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Universal’s Masters Might Be Fine, But What of the Prints?

39507187.jpgTrue reports from all corners indicate Universal‘s film vault was unscathed in the fire, but that’s not the end of the story — and some classic film folks are clearly worried.

A tipster sent us this e-mail from the Capri Theatre (in Alabama) that sounds a lot more dire than anything else we’ve been hearing. According to the e-mail the classic movie theater received this notice from Universal:

“It is with great sadness that I must inform you that yesterdays fire destroyed nearly 100% of the archive prints kept here on the lot. Due to this we will be unable to honor any film bookings of prints that were set to ship from here. Over the next few weeks and months we will be able to try and piece together what material we do have and if any prints exist elsewhere. For the time being please check your rental confirmations and look under shipping instructions. If the print was set to ship from the studio then you date is now canceled. If the shipping instructions say ship from Deluxe then those dates are still good.”

The e-mail goes on to say:

The good news is that the elements survive. The bad news is that most likely, only the “big” titles will ever be reprinted in 35mm. Many Universal titles will never be seen in 35mm publicly again.

Martin McCaffery
Capri Theatre

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