Even if you can’t remember the number of times you’ve seen the “The Wizard of Oz,” you’ve never seen it like this. For one week only starting Sept. 20, the 1939 classic is being presented in 300 theaters across North America in IMAX 3D, a format so immersively realistic it takes you right into Dorothy’s fantasy world.
A 16-month restoration of the universally beloved fantasy musical based on the L. Frank Baum book includes digitally remastering and optimizing both the image and sound of the film. At the same time, Warner Bros. and Prime Focus converted the film into 3D for the first time in a format called the “IMAX 3D Experience.”
The IMAX 3D version reveals details from the original Victor Fleming film’s negative with more clarity than ever before, clearly displaying everything from Dorothy’s freckles to the burlap texture of the Scarecrow’s face.
The release coincides with the upcoming 75th anniversary of the film’s original Aug.15, 1939, premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Now known as the TCL Chinese Theatre, the venue recently was converted into the world’s largest IMAX theater in terms of capacity, with 932 seats. It is the oldest movie to be shown on IMAX.
Warner Bros. has other “Oz”-related events slated to commemorate the occasion as well, including the Oct. 1 release of a limited and numbered “The Wizard of Oz” 75th Anniversary Collector’s Edition. That five-disc set will include Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and UltraViolet versions of the film, plus myriad bonus features, new documentaries and collectible items.