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A few words about...™ South Seas Adventure -- in Blu-ray

A Few Words About Blu-ray

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#1 of 14 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted January 17 2014 - 02:35 PM

For those who didn't grow up on Cinerama travelogues, have never seen How the West Was Won projected on a huge screen in the original Cinerama process, South Seas Adventure, and the rest of the Cinerama productions, may not quite register.


Stored in less than optimal conditions for half a century, South Seas Adventure has made its way to Blu-ray thanks to the passion of Dave Strohmaier and his band of Cinerama aficionados.


Smilebox gives the viewer an inkling of what the film looked like projected, but as a function of home video, the effect of the original presentation is lost.


Cinerama was huge.


Saved from oblivion, at least on Blu-ray, South Seas Adventure belies its source materials -- faded original negative, and faded print.  And without a much larger budget -- and let's be honest - how large is the demand for Cinerama travelogues by the modern public? -- we have what we have.


But what we have isn't half bad.  Faded looking, but decent color through many reels, nicely blended panels, and occasional eye-popping ocean blues.


This, and other Cinerama travelogues, are passion projects, and without the support of the Blu-ray public, the films can't be saved in any format.


One of the high points, is the audio, which is superb.  Narration by Orson Welles.


A worthwhile trip, and an interesting visit to a long-gone production technique.


Image - 3


Audio - 5





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"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence

#2 of 14 OFFLINE   ahollis



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Posted January 17 2014 - 02:49 PM

Yes, they are passion products and I have a passion for each of them. I truly enjoy this Blu-Ray.

#3 of 14 ONLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted January 17 2014 - 02:59 PM

Same here.  And even though Smilebox can't give me the literal wraparound and the immense scale, I can get myself sufficiently into the groove to let it carry me back to the way those presentations looked and felt.  Keep these little passion gems coming, and I'll keep opening my little wallet.

#4 of 14 OFFLINE   KPmusmag


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Posted January 17 2014 - 03:13 PM

Love this one and the others and will definitely buy whatever they release.

#5 of 14 OFFLINE   Strohmaier


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Posted January 17 2014 - 08:41 PM


Thanks guys for all your continued support and very encouraging words, as you know these projects have been a super challenge for all of us as well as very time consuming for the entire team. Many of you know that we have no studio budget to do these restorations so when we hear some praise and accolades it helps renew our commitment to do the best we can to deliver a superior product and preserve these very unique motion picture experiences.

I always remind the team what Leonard Maltin said of our work on Cinerama Holiday at last year’s TCM Festival: “The digital restoration of this feature, with a music score by Morton Gould, looks and sounds magnificent.”

And Leonard also said for South Seas Adventure:
“South Seas Adventure, which sold me on the restoration process that’s been implemented by Austin, Texas-based Image Trends Inc. They are working from badly-worn, severely faded color negatives, but you’d never know it from the picture spread on the giant Cinerama Dome screen.”

Thanks to all of you guys that have given us such glowing reviews in the past 2 months since the November release. I can report that Seven Wonders is now finished and we just finished Search For Paradise this week. These two had their own unique set of problems including very severe film shrinkage on all three panels. Special image stabilization had to be used to steady each panel before blending then back together, what a major pain. I screened Search For Paradise and Seven Wonders recently and the audience was extremely pleased with the results. I hope you will be too.
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#6 of 14 OFFLINE   Doug Bull

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Posted January 17 2014 - 09:22 PM

Thank you.


The CINERAMA years are just so full of happy memories.

I took my girlfriend to see every one of them starting with THIS IS CINERAMA and by the time we got to HTWWW, my girlfriend had become my Wife.


I for one can't wait to order both Search for Paradise and Seven Wonders of the World.

The previous releases have all been exceptional, especially South Seas Adventure which is Amazing.



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#7 of 14 OFFLINE   davidmatychuk


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Posted January 17 2014 - 11:21 PM

Wonderful beyond technical consideration (but technically miraculous), these discs are literally a childhood dream of mine come true: Cinerama in my home. 

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#8 of 14 OFFLINE   DP 70

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Posted January 18 2014 - 12:47 AM

I have my centre seat 1st row booked for the screenings of SOP and 7WOTW at this years Bradford WSW.
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#9 of 14 OFFLINE   JohnMor



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Posted January 18 2014 - 02:43 PM


Watched this last night.  Just wonderful!  The whole package is great; I loved each of the extras.  I am so glad I bought these 4 Cinerama titles, both to finally see these unique films, but also to support the incredible work that was done to bring these back to us in such vibrant and exciting editions.  South Seas Adventure is definitely my favorite so far.

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#10 of 14 OFFLINE   JohnMor



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Posted January 18 2014 - 11:29 PM

Okay, I just watched it again with the commentary, and I have to say that David Coles gave one of the most enjoyable tracks I have heard in many a year.  Very informative, but delightfully fun as well.  Great dry sense of humor.  And a very nice touch to have Ramine for a bit as well.  GREAT job all the way around!   :thumbsup:

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#11 of 14 OFFLINE   DeeSJ



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Posted January 26 2014 - 08:07 AM

Hi all,


Must say at the outset that I am not in any way a techy with regard to Cinerama. Know nothing about Blu-ray, but, fortunately for me I stumbled upon this site after deciding to play background music on another computer whilst working on this one. Music, out of over 200 odd titles happened to be 'Love Letters', by Ketty Lester, which came on the radio .....whilst I was working in a place in the UK called Southsea, and I was in a cafe with pals on my day off from the CINERAMA Big Top as it was called then. I got 'homesick' so went looking, as I have done often, and this time I really got lucky. Pages of Cinerama stuff, including short clips of South Seas Adventure promo's!!


I started work with the Cinerama group in Sheffield, UK just as a knockabout - if you know what that is, and loved the work, hard and long as it was. Erecting and dismantling that huge tent (I have two b/w pics,very kindly given by Sheffield Council 2? years ago)was a tremendous job. Then a change (no showers available) into dress gear- black guards style daks, black shoes, maroon cummerbund, white shirt, maroon bow  tie, and white waistcoat type jacket with silver navy style buttons. HA! those were the days: and Glen Miller playing over the sound system as we showed the patrons to their seats.


I saw Cinerama's South Seas Adventure 13 times a week, and loved every second of it-would swap my life now to go back for the same.

We 'ushers' would sit at the rear of the 'theatre', and wait to watch the people react to scenes such as the 'runaway' mountain train in, I believe it was Funchal on Madeira, but a quick look just now at Wikepedia shows that it stopped in 1943???? Remember it was prob 1963 that I started at the Big Top! so memories slip somewhat.

Screams of joy from men, women and children as they swayed severely in their seats due to virtually being on that train (wherever it was) as it careered down the mountain

at high speed gave us great pleasure, as did their reactions from similar 'virtuals' 


Over the years that I have been looking it seems that there is quite a bit of misunderstanding re the Big Top, at least as regards the UK one. I have been told it was called Itinerama, which it was not, nor was the film I saw, 'Windjammer' (13 times per week tends to ingrain quite a lot) and the voice of the man singing 'Kari' on Windjammer is not afai can tell, the same voice as he whom sings it on SSA.

The Christian Radich is on both films and the songs on the SSA trailer on youtube are ones I recall from my time at Cinerama, plus Greigs Piano Concerto, in A Minor. but...


To reach this point in my humble life and see the many references to Cinerama and especially to my souls song, the SSA, is something I did not think would occur. I had read, maybe 2 years ago that there was but one copy of SSA left, in poor condition, and that it was in Australia, which is where I now live-so attempted to contact anyone who may know more, but time and family illness stopped my search, and I left it until circumstances permitted. Not much success however until now, and wow, do I need a beer and a fag! and I don't even smoke, and a drink happens maybe once in a blue moon!


OK, I have bored you to sleep or insanity, so shall stop. There are aspects left which are very strange, but have nothing to do with Cinerama as such, nor Blu-ray etc, so will try to sort those things myself.

Suffice to say that I am over-the-moon with the fact that there are such Knights as these, for whom Cinerama is a cause well fought for.

I humbly salute you and will buy copies of SSA and others (trusting that the thing in our lounge will play Blu-ray??)you have made my new year worth having.


My apologies to those with headaches. if any of the above made sense ..well!!


Thank you for this great site,



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#12 of 14 OFFLINE   lark144


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Posted January 26 2014 - 08:41 AM

Dear DeeSJ:


Thanks so much for sharing your experiences! Reading your post I could almost imagine myself in the back of that tent watching SOUTH SEA ADVENTURES on that huge screen!

And welcome to the Forum!

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#13 of 14 OFFLINE   RolandL



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Posted January 27 2014 - 06:33 AM

Hi DeeSJ,


There was a Cinerama theatre in Sheffield called Gaumont 1(see picture below)




I have some pictures of the Cinerama mobile theatre (see one of them below) in the UK on my website on this page. I would love to see the pictures you have.



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Roland Lataille
Cinerama web site


#14 of 14 OFFLINE   DP 70

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Posted January 27 2014 - 06:39 AM

Thanks again Roland for the pics and for your fantastic web site.


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