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"Lawrence of Arabia" Returns to Theaters to Celebrate 50th Anniversary

Posted on Sunday, September 9, 2012

Poster for Lawrence of ArabiaOn December 16, 1962, the epic adventure Lawrence of Arabia premiered in New York City. The story of a British officer who united Arab tribes against the Turks in World War I netted seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Cinematography, Art Direction, Sound, and Music. Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif both got nominations for their performances, as did the writers. The 216 minute movie was shot in 65mm, so it remains a favorite among 70mm film festivals.

2012 marks the 50th anniversary of its release, and the studio has restored the movie by scanning the original 65mm negative and performing repair and restoration efforts to produce what should be a fantastic-looking result! It will be released on a Collector's Edition Blu-ray in November, and it will return to the big screen as Lawrence of Arabia 50th Anniversary Event: Digitally Restored in select theaters on Thursday, October 4, 2012.

Comparison of Before and After Restoration
A comparison of the scan from the negative and the result of the repair and restoration.

This theatrical event will feature an introduction by Omar Sharif and it will include newsreel footage of the New York premiere and footage of King Hussein visiting the film set in Aqaba and meeting director David Lean and Peter O'Toole. To top it off, director Martin Scorsese will discuss the themes of the movie and its influence on movies that followed. (View the trailer)

“’Lawrence of Arabia’ deserves a spectacular golden anniversary celebration on the silver screen,” said Shelly Maxwell, executive vice president of Fathom Events. “This epic film starring Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif is one of the greatest films in the history of cinema with special footage that fans won’t want to miss.”

Approximately 630 theaters across the country will be showing the event, so check out the Showtimes page to find a theater near you.

They will be using Digital Cinema Projection systems, but we could not find any information about whether or not 4K versions will be available to so-equipped theaters. One would think that since Sony is the studio involved, and Sony is also pushing the use of 4K-equipped Digital Cinema equipment, this would be an excellent way to showcase their technology, but can't find any evidence one way or the other. We have reached out to Fathom Events, and will update this article if we have more information.

If you aren't able to make it to this theatrical event, the aforementioned Blu-ray release will be available on November 13, 2012. Gift Shop merchant Amazon.com has it for 30% off right now:

Lawrence of Arabia (50th Anniversary Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]

This limited edition release has four discs; 3 Blu-ray discs and a CD of the original soundtrack that features previously unreleased tracks. A 70mm film frame (newly printed and numbered) is included, as is an 88-page hardcover coffee table book with rarely-seen photos, historical information about the making of the movie, and its significance in movie history.

Even if you attend this event, this box set sounds like a great item for any fan of the movie! If all the extras don't thrill you, they are also releasing Lawrence of Arabia (Restored Version) [Blu-ray] which reportedly contains just two of the Blu-ray discs (the movie and a disc of extras) from the larger set.

Source: NCM Fathom Events Press Release

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