June 15, 2018—We sadly share
that Dieter Buchwald, German cinema innovator and longtime friend of GSCA, died on
May 6, 2018, after a long illness. He was shareholder and director of Germany’s first IMAX
theater at the Deutsches Museum in Munich; owner and director of the Discovery
Channel IMAX Theater (RODO dome and 3D flat screen) at the DaimlerChrysler property
at Potsdamer Platz, Berlin; owner
of the Cinema Filmtheater, Germany’s first installation of 2k digital
projection and 3D (Real D); and consultant of Germany’s first high-end luxury
movie theater, ASTOR Filmlounge in Berlin Kurfuerstendamm.
We could count on Dr. Buchwald to attend every conference,
and he renewed his annual membership even after he’d retired. He
preferred a phone chat over completing online forms, and GSCA staff always looked
forward to his calls to renew or register and catch us up on what he’d been
doing since we last talked. Our sincerest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
Below we share
a note posted on filmecho.de. This was originally posted in German, so our
apologies for translation errors. The original text is available here:
cinema pioneer Dieter Buchwald died last Sunday after a long illness at the age
of 78 years. His cinema on Nymphenburger Strasse was from the beginning a house
that always offered its visitors the best projection and sound technology—often
as an innovator for the rest of the industry. He was at the forefront of
digitization and 3D introduction.
standards as a cinema entrepreneur in terms of advertising and programming. In
Munich, his cinema was synonymous with English-language films. He took over the
house in 1975 as a film enthusiast—with his experiences from his student film
club work. As a graduate in business administration, he saved the house with
new ideas and business know-how and made a big turnaround.
features and long the best sound of the city made the Cinema among one of the
most popular houses in the city with young audiences. Later he also became
involved in Imax in Munich and Berlin. Dieter Buchwald received numerous prizes
for his dedication and work.
The cinema is
now run by Klaus Unger and the team.
And here are excerpts from an article by from Dunja
Bialas at https://www.artechock.de/film/text/artikel/2018/05_10_cinema_buchwald.html
I met with
Dieter Buchwald in September 2012, in a café diagonally opposite his cinema…
Dieter Buchwald loved technical details. For an hour he talked almost
exclusively about technology. In between, he stopped and said, "I'm not a
Buchwald, who died in Munich at the age of 78, was a cinema pioneer who made
history… The technical equipment of his cinema on Nymphenburger Strasse alone,
which he took over in 1975, became a legend. It was the first cinema in Germany
to be equipped with a THX sound system, and the rumors persisted that George
Lucas had personally traveled to the cinema opening.
Buchwald had a
doctorate in economics. He had studied in Karlsruhe and headed the student film
club there. When he took over the “bled out” cinema in Munich, he began with
repertoire films, also for students. That did not exist in Munich at the
time. His in-depth understanding of technology set him apart from most
cinema operators. He had the IMAX cinema in the Forum der Technik since 1992,
and from 1998 also the IMAX in Berlin on Potsdamer Platz. This gave him the
contacts to companies of high-end cinema technology. Buchwald's cinema was
always the only cinema...which was a dedicated test cinema in the cinema industry.
however, Buchwald also spoke of films that were important to him. The Candidate
was such a film, which turned against the chancellor candidate Franz-Josef
Strauss and "showed all its oddities". He was bitterly opposed by the
CSU. Buchwald made it possible with a suitcase projector to show the film in
Augsburg, where all the cinemas had resisted. He made 15,000 spectators, was
considered "Nestbeschmutzer" and constantly had fire protection
inspectors and youth protection controls in the house. You know, why we come
all the time, one day one of the examiners said to him. Yes, because of the
CSU, he answered.
political. Later, they did not notice that, his program became
"upper-mainstream," as he said. His fighting spirit showed in his
Six years ago,
the digital revolution was still fresh, and the cinemas were converting to
digital. Here, too, Buchwald was a pioneer. "The change that would come
was obvious to me early on." That came from his contacts with his tech-savvy
IMAX colleagues and the United States. In January 2006, as Buchwald proudly
underlined in the conversation, they already had the digital technology
in-house, parallel to the analogue projectors: "We were the very first in