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Why We Love L.A. Summers: The Academy's 70mm Film Festival

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Summer has arrived, and we're ready to celebrate all that screams 'tis the season in Los Angeles. From sand to summit, from sips to snacks -- we love L.A. summers.

It's just beginning to warm up this summer, and believe it or not, some people prefer darkened, air-conditioned movie theaters to the surf and sand or film screenings under the stars.

For cinephiles out there, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences kicks off a summer-long celebration of 70mm film tonight with a screening of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963).

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The Last 70mm Film Festival, which runs Monday nights at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills through Aug. 13, showcases 70mm short and feature-length films from different decades and genres. (The 70mm format has a higher resolution than the standard 35mm film format.) As filmmakers and theaters move toward the digital realm, it's a rare chance to see some of these prints on the big screen.

Here's the complete summer schedule:

  • July 9: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) and the short film "The Miracle of Todd-AO" (1956), which examines the use of the Todd-AO wide-angle lens and the widescreen format.
  • July 16: Sleeping Beauty (1959) and "Williamsburg: The Story of a Patriot" (1957), which is the "longest continually running motion picture in American film history," running daily at the twin Patriot Theatres in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.
  • July 23: Grand Prix (1966) and "The March of Todd-AO" (1959), a follow-up to "The Miracle of Todd-AO."
  • July 30: The Sound of Music (1965)
  • August 6: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and the Oscar-winning documentary short "To Be Alive!" (1965), which shows "the progression from childhood to adulthood in different cultures around the world."
  • The series comes to a close on Aug. 13 with a new 70mm print of Spartacus (1960).

Tickets are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with valid ID. Short subjects and pre-screening programming begins at 7 pm.