officially on April 30) by unveiling a new logo and announcing a restoration of 13 of its iconic films: All Quiet on the Western Front, The Birds, Abbott & Costello's Buck Privates, Dracula (1931), the Spanish-language Dracula filmed on the same set at night, Frankenstein, Jaws, Schindler's List, Out of Africa, Pillow Talk, Bride of Frankenstein, The Sting and To Kill a Mockingbird (available Jan. 31 in a 50th-anniversary Blu-ray edition).

The animated version of the new logo debuts with Dr. Seuss' The Lorax at its February premiere (before its March 2 theatrical release). "It didn't change the logo in a way that audiences wouldn't completely understand, but it brought us up to date," Universal Studios president and COO Ron Meyer tells THR.

The restorations, which will be released throughout the studio's yearlong centennial celebration, took three to six months each and cost $250,000 to $600,000 per title, Universal senior vp technical operations Michael Daruty told The Hollywood Reporter and others at a sneak preview of the extraordinarily impressive results on the studio lot on Dec. 1. "This restoration effort was not about marketability and whether we're gonna sell enough DVDs," said Daruty. "That is what we do on a daily basis, but this was a commitment by the company to say, 'We're gonna devote funding and most probably continue that effort year over year to try to preserve and restore the legacy of the company. We're here to spend the money on these 13 titles and some others, whether we're gonna get our money back in that first year or not.' It's really refreshing."

"It is a profit driver, so supporting the DVD/Blu-ray business is of great importance," said Meyer. "There will be a number of films in collectible book-style packaging with memorabilia. It's an area for us to frankly show off and give the audience something they've never seen before." Daruty's team proved Meyer right by showing horrifying damage magically repaired in the coming releases. In Universal's classic monster cinema (which you can expect to see promoted next Halloween), loud hisses, pops and crackles vanish, making scary footsteps audible. To Kill a Mockingbird loses the appalling graininess in a courtroom closeup. In Out of Africa, Meryl Streep loses a weird wobble in her walk possibly caused by projectors that enlarged the sprocket holes. Pillow Talk erupts with dazzling color and detail. Jaws practically bites your nose off.

Meyer promises parades in Universal's Orlando theme park, tours of the company's remarkable archives and promotions at major film festivals, maybe with talent in attendance. "A hundred years is a real milestone," said Meyer. "And, I mean, what could be more important than movies? Seriously!"

Universal will reveal an updated animated logo tied to the centennial. The animated logo will make its first appearance in front of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax at its premiere in February, and for that film’s U.S. theatrical release on March 2nd. (The new static version of this logo is unveiled today and is featured at the top of this release.) Other activities surrounding the studio’s 100th anniversary include a vibrant social media campaign, special events, theme park activities, promotions and many surprises to engage fans throughout the yearlong celebration.

“This is a proud moment for all of us who’ve had the privilege of working at Universal Pictures,” said Ron Meyer, Universal Studios President and COO. “Our centennial is designed to bring special memories back to longtime movie lovers and fans, and to engage new audiences with our extraordinary library of films for the first time. Our goal, 100 years later, is to preserve, restore and continue the iconic legacy of this studio for generations to come.”

Fans and film enthusiasts can start celebrating online today at the official Universal Centennial website, http://Universal100th.com, a one-stop destination dedicated to Universal’s 100 years. The site, as well as a number of social media platforms, will bring the centennial to life online. Universal will be sharing archival content on its brand new Tumblr (http://universal100.tumblr.com/); fans of Universal classics on Facebook will find exclusives and special opportunities across their favorite pages; followers of @UniversalPics on Twitter can find the activities using the hashtag #Universal100.

Universal Home Entertainment will be introducing a limited edition 100th Anniversary Collector’s Series featuring some of the aforementioned film restorations on Blu-rayTM in collectible, book-style packaging showcasing rare movie memorabilia and brand new 10-minute video featurettes. In addition, special collections will be released throughout the year, culminating in the highly anticipated Blu-rayTM releases of Universal’s Classic Monster and Alfred Hitchcock series. A selection of movies that have shaped Universal’s legacy will also be released in commemorative packaging, many of them on Blu-rayTM for the first time ever.
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"Film is history. With every foot of film lost, we lose a link to our culture, to the world around us, to each other and to ourselves."

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Re: Universal celebrates its Centennial with restorations

Postby Rita Hayworth » January 11th, 2012, 11:08 pm

Thanks for sharing this Information ... You've covered lot of ground here. I'm glad they are restoring old cinema movies. It's always brings :) on my face when Motion Pictures Companies like Universal restoring any movies so that current and future generations can enjoy them!

Lzcutter ... this is great!

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Re: Universal celebrates its Centennial with restorations

Postby Lzcutter » January 31st, 2012, 11:21 pm

Universal adds a micro-site for their 100th anniversary.

It's got lots of material on it:

http://tinyurl.com/7x5jy84
Lynn in Lake Balboa

"Film is history. With every foot of film lost, we lose a link to our culture, to the world around us, to each other and to ourselves."

"For me, John Wayne has only become more impressive over time." Marty Scorsese

Avatar-Warner Bros Water Tower


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