When the Savoy first opened in 1957 it caused a sensation by using the then-brand-new Todd-AO technology and was thus considered the "most modern film theatre in Europe".
Todd-AO is a high-resolution, widescreen 70mm format, giving the audience the feeling of sitting right in the middle of the action. lt was named after its inventor Michael Todd, who had, in partnership with the American Optical Company (AO), developed the technology in the 1950s. Wide-angle lenses were used to shoot on 65mm negative film, from which 70mm copies were made that were then projected onto a large and strongly curved screen (2.2:1). The image quality of these films can reach resolutions of up to 16K in full format.
However, the production of Todd-AO films is very expensive which is why the technology is rarely used anymore.
Today, 70mm films have experienced a resurgence, mainly due to directors such as Quentin Tarantino or Christopher Nolan, who prominently released 70mm films in the 2010s.
And so the Savoy, too, followed its own tradition and reinstalled a 70mm proJector in 2015, 2 years after its reopening. To this day, the Savoy remains one of only a handful of cinemas in Germany able to project 70mm film - and the only one in Hamburg. When Quentin Tarantino, who traditionally still shoots all of his films on actual film, decided to shoot his 2015 film The Hateful Eight entirely an 65mm film, the Savoy was one of only four cinemas in Germany to show it in 70mm.
Since then, various films have been released and shown at the Savoy in 70mm: Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk as weil as Murder on the Orient Express in 2017 and Joker in 2019. "Tenet," Nolan's new film, will be shown at the Savoy starting August 26.
But also film classics such as Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958) or Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) had a 70mm revival at the Savoy - a list to be continued.