Cinemas repair 70mm projectors ahead of The Hateful Eight screenings
Cinemas are being forced to find and renovate 70mm projectors in order to screen director Quentin Tarantino's latest film, The Hateful Eight.

An advocate of traditional filmmaking techniques, Tarantino chose to shoot the action-packed western in widescreen format on traditional film cameras, which makes it unsuitable for playback on modern-day projectors.

His eighth film, The Hateful Eight has already made headlines following early showings of the film, for which many cinemas struggled to find a projector capable of preventing the out-of-focus images, poorly synced sound and projector repairs that are blighting many venues using improper equipment.

In the UK many cinemas have been facing similar issues, with London's Odeon Leicester Square the only venue that is capable of playing the 70mm Ultra Panavision version of the film as it was intended by Tarantino, including a 12-minute intermission.

Elsewhere, cinemas have resorted to hiring expert projector specialists to restore and renovate older 70mm cinema projectors ahead of the film's release to ensure the best viewing possible for their audiences.

John Gilbert, a projector expert from Stockbridge, is just one of these handy technicians, who has already refurbished 34 of these sought after consoles for national cinemas in need of traditional equipment.

According to Gilbert, he spent seven months rebuilding the projectors from scratch in College Park, with many regarded to be in such poor quality that they were only suitable for spare parts. Once completed, the reflector on each of the devices needed to be moved forward by one inch to suit the film's specific requirements.

“So many of these had been sitting on shelves for more than 10 years or discarded,” he said. “That first time we fired the projector up and it came to life, it was really, really exciting. I love to see them working again."