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A Few Words About A few words about...™ This is Cinerama -- in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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I was a bit young when I was taken to see This is Cinerama in it's original release. And I still recall those giant curtains opening, and opening, and opening, to reveal the entire image. If you're lucky enough, you can share that experience the next time David Strohmaier and his merry band of fanatics runs How the West Was Won at the Dome in Hollywood.

I believe this is a complete list of the released three-panel Cinerama productions, but I could be missing something.

This is Cinerama - 1953

Cinerama Holiday - 1955

Seven Wonders of the World - 1956

Search for Paradise - 1957

South Seas Adventure - 1958

Windjammer: The Voyage of the Christian Radich - 1958 (in Cinemiracle)

The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm - 1962

How the West Was Won - 1962

Cinerama's Russian Adventure - 1966


If one were to try to come up with true Event status motion picture exhibitions, TiC would have to be one of them.

When the move was made from huge travelogue to huge scripted motion picture in 1962 with Brothers Grimm, and HtWWW, things got a bit more interesting. To this day, for me, HtWWW remains the pinnacle of the process - entertaining in addition to being an exhilarating theatrical Event experience.

But let's get back to Dave Strohmaier, and his passion to save the Cinerama library.

As far as I'm aware, only two productions were kept well, and protected to decently, and those would be the M-G-M productions. Many of the others have fallen into distress, with problematic original negatives. While separation masters may survive for them, the cost to re-combine them would far outweigh any commercial value.

Which left Mr. Strohmaier trying to do the impossible. Make more than acceptable versions of the films available to the public, especially via Blu-ray and his Smilebox digital view, to give a modern audience an idea of what the films would have looked like, had they been sitting in the audience half a century before.

With the original negatives too problematic to print, Mr. Strohmaier and his digital restoration guru Greg Kimble, went to a 65mm dupe prepared in the early '70s, which in turn had been made from a set of defective dye transfer prints.

Enough words.

You can go here to learn about the process they used to create the HD master:

http://www.davidstrohmaier.com/TEST/Remastering%20TIC%20v-2-iPhone.m4v

Bottom line?

A beautiful HD restoration, which, in my humble opinion, successfully brings the thrill of that original Event to home theater.

Just a bit smaller, and with a bit less impact.

My ratings here are based upon what they began with, their process, and the final result. Going to the original masters would have yielded a better image, but who was going to pay for it?

Image - 4

Audio - 5

Highly Recommended.

RAH
 

Robert Harris

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An interesting experiment...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udtQB_i-JyE&feature=relmfu
 

Dick

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Mark - I believe they are working on several other titles, including SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE.
 

rsmithjr

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I spoke to some of the Cinerama Inc. folks at the festival.
All of the original travelogues are being prepared. Cinerama Holiday and South Seas Adventure were shown in digital. Seven Wonders of the World had a work-in-progress print. Search for Paradise is being done, but a 3-strip magenta was shown. These will all be finished by next year.
They are looking at the sales of the two Blu-rays to decide whether or not to proceed. However, I was told that This is Cinerama and Windjammer had already covered their costs as of the festival.
At this point, it is entirely a matter of money. They all want to do it, but will not be able to if sales projections are inadequate. But do note that the Foreman family, Pacific Theaters, and a number of individuals have made huge efforts for this project, so it is not just a matter of $$$ either. At the very least, the films have all been preserved in the digital realm.
 

24fpssean

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Dave is a good friend and I love his passion for Cinerama! Way back on CONTACT, when I was working with his wife, Carin-Anne, Dave was making CINERAMA ADVENTURE, a wonderful doc on the history of the Cinerama process. It was fascinating, and inspiring, to see this documentary realized. Earlier this year, Dave and his Cineramians shot an actual film, a Hollywood travelogue of sorts, in Cinerama and when I found out about it I asked Carin-Anne if I could fetch coffee, shine shoes, dust cobwebs, anything, on the shoot so I could see and hear that camera in action. On the last day of shooting, in the Dome itself, my wish came true!
And there was the beast, whirring away, so loudly you could hear it from inside the lobby while it was out on the street. I got to look through the viewfinder and stare into the three lenses, which have an uncanny spider-like look. To my surprise, I was corralled into being a speaking part in the film - I sell tickets to customers in Panel A in the Arclight lobby, a strange, full-circle irony, since I sold tickets to customers at Cineplex theaters when I first moved to Los Angeles over twenty years ago. For the life of me, I couldn't remember what I used to say to people so I had to dig up that memory from the dusty recesses of my mind and reformat it to work with the present film.
A wonderful experience! Now I can say that not only have I been IN a Cinerama film, but I have been projected ON the screen at the Dome! The short is called IN THE PICTURE, check it out, it's beautiful!
 
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Jeffrey Sultanof
I previously said that I am in for every Cinerama motion picture that might be issued on Blu-ray, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
Thanks to my four-year-old, I've seen "This is Cinerama" about ten times by now. He loves this film.
 

Strohmaier

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We finished this Cinerama title and it may come out sometime later in 2013. Cinerama Holiday trailer:
 

Robert Harris

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For the record, the elements from which these Blus have been produced are in the order of horrific. The amount of handwork and effort that has gone into the creation of these discs, making them look as they do, is amazing. RAH
 

Strohmaier

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Thanks Robert I create these trailers after the feature is all finished, I try to give them a period feel as if Cinerama actually produced it in the 1950s. Working on "7 Wonders" right now and it is in much worse shape that the others were. Dave
 

RetroGuy

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Strohmaier said:
We finished this Cinerama title and it may come out sometime later in 2013. Cinerama Holiday trailer:
Can't wait to get this and South Seas Adventure on blu!
 

RichMurphy

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Count me in for all the future releases as well. The first two Blu-Rays were such fun! CINERAMA HOLIDAY looks like a great time capsule.
 

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