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What happened to all the original SW prints.?

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Hey Guy’s,

Just out of interest what happened to all the original prints of SW or any movie pre digital, what did the cinema do with the prints when the movie had finished its run…???

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As I understand it, in most cases, the prints were either returned to the studio or destroyed:

destroying a print with a saw

Shipping prints around the country (and the world) is expensive, so it was often left to the Theaters to dispose of the prints. Some would just go out back in the dumpster, and may have been rescued by collectors, while others may have been taken by theater employees rather than being destroyed.

If you ever Google “Roddy McDowall FBI” you’ll find out just how illegal it was (and no doubt still is, at least in strictly legal terms) to be caught with prints in your house. The 35mm prints will always belong to the studios.

Obviously a few did survive, and we’re all very grateful that they did. In fact, given the red fading of the Eastman stock of hte 1960s and 1970s, even the studios were grateful that some of their prints had been rescued by collectors because without them some films may have been gone for good.

http://www.thestarwarstrilogy.com

http://www.the007dossier.com

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Williarob said:

As I understand it, in most cases, the prints were either returned to the studio or destroyed:

destroying a print with a saw

Shipping prints around the country (and the world) is expensive, so it was often left to the Theaters to dispose of the prints. Some would just go out back in the dumpster, and may have been rescued by collectors, while others may have been taken by theater employees rather than being destroyed.

If you ever Google “Roddy McDowall FBI” you’ll find out just how illegal it was (and no doubt still is, at least in strictly legal terms) to be caught with prints in your house. The 35mm prints will always belong to the studios.

Obviously a few did survive, and we’re all very grateful that they did. In fact, given the red fading of the Eastman stock of hte 1960s and 1970s, even the studios were grateful that some of their prints had been rescued by collectors because without them some films may have been gone for good.

Bloody hell… I wish I never asked LOL… all those original prints that must have been destroyed…!! I take it the studio keeps a master copy for archival purposes…?

Imagine being lucy enough to be walking past the dumpster and finding it full of 35mm movies…!

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 (Edited)

IIRC, Mike Verta has reported that the “destroy order” is still in effect. If Lucasfilm (now Disney) happens to get their hands on prints of the OOT, they will destroy them.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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CatBus said:

IIRC, Mike Verta has reported that the “destroy order” is still in effect. If Lucasfilm (now Disney) happens to get their hands on prints of the OOT, they will destroy them.

Just seems so stupid to destroy a piece of history, fair enough it may have once been common practise but to destroy a piece of film from that ers today is just ridiculous…

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@Williarob - That articel on Mcdowall was a great read and something I never knew about, thanks for the share.

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Vader21 said:

CatBus said:

IIRC, Mike Verta has reported that the “destroy order” is still in effect. If Lucasfilm (now Disney) happens to get their hands on prints of the OOT, they will destroy them.

Just seems so stupid to destroy a piece of history, fair enough it may have once been common practise but to destroy a piece of film from that ers today is just ridiculous…

Actually (again, IIRC) the original destroy order dates from when there were 1997SE film prints out there. Theatres would get the reels, send them back to the studios, and the studios would send them back out again (not destroy them). That was normal. The order was to destroy all copies of the OOT as they came back in, so that only 1997SE prints would go back out. So even worse than you thought…

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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CatBus said:

Vader21 said:

CatBus said:

IIRC, Mike Verta has reported that the “destroy order” is still in effect. If Lucasfilm (now Disney) happens to get their hands on prints of the OOT, they will destroy them.

Just seems so stupid to destroy a piece of history, fair enough it may have once been common practise but to destroy a piece of film from that ers today is just ridiculous…

Actually (again, IIRC) the original destroy order dates from when there were 1997SE film prints out there. Theatres would get the reels, send them back to the studios, and the studios would send them back out again (not destroy them). That was normal. The order was to destroy all copies of the OOT as they came back in, so that only 1997SE prints would go back out. So even worse than you thought…

LOL…!! Just when I thought it could not get any worse you hit me with that…!!! I do not know what to say I am actually disgusted at that, I take it the order is from George Lucas and I just wonder what he hates so much about the original print of his films…? He can not seriously think all the shit cgi he added makes a better movie… I still have nightmares from the first time I saw Jabba in the hanger lol…

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Vader21 said:

Just seems so stupid to destroy a piece of history, fair enough it may have once been common practise but to destroy a piece of film from that ers today is just ridiculous…

George Lucas has made it expressly clear that he places no value on those celluloid artefacts. Fans who politely dared to raise the issue were told to grow up and received a reminder that he owned the franchise, not them. In interviews he has claimed that the originals are “half completed” films, that, as far as he is concerned, no longer exist (and Lucas has certainly worked hard to make that a reality). When the DVDs were released, he was kind enough to inform us that we can find the earlier versions on VHS - if we just might happen to want them.

“Logic is the battlefield of adulthood.”

  • Howard Berk
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Williarob said:

If you ever Google “Roddy McDowall FBI” you’ll find out just how illegal it was (and no doubt still is, at least in strictly legal terms) to be caught with prints in your house. The 35mm prints will always belong to the studios.

Strictly speaking they become the council’s property from the moment they touch the dumpster. Hence the bandsaw.

__Valeyard.net