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Sydneysiders have a rare chance to catch a haul of classics on the big screen, as the State Theatre celebrates 100 years of Universal Pictures.

Opening with Jaws on July 22, the theatre will showcase Universal films from the century.

State Theatre Publicist, Paul Brennan, said: “Ticket buyers can see those films as originally seen, like time travel, in the same theatre with exactly the same atmosphere from 1960, 1982 or 1976.
“The State Theatre is a genuine picture palace and most of the films listed were screened in the golden years of Hollywood movie going, therefore they reflect that style of cinema and the era of
the films.”

To Kill a Mockingbird, Out of Africa, Pillow Talk, E.T and The Birds all had their premieres and first season runs at the State.They are among the digitally restored films being shown over
four Sunday afternoons during July and August. Mr Brennan thinks younger audiences will enjoy seeing films in the same environment their grandparents did.“Generations who have only seen films in a suburban multiplex have never had the opportunity to see any film like this,” he said.

“They have no idea that sitting in a palace to see a movie was normal in the mid 20th century. They can now have the same luxury experience as their grandparents and parents.”

Universal Pictures was founded in 1912 by German-Jewish immigrant Carl Laemmle, as one of six major Hollywood studios. Australian Film Critics Association Chair, Peter Krausz has credited the lasting success of the studio to its resilient nature: “Over the years, their films have tapped into both a popular market, as well as a critically acclaimed set of films, utilizing
many prominent filmmakers like Spielberg, Hitchcock, Sirk, de Palma and many others.”

Mr Krausz said: “They have produced some great films, as well as some very popular filmsthat attracted a large audience. Some of their other important films include films that challenge
traditional approaches or attitudes.” Mr Krausz thinks the event will help keep classic films alive in the minds of younger generations: “Film has both an important social and cultural heritage, but is also reflective of, and a precursor to, social developments, issues and attitudes. It is an essential medium and in particular, older films say so much about who we are. The best films reflect all of this.”

Mr Krausz added: “Despite the move to digital, film is still film in the sense of its power as a medium.”

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