Since 2009, the Royal Albert Hall have been screening classic films with live orchestral accompaniment, from The Lord of the Rings and Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark, to E.T in our Films with Live Orchestra series.
With seating for some 5000 people, screening a film here involves turning the Royal Albert Hall into Europe’s largest cinema! From arranging (and sometimes recreating) the score to setting up the screen, getting a film ready is no easy task. We went behind the scenes at the Royal Albert Hall to find out it is done:
The technical process of setting up the Hall for a film screening is no easy feat. Beginning as early as 2am, the 20m screen takes nearly five hours to construct and must be ready in time to start rehearsals with the orchestra.
Although the original orchestration of a film’s music may exist, the soundtrack may have been cut, reworked and amended during the post production to an extent that there is no written and performable version of the final score. In these cases the score must be recreated and broken down into sets of parts for the orchestra to perform.
With a screen built and the orchestra rehearsed and ready, audiences can experience a traditional movie-going experience – large and communal entertainment with live music and stunning visuals.