‘Wizard of Oz’ Returning to Theaters in 3D and IMAX
Hollywood's 3D reissue craze might be slowing down a bit in the wake of underwhelming returns for releases like 'Finding Nemo 3D,' but it hasn't stopped entirely. In fact, this fall, Warner Bros. will celebrate the 75th birthday of 'The Wizard of Oz' by sending a newly restored print to theaters for a special one-week run in IMAX 3D.
While studios have shown an increased willingness to reach deeper into the vaults for reissue conversions -- last year, 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' celebrated its 30th anniversary with a brief IMAX run, and a 3D version of 'Jurassic Park' returned to theaters in April -- 'Wizard of Oz' is one of the oldest titles to get the treatment.
Calling 'Oz' as "iconic as they come," IMAX Entertainment chairman Greg Foster reiterated its importance as "one of the first movies that truly came out at you with an explosion of color," before promising that filmgoers will get their money's worth from the reissue. He said of a recent test screening:
The sound was exceptional, the sharpness was exceptional, but it's the color that stands out. What they could do is truly amazing, maybe what people felt when they first saw it...That must have been an amazing experience to see it then, to be truly taken away to another world. That's what we'd like to do.
'Wizard of Oz' is currently scheduled to show in 400 IMAX theaters over the week of September 20-27, but if you can't make it to a screening, don't fret; the reissue serves as a prelude to a new five-disc set, arriving October 1, that will include Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3-D, DVD and UltraViolet versions of the film, a new making-of documentary and assorted bonus features. It's worth noting that the studio also released a deluxe 70th anniversary edition of 'Oz' that included a book, a watch, and copious extra content, and it's safe to say we can expect some overlap between the two.