Janus Films, distributor of the newly remastered Beatles' film “A Hard Day's Night,” released the list of U.S. theaters May 29 where the film will be screened. The list contains all currently confirmed screenings, and more are expected to be added, the distributor says. The film opens in the U.S. July 4.
The current list includes the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, Film Forum in New York City, Cinefamily in Los Angeles, the Music Box Theater in Chicago, Tower Cinema in Salt Lake City, Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center in Lincoln, Neb., Red River Theatre in Concord, N.H., Angelika Film Center in Dallas, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and West End Cinema in Washington, D. C. in addition, a special 50th anniversary screening with movie cast member Patti Boyd will be held on Catalina Island July 6.
According to Janus Films, the Criterion Collection restored the film using the latest in digital restoration technology from the original 35mm camera negative. The negative itself was not complete, they said, but the missing material was taken from two original interpositives.
The image was then scanned in 4K resolution on a Scanity film scanner to retain the character of the film’s original printing stock without any generation loss. The raw data was carefully treated using a variety of digital tools to remove dirt, scratches, flicker, and other damage. The final result was approved by director Richard Lester and the film is in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.75:1.
According to Giles Martin and Sam Okell, the 5.1 audio mix was made from the original Beatles tapes at Abbey Road Studios – two-track tapes for the songs from “With the Beatles,” four-track for the songs from the “A Hard Day’s Night” album and a monaural mix of “She Loves You.”
The tapes of both the Beatles’ songs and George Martin’s underscore were transferred to digital at high resolution (192kHz/24-bit). The best monaural tape with the original master dialogue and effects track, based on tonal balance, dynamic range, and lack of distortion and hiss, was transferred digitally and cleaned up, removing clicks, pops and distortion.
Martin and Okell said they used many of the original compressors, plate reverbs and echo chambers used in the original recordings. They said their goal was “to retain the original spirit, vibrancy, quality and charm, while making subtle improvements to the balance, tonal color and stereo picture.”
The film is already available for download on iTunes in the U.S. (but not in the UK, interestingly enough) ahead of its release on DVD June 24 where you can hear the stereo soundtrack. Two DVD versions will be issued. One will have both the Blu-ray and DVD versions (and extra features) and the other will only have the DVD version minus some of the extra features.
Obviously the Blu-ray is the no brainer here. And having heard and seen the new version from iTunes, we have to say it sounds excellent.