Following the Yellow Brick Road 75 Years Later
(Above: L-R: John Fricke, The Wizard of Oz historian; Ned Price, Chief Preservation Officer at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment; Ruth Duccini, the eldest of two surviving Munchkins; Greg Foster, CEO of IMAX Entertainment and Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp. and Jeff Baker, Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment at The Wizard of Oz worldwide premiere in IMAX 3D in Hollywood.)
Last night, Warner Bros., IMAX Corporation and the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX invited special guests over the rainbow to an exclusive world premiere of The Wizard of Oz, re-mastered for the film's first-ever IMAX 3D release.
The premiere and emerald-hued reception was held in honor of the 75th anniversary of Warner Bros.' iconic film, in conjunction with the grand opening of the new TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX, which was known as Grauman's Chinese Theatre back in 1939 when the film originally premiered there. The facility is the largest IMAX auditorium in the world and first IMAX theatre in Hollywood to boot.
Studio and theatre executives, celebrity guests and their families were in attendance (see photos below), as well as 95-year-old Ruth Duccini - the eldest of two surviving Munchkins - who shared her experiences working on the film at age 20 with The Hollywood Reporter.
In addition to its worldwide premiere in Hollywood, the film was screened yesterday in the Scotiabank IMAX Theatre to help close out the Toronto International Film Festival.
Beginning this Friday, September 20, the public can also relive the experience of The Wizard of Oz in IMAX 3D during an exclusive one-week engagement in more than 300 IMAX theatres across the U.S.
The studio's theatrical, home entertainment and consumer products divisions have also launched a robust promotional campaign to celebrate this historic cinematic masterpiece.
Following its release in theaters, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) will release a limited and numbered The Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary Collector's Edition, which will debut October 1. The five-disc set will include Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and Ultraviolet versions of the film; a new documentary, The Making of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; bonus features and premium collectibles.
In support of the anniversary campaign, leading promotional partner McDonald's will release six limited edition The Wizard of Oz toys in Happy Meals from September 20 through October 10 in participating U.S. and Canada locations.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products has also developed a licensing program with more than 80 top-tier licensees, including master toy partner Jazwares and other prominent partners such as Mattel and Madame Tussauds.
Other national corporate marketing partners include Amtrak; Food Network's Cupcake Wars; Gourmet Trading Company; Langer Juice Company, Inc.; The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Ad Council; QVC; and Simon Malls. Learn more about how these organizations are helping to celebrate The Wizard of Oz 75th anniversary here.
"We are delighted that so many partners have joined us for this unprecedented event. Like us, they recognize that The Wizard of Oz is such a timeless brand, one for all ages and all generations. Its magic has helped it to grow, year after year, from a classic to a treasured icon," said Jeff Baker, WBHE's Executive Vice President and General Manager, Theatrical Catalog in the campaign announcement.
Later this year, The Wizard of Oz will also be featured in the iconic 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with a giant hot-air balloon and balloonheads of the film's characters.
There may be no place like home, but there's only one week to re-visit The Wizard of Oz in IMAX 3D, so watch the trailer below and find show times and tickets here. You can also see photos from last night's worldwide premiere below.
Madame Tussauds wax figures of Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Dorothy and Scarecrow at Warner Bros. world premiere screening of The Wizard of Oz in IMAX 3D
The Wizard of Oz themed cupcakes
John Fricke, The Wizard of Oz historian, author and presentation MC
A general view of atmosphere at the premiere screening
Danielle Wade, who plays Dorothy in Andrew Lloyd Webber's production of The Wizard of Oz National Tour, graces the red carpet
L-R: Elie Samaha, Co-Chairman, TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX; Ron Sanders, President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Dan Fellman, President, Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures
A cappella group Pentatonix performs
The crowd watches the film with their IMAX 3D glasses