Director Christopher Nolan recently made headlines by announcing that his film, "Dunkirk" will be projected from 70mm film in select theaters. 125 of them, to be exact. And if you're wondering why this format of release is too limited, the main reason is that installing 70mm projectors for theaters is not exactly a cheap undertaking.

It's a costly format

If fitting a 70mm projector would be too extravagant for the average theater show, then why even bother? Nolan could probably just answer this by simply saying his film looks more awesome and more breathtaking in 70mm projection and we would've believed him (because it is).

But an article from The Atlantic presents another possibility worthy of discussion: perhaps, unintentionally, "Dunkirk" could try and save cinema.

Considering that theater is at its lowest of lows in the past few decades, then this theory might hold water. "Fewer people are going to the movies," the article cited, "with actual ticket sales last year at their lowest since the 1920s."

Now, the natural response would be to come up with a few — for the lack of a better word — "gimmicks" so that people would have a reason to go to theaters again. One such promotion is the debut of the 3D experience, embodied in James Cameron's 2009 sci-fi epic, "Avatar." It aimed to revive a "golden age" in Hollywood, and for a while, 3D reeled audiences in.

But as of today, even 3D is growing old.

There's been no lack of brand new 3D releases, yet attendance is still on a steady decline. This is perhaps because we lost fascination for 3D; it's not "special" anymore but is considered a regular feature for new and upcoming movies.

Is 70mm the new 3D?

So where does "Dunkirk" come in? Well, some believe that Christopher Nolan's war film will do for 2017 what "Avatar" did for 2009.

Nolan has always been experienced with presenting his films in "large," widescreen format, particularly in IMAX. Almost all of his blockbusters (except "Inception," surprisingly) had sequences shot In IMAX. "The Dark Knight" has about 28 minutes of it shot in large-format, and "Interstellar" has approximately an hour.

The acclaimed director took the practice up a notch in "Dunkirk," as the entirety of 106-minute war film was shot in a Large Format.

Nolan gave in to an ambitious streak for this film, and everybody is excited about it. Here's hoping his insistence to screen his film in 70mm projectors renew interest in cinema, enough to entice more theaters into embracing the format.

"Dunkirk" is scheduled to be in theaters on July 20. The film stars Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, and Harry Styles.

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