In the Labyrinth (film)

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In the Labyrinth
Directed by Roman Kroitor
Colin Low
Hugh O'Connor
Produced by Tom Daly
Roman Kroitor
Music by Eldon Rathburn
Cinematography Michel Thomas-d'Hoste
Walter Lassally
Gilles Gascon
Georges Dufaux
V.V. Dombrovsky
Alex O. Krasnov
Edited by Tom Daly
Distributed by National Film Board of Canada
Release date
Running time
21 min.
Country Canada
Language English/French

In the Labyrinth (French: Dans le labyrinthe) was a groundbreaking multi-screen presentation at the Labyrinth pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It used 35 mm and 70 mm film projected simultaneously on multiple screens and was the precursor of today's IMAX format.[1]

The film split elements across the five screens and also combined them for a mosaic of a single image. It was hailed as a "stunning visual display" by Time magazine, which concludes: "such visual delights as Labyrinth ... suggest that cinema—the most typical of 20th century arts—has just begun to explore its boundaries and possibilities." [2]

In the Labyrinth was co-directed by Roman Kroitor, Colin Low and Hugh O'Connor and produced by the National Film Board of Canada. Kroitor left the NFB shortly after to co-found Multi-Screen Corporation, which later became IMAX Corporation.[3]

NFB animator Ryan Larkin also designed animated sequences for the film.[4]

It inspired Canadian filmmaker Norman Jewison to apply similar techniques to his film The Thomas Crown Affair.[5]

Labyrinth pavilion[edit]

The Labyrinth consisted of three main chambers: Theatre One, which ran two 70 mm projectors in a unique floor-and-end-wall combination; The Maze, an apparently limitless series of mirrors and red "grain-of-wheat" bulbs; and Theatre Three, which projected five simultaneous 35 mm projections in a cross formation. The pavilion cost $4.5 million and attracted over 1.3 million visitors in 1967.[3]


In 1979, the NFB re-issued In the Labyrinth in a single-screen format.[6] In May 2007, the NFB and the Cinémathèque québécoise presented an exhibition on the Labyrinth pavilion, marking the 40th anniversary of Expo 67.


  1. ^ Desjardins, Cléa (28 October 2014). "Expo 67: The birthplace of modern moviegoing". Concordia University. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "Magic in Montreal: The Films of Expo". Time. 1967-07-07. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  3. ^ a b Aitken, Ian (October 27, 2005). "NFB's Labyrinth". Encyclopedia of the Documentary Film. Routledge. pp. 168–9. ISBN 978-1579584450. 
  4. ^ Robinson, Chris (2006). Unsung Heroes of Animation. Indiana University Press. p. 100. ISBN 978-0-86196-665-3. 
  5. ^ Atherton, Tony (2000-07-10). "When camera and gun collide". Ottawa Citizen. pp. D7. 
  6. ^ "NFB Web page". Retrieved 2008-03-01. 

External links[edit]