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Smileboxed THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM -- Will it ever make it to Bluray?

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#41 of 612 OFFLINE   NY2LA

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Posted January 31 2012 - 04:33 AM

Sadly I don't.  I amazes me that Arc-light is not selling the Cinerama Hats.  I got two hats (one red, one blue) a couple of years ago at the Arc Light when they showed HTWWW along with two t-shirts and a bunch of magnets with posters of Cinerama films.  I also have original program for This Is Cinerama snd South Seas Adventure, which I have not seen and really want to.  They had a whole shelf of Cinerama stuff at the time.  Sad, you say it is not there. 

Really hard to explain but there is SO MUCH history and evidence that Pacific Theatres simply does not like Cinerama, the name, logo, process, etc. When the store opened at ArcLight it was clear they expected their scribbled ArcLight logo to become as popular and merchandisable as those of the Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood, ignoring the obvious fact that the neither the ArcLight name nor its sloppy logo were at all appealing or meaningful to the public. Cinerama, an attractive logo of a cooler name that actually means something related to movies, clearly seems something they do not want to be identified with, except for marginal references to the past and rare events. That ArcLight shop is so generic now it that may as well be in an anytown mall or coffeeshop for all it has to do with movies or Hollywood, much less Cinerama. If anything related to Cinerama shows up for sale when the festival comes up, it is likely all due to Sittig, (cue ovation here) who knew they own the rights to reprint the original Cinerama souvenir books, (except Grimm and West) and he may occasionally have a few things made up to sell if an interested crowd is expected. But that stuff is as rare as a properly used screen curtain these days. However there is a store on Hollywood Boulevard called Larry Edmunds, where you can still find, (especially if you ask) original souvenir books from Grimm (near Mint), and many other 60s-70s roadshow or event movies.

#42 of 612 OFFLINE   NY2LA

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Posted January 31 2012 - 05:07 AM

PS regarding that FSM CD set. The liner notes state they were unable to find the master to the storybook album, which is why they say its not included. Seems to me they could have mastered from an LP if nothing else, and I just found my 80s cassette reissue of that same album. I wonder if FSM thought to ask anyone at Universal if they had the master, since they were the last ones to use it. I fear it may have burned up in the backlot fire but not sure how many of those masters they had got around to archiving on digital or stored in the salt mines before the fire. If someone here in LA has the capacity to transfer cassettes to digital for CD I might be persuaded to loan mine out.

#43 of 612 OFFLINE   AdrianTurner

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Posted January 31 2012 - 06:48 AM

Whooops! Not having been to London (which pains me a great deal) I have to rely on reference books and such, and I tried this past Christmas to get some reference books on London cinemas and theatres but with very little result. Got one decent book on the theatres, but the cinema "books" I found are all criminally thin and lackluster useless pamphlets (though priced as full size books). While I had come across much written about Cinerama at the Casino/Prince Edward, the Coliseum/National Opera's very existence, much less its Cinerama years, escaped my notice... until now. Thanks.

London had no less than three Cinerama theatres - the original was the Casino in Old Compton Street. Then came the Coliseum in St Martin's Lane. The third was the Royalty in Portugal Street, off Kingsway. While the Casino and Coliseum were successful venues, the Royalty never was a popular place. For one thing, it was not in the main entertainment district. It started out as MGM's second roadshow palace with the premiere of Mutiny on the Bounty, then took Ben-Hur on transfer from the Empire, and was then converted for Cinerama and ran The Best of Cinerama and then something called The Golden Head, and that's as far as my memory goes. These. Days.

#44 of 612 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted January 31 2012 - 07:22 AM




Originally Posted by AdrianTurner 


London had no less than three Cinerama theatres - the original was the Casino in Old Compton Street. Then came the Coliseum in St Martin's Lane. The third was the Royalty in Portugal Street, off Kingsway. While the Casino and Coliseum were successful venues, the Royalty never was a popular place. For one thing, it was not in the main entertainment district. It started out as MGM's second roadshow palace with the premiere of Mutiny on the Bounty, then took Ben-Hur on transfer from the Empire, and was then converted for Cinerama and ran The Best of Cinerama and then something called The Golden Head, and that's as far as my memory goes. These. Days.


If anyone has a bookstore that has a magazine section, run don't walk and pick up the latest issue of Cinema Retro.  It is a Cinerama issue and talks in length of Grimm, HTWWW, the Travelogues, and even Krakatoa East Of Java, one of the last one camera Cinerama Films.  Since it is a British based mag, it also talks of the Cinerama Theatres in London.  It's a great issue.  I did see one yesterday at Barnes and Noble.


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#45 of 612 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted January 31 2012 - 07:33 AM



Originally Posted by NY2LA 


Really hard to explain but there is SO MUCH history and evidence that Pacific Theatres simply does not like Cinerama, the name, logo, process, etc. Just read Cinerama history notes that state it was Pacific's Foreman who decided to kill off the 3 strip process (even though a one-strip panoramic camera was already in the developmental stage). 70mm was simply cheaper and easier all around. (And looked it.)
 



Well Pacific Theatres really had Cinerama shoved down their throat when they wanted to build the Arc Light.  I remember talking with Chris Forman and Nora Dashwood of Pacific Theatres then and they planned to tear down the Cinerama Dome to build the Arc Light, but the public out cry was so loud that they had to not only retain the Cinerama Dome, but allow three - panel Cinerama films to be screened there to get the project to move forward.  And the Cinerama Dome had never shown a three-panel Cinerama film.  There still may be some resentment in being forced to go in that direction.

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#46 of 612 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted January 31 2012 - 07:52 AM

I remember a showing of "This is Cinerama" at the Dome in 1972 or 1973.  That wouldn't have been three-panel back then?



#47 of 612 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted January 31 2012 - 08:16 AM

Lots of misinformation about the movie. Even the writer of THE MGM STORY gets the information about Grimm wrong saying it was the first of the single camera/no panel Cinerama features. Obviously this person never saw the film, even in its 35mm engagements.



#48 of 612 OFFLINE   Douglas R

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Posted January 31 2012 - 09:16 AM

London had no less than three Cinerama theatres - the original was the Casino in Old Compton Street. Then came the Coliseum in St Martin's Lane. The third was the Royalty in Portugal Street, off Kingsway. While the Casino and Coliseum were successful venues, the Royalty never was a popular place. For one thing, it was not in the main entertainment district. It started out as MGM's second roadshow palace with the premiere of Mutiny on the Bounty, then took Ben-Hur on transfer from the Empire, and was then converted for Cinerama and ran The Best of Cinerama and then something called The Golden Head, and that's as far as my memory goes. These. Days.

The Royalty also had IT'S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD. I saw it there after it transferred from the Coliseum. It was a very attractive cinema.

#49 of 612 OFFLINE   john a hunter

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Posted January 31 2012 - 09:49 AM

From memory, didn't you have to go downstairs-certainly to the stalls-I seem to recall. And I think they had Ben Hur before Mutiny. My main recollection was seeing " The Best of.. "when for the first and only time in my Cinerama experiences, the sync was out and the show stopped for about 10mins while they reconfigured.

#50 of 612 OFFLINE   NY2LA

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Posted January 31 2012 - 01:59 PM

Well Pacific Theatres really had Cinerama shoved down their throat when they wanted to build the Arc Light.  I remember talking with Chris Forman and Nora Dashwood of Pacific Theatres then and they planned to tear down the Cinerama Dome to build the Arc Light, but the public out cry was so loud that they had to not only retain the Cinerama Dome, but allow three - panel Cinerama films to be screened there to get the project to move forward.  And the Cinerama Dome had never shown a three-panel Cinerama film.  There still may be some resentment in being forced to go in that direction. 

That of course is only their side of the story, conveniently leaving out all their blatant neglect and dishonesty in trying to go around what the public wanted to get what they wanted. Of course they don't mention that they expected millions of dollars from the city to build their multiplex, and they fully intended to gut and ruin the Dome even if they kept it, only the outer shell would be left, with a big hole in it for an escalator from the plex... ONLY thing that stopped them and saved the Dome intact as an actual Cinerama theatre was ONE guy smart enough to know the law and point out that the city had failed to fully protect what qualified as a landmark inside and out. They would have lost the millions they wanted from the city if this guy hadn't stepped up, supported by the public outcry he organized and a legitimate petition, (while Pacific tried to fake a misleading one that supported their own vaguely worded intentions). That ONE guy organized the (pre-www) movement that only succeeded in saving the Dome on the one legal point that threatened their funding. All he asked was to leave the Dome alone. He then organized a presentation from Cinerama experts who showed Pacific how keeping the Dome with added Cinerama capability (the 2 other ports were built into the booth in the first place and just never used) would cost very little and if done right would turn their property into an historic and functional tourist attraction. They agreed but cheaped out on several crucial functional details, which is why the Dome is inferior to Seattle and Bradford in presentation quality. When they opened, they tried to spin it as if they had intended to save the Dome and bring back Cinerama. Pacific on a corporate and midmanagement level obviously cares far less for what the public wants than for what they want - when they try to hold themselves up as caring for, and preserving Cinerama, and the moviegoing experience, there is SO much evidence to the contrary if one looks closely enough. So the petulence of their upper ranks comes from all that - but the fact is that fifty years from now if they want to tear down the ArcLight multiplex the public will not object at all like they did over possibly losing the Cinerama Dome as a Cinerama Theatre. And again, if you put a Cinerama t-shirt next an ArcLight t-shirt - the Cinerama stuff sells and ArcLight stuff does not, because Cinerama as an identity has real appeal and significance while the ArcLight name is just a name, and not an original one either. Check the LA phone book.

#51 of 612 OFFLINE   NY2LA

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Posted January 31 2012 - 02:14 PM

I remember a showing of "This is Cinerama" at the Dome in 1972 or 1973.  That wouldn't have been three-panel back then?

Nope. Just as it was in a temporary setup at Manhattan's Ziegfeld, the 70s showings of THIS IS CINERAMA at the Dome were not real Cinerama, Just a 70mm composite shown on a curved screen. Remember it was Pacific's idea to try to palm off 70mm on a curved screen and call it Cinerama. Those 70s 70mm screenings seem like an attempt to see if they could get away with it again. They didn't. Interestingly, when TIC comes out on DVD/BR, it will not be from the 3 strip - it's been mastered from the 70mm composite and digitally manipulated to look like Cinerama. Not to say it won't look nice on TV, just being accurate about the source.

#52 of 612 OFFLINE   rsmithjr

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Posted January 31 2012 - 02:20 PM

The showing was at the Stanley Warner Cinerama Theatre on Hollywood in early 1973. The print was a composite 70mm print which did not look very good. The Stanley Warner had presented the 3-panel films during the years of Cinerama production. The Dome never had 3-panel until the recent renovation. I understand that the equipment is from the Honolulu Cinerama Theatre.

#53 of 612 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted January 31 2012 - 02:26 PM

Interestingly, when TIC comes out on DVD/BR, it will not be from the 3 strip - it's been mastered from the 70mm composite and digitally manipulated to look like Cinerama. Not to say it won't look nice on TV, just being accurate about the source.

Really? Oh, that's VERY disappointing. Isn't the 70mm missing quite a bit of image information from the two side panels?

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#54 of 612 OFFLINE   NY2LA

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Posted January 31 2012 - 03:03 PM

Interestingly, when TIC comes out on DVD/BR, it will not be from the 3 strip - it's been mastered from the 70mm composite and digitally manipulated to look like Cinerama. Not to say it won't look nice on TV, just being accurate about the source.

Really? Oh, that's VERY disappointing. Isn't the 70mm missing quite a bit of image information from the two side panels?

I won't claim to be a total expert with definitive knowledge of what they're doing, but spherical 70mm has an AR of about 2.20 while 3 strip Cinerama was supposed to be about 2.59. I've learned there was a great deal of fudging the specs from one Cinerama house to the next and it seems the panels were not square but vertical/rectangles. Anyway, one would think something had to be cut off unless they matted off the prints like a letterbox... However the folks actually doing those transfers LOVE Cinerama, so no doubt they'll do their best to make it look nice and close as possible to the original. And since the specs were fudged from one Cinerama house to another, I believe they will approximate it pretty well. BTW, if you look at How The West Was Won on DVD, the non-smilebox version is ridiculously wide - more than it ever was in any cinema, because they decided to leave in everything from left sprocket holes to right, so instead of 2.59 they ended up with like 2.89, just because they could. The projector aperture plates and screen masking would have reduced it, so it was never intended to see that much on the sides. Result of the superfluous extra width is you see nothing significant added on the ends, and it makes the picture even smaller, unless maybe you are blowing it up for projection. Even on HiDef TV, it's like a ribbon across the screen. That never made any sense to me. I suppose that indicates they will (or already have) tried to get as much width as possible out of the 70mm TIC composite.

#55 of 612 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted January 31 2012 - 03:09 PM

That's encouraging, thanks for the response! Bob

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#56 of 612 OFFLINE   NY2LA

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Posted January 31 2012 - 03:17 PM

The showing was at the Stanley Warner Cinerama Theatre on Hollywood in early 1973. The print was a composite 70mm print which did not look very good. The Stanley Warner had presented the 3-panel films during the years of Cinerama production. The Dome never had 3-panel until the recent renovation. I understand that the equipment is from the Honolulu Cinerama Theatre.

There is enough evidence in the form of advertisements (one of which is blown up on one of the walls at ArcLight) and personal recollections from people who attended, that the 70mm 70s revival of TIC was indeed at the Dome, rather than the (Warner) Pacific, which had dropped the Stanley Warner name at some point in favor of their own. I'm sure one of the members around here can post an ad or two from that period. 73 would have been the ten year anniversary of the Dome, and a big reason for doing it there. Yes the Dome's current Cinerama projectors came from Hawaii, and were lovingly restored to what literally looks like new, by a Cinerama enthusiast/expert/hero who probably charged nothing near what his labor was worth. However they didn't need the WHOLE Cinerama projectors, since they now use different equipment for illumination and transport. (Xenon Lamphouses and Platters). Cinerama presentation at the Dome is not reliably flawless - last time I saw West there, there was an annoyingly loud and constant noise on the soundtrack for about half of part one. It was driving most of us nuts! One would expect an apologetic announcement and correction at intermission, but no, not a word. It continued right through to the end - but not a peep of apology or explanation from the management - and certainly no compensation.

#57 of 612 ONLINE   haineshisway

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Posted January 31 2012 - 04:13 PM

There is enough evidence in the form of advertisements (one of which is blown up on one of the walls at ArcLight) and personal recollections from people who attended, that the 70mm 70s revival of TIC was indeed at the Dome, rather than the (Warner) Pacific, which had dropped the Stanley Warner name at some point in favor of their own. I'm sure one of the members around here can post an ad or two from that period. 73 would have been the ten year anniversary of the Dome, and a big reason for doing it there. Yes the Dome's current Cinerama projectors came from Hawaii, and were lovingly restored to what literally looks like new, by a Cinerama enthusiast/expert/hero who probably charged nothing near what his labor was worth. However they didn't need the WHOLE Cinerama projectors, since they now use different equipment for illumination and transport. (Xenon Lamphouses and Platters). Cinerama presentation at the Dome is not reliably flawless - last time I saw West there, there was an annoyingly loud and constant noise on the soundtrack for about half of part one. It was driving most of us nuts! One would expect an apologetic announcement and correction at intermission, but no, not a word. It continued right through to the end - but not a peep of apology or explanation from the management - and certainly no compensation.

It was definitely at the Dome - no question - I saw it there. After Grimm and West no other three-panel Cinerama films were ever shown at the Warner Cinerama/Pacific's - the three booths, which were at the back of the auditorium, were removed.

#58 of 612 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted January 31 2012 - 04:42 PM



Originally Posted by NY2LA 


BTW, if you look at How The West Was Won on DVD, the non-smilebox version is ridiculously wide - more than it ever was in any cinema, because they decided to leave in everything from left sprocket holes to right, so instead of 2.59 they ended up with like 2.89, just because they could. The projector aperture plates and screen masking would have reduced it, so it was never intended to see that much on the sides. Result of the superfluous extra width is you see nothing significant added on the ends, and it makes the picture even smaller, unless maybe you are blowing it up for projection. Even on HiDef TV, it's like a ribbon across the screen. That never made any sense to me.
I suppose that indicates they will (or already have) tried to get as much width as possible out of the 70mm TIC composite.


I never watch HTWWW on Blu-ray unless it is the Smilebox version.  I agree with you 200% on the wide ribbon look of the regular DVD and Blu-ray transfer.


You are also 100% right in that the Forman family fought tooth and nails not to bring Cinerama to the Cinerama Dome.  When Chris asked me about it I exploded with enthusiasm.  The look he and Nora gave each other told me that was not in their thought.  They just asked the wrong person.  However, growing up, I had always seen HTWWW in 35mm and did not get a chance to see it the splendorous format of 3 panel Cinerama until a run of it at the Cinerama Dome.  Two times in one day and on the first matinee, two seats down from me was Steven Spielberg,  Guess what, the presentation out classed him that day.

An above mentioned that they thought the Dome had showed 3-panel Cinerama.  While the booths were designed that way, they opened with IMMMMW and they always only had the 70mm projectors in the booth. That is until the late 90's when they installed Cinerama for the first time.


When I was with UA in Denver, we owned the Cooper Cinerama.  The week I got there they decided to remove the Cinerama screen and replace it with a smaller but clean screen.  I went there late that night and watched as they individually took down the strips that made up the Cinerama screen.  I still have one of those strips.  Alas the the theatre was demolished and a Barnes and Noble was built on the site.

Thank goodnes the Cinerama Dome and Seattle Cinerama is sill standing and showing those spectacular films. I just wish they were closer.


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#59 of 612 OFFLINE   NY2LA

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Posted January 31 2012 - 06:03 PM

Lots of misinformation about the movie. Even the writer of THE MGM STORY gets the information about Grimm wrong saying it was the first of the single camera/no panel Cinerama features. Obviously this person never saw the film, even in its 35mm engagements.

Definitely true that one can't be sure of the accuracy when you read something on Cinerama. I imagine due to a combination of oft repeated and thus altered accounts and attempts to connect the dots that end up with 2+2 = 44. Human error I suppose. In a previous post I mentioned having read that Pacific/Foreman made the decision to Kill 3 strip in favor of cheaper 70mm. Have since gone to a reliable source that says it was Nicolas Reisini who took over Cinerama inc, after their Stanley Warner contract was up... Now Foreman/Pacific were definitely involved to a degree from at least the agreement to build the Dome for Mad World... and you'll see they definitely helped bury Cinerama for decades... Quoting Excerpts by Greg Kimble: "When the 70mm comedy "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" proved a success, he [Reisini] decided the 3-panel process was just too expensive and made all future films in either Technirama or Super Panavision 70, hoping to trade on the established marquee value of the Cinerama name. Of course, audiences weren't fooled by this bastardization of the process - it was impossible not to notice that there was only one projector." "Worse, Reisini also called a halt to all R&D, which stopped production of Waller's design of a 35mm 16-perf pull-across camera with a curved gate, and curved real element lens. Three-panel prints would be made from the single negative, forever solving the image kinking problem where the panels (each with its own vanishing point) met. Waller had never stopped trying to improve the process, and had always seen 3-panel as first generation technology. " "The Cinerama name rapidly lost its caché and market share. Theaters were un-converted to conventional projection... The company assets and distribution arm were purchased by Pacific Theaters, which mothballed the equipment and sold the remaining prints as sound spacer." "The original film materials for all the travelogues have been vaulted for decades. Fading as we speak, they are awaiting restoration - if only someone will put up the money. "And what of the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood? Nearly lost in a planned conversion to flat-screen and buried inside a parking structure, the Dome was saved largely through the efforts of the Los Angeles Conservancy under the direction of Doug Haines' Friends of Cinerama. This is quiet vindication for John Sittig, long time Pacific Theaters manager, who has been quietly lobbying behind the scenes for years to install Cinerama in the Dome." Full Article by Greg Kimble here: http://www.in70mm.co...pters/index.htm Greg has both the access to original documents and hands-on experience with Cinerama elements. He was integral to the development of the SmileBox digital format. So if you want a reliable Cinerama source, he's the man.

#60 of 612 OFFLINE   NY2LA

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Posted January 31 2012 - 06:49 PM

It was definitely at the Dome - no question - I saw it there. After Grimm and West no other three-panel Cinerama films were ever shown at the Warner Cinerama/Pacific's - the three booths, which were at the back of the auditorium, were removed.

Hey Bruce. I just know you can give a long, detailed account of seeing Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm in its initial engagements here in Hollywood. You got a receptive audience here, would you mind? And I bet you can answer whether or not FSM asked Universal for the master to the WWOTBG storybook album, which was reissued by MCA in 86. I have a cassette, not really sure if they ever did a CD. Since those FSM projects seem to like to include everything plus the kitchen sink, I'm surprised they didn't at least try to master the story album from vinyl and just clean it up a bit. God knows there have been soundtrack CDs mastered from worse...





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